Local History & Genealogy

Peterborough Collection 

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 at 705-745-5382 ext. 2350

Content Scope: 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 Material such as unpublished archival documents, fragile items, photographs, sound recordings, videos, ephemera (e.g. pamphlets, brochures, etc) are not collected.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 ArchivesTrent University Archive or Trent Valley Archives.

Geographic Scope: 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).

City Directories

The City's Heritage Preservation Office has digitized over 100 volumes dating back to 1858. You can access them online at: https://archive.org/details/peterboroughcitydirectories.

Original copies of the directories may also be available for consultation at the following organisations by appointment:
  • Peterborough Museum & Archives
  • Trent University Archives
  • Trent Valley Archives

Ontario Genealogical Society

The Kawartha Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society houses their collection at the DelaFosse Branch of the Peterborough Public Library. 

You can make an appointment to meet with them on Tuesdays 2:30 - 7:30 pm and Saturdays 10:00 - 3:00 pm.  To book an appointment contact: Alvina Seawright or June James.

Local Research Requests

We welcom eemail or telephone research requests for local information, such as copies of birth or death notices from the Peterborough Examiner

For more information, including fees for research services, please see our brochure on Peterborough and Area Community, Historical, and Genealogical Sources.