Unexpected! Surprising treasures from Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada on display at the National Gallery of Canada

Inside the massive vaults of some of our facilities, we preserve many objects that you might not expect to find in the national collection. Discover some of them by visiting Unexpected! Surprising Treasures From Library and Archives Canada.

The exhibition features a wide variety of national collection items, including maps, paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, rare books, classified documents, codebooks, diaries, and even a music score. Dare to look beneath the surface and you will find that these remarkable artifacts have important stories to tell.

Focusing on three themes — wonders, secrets and mysteries — the exhibition reveals the remarkable stories behind a diverse selection of extraordinary artifacts in various media, from all regions and spanning four centuries of Canadian history.

For more information about the exhibition, admission and opening hours, visit historymuseum.ca.


From December 9, 2022, to November 26, 2023
Canadian Museum of History
100 Laurier Street
Gatineau, Quebec
Admission fees apply

Plan or complement your visit to Unexpected!

Explore resources and learn more about some of the objects featured in the exhibition.


Treasures Revealed Episode 9 – Masonic Mystery
UFOs at LAC: The Falcon Lake Incident - Part 1
UFOs at LAC: The Falcon Lake Incident - Part 2


Expect the Unexpected!
The statue of Sir Arthur Doughty, Dominion Archivist
Finding patents of invention held at Library and Archives Canada
Mountains of Blackflies
Igor Gouzenko and the Start of the Cold War

Image galleries

Peter Winkworth Collection
Louis Koenig: French Shore
Patents of Invention

This exhibition was developed in partnership between Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Museum of History.