The Dufferin County Museum & Archives provides members and visitors with a window to their past and the Archives staff are always available to assist you with your research. The Archives collects papers, records, books, photographs, oral history and other documentary sources which help the researcher to discover and interpret the history of Dufferin county and the stories of the people who lived here.
Archival Holdings include:
Genealogical Research Collections
• Genealogical resources contain more than 300 published and unpublished genealogies, published genealogical reference works, and family files. The collection includes the microfilmed copies of the census for townships in Dufferin (1851-1911), microfilm indexes to births, marriages and deaths registered in Ontario after 1869, local marriage registrations from 1808 to 1868, a growing collection of transcribed church records, and cemetery tombstone transcriptions for all Dufferin county cemeteries. Family files are the research notes created by volunteers or outside researchers. On site researchers may also access Ancestory.ca and other online databases.
The Archives has municipal papers from the County of Dufferin, Town of Orangeville, Town of Shelburne and many of the townships within the County. The collections may include council minutes, by-laws, assessment rolls, collector’s rolls, etc.
Archival & Historical Collections
The Archives has a collection of more than 5500 entries including papers and documents of local residents and organizations, documenting the 19th and 20th centuries in Dufferin county and portions of Wellington, Simcoe, Peel and Grey Counties that border Dufferin county. An historical library of new and older books complements the archives. The Museum is the custodian of the back files of the Orangeville Banner, Grand Valley Star & Vidette, Shelburne Free Press & Economist, the Orangeville Sun and other local newspapers.
• More than 150 maps and plans
• Manuscripts - diaries, letters, scrapbooks
• Business & club records
• Church records
• More than 650 local history books and files
• A reference collection composed of area history books, cookbooks, local authors, school records and texts, sheet music , Canadian architecture and farming & flora
• farmers, business and telephone directories 1851 to present
• County atlases for 1877 and 1906 (and surrounding counties)
• Abstracts of Title books (history of property ownership from Crown Deed on)
• Census for Dufferin, Simcoe, Grey, Peel and Wellington Counties 1851 to 1911
• Indexes to county wills 1840 - 1931
• Women's Institute Tweedsmuir community histories
• Oral Histories
The Photograph Collection
There are more than 5,000 original images (photographs, postcards and slides) in the collections of the Dufferin County Museum & Archives. In addition there are digital images of hundreds of veterans, offered by families to supplement the virtual war memorial available for viewing online in “Duff Stuff”.
Access to the Collection
A brief chat with Archives staff will help you identify the records you need. Researchers can also access “Duff Stuff” – the online archives research database – to complement their research. Keyword searches could include names of people, organizations, places, events and subject. Reading room computers may be used to access other on-line databases of interest to the researcher, however time limits will be imposed during busy periods.
If requested, Archives staff will search our artifact collection records which are indexed by person names, locations, or events. Perhaps your grandmother’s special dish is in our collection, or we may have an example of your favourite collectible.
Additional finding aids, census records, family histories and published local geneaological materials are located in the Reading Room and are available for access by all researchers.
Click here to contact the Archives