Featured Exhibition

Archival image from Roy Studio

Each year we offer several temporary exhibitions presenting a variety of topics. Visit the upcoming exhibitions schedule to learn more about what is booked to be on display, or view our list of past exhibitions to see what we have previously hosted. 

The Peterborough Museum & Archives is open to the public by appointment only. If you wish to visit and view our exhibits, please call during our regular business hours, or visit the online appointment scheduler. All bookings will be granted exclusive access to our exhibits, meaning you will not have to worry about crossing paths with other visitors. 

Snapshots of Peterborough: 1900 to 1950

October 3 through December 13, 2020

Historic photographs (like all photographs) are curated experiences. Photographers usually make many decisions about how to capture specific moments in time. Where to focus, what to include, and what to exclude are all intentional thoughts that need to be considered. Years later, museums and historians may share these images, but always through their own lens. Viewers are often directed to focus their eye on certain details that help narrate the story being presented.

But photographers capture much more – details in the background (think of today's "photobombers"), moments off to the edge of the picture, or even a reflection of the photographer themselves. These fringe details are often as revealing or as interesting as the main subject of the photograph.

Context is everything. The more we know about the details surrounding a particular images, the more the image might reveal to us. The more we know about the lives of people depicted, the more meaningful these images become. 

Snapshots of Peterborough: 1900 to 1950 explores images from the Peterborough Museum & Archives' (PMA) photographic collections with some of these new insights. See dozens of images that illustrate entries from Fred Roy's personal diary. View the familiar images of the Jackson Park toboggan slide and rink (1905 to 1917) with new context and understanding. Discover why the captivating photographs of the 1908 Race Walkers are just the starting point for a remarkable sporting story from early Peterborough - one that captured the whole community's imagination.

"I am continually humbled and amazed at how often we can reinterpret historic photographs with each new piece of information we learn about their context," notes Archivist, Jon Oldham. "Even with the images we've seen many, many times, we think we know everything there is to know about them - and yet, they surprise us with new insight."

With hundreds of thousands of images in the PMA's photographic collections, there will undoubtedly be many more stories for years to come. 

The exhibition was developed in-house by the Peterborough Museum & Archives' curatorial team.