Two Online Library Catalogues

Two Online Library Catalogues: Toronto Public Library and OGS Society Library Catalogue

Fran Murphy, Chair, Archive and Library Committee, OGS

Following the cull and move of OGS library materials from the North York Branch of the Toronto Public Library to the Toronto Reference Library in 2016, OGS acquired a different and separate OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) from the Toronto Public Library Catalogue. This is where some confusion has come about: there are now two separate library catalogues.

Depending on what you are searching for, use the Society’s catalogue VITA to look for materials (including family histories and cemeteries) found in the OGS library collections, and use the Toronto Public Library Catalogue to find materials in their collection. If you cannot find an item in the OGS catalogue, then consult the Toronto Public Library catalogue.

Just what is VITA? VITA is Video Image Text and Audio:  a web-based tool kit for building and maintaining a digital collection. Materials are input and uploaded into the Society catalogue. VITA is used in other historical societies’ libraries, but is best known for developing “Our Ontario” newspapers.

You can access VITA through the OGS website. Click “Resources” and click on “Society Library Resources,” which will take you to the catalogue search page in VITA.

Once you have reached the “search the library” title page, type in a keyword or title. Results for all formats and locations will be displayed, including title, description, and an identification (ID) number which is usually a Dewey Decimal number (i.e. 929.2). For a more specific search by author or location go to advanced search.


Please note that these materials do not circulate, and are for reference purposes only. OGS does not hold copyright and they are not available by inter-library loan.
For further questions, please consult the OGS Library Committee at

Fran Murphy is the current Chair of the OGS Archive and Library Committee.  She has served in various capacities at the Halton-Peel Branch, where she is presently Branch Librarian.


One thought on “Two Online Library Catalogues

  1. There are a couple of major errors in the first paragraph. The OGS collection has never been in a combined catalogue with the Toronto Public Library–or the North York Public Library before that. It has always been separate. Of less importance, is that the VITA catalogue was in use well before the move to the Toronto Reference Library.

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