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Archive Collections

National Canal Museum - Archive Collections

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The museum’s collections reflect the material culture and document the history of America’s canals and navigable rivers, as well as canal-related industries in the Lehigh Valley.

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The National Canal Museum is responsible for interpreting the historic structures and sites within the 260 acres that comprise Hugh Moore Park, a National Register Historic District. These include Section 8 of the Lehigh Canal and its three operating locks, a locktender’s house, ruins from three 19th century industrial areas, and the Change Bridge, one of the first iron cable suspension bridges constructed in America.

The variety of artifacts and research materials promotes the appreciation, preservation and restoration of canal-related sites in the United States and Canada. Our interpreters use these resources to show visitors how canals helped create a regional and national economy. Visitors also learn about life on the canal and discover the technological advances that canals introduced. Through on and off-site education programs we promote learning and appreciation of the transportation and industrial revolutions in the economic, technological and cultural history of the United States and the Lehigh Valley region.

The museum’s holdings include:

  • Artifacts from the canals and local industries
  • Rare footage of canal life on film and video
  • Oral histories
  • Slides, photographs, and negative images
  • Engineering drawings
  • Extensive Manuscript Material Collections
  • Microfilm documents

A listing of materials available for on-site research is available here: Online Collections List

Click here to contact us for further information or to schedule a research appointment.