Grace Schmidt Room of Local History


Welcome to the Kitchener Public Library’s Grace Schmidt Room (GSR) of Local History, located on the upper floor of the Central 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.


The reading room collection of the GSR includes:


  • The book collections of the library (including the library's rare books), which are searchable via the library catalogue, and Waterloo Region Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

  • Photographs (including the Grace Schmidt Room online collection)

  • Maps and historical atlases

  • Oral History Tape collection

  • Soldier Information Card collection

  • Newspaper and other microfilm collection

  • Vertical (newspaper clipping) files

  • Waterloo Historical Society vertical files and annual volumes

  • Yearbooks

  • County and city directories

  • Archival (manuscript) collections


We welcome visitors and researchers to use the local history collection at the Central Library. We also welcome inquiries about our current resources and holdings, as well as local history and genealogy questions.


Please see the Archival Collections page for more information regarding the archival (manuscript) collections of the library and Waterloo Historical Society.





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.

Grace Schmidt


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 was a well-known authority on the history of Waterloo County and was the driving force behind the development of the GSR collection.


Susan Hoffman served as the first GSR Librarian from 1984 to 2006. In honour of her dedication to Grace’s vision, the Susan J. Hoffman Local History Fund was created.




Hours of Operation


The GSR is open during library hours.  Please note, however, that maps and photographs are not available on Sundays.






Karen Ball-Pyatt, Local History Librarian
Grace Schmidt Room of Local History
Kitchener Public Library
85 Queen Street North
Kitchener, ON  N2H 2H1

Phone: 519-743-0271, ext. 252


Twitter: @KPL_GSRHistory