Collection and Research

Discover stories, artifacts, and people of the past.

Our collection and research webpages provide resources from the Diefenbunker including:

  • a search of our collection
  • audio and video clips from oral histories
  • updates on original museum research into the Cold War and artifacts in our collection
  • resources for you to learn more about the Cold War and taking care of your own artifacts

Collection

The Diefenbunker’s mandate is to increase, throughout Canada and the world, interest in and a critical understanding of the Cold War, by preserving the Diefenbunker as a national historic site, and operating a Cold War museum.

The museum holds thousands of artifacts and archival documents relevant to Canada’s Cold War history, spanning between 1945 and 1991. Items in the collection are categorized into three levels:

  • Level 1: objects originally within the site during its operational life (1962 to 1994)
  • Level 2: objects adjacent to the site but not used within our site (e.g., objects/records from other Canadian Cold War bunkers including CFB Borden and CFB Shilo)
  • Level 3: objects related to Canadian and international Cold War history and culture (1945 to 1991) but not related to the history of our site
2022 Artist-in-Residence Christos Pantieras looking at Cold War posters in the Diefenbunker's archive.

The Ottawa Museums and Archives Collection (OMAC) portal hosts our growing collection of artifact and archival materials. Search through OMAC to learn more about specific items in the Diefenbunker’s collection.

If you wish to inquire about donating items to our collection, please contact our Collections Coordinator by email at k.butler@diefenbunker.ca or by phone at 613-839-0007 x263.

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