The Waterloo Region Museum first opened in 1957 as the Doon Pioneer Village. The village was operated by the Ontario Pioneer Community Foundation with the goal of presenting the rural and agricultural history of Ontario. In 1971, the Grand River Conservation Authority assumed the operation and administration of the village. In 1983, operation and administration of the village was transferred to the Regional Municipality of Waterloo or the Region of Waterloo. At the same time, the village name was changed to Doon Heritage Crossroads. The Waterloo Region Curatorial Centre was built on the same site in 1995 to house the artifact collection. The Curatorial Centre consists of four artifact storage areas, two conservation labs, an exhibit design studio and workshop, the Archives Reading Room, and administrative areas. A new museum building was opened in 2010, providing exhibition galleries, classroom/meeting rooms, a theatre, and guest services. The entire site is now known as the Waterloo Region Museum.
Geographical and cultural context
Waterloo Region is made up of the cities of Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge and the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich. It also contains the former Waterloo County and Waterloo Township.
The archival holdings are related to the history of Waterloo Region and includes photographs, personal papers, ephemera, and business records. Most archival items relate to artifacts in the collection. Small reference library containing local history books and publications is also available.