John M. MacKenzie
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The origins of colonial museums
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Museums in Canada have a longer, though somewhat chequered, history than elsewhere in the British Empire. This chapter examines the early and often tentative beginnings of Canadian museums while the next surveys the emergence of the modern, and rather different, museums in Toronto and Victoria. In 1851, the Canadian Institute was incorporated in Toronto, and it was to be important in the founding of the Ontario Provincial Museum. If the origins of museums throughout eastern Canada represent a number of different streams, those in Ontario clearly illustrate the educational, didactic, and multi-disciplinary forces which fed into the major development of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Among these, the emergence of a local museum in Elora some sixty miles due west of Toronto is highly significant. This museum is inseparably connected with the extraordinary auto-didact David Boyle.

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Museums and empire

Natural history, human cultures and colonial identities


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