Archival Collections

archives10About the Archives

Please note that the Archives will be closed from Monday, March 11 to Friday, March 15, 2019. 

The Archives holds more than 2000 different fonds or collections. We actively collect a variety of original documentary materials containing information of permanent historical value. Many have finding aids to help researchers gain access to the valuable information they contain. Including:

  • Personal letters, correspondence, journals and diaries of individuals.
  • Maps, civil plans, records and surveys
  • Photographs and albums
  • Early business records of notable Peterborough companies
  • Early catalogues and promotional material
  • Clubs and associations records and minute books
  • Early Peterborough Examiner newspapers
  • Records of Peterborough County Court, 1830-1900
  • Original fine art
Donations to the Archives are always welcome. Prospective donors can help build our Collections.

Peterborough Museum & Archives Nationally Designated Collections

The Peterborough Museum & Archives was designated a 'Category A Collecting Institution' in 1996 under the terms of the Canadian Cultural Property Export/Import Act. Several of the artifacts of the Peterborough Museum & Archives carry this designation.

Frederick Lewis Roy Diaries

Proprietor of the Roy Studio and photographer Frederick Lewis Roy kept diaries documenting his work-related activities from 1904 through 1950. His 44 hand written volumes were generously donated to the Peterborough Museum & Archives in 2007. The diaries provide context to the Balsillie Collection of Roy Studio Images.

Parks Studio Fonds

The Parks Studio operated as a commercial photographic studio in Peterborough from the 1930s to the 1980s. In 1998 the Peterborough Museum & Archives acquired 70-thousand negatives and prints documenting life in Peterborough during this time. Designated as Canadian Cultural Property of "Outstanding Significance and National Importance" in 1999.

Catharine Parr Traill Herbarium

archives5Peterborough area settler, author and amateur botanist, Catharine Parr Traill created this herbarium in 1891. The album consists of mounted ferns, grasses, moss and flower specimens. It is extraordinarily rare to find an intact Traill album of this size (51 pages). Designated as Canadian Cultural Property of "Outstanding Significance and National Importance" in 1999.

Planning Your Visit

All visits to the Archives require an appointment.

The new Archives Reading Room provides a quiet place to conduct your research.

"Rules for the Archives" are intended to protect and preserve the archival holdings entrusted to the City Archives/Peterborough Museum & Archives by the general public and the Corporation of the City of Peterborough.  We also abide by professional ethics and codes of conduct.  Researchers/visitors are encouraged to ask questions.

Peterborough City and County Directories

The City of Peterborough's Heritage Preservation Office has completed the digitization of a local collection of City and County Directories.  With the oldest volume dating back to 1858, the annually published directories are a rich resource for researching a wide range of topics related to City history and family genealogy.  A total of 115 books were scanned, with directories contributed by the Peterborough Museum & Archives, the Peterborough Public Library, Trent Valley Archives and Trent University Archives.  Funding for the project was provided by the Peterborough Public Library.

Anyone can access the digitized books online, or can book an archival appointment to view the hard copies that are contained within the PMA Archives.

Please note that the following years are missing: 1884, 1886, 1889, 1891, 1892, 1896, 1900, 1902, 1911 and 1930.