Our Collections

The Ellis Little Local History Room is home to a wide ranging book collection about Waterloo and the area, and PDF iconclipping files on many topics including Waterloo buildings, businesses, cultural happenings and people. We have genealogy materials, select local government documents, historical atlases and maps, city directories, photographs, postcards, memorabilia, newspapers and more! Our special collections include the Globe Furniture and Sunshine Waterloo companies, the David Bean collection, and early Waterloo Board of Trade minute books. And, of course, we have the invaluable Ellis Little Papers.

Use our microfilm scanning machines to view copies of local census, the Waterloo Chronicle back to 1901, or the Waterloo Region Record back to 1920. Staff can show you how to load and browse the film, crop and adjust as desired, and to save, print or email articles.

Want a copy of an image in our collection or a birth, marriage or obituary notice? Ask us about use of the images, requests for reproduction, etc.

Take a walk through time. Enjoy our Historical Walks of Waterloo online or download the walking tours and explore the UpTown Waterloo and Mary-Allen Neighbourhoods on foot.

In August 2018, over 250 people joined us on a walking tour, "From Farmer's Plot to Restaurant Pot : a historical look at the food scene in UpTown Waterloo." PDF iconClick here to view a list of locations visited and discussed on the tour. Thank you to everyone who joined us.

Do you have Waterloo photos, books or documents that you’re considering donating? We would be pleased to meet with you to determine whether your archival items would be a good fit for our Local History collection.