The NEW BRUNSWICK MUSEUM, located in
Saint John, New Brunswick
Saint John, New Brunswick , is
Canada's oldest continuing museum. The
incorporated as the "Provincial Museum" in 1929 and received its
current name in 1930, but its history goes back much further. Its
lineage can be traced back another 88 years to 1842 and to the work of
Abraham Gesner .
Museum was opened on Douglas Avenue, Saint
New Brunswick in 1934, the 150th anniversary of the founding of
the province. In 1996, exhibitions were moved to Market Square . The
Douglas Avenue facility now houses collections, laboratories,
administration and the archives and research library.
On 5 April 1842
Abraham Gesner opened the MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY,
the precursor of the
New Brunswick Museum, in one room of the
Mechanics' Institute on Carleton Street, in Saint John. Income from
his newly founded museum was not enough to solve Gesner's financial
problems. In 1843, his collection passed on to his creditors who, in
turn, donated it to the Saint John Mechanics' Institute.
Renamed the MECHANICS\' INSTITUTE MUSEUM in 1846, an annual report
dating from 1863 described it as, "a large and valuable collection of
minerals, a great variety of zoological specimens, and many Chinese,
Indian and other curiosities frequently receives additions from
foreign sea captains and others who get into their possession foreign
articles of an attractive description."
When the Mechanics' Institute closed in 1890, the Natural History
New Brunswick acquired the collection and the museum was
moved, first to the then new Market Building then, in 1906, to 72
Union Street. Under the care of its curator and later director, the
entomologist Dr. William McIntosh, the museum's collections and
activities expanded until a new building was essential. In 1934 a new
provincial museum facility on Douglas Avenue was officially opened by
R.B. Bennett .
As of 1942, the collections, building and properties of the museum
officially became the property of the people of New Brunswick. Today a
provincial institution funded by the Province of New Brunswick, the
Museum continues to collect, preserve, study and exhibit
the Province's natural and cultural heritage. As well as having a
remarkable natural sciences collection, the museum has expanded to
include one of the largest collections of 19th-century decorative arts
and Canadiana in the Atlantic provinces.
By 1992, the museum had outgrown its Douglas Avenue location, and
plans were made to develop new exhibition galleries in a central Saint
John location. In April 1996, the
Museum was opened at
Market Square in leased space in uptown Saint John (45°16′22″N
66°03′54″W / 45.2729°N 66.0651°W / 45.2729;
New Brunswick Museum, Market Square Exhibition Centre) ).
The Market Square Exhibition Centre offers three floors and 60,000
square feet (6,000 m2) of exhibition spaces and a wide range of public
programs. The Collections Centre, the Archives and Research Library,
and the Head Office continue to be situated at the Douglas Avenue
The museum is affiliated with the
Canadian Museums Association , the
Canadian Heritage Information Network , and the Virtual