The Paris Museum and Historical Society (PMHS) was founded in 1972 by a small group of heritage-minded residents. Today we are incorporated and are a registered charity. Our mission is to collect, preserve and make accessible the rich cultural heritage of Paris and surrounding area through exhibits and research materials. We are the only organization in the province to house an archive, a museum and a historical society, all under one roof.
We are affiliated with the Ontario Historical Society and belong to a number of other professional associations, including the Ontario Museum Association, The Brant Museum and Art Gallery Association, and the Archives Association of Ontario.
Our museum houses a research room, warehouse and storage facility, an exhibition hall and a gift shop which includes works by many local artists and artisans. Our collection comprises over 40,000 objects and archival documents such as fine art, land documents, photographs, maps, family histories, extensive files on local buildings and businesses and many other historical documents and artifacts. We have microfilm of local newspapers from the 1880s onward and bound original newspapers to 2010. Thanks to generous donations we have digitized our microfilm collection and are updating our collection methods.
We enjoy collaborating with a variety of community partners. We have contributed to the County of Brant Public Library digital online collection and take part in their county-wide history lectures. We also create historical displays for various County of Brant tourism events and for the Paris Agricultural Society. We provide historical research to various county departments and committees. Our outreach program includes presentations and tours for local seniors' homes, local groups and social clubs. We host hundreds of local and international visitors to our museum every year.
Our organization is entirely run by volunteers who range in age from 16 to 86. In 2017 our volunteers logged over 4,000 onsite hours and countless hours in their homes and out in the community. We know that Paris' heritage could very well be lost without their tireless efforts.
- Stephanie Pile