Inside Hamilton’s Museums

Reviewed by Joel Ralph

September 15, 2016

Most small museums have only a fraction of their collections on display at any time and often cannot share many of their stories. Former Toronto Star writer John Goddard has published a new book, Inside Hamilton’s Museums, that seeks to expand and develop the wonderful stories housed at that city’s institutions.

“After visiting a museum, I wanted something to take away, something to read,” explains Goddard. “I wanted a way to digest the material afterward.” His book is part guidebook and part history. The author walks through the museums and expands on the stories they share. Sadly, however, he left out some exceptional heritage sites, like the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and the HMCS Haida, because they “did not fit [his] heritage-house theme.”

I had the chance to tour Hamilton’s museums a few years ago, and I was as much enamoured with them as Goddard is. They represent an exceptionally well-maintained heritage collection that is staffed by warm, engaging, and extremely knowledgeable staff. The city has one of the best groups of local museums in Canada, and you should definitely make a point of visiting. If you want to learn more about them, Goddard’s book has you covered.

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