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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.

The Local History Room is temporarily closed due to COVID’19 restrictions. We invite you to explore our Online Resources or contact us to assist with your research remotely.

Room Resources

  • Book and printed materials on local history and genealogy. Search our catalogue.
  • Oshawa City Directories from 1921 to 2001: Access online.
  • Oshawa telephone directories dating back to 1938.
  • Photograph and map collections.
  • Newspapers on microfilm.
  • Research terminals to access our online resources.

Due to the unique content of materials, all items must remain in the Local History Room.

Online Resources

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Heritage Collections: Oshawa Images

See Oshawa as it was, and the people of Oshawa as they lived, throughout the history of the city. This image archive recalls earlier eras in the streets and neighbourhoods we know today.

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Oshawa Newspaper & Obituary Index

Search Oshawa's collection of obituaries and articles from periodicals of the past. Physical copies of articles and obituaries listed are available in microform at McLaughlin Branch.

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Oshawa City Directories

City directories contain a wealth of information for genealogists, researchers, and everyday history enthusiasts. They tell the story of our past by including names and information about residents as well as businesses in Oshawa through the years.

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Oshawa Historical Documents

We have a growing collection of digitized materials hosted on the Internet Archive, including books, newsletters, directories and more. These are keyword searchable and free to download.

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Ancestry Library

Discover your family's history through a collection of resources documenting our past: census records, military records, vital records and passenger lists help to tell your family's story.

Early Canadiana Online

A large collection of scanned early Canadian print materials, including complete ebooks. Some resources only accessible inside the library.

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The world's largest family tree. See what others have contributed regarding your ancestors, and access a large database of genealogical resources. We are a FamilySearch Affiliate Library.

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Globe and Mail Archives

This Globe and Mail archive, spanning the years of 1844 to 2015, provides genealogists, researchers and scholars with online, easily-searchable first-hand accounts and unparalleled coverage of the social context and events of Canadian history.

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Local History Spotlight

Recordings of our monthly talks on a variety of local history topics.


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.


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.

Nicole Adams
Local History and Genealogy Librarian
905-579-6111 ext. 5243