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Local History and Genealogy



Located on the fourth floor of the Central Library, the Mary-Lou Griffin Local History Room is the largest repository of genealogical data in York Region.

Special Collections
The Richmond Hill Central Library houses the collection of the York Region Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS). The collection includes genealogy newsletters from Canada, the United States, and Great Britain, transcriptions of York Region cemeteries, and published works of genealogical interest.
The Helen Schwab Collection: Consists of over one hundred volumes of information on families from the regions of York, Durham, and Peel. The collection was developed locally and much of the information has not been published elsewhere.

Special Digital Collections
Horse and Buggy image

Combined Search for South York Region Local History Search all of the Richmond Hill Public Library's local history databases simultaneously.

Broken Headstone

Historic Cemeteries of South York Region Search photographs of tombstones from the Carrville United Church Cemetery, Headford United Church Cemetery, Holy Trinity Anglican Church Cemetery, Richmond Hill Presbyterian Cemetery, St. John's (Jefferson) Anglican Church Cemetery, St. Luke's (now St. Volodymr's) Church Cemetery, St. Mary's Anglican Church/Arnold Family Burial Grounds, Temperanceville Presbyterian Cemetery, Temperanceville United Church Cemetery, and Thornhill Community Cemetery. Additional photographs of related churches, including memorial windows are also available on this database.

Trench Carriage Works

Richmond Hill Photo Images Access to over 1,000 photographs of daily life in Richmond Hill from 1860. Drawn from the Library's local history photographic collection, it has been assembled from donated family photos provided by local residents, as well as from images from the Liberal newspaper archives.

Early Days of Richmond Hill


Early Days in Richmond Hill Read the electronic version of the popular book by Robert M. Stamp, has been designed to make finding information about Richmond Hill's rich history and past citizens easy and convenient for students, genealogists, and local history enthusiasts.

York Herald


Richmond Hill Public Library Digital Archive This archive is currently having content added daily. Full images and indexes are available for the York Ridings' Gazette from 1857 to 1858, the York Commonwealth from 1858 to 1859, the York Herald from 1859 to 1890, and the Liberal from 1878-1979. Photographs, aerial photographs, local history books and brochures, rare documents, and vintage posters are also available.

Local History resources
  • Scrapbooks
  • Newspapers
  • Atlases
  • Maps
  • Photographs
  • Published histories of Ontario communities


  • 3 workstations to access online databases for Genealogy and Local History Research
  • Microfiche Reader



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