04 July 2011

Ottawa Branch Library

The new City of Ottawa Central Archives opened last week and all visitors were impressed by the state-of-the-art facilities. As their website says: "The City of Ottawa Archives has two main types of records in its collection: Civic Government Records and Community Records. Civic government records encompass records of the new City of Ottawa, as well as the twelve former municipalities; the Ottawa Public Library; Police, Fire, and Emergency Services; and OC Transpo. Some of the holdings include: original by-laws, original minutes of Council and Committees of Council, assessment rolls, historical maps, historical photographs of major civic events, historical plans of major structures, and more.Community records further enhance our understanding of the history and evolution of Ottawa. Some examples from our collections include the Billings, Lett and Ogilvy family papers, as well as records from the United Church of Canada, the Royal Ottawa Sanatorium (now the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre), the Historical Society of Ottawa, and the Central Canada Exhibition Association."

The Archives also houses the libraries of it's Partners: Ottawa Branch OGS, the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, Sir Guy Carleton Branch UEL, the C. Robert Craig Memorial Library and the United Church of Canada Archives (Montreal/Ottawa Conference, Ottawa Presbytery).

The Ottawa Branch library has a growing collection of over 4,000 items: including books, articles, audio tapes, films, maps, scrapbooks, family bible entries, lodge records, member’s pedigree charts,  genealogical periodicals, a name index, microfiche, and other genealogical holdings. Check out the catalogue at http://ogsottawa.on.ca/library/index.php and you may be amazed at what is there.

Are you researching Mayflower ancestors? The catalogue shows six Mayflower references, including the Mayflower Index and Susan Roser's Mayflower Marriages. In addition to the collection of Sir Guy Carleton, Ottawa Branch holds 40 publications on Loyalists. There are five on the Billings family and another five on Norfolk UK. There are 21 books about Saskatchewan but only one on the Yukon. Michigan rates 42 publications but nothing on California. A search on Genealogy results in 130 hits while Family History garners 160.

The publications of Ottawa Branch can be found on the shelves, including our collection of  over 700 cemetery transcriptions. There are almost 700 family histories, many produced by amateur genealogists and donated to the library. Not quite sure what to do next? The library has over 400 reference books, most of recent vintage, including guides to researching in the UK, France, Germany, most provinces and a selection of US states.

There is a volunteer from Ottawa Branch at the Archives every day to help you get started with your research and to use the equipment. Now that it's open again, why not drop in for a visit and see what awaits you. Or call ahead for an appointment: 613-580-2857. The Archives is located at 100 Tallwood Drive, not far from Algonquin College.

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