Step 1: Contactless services inside most open branches


There are contactless services inside most of our 31 open branches, with strict capacity limits in place, as of June 14, 2021, except at Metcalfe Village, Orléans and Rosemount. This means:

  • Pick up holds and check them out at self-checkout stations.
  • Return borrowed items to book drops anytime.
  • Access to PCs, Chromebooks, and printing, where these are available.
  • No other services: no browsing, no washroom access.
  • Mask-wearing remains mandatory inside, and outside in line.

For details, go to Current Branch Services.

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Genealogy in Isolation

Collage of old black and white photo

Make 2021 the year you explore your roots! Admit it, genealogists, self-isolating is your code word for more research time!  Here are some genealogy activities you don’t have to leave home for:

Virtual Genealogy Drop-In, every Tuesday, 2-3 pm
Our popular genealogy drop-in at Nepean Centrepointe is meeting in the virtual world!  Virtual research tools have sprung up like fresh leaves across the genealogical world, so join the Ontario Genealogical Society Experts in a virtual Ottawa Public Library Program via Google Meet every Tuesday 2-3 during the Summer.
Prepare your Questions about specific People, Places, and Times in order to attempt some live-time brickwall breakthroughs with our Specialists. Also, Questions about how to use relevant resources such as AncestryLibrary, FamilySearch; what other free resources do most Genealogists recommend; in-depth information about all aspects of DNA; where to find specific information on subjects such as military history; and which local associations are available to assist in your research journey into Family History. Drop in on Google Meet where Ontario Ancestors volunteers will answer your questions and demonstrate online resources. 

Ancestry Library from home!
OPL is offering remote access to Ancestry Library while our branches are closed.  Search Généalogie Québec, PRDH and Ancestry’s worldwide records without leaving your house.  Find it on our Online Resources page.

Ancestry is offering a new webinar series running throughout April and May on the Ancestry Canada Social Media channels. For example, its Facebook page.  Called Ancestry Extra, the webinars will be taking place every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 am EDT and will be hosted by family history experts who’ll be sharing tips, tricks and insights to help support your family history discoveries.  The series will cover themes including Ontario research, French-Canadian records (including the Drouin Collection), Irish research, Chinese-Canadian research, WWI research,, and more.

In case you missed it, you can re-watch the first video Spring Cleaning Your Family Tree. Hosted by genealogist and Ancestry Canada spokesperson Lesley Anderson. This session includes tips for making the most out of your family tree on Ancestry. Lesley also answered some questions from the audience, which you read in the comments under the video.  Checkout Facebook page for #AncestryExtra videos.  

OPL Digital and Website Resources
City Directories
OPL has digitized 26 Ottawa City Directories, covering years between 1863-1927.  

Historical Ottawa Times newspaper, 1865-1877

Online Guides
Just getting your family tree started?  There are lots of links to explore in the Getting Started and Research Guides on our website 

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels