Unique Local Digital Collections

Richmond Hill Public Library continues to develop and expand our digital local history and genealogy collections to facilitate and support the research needs of local historians, genealogists, and history buffs.

Historic Cemeteries of South York Region

Genealogists and students of local history can now examine images of historic tombstones (pre-1930) of Southern York Region from cemeteries at:

  • Carrville United Church

  • Headford United Church

  • Holy Trinity Anglican Church

  • Richmond Hill Presbyterian

  • St. John's (Jefferson) Anglican Church

  • St. Luke's (now St. Volodymr's) Church

  • St. Mary's Anglican Church/Arnold Family Burial Grounds

  • Temperanceville Presbyterian Church

  • Temperanceville United Church

  • Thornhill Community Cemetery

Additional photographs of related churches, including memorial windows are also available in this database.

Access Historic Cemeteries of South York Region

Early Days in Richmond Hill by Robert M. Stamp

Read the electronic version of the popular book by Robert M. Stamp. This online resource 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.

Read Early Days in Richmond Hill

Richmond Hill Photo Archive

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.

Access the photo archives

Richmond Hill Public Library Digital Archive

Curious about what’s in our local history collection? Our digital archives provide an easy way for you to search both digital and physical items in our local history collection. Digital items include photographs, letters, documents, maps, pamphlets, books, newsletters and more. Physical items, all found in the Mary-Lou Griffin Local History Room at Central branch, include non-digitized versions of the above listed items; as well as research materials, family bibles, 35 mm slides, maps, vertical files, family histories and more.

Download our Guide to our Digital Archives

Access the Digital Archives

Richmond Hill Historic Newspapers

Browse digitized copies of old issues of local Richmond Hill newspapers from 1857-1979. Full-text searching is available for the following titles:

  • York Ridings’ Gazette and Richmond Hill Advertiser (1857)

  • British Tribune and York Ridings’ Gazette (1857-1858)

  • York Commonwealth and Richmond Hill Advertiser (1858-1859)

  • York Herald and Richmond Hill Advertiser (1859)

  • York Herald, Scarboro, York, Markham, Vaughan, King and Whitchurch Advertiser (1859-1860)

  • York Herald, Aurora and Richmond Hill Advocate and Advertiser (1860-1863)

  • York Herald, Richmond Hill and Yonge Street General Advertiser (1865-1869)

  • York Herald (1869-1876)

  • Herald (1876)

  • Herald and York County Intelligencer (1877-1878)

  • Herald (A Conservative Journal) (1878)

  • York Herald (1879-1890)

  • Richmond Hill Liberal (1878-1979) – note that the Liberal from 1979 to present is available on microfilm.

Access Historic Newspapers

Commercial Digital Collections

Your library card is also a gateway to other valuable digital history collections freely available to you. These include:

Ancestry Library Edition (in Library use only)

Ancestry Library includes genealogical information from over 1,000 international databases.

Access Ancestry

Toronto Star Pages of the Past (1894-2019)

High quality digital images in the original page format of over 30,000 issues of The Toronto Star. It includes editorial and opinion pieces, advertisements, want ads, birth and death notices, in addition to the stories detailing the events of the day.

Access Toronto Star Pages of the Past

The Globe & Mail (1844-2018)

Canada’s Heritage from 1844. Online searchable articles and pictures from Canada’s national newspaper.

Access The Globe & Mail Archive

Early Canadiana Online

This collection holds the most complete set of full-text historical content about Canada, including books, magazines and government documents. Content spans 21 languages, including French, English, Latin, Greek, and many First Nations languages.

Access Early Canadiana Online 

Our Ontario

This is a portal to local history resources contributed by libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, community groups, and government ministries throughout Ontario. Highlights include historic local newspapers, photographs, maps, oral histories, videos and more.

Access Our Ontario