Welcome to the Kitchener Public Library’s Grace Schmidt Room (GSR) of Local History, located on the upper floor of the Main Library’s new addition.
The GSR is a reference collection of local history and genealogy resources housed at the Kitchener Public Library, available for in-library use only. Due to the unique and special nature of our holdings, no food or drink is permitted with the use of GSR materials.
During the ongoing Central Library construction project, the reading room collection of the Grace Schmidt Room will continue to be available to researchers.
The GSR collection includes:
The book collections of the library (including the library's “Rare” books), which are searchable via the KPL catalogue, and Waterloo Region Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society
Photographs (including the Grace Schmidt Room online collection)
Oral History Tape collection
Soldier Information Card collection
Newspaper and other microfilm collection
Vertical (newspaper clipping) files
Waterloo Historical Society vertical files
Waterloo Historical Society annual volumes
County and city directories
We welcome visitors and researchers to use the local history collection at the Main Library. We also welcome inquiries about our current resources and holdings, as well as local history and genealogy questions.
We regret that there is no access, until further notice, to the archival collections (also known as ‘manuscript collections’) of the Grace Schmidt Room, including those of the Waterloo Historical Society. This temporary change was necessary to accommodate the renovation of the original Main Library building, which is anticipated to be completed in early 2014.
To help you find the GSR in its new location, a floor map of the upper floor of the new addition at the Main Branch and photographs of the GSR collection can be seen below (click the images to enlarge).
The Kitchener Public Library has long been aware of the importance of preserving the local history of Kitchener and Waterloo County. The Library has, in partnership with the Waterloo Historical Society (WHS) and the Waterloo Region Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS), developed a collection of books, newspapers and other source materials which document the area's history and families.
The Kitchener Public Library opened the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History on October 14, 1984. It is named in honour of Grace Schmidt, a librarian at the KPL for 35 years and a long time member of the Waterloo Historical Society.
Miss Schmidt is a well-known authority on the history of Waterloo County and was the driving force behind the development of the GSR collection.
Hours of Operation
The GSR is open during library hours. Please note, however, that maps and photographs are not available on Sundays when the Library is open.