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About Archives


The role and mission of the Archives is to acquire and preserve permanently valuable public and private records that establish, maintain, and develop the community identity of Guelph and to make records in the care of the Archives available to the public.

The Guelph Public Library Archives identifies, acquires, preserves, and promotes access to City of Guelph municipal and non-government records of archival value documenting the history of Guelph. We are the unofficial repository for all inactive records created by the City of Guelph demonstrating legal, administrative, fiscal, historical, and informational value.

The Archives preserves this documentary heritage and makes its holdings accessible and meaningful for Guelph residents and the wider community.

The Guelph Public Library Archives facilitates on-site and remote access to its holdings. Reference requests can be submitted by phone, email or fax. Contact us with your reference question.

Copies of records may be provided depending on the researcher's needs, needs of the records and or legal restrictions. Copies made for the use beyond that of private study and research will require the permission of the Guelph Public Library. The copying of records is subject to the discretion of the archivist.

The Archives participates in outreach activities to highlight its holdings, including exhibits, tours, and presentations.

Local History

Historical information about your city is available at the Main Library. Ask one of the librarians at the Main Library to direct you to:
  • City Directories
  • Local Newspapers (both current and historical)
  • Municipal By-laws
  • Local History clipping file (with newspaper articles on many Guelph topics, citizens, organizations, and businesses)
  • Cemetery Records
  • Assessment Rolls
  • Fire Insurance Plans
  • Census Records
  • Couling and Burcher Stokes Inventory (Guelph historic houses)
  • Books pertaining to Guelph, including Guelph Historical Society Publications
  • Historical Atlases

Ask for our pamphlet on "Researching Your Home In Guelph."

We also house the Reference Library of the Wellington County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.

Library patrons also have "in-library" use of the genealogy database - Ancestry Library Edition .

As well, GPL staff have a created a blog entitled "Historically Guelph" highlighting interesting facts and stories about Guelph's rich history.

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