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The Special Collections room, located on the second floor of the Central Library, houses our Local History, Genealogy and Norval Johnson Heritage Centre collections. Items in these collections are reference-only and may not be borrowed. However, the Special Collections room is open to the public during all regular library hours.
The Special Collections room can be reached by phone at 905-688-6103 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Local History

Information in this collection is first and foremost related to the current and historical development of St. Catharines and to a lesser extent, the rest of the Niagara Peninsula. There is information on local people, architecture, businesses, industries, churches, schools, hospitals, homes, sports, cultural and other events, tourism, the Welland Canal, the War of 1812, the Underground Railroad, Black History and more.


This collection is made up of genealogical materials relating primarily to families from the Niagara Peninsula. Other select provincial, Canadian and International resources are also available.

Norval Johnson Heritage Centre Collection

The Norval Johnson Heritage Centre collection was officially unveiled at its new St. Catharines Public Library home on October 24, 2009. This collection consists of a large number of books, vertical files and other resources that document primarily local, Canadian and U.S. Black History.

Online Collections

Historic Images of St. Catharines & Niagara

We are in the process of digitizing Historic images of St. Catharines and Niagara. Check back often to see what’s new!

A search will produce results from both the Local Names Index and the Historic Images of St. Catharines & Niagara database.

Local Names Index

The St. Catharines Public Library in cooperation with the St. Catharines Standard has created a Local Names Index. This Index contains notices for births, marriages, deaths, adoptions, anniversaries, and more. Records have been entered up to April 1930 and from July 2005 to present. More are being added daily.

A search will produce results from both the Local Names Index and the Historic Images of St. Catharines & Niagara database.

Royal Canadian Henley Regatta

To celebrate 100 years of rowing in St. Catharines, the St. Catharines Public Library developed the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta Database. This database has three components: trophies, race results and historical programs.