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
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.
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.
Phone: 519-743-0271, ext. 252