Family Histories and the OGS Library Collection


Family Histories and the OGS Library Collection

Fran Murphy, Chair, OGS Archive and Library Committee

What makes the Society Library Collection unique is the compilation of approx. 3,000 Ontario family histories donated by family historians. This collection is part of the Society Library housed at the Toronto Reference library, Humanities and Social Sciences Department. As such, you can search for these through the OGS website, clicking on the on the Society Library Catalogue – powered by VITA link.

Last fall the Archival and Library Committee was chartered by the OGS Board with a mandate to manage and maintain the OGS library collection by updating inventory, and withdrawing or cataloguing new additions. It also manages the online repository of family histories. We have established the following criteria for accepting donations to the collection:

  • Is it primarily a pedigree or history of ancestors who either settled or lived in Ontario? It is not a history of a geographic place or a social history
  • Is it a useful source for genealogy research in Ontario?
  • Is it published or non-published?
  • Is it a newer edition or an original?

We will accept compiled histories in book format, binders or duo-tang folders.  Due to limited storage space we are moving to digital formats, and are in the process of creating guidelines for submission of digital family history files.
Currently the committee is conducting an inventory of the family histories, some of which are 100 years old. If you know of a family history that is either out-of-date and no longer holds value or needs to be revised with a newer edition, please let the Library Committee know so that we can keep the library up to date.

Please note that these materials do not circulate and are for reference purposes only.  Since OGS does not hold copyright, these materials are not available by inter-library loan. Many of these materials are out of print and cannot be replaced if they are lost.  Toronto Public Library staff can reproduce specific pages, provided they are not fragile and stay within the guidelines of copyright law.

The Society is aware of the need to find ways to share these materials with other researchers. We continue to look for affordable software sources that could form an electronic lending library.

To obtain further information on family histories, please contact the Archive and Library Committee at:

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