Early Canadiana Online: History and Genealogy Treasures

I doubt if this is new but I just heard of it for the first time. The Ottawa Public Library has an excellent online collection, called Early Canadiana Online. Quoting from the Library’s web site:

ecoStart Canada’s 150th anniversary year off by exploring our past with the latest addition to OPL’s online resources, Early Canadiana Online. Early Canadiana Online is a multilingual virtual library of digitized historical publications about Canada, including books, magazines, and government documents, from the 16th to the early 20th century.

Early Canadiana Online provides an extensive repository of primary-source documents for history buffs and genealogists alike. Its collections cover aboriginal studies, official publications, literature, genealogy, health and medicine, women’s history, and more. For entertainment value, a browse through the Early Canadian Periodicals collection is highly recommended. Here you can read classics like Canadian Illustrated News (1869-83), or curiosities like the intriguingly named Grinchuckle (1869-70) and Grumbler (1858-69). If you happen to be regretting an overindulgent holiday season, repent with all 351 issues of the Canadian Temperance Advocate (1835-1855).

Genealogists will find that Early Canadiana Online holds a wealth of resources for Canadian research, including early city and county directories and voters’ lists, local and family histories, biographies, and government documents such as civil service and militia registers.

You can find Early Canadiana Online on the library’s Online Resources page, and can access it either inside the library or remotely. Enjoy exploring Canada’s past!


Looks like we need a library card, and it is only available for residents living in the library’s branches areas?



This will give you access without logging in. Some of the documents are not indexed but there is a lot of valuable stuff for Canadian researchers.

Liked by 1 person

Less useful than it first appears. The URL for access without logging in allows you to search but the returned page doesn’t contain the search term. Browsing the page identified in the search displays the following message — “Early Canadiana Online is funded by its users through subscriptions. Become a subscriber today to access all of the site’s content and features.” Unless there is something I am missing, you need a subscription to actually see the images containing your search terms.


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