The Canadian War Museum’s Military History Research Centre houses, in one convenient location, the George Metcalf Archival Collection and the Hartland Molson Library. These extensive national collections of primary and secondary research material document Canada’s military history from the colonial period to the present.
The George Metcalf Archival Collection contains unique archival documents and photographic materials, and is especially strong on First and Second World Wars. The archival collection, consisting of approximately 765 metres of documentation, includes original letters, diaries, scrapbooks, logbooks, maps, 3-D maps, blueprints, postcards, sheet music, records, oral history tapes and other printed material. The photographic portion of the collection holds approximately 90,000 items including original photographic prints in black and white and colour, negatives, glass slides, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, stereoscopic slides, hand-tinted portraits, film reels and videos.
The Hartland Molson Library Collection has approximately 60,000 volumes including regimental histories, published personal memoirs, periodicals and newspapers, wartime pamphlets, military technical and field manuals, multi-media, and 5,000 rare books. The Hamilton Spectator newspaper collection which includes 144,000 Second World War newspaper clippings is available electronically with fulltext searching capabilities at the Democracy at War website.