Four thousand artifacts related to the ethno-history of the region are found in the collection. Furniture, house accessories, toys, games, wooden tools, textiles and of course, clothes and household linen are the main categories of the collection, which reflect the identity of Charlevoix.
The passion of local collector Roland Gagné was the starting point for the ethno-historic collection. By 1946, this merchant, amateur of antiques and regional history, had already collected and exhibited behind his souvenir shop at the Pointe-au-Pic wharf, around 1 500 objects which represented daily life in Charlevoix. He was particularly interested in traditional trades and furniture, tourist activities, shipping, and the literary works of Laure Conan, first female writer of Québec, born in La Malbaie in 1845.
When the Musée opened its doors in 1975, the Collection Gagné served as a starting point. Since then, acquisitions have been oriented towards traditional textiles and popular painting, two main themes of the creative tradition of Charlevoix.
The Musée de Charlevoix is also responsible for the preservation of 12 archival collections, 9 documentary collections, 16 private archival collections; that is to say, more than 23 linear metres of texts, over 20 800 photographs and post cards plus about 600 maps and plans.