Local History & Genealogy

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. 

Services | Programs | Collections/Indexes | Indigenous Genealogy | Other Resources


Out of Town Requests (Local History & Genealogy)

Out of town researchers may submit requests for information through reference@tbpl.ca. 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. 

Interlibrary Loan

  • If TBPL does not carry an item, we can try to borrow it from another lending institution in Canada
  • You may request books, articles, archival and genealogical microfilm
  • Make requests for books in person, by phone, or by filling out a form online (books, select audiovisual itemsarticles, microfilm)
  • Microfilm requests should be made through the Brodie Resource Library
  • There is no charge for this service
  • Please allow 4-6 weeks for material to arrive

Microfilm Equipment

  • There are 2 microfilm readers/scanners at the Brodie Resource Library
  • Printing is available from both machines
  • Saving to USB (in PDF format) is available on the these readers/scanners

Wi-Fi and Free Internet

  • Computers are available with free internet access at all TBPL Community Hubs
  • Wi-Fi is available with free access at all TBPL Community Hubs


Family History 1:1s 

Looking for some help with your family history research?

Brodie Resource Library offers genealogical and local history resources to help you on your way!

We are offering 1-on-1 sessions for anyone who would like assistance getting started with local history research.

To set up an one hour session at Brodie Resource Library, please email reference@tbpl.ca or phone 345-8275 ext. 7260.

Indigenous Genealogy


Online Resources

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Other Resources

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Services | ProgramsCollections | Indigenous Genealogy | Other Resources