The Oliver & District Heritage Society is an established public cultural and historical institution that maintains a Museum and Archives to preserve and promote the cultural and natural history of the area of Oliver and the surrounding RDOS district Area C, which is located on the unceded traditional and ancestral territory of the syilx Okanagan Nation. The Society is a not-for-profit organization and is governed by a Board of Directors. Incorporated on August 6, 1980 as the Oliver Heritage Society, the name was changed in 1998 to “Oliver & District Heritage Society” to reflect support from the RDOS as well as the Town.
Our collection area extends south to Osoyoos, west to Fairview and trading area, east to Camp McKinney and trading area, and north to White Lake and Okanagan Falls.
We collect and preserve artifacts, photographs, maps, drawings, newspapers, and many more types of historical and cultural documents of the local area of Oliver and the surrounding RDOS district Area C. Items in our collection range from about 1860 to the present-day, with most materials dating between 1920 and 1960. We continue to collect items of significance that fall within our established collections policy.
We have trained staff and volunteers who apply proper conservation and preservation methods to the items in our care, so that they may be kept for future generations. We use these primary sources to interpret the cultural fabric and historical narrative, which we share with our community and visitors to our area through public programming, exhibits, research, and events. We are open year-round; please check our website or social media for our current hours of operation.
We provide a variety of community and personal services throughout the year at both of our buildings. In the Archives, we are very pleased to allow access to the research library and wi-fi by donation. For a fee, we can also help with historic and family research (by appointment), or provide you with digital copies of certain materials. At the Museum, you can browse the exhibits in the main building (historic BC Provincial Police Station), the Heritage Garden, and the Fairview Jail by donation. We can also provide you with a free self-guided historic walking tour of Oliver, a garden tour of native and introduced plants, or book in a group for a school program and exhibit tour. Staff at both facilities are also on hand to help you find answers to your questions about our community’s history. The Oliver & District Heritage Society fund assists the non-profit Heritage Society with providing its current operations and services, and supports the preservation of its artifact and archival collection, which are held in trust for the local community of Oliver and Rural Area C. Donations are put towards exhibits, school programs, community events, and historic tours, as well as the purchase of necessary but costly supplies such as acid-free tissue and archival storage boxes to preserve maps, objects, documents, and photographs. We invite you to join in the preservation and promotion of our local history, the history of your community, and its stories of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.