Local History and Genealogy
The Peterborough Collection is a special collection of items that covers the rich historical, social and cultural growth of the city of Peterborough and the surrounding counties from the early 1800s to the present. The collection fulfills a special role in serving the needs of researchers interested in local and family history. All the material is accessible to anyone who visits the library while it is open and inquiries can be made at the Adult Information desk.
The collection consists of a wide range of published materials such as books, maps, government documents, newspapers and other periodicals, directories, and indexes. Content includes items about the place; material by and about the people; material by and about the institutions, organizations and culture. Material such as unpublished archival documents, fragile items, photographs, sound recordings, videos, ephemera (e.g. pamphlets, brochures, etc) are not collected. Individuals seeking this type of material should consult other local archives such as the Peterborough City and Municipal Archives
, Trent University Archive
or Trent Valley Archives
The primary focus is on material that relates to the City of Peterborough and the County of Peterborough (including all its townships). Some material, such as family or general histories may be included that covers neighbouring counties such as Haliburton, Hastings, Northumberland, Prince Edward, and Victoria (Kawartha Lakes).
Highlights of the Collection
- City directories (dating from 1858 to the present – incomplete range).
- The Peterborough Examiner (on microfilm from 1856 to the present).
- Fire Insurance maps for 1943 and 1968.
- Dobbin Index, 1914 – 8 volumes that cover people, industries and institutions of the area.
- Vertical file of newspaper clippings that cover people, industries and institutions of the area (subject index available).
- Peterborough city and county war service record, 1914-1919.
- Cemetery indexes for Peterborough and surrounding counties.
- Early local census records for Durham, Peterborough, Newcastle District, Northumberland, Victoria (various dates – earliest from 1803). Consult the census index at the Adult Information Desk for specific holdings.
- Parish records for St. Andrew’s United Church, Peterborough (record book – minutes, communion, baptism, 1858-1891; marriages, 1921-1960; 1972-1984).
- Peter Robinson Papers (3 v. microfilm copies; original housed at the Peterborough City and Municipal Archives).
For specific information about the collection patrons should consult the Library Catalogue
or call the Adult Information Desk at 705-745-5382 x2340 or x2350.
We welcome email
or telephone research requests for local information, such as copies of birth or death notices from the Peterborough Examiner (on microfilm
). For more information, including fees for research services, please see our brochure on Peterborough and Area Community, Historical, and Genealogical Sources