Grey Roots Museum and Archives holds a collection of over 15,000 artefacts in its permanent artefact collection, including the collection of the former County of Grey-Owen Sound Museum, which began collecting in 1955. Highlights of the collection include items manufactured or hand-made right here in Grey County, including signature quilts, paintings, hair and wool wreaths, commercial items, wagons, sledges and blacksmith’s tools.
Presenting the historic artefact collection online has long been an objective of Grey Roots. It provides broad access to the collection, as researchers and visitors have the option of searching the collection from anywhere, and it helps to preserve the collection by allowing images to be viewed without the wear of repeated handling or exposure to light that occurs when looking at original artefacts.
The project to inventory the museum’s collection began in 2008, and took five years. It took another two years to edit the catalogue records. It took seven years (2008 – 2015) to digitize all of the museum’s artefacts. This project could never have been completed without the help of several volunteers, co-op students from St. Mary’s High School and the Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute, many university summer students, and a few Sir Sandford Fleming College interns from two of its programs: Museum Management and Curatorship (MMC) and Collections Conservation and Management (CCM).
Digitizing artefacts is an ongoing project, and new acquisitions are uploaded to the online database as resources allow. Check back regularly to view new items. We do our very best to provide accurate and up-to-date information, but if you do notice anything that needs correction, please let us know.
If you are interested in helping us digitize Grey County’s artefact collection, please contact us!
Please note that the collections management database works with most web browsers, but not with Microsoft web browsers before Microsoft 10. If you cannot see the artifact images or subject headings in the Advanced Search data fields and you are using a Microsoft web browsing product, you may need to update it.
The Keyword Search button allows you to perform a general search across multiple fields for any catalogue records online. Please note that the collections management software is American, so that keyword searches may require and return American spelling of some words (i.e. "ax") Keyword searches use OR as the default connector between words (e.g. a search for Owen Sound will return records associated with Owen OR Sound). If you want to find records where both keywords are found, type in AND between the two words. To search for a specific phrase, be sure to put the phrase within quotes (e.g. "Owen Sound"). You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard (e.g. a search for histor* would come up with records containing history, histories, historical, etc.). Searches are not case sensitive.
The Advanced Search button can help you be more specific with your search. You can search for a word or phrase within a particular search category or use multiple categories to further narrow down your search results. For example, searching White in the People field will bring up any records associated with a member of the White family, without having to sift through black & white photographs. You can also search People and Creator records through Advanced Search. Phrase searching with quotes and use of wildcards (*) are available in Advanced Search.
The Random Images button is a great way to just browse the collection. Each Random Images page displays a random assortment of images from the records online. If something piques your interest, click the thumbnail to view a larger version of the image.
The catalogue buttons can also help narrow down your search, by only searching with a selected catalogue. If you only want to search for Photos, click the Photos button and type in your keyword(s) or phrase. You can also browse records within that catalogue without performing a search. Phrase searching, wildcards (*) as well as AND/OR statements are available when performing catalog searches.