What is the Ingenium Centre?
The Ingenium Centre is a state-of-the-art facility designed to protect and showcase Canada’s national science and technology collection, which is stewarded by Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation.
The Ingenium Centre, located beside the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, is designed to be one of the most accessible artifact and archive collection storage facilities in the world – for museum professionals, heritage researchers, as well as for the public.
Ingenium cares for more than 115,000 objects of different shapes and sizes within its world-class collection, including railway locomotives, farm tractors, nuclear reactors, plant seeds, and everyday household objects such as porcelain dinner plates and electric toasters – each item representative of Canada’s incredible and complex history of science innovation.
Ingenium’s three museums — the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and the Canada Science and Technology Museum — are able to display only about 12 percent of the total collection at any given time, and many of the remaining artifacts are housed in the Ingenium Centre. Due to their large size, the majority of Ingenium’s aviation- and space-related artifacts — such as aircraft — are displayed in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum or are stored in its adjacent Reserve Hangar.
- The four-storey Ingenium Centre is equivalent in height to a 10-storey building due to the storage rooms’ high ceilings.
- The Ingenium Centre contains nearly 36,000 m² in total floor area.
- The Ingenium’s collection holds more than 115,000 objects and nearly two million archival items.
- The Ingenium Centre provides controlled environments to properly house and protect the national collection’s artifacts and archives, many of which are fragile, easily damaged, and are one-of-a-kind.
- The Ingenium Centre is home to Ingenium’s Library and Archives, Digital Innovation Lab, Research Institute, conservation laboratories, repair and mechanic workshops, and corporate staff office spaces.
The Ingenium Centre is home to hundreds of thousands of objects and archival items and includes:
- The CP 1201 Locomotive - one of the largest objects in the collection. It weighs 185 t (410,000 lbs), and is 23 m long by 3 m wide. It was used at Expo 1986, and was built in the Angus shops of Montreal around 1944.
- 12 railway locomotives and 10 rail cars
- 177 automobiles — the oldest is the 1867 Seth Taylor Steam, built in Québec
- 190 bicycles
- 6,000 agricultural artifacts
- 4,000 domestic technology artifacts
- 40,000 pieces of trade literature, 29,500 monographs, 3,000 rare books, and 2,000 serials
ARTIFACT STORAGE SPACES
- Temperature- and humidity-controlled environments;
- Storage spaces and access to artifacts are maximized through the use of shelving that moves horizontally to expand and contract the aisles between shelves;
- High ceilings accommodate very large artifacts and allow for large numbers of related artifacts to be housed together.
Library and Archives
Contains a rich array of library books, rare books, trade literature, and other resources, ideal for users researching the history of science, technology, agriculture, and food in Canada. Open by appointment to the public and accessible online to users world-wide.
The Research Institute welcomes scholars, artists, scientists, students, and researchers to explore the many ways that science and technology are embedded in society, culture, and history. It is a place for Ingenium staff, visiting scholars, students, and guest curators to build communities of knowledge around the national collection, and to inject new ideas and experiences into Ingenium’s public offerings.
Digital Innovation Lab
The Digital Innovation Lab is a collaborative hub for exploring innovative ways to improve access to museums spaces, collections, and experiences for all Canadians. Working with academia, start-ups, visitor-serving industries, and the accessibility community, the Lab explores emerging technologies, user experience and accessible design to create more inclusive experiences for everyone.