The Military and Political History program holds and maintains approximately 43,000 artifacts. These can be divided into four major groupings: militaria, firearms, numismatics and government/political material.
We have an excellent collection of uniforms reflecting the three branches of the Canadian forces, federal, provincial and municipal law enforcement organizations and other government agencies. We maintain a representative collection of badges, medals, posters and original works of art associated with these different services. The program houses the regimental collection of the 19th Alberta Dragoons, and has recently added over 250 pieces of trench art.
The program manages the Museum's 2,000 firearms which date from the mid-1700s to the present; they relate to the fur trade, hunting and recreational uses, law enforcement, the military and various government services. The collection includes as-type specimens of all classifications of firearms—antique, non-restricted, restricted and prohibited. Notable groupings include mid-19th century long guns representative of the transition from single shot muzzleloaders to repeating cartridge rifles; military firearms dating from the 1860s to the 1960s; and, law enforcement service weapons.
The numismatics collection includes coins, tokens, medallions and paper currency in addition to military and civilian orders and medals. Of note is a set of rare coronation medallions (Anne, 1702 to Elizabeth II, 1953); over 800 pre-Confederation Canadian tokens dating to the era of New France (ca. 1680); a reverse image printing stone used to print Alberta Prosperity Certificates in the 1930s; and, a comprehensive collection of Alberta trade tokens ca. 1950s-1990s.
Government collections include objects representative of education and medical care to land surveying and railways. These date from the mid-1800s to the present day. The Program also holds a wide variety of protocol gifts given to the province by other governments.Collection pieces representative of public life date from the post-1970 period, and relate to personalities and organizations involved in the political process at all levels of government.