Regular hours resumed Sept. 7, 2021


Ottawa Public Library has returned to regular pre-pandemic hours at most branches as of September 7, 2021 — including Sunday hours at 10 branches and InfoService. Hours are posted at branch entrances and on the Hours and location page of the OPL website.   


Carp Branch


Carp branch will be closed on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 for operational use by the City of Ottawa. Regular service will resume Wednesday,  October 27, 2021 at 10 am. 

Overdrive: Issues with older Apple devices or browsers


Recent changes by Overdrive and Libby have impacted compatibility with older versions of Apple's mobile and desktop operating systems. Those who use older Apple devices (Mac computers running lower than macOS 10.12.1 and iPhones/iPads running iOS 9) may have trouble using the OverDrive desktop or mobile apps, while Libby is no longer supported on iPhones and iPads running iOS 9.

Carlingwood branch: Elevator out of service


The elevator at Carlingwood branch is currently out of service. 

Alta Vista branch: Reopening October 22


Alta Vista branch will return to regular service and hours on Friday, October 22, 2021.

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Research guide: civil registration

Birth, marriage, and death dates are the cornerstones of any family history, and government vital records are the first place you will look for them.  “Civil registration” refers to the government registration of all births, marriages, and deaths. In Canada, civil registration is a provincial or territorial responsibility.  Access to and availability of records varies from province to province.

Birth, marriage and death records (usually called “vital records”) can provide a wealth of genealogical information. Depending on the record, you may find not only dates but important clues about parents, occupation, birthplace, residence, religion etc.  Death records are often the most informative.

Many vital records have been digitized and are available online.  Ancestry Library, FamilySearch, or Généalogie  Québec  are good places to start your search.

Where to find vital records

Library Resources

Online Resources

Ancestry Library  (In-Library use only) 

  • Vital records from Canada, United States, and many other countries

Généalogie Québec (In-Library use only)

  • Quebec baptism and death certificates (1621-1849); Fonds Drouin registries (1621-1967); and marriage and death certificates (1926-1997)

PRDH (Programme de recherche en démographie historique) (In-Library use only)

  • Quebec  baptisms, marriages, and burials, 1621-1799


Marriage Registers of Upper Canada / Canada West

  • Includes some marriages prior to 1858.  Anglican and Catholic marriages are not included.

County Marriage Registers of Ontario, 1858-1869

  • Includes all denominations

Répértoire alphabétique des mariages des Canadians-français,  1760 – 1935 (Drouin)

Alberta, formerly Northwest Territories, Index to Registration of Births, Marriages,  Deaths, 1870-1905



Website of LDS Family History Center, with billions of genealogy records that can be searched for free.  Includes vital records from Canada, United States, and many other countries.

Provincial sites

 Newfoundland:  The Rooms

  • Records not available online

New Brunswick Provincial Archives

  • Birth, marriage, and death records 1800 – 1965

Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics

  • Births to 1914; marriages to 1939; deaths to 1964

Prince Edward Island Public Archives and Record Office

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec : généalogie

  • Digitized records are available on Ancestry, FamilySearch, and Généalogie Québec.

Archives of Ontario

  • Archives of Ontario hold vital statistics records on microfilm.  Most records are also digitized and available on Ancestry and FamilySearch.

Manitoba Vital Statistics

  • Index to births over 100 years ago; Marriages 80+ years; Deaths 70+ years

Saskatchewan Vital Statistics

  • Index to births over 100 years ago; deaths over 70 years ago

Alberta Provincial Archives

  • Online indexes only

British Columbia Archives

  • Index and digitized images; births 1854-1903; marriages 1859-1940; deaths 1872-1993