Step back in time with our local and family history collections. Find an ancestor, or learn about major industries and our changing communities.
We're home to a variety of resources that thread together the unique and rich history of our city, province, and region—it's all yours to explore, for free.
Search the past
If you've got a local history or genealogical project, we've got the resources to help with your research, and they're not all online. In addition to our virtual archives, our physical collections include variety of documents that tell the story of the landscape and people of Nova Scotia, over hundreds of years.
Most of these materials are kept in our Local History Room at Central Library, but there are also some unique Dartmouth resources at Alderney Gate Public Library. Visit us to explore it all.
- Atlases, gazetteers and maps
- Business history
- City and provincial directories
- Clipping files
- Community history
- Family histories
- Government documents
- Immigration history
- Military history
- Newspapers & periodicals
- Primary records
- Surname dictionaries
- Telephone directories
We also have other materials including biographies, cemetery records, bibliographies and more.
Can't find what you need?
Working with archival materials can be tricky. We're here to help you get started and track down information.
And, if we don't have what you're looking for in our collections, we may be able to help you borrow it from another library through our Interlibrary Loans service.
Help us grow our collection
Do you have local history materials that need a good home? You can donate select local history materials to the Library. We accept a variety of items but there are few materials that we can't take. Check out our guidelines for donating books and other items or give us a call if you have any questions.