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  • UPDATE – Provincial announcement regarding public libraries and pickups


    We greatly appreciate the Province’s announcement that as part of the first phase of reopening libraries can begin to offer pick-up or delivery of materials. 

    There is a lot of work to do be able to offer these services while ensuring the safety of our employees and our customers. Our plan to resume our physical services needs to account for physical distancing requirements, provision of personal protective equipment, enhanced sanitary controls, and new protocols for employees and customers. We are working on offering holds pick-ups as soon as we can safely do so.  

    We will be communicating all new developments in our service offering to you on all our platforms, as soon as we have updates. 

    Thank you for your patience as we move through this rapidly evolving situation. 


    OPL branches, Bookmobile stops and Homebound delivery services are closed until June 30, 2020. The closure is in response to advice from Ottawa Public Health (OPH) with regards to COVID-19 (coronavirus) for the health and safety of our community. We will continue to monitor the situation and reassess as the situation evolves. Currently, please note:  

    • Due dates for all currently checked out materials have been extended and late fees suspended.
    • Book drops are not available since branches are closed. Hold on to OPL items and return them when branches reopen. 
    • Holds are suspended, and pick up expiry dates extended. This includes interlibrary loans (ILL).
    • Meeting room rentals are cancelled, and fees are being refunded; and
    • Computer bookings, programs, events and outreach activities are cancelled.
    • Expired cards, or those about to expire, have been extended. 

    You can use the Library online:

    We thank you for your patience and support, and we look forward to seeing you online and in person again soon.

Ottawa Public Library Local History Collections in branches

Photo of Ottawa Room at the Main branch

Ottawa Room

The Ottawa Room at the Main Branch is our largest and most comprehensive local history resource. The Ottawa Room collection covers Ottawa and the entire Ottawa Valley, in Ontario and Quebec. It includes over 17,000 books, periodicals, newspapers and maps about the architecture, biography, culture, genealogy, geography, history and heritage of the area.

Browse the Ottawa Room collection

Browse the Oversize collection

Highlights of the Ottawa Room collection:

  • City Directories: a complete collection from 1840 to the present
  • Historical daily newspapers : including complete runs of the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Journal on microfilm
  • Municipal documents, including
    • City of Ottawa By-laws, ---- to present
    • City of Ottawa annual reports and council minutes, dates
    • Current and historical municipal reports and studies
  • Community histories
  • Neighbourhood studies
  • High School Yearbooks
    • Over 300 yearbooks from more than 30 Ottawa-area high schools, from the 1930s to early 2000s.
  • Community newspapers
  • Maps
    • Over 1,200 maps of Ottawa and area, including street, topographic, and transit maps, dating from 1856 to the present

Nepean Centrepointe

The local history collection at Nepean Centrepointe comprises over 300 books, periodicals, and newspapers. Material in the collection represents the greater Ottawa region, with a focus on Carleton County, and Nepean Township in particular.

Highlights of Nepean Centrepointe collection:

Photo of the Kanata Room at the Beaverbrook branch

Kanata Room

The Kanata Room in the Beaverbrook Branch houses an in-depth collection on the history of March Township and the City of Kanata.

Highlights of the Kanata Room:

  • Complete run of the Kanata Kourier-Standard community newspaper, from 1967 onward.
  • Kanata municipal documents, current and historic, including Kanata city planning documents
  • Kanata family histories and biographies of Kanata residents
  • Street name and building name history index

Historical Society Collections at OPL

Three local history societies maintain collections at OPL branches. These materials belong to the societies, but are available for consultation only in the designated branch.

Cumberland Township Historical Society (Cumberland Branch)

The Cumberland Township Historical Society’s resource collection is located in the Cumberland Branch. Here you will find information on Cumberland families, churches, groups, maps, clubs, sports, and businesses as well as scrapbooks, newsletters, and newspaper clippings.

Goulbourn Historical Society (Stittsville Branch)

The Goulbourn Historical Society Archives are housed in the Stittsville Branch. The Archives contain both Family History (genealogical) Files and Social History Files; pamphlets and booklets; and a digitized historic photo collection. An index to the Family History Files can be found on the Society’s website: Index of Family History Files

Huntley Township Historical Society (Carp Branch)

The Huntley Township Historical Society’s resource collection is located at the Carp Branch. It includes church histories, cemetery records, school records, and local and family histories from Huntley Township.