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 Wednesdays

Looking to learn more about your family history?  Start at your public library!  Brodie Community Hub offers free genealogical and local history resources to guide you on your way! Join us on Wednesday evenings with reference staff at your disposal, starting with a tour of Brodie's available resources. Registration is required to ensure full access to equipment and use of local history resources. Please register at by clicking on the session date below or by calling 345-8275. Registration opens two weeks before program date. 

Wednesday Oct 19 @ 6:00 - 7:30pm

Wednesday Nov 16 @ 6:00 - 7:30pm

Wednesday Dec 14 @ 6:00 - 7:30pm

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Indigenous Genealogy


Online Resources

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Other Resources

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Services | ProgramsCollections | Indigenous Genealogy | Other Resources