Local History & Genealogy

Collections | Services & Programs | Indigenous Genealogy | Other Resources

*Update: The Thunder Bay Public Library is committed to embracing change and innovation and continues to use new technology to transform the way in which we can improve access to our collections. For this reason we are going to be digitizing our newspapers on microfilm starting in 2018 and will experience temporary periods when specific reels are not available for use. Please feel free to contact us ahead of your visit (624-4200) so that we can try to make alternate arrangements for access. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this transition and we look forward to the increased level of service that will be made possible by this work.




Curious about the history of Thunder Bay, local businesses, schools, or even your house? The local history & genealogy collections at the Thunder Bay Public Library have been in development since the early 1900s. They include everything from newspapers on microfilm (dating back to 1875) to social indexes, city directories, maps, rare books and photographs. Handling Procedures and Terms of Use for these materials are available for review upon visiting the library. 


Out of Town Requests (Local History & Genealogy)

Out of town researchers may submit requests for information via our e-mail reference form. Staff can provide facts, figures and short answers on local topics; and we will make every effort to reply to your request within one week of receiving it.  We can accommodate up to 3 requests of no more than 6 items each (e.g 6 obituary scans).  After assisting with 3 consecutive requests (up to 18 items) at no charge, you will be referred to a list of local professional researchers. Complex requests may be assessed at the discretion of staff.  When possible, a pdf scan of the information will be emailed to you. 


Contact the Reference Department at reference@tbpl.ca

Collections | Services & Programs | Indigenous Genealogy | Other Resources