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All locations are open today from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


All locations are open today from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


All locations are open today from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


All locations are open today from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


All locations are open today from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


All locations are open today from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Central Library is open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. All other locations are closed today.


The Grace Schmidt Room (GSR), located on the upper floor of Central Library, is home to a vast collection of local history and genealogy resources.

We welcome library visitors and researchers to use the local history collection. Due to the unique and special nature of the collection, no food or drink is permitted in the GSR. Items belonging to the GSR collection are available for in-library use only and cannot be borrowed. 

The GSR is open during Sunday openings (October - May). Please be aware that there is no access to photograph, map, or archival collections on Sundays.


Kitchener Public Library has long been aware of the importance of preserving the local history of Kitchener and Waterloo County. In partnership with the Waterloo Historical Society and the Waterloo Region Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, the library has developed a collection of books, newspapers and other materials documenting the area's history and families.

The Grace Schmidt Room opened on October 14, 1984. It is named in honour of Grace Schmidt, who was a librarian at Kitchener Public Library for 35 years and a long-time member of the Waterloo Historical Society. Ms. Schmidt was a well-known authority on the history of Waterloo County and was the driving force behind the development of the GSR collection.


Visit the Historically Speaking blog to learn more about the Grace Schmidt Room, its collections, and the local history of the Kitchener area.

Historically Speaking

Digital collections

Dive into the rich history of Kitchener and Waterloo Region and discover the people, places and stories from our past that shape our present! Explore our digital repository of photographs, directories, oral history recordings and more.

History in the Making


Learn more about local history and genealogy by attending Grace Schmidt Room programming. Search the Library's Event Listing using the Category Genealogy/Local History.

Upcoming April 2024 programs include:

Creating a Personal Archive - Thursday April 18, 2024 @ 7pm - Registration required

Show Me How to Digitize!  - offered Monday-Saturday: call 519-743-0271, ext 212 or email to make an appointment 

Scanning and conversion

The Grace Schmidt Room houses specialized scanning and conversion equipment, allowing library users to scan and digitize books, microfilm, photographs, slides and VHS recordings.

Learn more about scanning and conversion services

Reference and research services

We are able to conduct specialized research on an individual, event or organization upon request. Research requests must be limited to one event, person or organization. Reproduction, copyright, postage or fax charges will apply.

We are unable to undertake extensive family or genealogy research on your behalf.


For $10 plus HST, our staff will search up to five editions of the local newspaper for an obituary after the date of death, and provide a copy of the obituary by mail or fax. The fee includes search time, reproduction, copyright, taxes and postage or fax charges. The person requesting the obituary search must provide the date of death for the deceased. Payment by credit card is required in advance.

For all reference and research inquiries, please email or call 519-743-0271 ext 212.


Karen Ball-Pyatt
Manager, Grace Schmidt Room of Local History
Kitchener Public Library
85 Queen St N
Kitchener ON N2H 2H1

Phone: 519-743-0271 x 252