Hidden in Plain Sight - Bytown Museum

Bytown Museum 1 Canal Lane Ottawa, ON
Event Website

Hidden in Plain Sight

Ottawa's History in the Background

It is in the examination of hidden history that the true origins of familiar events is most often revealed.” –Caesar Litton Falkiner

Oftentimes, history is hidden in the background. Upon closer examination, what appears to be the primary focus becomes secondary to what can be found in the details; hiding in plain sight.

This exciting temporary exhibition will juxtapose historic photographs from the primary artefact collection of the BYTOWN MUSEUM with modern digital interpretations of their hidden stories. Highly magnified views and fantastic historic photographs will allow visitors to explore what is going on in the background; they might be surprised at what they find!

The impetus for this exhibition was the digitization of the vast, varied and eclectic photographic collection of the BYTOWN MUSEUM. In taking often small-scale images: snapshots, cabinet cards and personal photograph albums and putting them under the microscope so to speak, new stories, new details and new aspects of each image were revealed. A complex series of narratives and personal stories come together to create a single event on photographic paper.

Hidden in Plain Sight will be on view at the BYTOWN MUSEUM from Friday, April 10th, 2015 through to Sunday, January 3rd, 2016.

For more information, please contact:

Grant Vogl

Collections and Exhibitions Manager l BYTOWN MUSEUM

613.234.4570 x222  l  grantvogl@bytownmuseum.ca


Get the Full Picture! Lecture Series presented in conjunction with Hidden in Plain Sight!

Thursday May 21: Placing the Frame: Photographs, their histories and their mobilities

Presented by James Opp

6 pm and presented in English (Bilingual staff available for discussion following) 

Join historian James Opp as he explores the mobility and materiality of the photograph through the Ernest Brown collection, an assemblage of 50,000 negatives from late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century prairie Canada.


Thursday May 28: The Stories Behind the Photographs: Certainties and Possibilities

Presented by Phil Jenkins

6 pm and presented in English (Bilingual staff available for discussion following)

Local historian and city columnist Phil Jenkins cast an eye over an intriguing selection of recently digitized historic photographs of the city, the city he knows pretty well--or thought he did. Phil will share his insights and researches into the photographs in the exhibition in a salon-style lecture!


Thursday September 24: Keeping it Relevant! Digitizing our Historic Photograph Collection

Join Grant Vogl, Collections and Exhibitions Manager at the Bytown Museum, and Saara Mortensen, Archivist at the Ottawa Jewish Archives as they discuss the importance of digitizing local museum collections, the growing requirement for public access and the technical aspects and obstacles faced along the way.

6 pm and presented in English (Bilingual staff available for discussion following).