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Grace Schmidt Room of Local History

In accordance with the province-wide stay-at-home order, the Grace Schmidt Room is not available for in-person services and appointments at this time.

If you have a local history or genealogy question and would like to request digital copies of material from the Grace Schmidt Room, please contact staff at 519-743-0271 ext 212 or email


Starting Monday, February 22, the Grace Schmidt Room (GSR) is open by appointment only. Appointments can be made by calling 519-743-0271, ext. 212 or emailing All appointments must be booked and confirmed by GSR staff by 6:00 pm the day prior. Appointment scheduling will be determined by staff availability.

Please note that same day visit requests, drop-ins, or walk-ins cannot be accommodated.

Appointments will be booked for 45 minutes, unless otherwise arranged. Only one person per appointment will permitted into the GSR. Customers can book up to 2 appointments per week.

Face masks and physical distancing are required in the library, including while in the GSR.

When requesting an appointment:

Please indicate which of the following services is required.

  • Reading Room Research (books, photographs, maps, vertical files, oral history, databases, city directories)
  • Archival Collections Research (a minimum of 48 hrs notice is required for retrieval)
  • Microfilm – newspaper, church records, vital statistics
  • Book Scanner
  • VHS Conversion or Photo Scanning Station

Please indicate, if possible, which specific resources you require from the collection. Due to material quarantine requirements, staff will need to check to see if the requested materials will be available for your appointment.

GSR staff must confirm your appointment date/time and resource request in order to access the GSR. If materials are not available, an alternate appointment date/time will be arranged and confirmed with you.

When arriving for a GSR appointment, please use the Queen Street entrance of the Central Library and arrive a few minutes before your appointment time and check in with the staff greeters. The greeter will direct you to proceed up the central staircase or to the elevator to reach Level 2 and the GSR. GSR staff will meet you at the GSR entry door and let you into the room. GSR staff will be available to assist you during your appointment.

Historically Speaking blog


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.


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

Phone: 519-743-0271 x 252
Twitter: @KPL_GSRHistory