Local History and Genealogy

Richmond Hill Public Library offers a variety of genealogy services to community members, which includes access to print and digital databases, research help, and use of microfiche readers.

Not sure where to begin? We invite you to browse this section of the website to help get you started on your research. You are also encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Local History/Genealogy Librarian at 905-884-9288 ext. 5068, who will be pleased to assist you with your research.

Extensive Collections

In addition to housing the largest genealogical collection in York Region, we hold a significant and impressive collection of unique, historically-focused materials about Richmond Hill and surrounding communities, including:

  • The Helen Schwab Collection which contains over one hundred volumes of information on families from the regions of York, Durham, and Peel
  • Books and monographs
  • Microfilms and microfiche
  • Magazines and newsletters
  • Atlases
  • Family histories and scrapbooks
  • Unique and rare research and primary source materials

Find more information on our genealogy services

Unique Digital Collections

Our extensive digital collections include:

  • Photographs
  • Local newspapers and clippings from 1857 to 1979
  • Local history books and brochures
  • Rare documents
  • Vintage posters

We also provide access to a number of additional digital resources freely available to Library card holders. These include:

  • Ancestry Library Edition (in Library use only)
  • Toronto Star Pages of the Past (1894-2019)
  • The Globe & Mail (1844-2018)
  • Early Canadiana Online
  • Our Ontario

More information on our digital resources

History and Genealogy Programs

The library organizes programs on a variety of local history and genealogy-related topics. Review the latest edition of our guide, In the Know, for upcoming programs. 

Program Guide

York Region OGS Library

The Richmond Hill Public Library also houses the collection of the York Region Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.

The Mary Lou Griffin Local History Room

Learn more about the Mary-Lou Griffin Local History Room and the equipment we have available to assist you with your research.

Find out more