Local History & 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. This includes the Helen Schwab Collection, which 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.
The Mary-Lou Griffin Local History Room is also home to a variety of local history resources including scrapbooks, newspapers, atlases, maps, photographs, and published histories of Ontario communities. The Room also has 3 workstations to access online databases for Genealogy and Local History research. Tours are available to interested groups.
Combined Search for South York Region Local History gives students of local history the convenience of searching all of the Richmond Hill Public Library's local history databases simultaneously. One stop access to historic (pre-1930) gravestones in 10 south York Region cemeteries, text and illustrations from the popular local history book Early Days in Richmond Hill, and over 1,000 photographs of Richmond Hill dating back to the 1860s.
Historic Cemeteries of South York Region provides 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.
Richmond Hill Photo Images is a collection of 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 in Richmond Hill, 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.
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.