The Acadian Museum’s collection holds nearly 3,000 artifacts. Members of the Acadian Historical Society of Prince Edward Island and the sisters from the Congrégation de Notre-Dame’s convent in Miscouche began collecting artifacts a few years before the Museum was built. The story goes that Sister Antoinette DesRoches, President of the Acadian Historical Society, carefully stored many of these objects in her small room, even under her bed.

In 1964, Sister Antoinette DesRoches, Cyrus J. Gallant and a few other founding members of the Acadian Museum went knocking on the doors of many Acadian homes looking for antiques. As well, people from all over the Island brought the Museum objects of all sorts related to Acadian life. The Acadian Museum’s collection is still growing.

The collection is quite varied, including large objects like looms and tiny ones like religious medals. Many of the artifacts are related to the way of life in Acadian families in the old days. It also contains works by our artists and craftspeople as well as objects that belonged to well-known Acadians. The Museum also has a beautiful collection of old charcoal portraits of couples and individuals representing most of the founding Acadian families on the Island.

All these precious objects are numbered and documented. Various information is recorded on a card: its origin, age, use, former owner, donor, date when it was given to the Museum. Since 2007, all of this information and a photo of each artifact have been brought together in a database.

A small number of these artifacts are part of the Acadian Museum’s permanent exhibition. The others are preserved in the Museum’s large storeroom. Each year, a number of objects from the collection are displayed in temporary exhibitions so visitors don’t always see the same artifacts every time they visit the Acadian Museum.


In the Old Acadian Museum In the Old Acadian Museum

Many of the artifacts from the collection of the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island can be seen here as they were exhibited in the old museum in the 1970s.

(Source : Musée acadien de l’Î.-P.-É.)

A Well-filled Storage Area A Well-filled Storage Area

The greater part of the artifact collection of the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island is preciously kept in the storeroom. Among the artifacts seen in this photo is the chair collection.

Plough Plough

This 19th century plough is part of the Father Pierre-Paul Arsenault Collection assembled in Mont-Carmel, P.E.I., around 1912 for the centennial of the parish. It was stored in the steeple of the Mont-Carmel church until 1964 when it was donated to the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island by the parish of Mont-Carmel.


Flax Breaker Flax Breaker

Instrument to break the stem of the dried flax plant in order to release the fibers to be used in the making of textiles on the loom. The object is part of the Father Pierre-Paul Arsenault Collection assembled in Mont-Carmel, P.E.I., around 1912 for the centennial of the parish. It was stored in the steeple of the Mont-Carmel church until 1964 when it was donated to the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island by the parish of Mont-Carmel.

(M.A. 64.16)

Lobster Trap Lobster Trap

This lobster trap, donated by Cyrus DesRoches, from Miscouche, was used to fish lobster in the Northumberland Strait.


Our Lady of the Assumption Banner Our Lady of the Assumption Banner

This banner in honour of the patron saint of the Acadian people was used mainly during the annual Corpus Christi procession. Donated by the former Religious Museum of Mont-Carmel.


Small Crucifix Small Crucifix

This tiny crucifix constitutes one of the smallest artifacts of the Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island collection. It was donated by Clothilde Arsenault from Tignish, P.E.I. Following is a translation of the information she included, in French, with her donation: “This old crucifix, which is at least 150 years old, first belonged to Marguerite Arsenault from Abram-Village who had it made with an English shilling by a travelling salesman. Around 1820, Marguerite Arsenault married Sosime Gaudet and came to live in Tignish. When she died, she left the crucifix to her granddaughter Marguerite Gaudet, my grandmother. It is with pleasure that today I donate it to the Acadian Museum. Clothilde Arsenault »

Marguerite Arsenault, daughter of Jean-Baptiste (son of Joe League) Arsenault and Nanette Arsenault, married on July 20, 1819. She died in Tignish in 1889. It is to be noted that she was in fact originally from Saint-Chrysostome and that she died when she was 92 years of age, and not 95.


Souvenir Plate Souvenir Plate

This small souvenir plate shows the picture of the third church of the parish of Egmont Bay. Built around 1835, it was demolished in 1923. The parish house was constructed in 1886.This ornament belonged to the Miscouche Convent of the Congregation of Notre Dame. Donated by Sister Marie B. Arsenault, c.n.d.


Hooked Rug Hooked Rug

This mat comes from the Saint-Philippe and Saint-Jacques Church, Egmont Bay, P.E.I. It was donated to the Acadian Museum in 2006, the year after the church was closed. Made of wool and cotton. The name of the rug hooker is unknown.(M.A.06.167)

Bruno Doucet and Domithilde Blanchard Bruno Doucet and Domithilde Blanchard

The Acadian Museum has a large collection of portraits of 19th century Acadians including this one of Bruno Doucet (v. 1816-1894) and Domithilde Blanchard (1822- circa 1870), from Rustico, P.E.I. They were married in 1841. This picture illustrates well the traditional dress that a number of Acadian women wore up to the early part of the 20th century. (M.A.XX.411)

Drawing by Alodie Gallant Drawing by Alodie Gallant

This charcoal drawing is one of the oldest known work of art created by an Acadian woman artist from Prince Edward Island. It was created by Alodie Gallant (1877-1896), from Saint-Chrysostome. She made it when she was a student at the Miscouche Convent. The young artist died at the age of 19.

(Source: Acadian Research Centre of P.E.I. – Alodie Gallant Fonds)

Sunset in Mexico by Adrien Arsenault Sunset in Mexico

This acrylic painting (89 x 60 cm), circa 1980, was made by Father Adrien Arsenault (1925-1989). A native of Saint-Raphaël in the parish of Mont-Carmel, P.E.I., he taught French and History of Art at St. Dunstan’s University and at University of Prince Edward Island, in Charlottetown. Donated by Sister Joan MacNeill, Mount Stewart.

(M.A. 05.13)

Loom Loom

Hand-made by Urbain Blanchard (1846-1939), from Rustico, P.E.I.

This loom, made circa 1870-1890, is held together with wooden pegs. Urbain Blanchard was a carpenter and a farmer.

His wife, Anastasie (née Doiron), and their daughters Marie (born in 1874) and Joséphine (born in 1887) wove fabric on this loom that was used to make blankets, dresses, and underwear. Donated by Joséphine Blanchard, from Charlottetown.


Chair Chair

Hand-made around 1840 by Hypolite Arsenault, from St. Nicholas, P.E.I., grandfather of the donor, Sophie DesRoches, from Miscouche.


Bread Bowl Bread Bowl

This bowl made from a single piece of wood was used for kneading bread. Acadians call it a mette. Donated by Marie Gallant, wife of Alyre Gallant, from Saint-Timothée, Mont-Carmel parish.(M.A.XX.362)

Sculpted Box Sculpted Box

Made in 1913 by Antonin J. Arsenault (born in 1890), from Urbainville, P.E.I., while he was working in a wood camp in Maine. This little wooden box which measures 18 x 10 cm was used to keep spruce gum. Donated by his daughter Rita Poirier, from Miscouche.(M.A.64.127)

Cribbage Board Cribbage Board

Made by Tilmon Richard (1904-1947), from Mont-Carmel, P.E.I. Donated by Alice and Alfred Richard, from Summerside.


Shoemaker's Tools and Photo of Jerry Gaudet Shoemaker’s Tools and Photo of Jerry Gaudet

These tools (anvil, hammer, tack lifter, and awls ) belonged to shoemaker Jerome (Jerry) D. Gaudet (1893-1958), from Tignish, P.E.I. Donated by Reginald Porter, from Belle River, grandnephew of the shoemaker.


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