Ottawa Public Library Local History Collections

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.

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.