The WDM holds over 75,000 artifacts along with over 500,000 archival, photographic, and library materials in trust for the people of Saskatchewan. From pins to locomotives to a grain elevator, the WDM’s Collections touch on all aspects of life in Saskatchewan.
The WDM Collections represent the cultural, agricultural and industrial history of Western Canada, with strong emphasis on Saskatchewan, from the settlement period (c.1870s) to the present day. These Collections are held in trust for the people of Saskatchewan. The WDM holds over 75,000 artifacts and over 500,000 archival, photographic, and library materials. Generally, the WDM does not collect fine arts, natural history or archaeological artifacts, although some of these types of artifacts remain in the Permanent Collection from earlier collecting priorities.
Search the WDM Collections database.
Collections Development Plan
The Collections Development Plan guides decision making by defining the criteria for accepting artifacts into the WDM’s accessioned Collections, the criteria for removing artifacts from the WDM’s accessioned Collections, and how limited resources will be allocated in the overall care and maintenance of the WDM’s accessioned Collections.
The Collections Development Plan is aligned to the WDM’s mandate as legislated by the Government of Saskatchewan in The Western Development Museum Act and the Board of Directors’ Ends Policy. The Plan responds to the WDM vision of A Saskatchewan Where Everyone Belongs and Histories Matter, in its goals to develop the Collections to better represent all Saskatchewan people, particularly those who have been unrepresented, underrepresented, misrepresented or erased in the Museum’s Collections and narratives since its founding in 1949.
Read the WDM Collections Development Plan (PDF).
George Shepherd Library
The George Shepherd Library contains a collection of printed materials, photographs (printed and digital) and other media types related to Saskatchewan and Western Canadian History and artifacts in the WDM collection.
Learn more about the Library’s namesake, George Shepherd.
Information for Researchers
The Library is pleased to offer digital image reproduction.
Please email to confirm we have the material you require. Our online catalogue contains approximately 9,000 cataloged items that can be retrieved and viewed. Uncatalogued material is not available for public consultation. The Library has the right to restrict material in its collection to ensure its preservation as mandated by the Western Development Museum Act and related policies.
Digital Image Reproduction and Research Inquiries
Saskatchewan Patent Index
Throughout our province’s history, Saskatchewan people have created an amazing variety of devices – everything from kitchen gadgets and personal gear to agricultural and industrial equipment. The WDM is proud to have a collection rich in Saskatchewan innovations of all shapes, sizes, and types, from oil cans to calculators to the ‘cobalt bomb.’
Also, check out our Made in Saskatchewan Patent Index. Search through a PDF file of all patents filed by Saskatchewan inventors from 1905-1976.