INSIDE THE MUSEUM
Photo: The Diefenbaker Centre
According to one of the museum's handouts, "thematic displays are arranged to interpret various aspects of Canadian History."
Most of these displays are made up of items from Diefenbaker's life, which spanned from 1895 to 1979.
The museum goes beyond exhibiting just Diefenbaker material. There are also exhibits that try to illustrate important people and events that shaped Canadian history since Confederation.
There's also a lot of John A. Macdonald memorabilia. When he was alive, Diefenbaker was quite the history buff, and was especially interested in the life of Canada's first prime minister. Diefenbaker probably could have started his own museum about Sir John A., and he willed the entire collection to the Diefenbaker Centre.
Dief was probably Canada's foremost expert on Macdonald, and loved to tell stories about Sir John. (Some of them are collected on "I Am Canadian", a record of stories and speeches by Diefenbaker.)
There are also editorial cartoons, portraits, photographs, and other representations of Diefenbaker. I'll post more photos of these to Diefenbaker Web over the next few months.
The handbook mentions that the displays at the Diefnebaker Centre are changed frequently. There are tens of thousands of pieces in the museum's collection, so there's probably always new things to discover. The museum also hosts travelling exhibits every once in a while.
If you think you're learning a lot from Diefenbaker Web, imagine how much you'd get out of this museum. From the pictures my dad brought back, there are hundreds of rare photos, and countless handwritten papers from Dief.
Then there's all of the strange items that have popped up as kind of a "Diefenbaker Legacy". Hardly a week goes by that there isn't a mention of
Dief in the Canadian media somewhere.
MORE FROM INSIDE THE MUSEUM: Recreations of the Prime Minister's office, and the Privy Council Chamber.