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The Local History Room is closed to the public until further notice in the interest of public health and safety considerations.

The Local History Room provides convenient access to local history resources with dedicated terminals, 2 microfilm scanners and a flatbed scanner. Due to the unique content of materials, all items must remain in the Local History Room and cannot be checked out.

Although we are unable to conduct in-depth research for you, we are always happy to assist you. You can phone or email the contact below, or submit a Local History and Genealogy Research Request and we will search our local collection for you.

The Library welcomes inquiries regarding potential donations of materials relating to Oshawa’s history. All materials will be evaluated in terms of their alignment with the Library's Collection Development Policy.

Local History Room Collection

The Local History Room at the McLaughlin branch contains unique resources and staff to preserve Oshawa's history and foster public awareness of the city’s rich history and traditions including the following:
  • History of the communities of Durham Region
  • Information on searching history of your property or building
  • History of businesses or organizations
  • Local family histories

Key Resources Available for Local History Research

Oshawa Public Libraries members can access the largest online collection of genealogy records using computers at all library branches. Locate Canadian, U.K., and US census records; Ontario birth, marriage, and death registrations, and much more.

  • Atlases
    • Ontario Historical County Atlases from the late 1870s.
  • Canadian Census Records
    • County of Ontario - 1851 – 1871
    • All of Ontario - 1881 – 1911
  • Cemetery Indexes
    • Oshawa and Durham Region
  • Directories
    • Oshawa telephone directories, 1938 – 2012
    • Vernon’s City Directories, 1916 – 2001
  • Newspapers on Microfilm
    • Use our online index of Oshawa papers to assist in finding articles and notices.
  • Oshawa Vindicator (1862 – 1871)
  • Ontario Reformer 1871 – 1873
  • Daily Times-Gazette 1944 - 1957
  • Oshawa Times 1958 –1996
  • Oshawa This Week 1985 – present
  • Oshawa Independent 1994 - 1995
  • Toronto Star (1929 – 2010)
  • Globe and Mail (1849 – 2014)
  • Pamphlets
    • This unique collection consists of primary source materials from significant people and organizations from Oshawa’s past.
  • Photographs
    • We maintain a growing photograph collection of historical events, places, and people of Oshawa. Many of these are available in digital form.


Local History and Genealogy
905-579-6111 ext. 5253