Search Our Archives

2016 PP Online card The Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre’s Online Collections database is now available.

Currently, only a small portion of the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre’s Collection is searchable through this site. We are adding more records on a monthly basis.


A smallerAAO Archeion logo button portion of our Archives collection is also described on ARCHEION, a database managed by the Archives Association of Ontario.  Other Ontario Archives’ holdings may also be searched through Archeion.

The finding aids and links below were prepared for researchers to learn about the resources available in the Archives and Research Room.  These lists only reflect a selection of our collection.  Researchers are encouraged to call ahead to arrange for items in these aids to be retrieved from the archival storage area, and to ask whether there may be other items in the collection relevant to their research topic. Please remember that for the most part these are only descriptions of the items and not digital copies of them.

Business Records

A massive amount of records are produced through the day-to-day work of companies. Transactions, meeting minutes, advertising, photos, memos, correspondence and other parts of the paper trail can eventually be housed in the Archives.  Examples of our holdings include:

General Store account books

Furniture Factories
Large stands of forests used to cover much of what is now Bruce County. The diversity and number of trees made this area an ideal place for talented and industrious individuals to create a living working with this rich resource.

For other furniture factory records, use “Furniture factories” in the Subjects field on the Advanced Search screen of our Online Collections site.

Education Records

In March 2009 the Bluewater District School Board transferred historic records of the Bruce County School Board and prior (pre 1969) to the Bruce County Archives. These records include Minutes and Cash Books of the various school boards over the years. Also included in the transfer are General and Daily Attendance Registers. These records are available to researchers if they are over 100 years old.

Family History and Genealogy Records

Cemetery Locator & Finding Aid
The Bruce County Genealogical Society and the Bruce & Grey Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society have transcribed tombstones in many of the cemeteries in Bruce County.  Click on the link to find which cemeteries have been transcribed and where they are.

Census and Vital Statistics Records
Microfilm copies of Census Records and Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes and Registrations.

Directories and Telephone Books
Directories list names, occupations and other information about residents of towns/townships
Telephone books have similar information, without the occupation, in more recent times.

Family Histories Guide
The Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre’s Research Room has a host of Family Histories.  Please use the find feature in Adobe to see if your family name is mentioned.

Genealogy Resource Checklist
A checklist of materials in the Research Room & Archives that may be useful to family historians.

Newspaper Holdings
List of microfilm copies of local newspapers.

Newspapers – Inventory of Kincardine Newspapers on Microfilm, 1877-1932
Inventory of Kincardine Newspapers (1877-1932) on microfilm at the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre.  The BCM&CC also holds more complete microfilm of the Kincardine News issues from 1934-1971.

Personal Papers
As the years go by, everyone amasses a great amount of records in the form of personal and business letters, journals, diaries, photographs and the like. Often, these materials are passed on from generation to generation and can find their way into the Archives. These records give us a first hand account of what life was like in the past.  See our Online Collections to view descriptions, and in some cases images, of a selection of Personal Papers.

Government Records

The Archives are the official repository for many of the permanently retained records of the Corporation of the County of Bruce. As well, other Bruce County municipalities have deposited some of their archival materials in the Archives. These records include Land Transfer Copy Books, Assessment and Collector’s Rolls, Voters’ Lists, Minutes, By-Laws, correspondence and more.

County of Bruce fonds
This Finding Aid lists a portion of the materials held by the Archives for the County of Bruce.  Contact Archives or County Staff for more information if the resource you are seeking is not listed here.  The Bruce County Fonds consists of Administrative records for the United Counties of Huron, Perth and Bruce (1850-1852), the United Counties of Huron and Bruce (1853-1866), the County of Bruce Provisional Council (1857-1866), and the County of Bruce (1867-2008).   The fonds includes departmental records for the County of Bruce from 1850-2008 and comprises the following series: Administration, Council & Legislative Services, Development & Planning, Finance & Accounting, Human Resources, Justice, Legal, Protection & Enforcement Services, Social & Health Care Services, Transportation Services.

Local History

Many published resources about various geographical parts of Bruce County are available in the Research Room.  Try entering your location in the “Place” field in the Online Collections advanced search page.

Bruce Krug Local History Scrapbooks
Bruce Krug created scrapbooks for every former township of Bruce County, consisting of newspaper clippings, historical notes, photographs, and summaries of interviews he conducted with Bruce County residents. Indices of the scrapbooks are available in the Finding Aid Links field in the Online Collections descriptions of each scrapbook.

For Southampton information and people, also consider reviewing the John B. Weichel research collection inventory, consisting primarily of notes and copies of newspapers and other published materials collected by author and historian, John Weichel.

For information about First Nations, check out the Peter Schmalz fonds or use “First Nation*” as a keyword search in our Online Collections.

Newspaper Holdings
List of microfilm copies of local newspapers.

Newspapers – Inventory of Kincardine Newspapers on Microfilm, 1877-1932
Inventory of Kincardine Newspapers (1877-1932) on microfilm at the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre.  The BCM&CC also holds more complete microfilm of the Kincardine News issues from 1934-1971.

Marine Records
The Research Room and Archives contain a variety of marine related resources. These include books on the maritime history of Bruce County, microfilm of Marine Casualties on the Great Lakes 1863-1873, Lighthouse Keepers logs, Marine Heritage scrapbooks, and more. For more photographs see the Historic Photo Gallery.

Military Records

Search images from our collection pertaining to the military history of the people of Bruce County.  Want to know more? Visit Bruce Remembers Virtual War Memorial or the Research Room to learn about Bruce County’s military involvement. General military history books are available as well as microfilm reels from pre 1900 involvement in the 32nd Bruce Battalion. Most of our Area Histories have a chapter on the military involvement of their community. We have a variety of newspapers that cover the war years. Our collection boasts both audio and video oral histories of local veterans.

Our collection also features soldiers’ letters and diaries.

Military Oral History Interviews
List of interviews completed since 2005 of local veterans around Bruce and Grey Counties.  These videos are available to be viewed at the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre in the Research Room.

Multimedia Collections
The Archives have a growing collection of still and moving imagery. The photographs and postcards number in the thousands and show scenes and people from all over Bruce County throughout the years. Much of our video collection consists of oral histories, conducted by the Bruce County Historical Society and Township of Bruce Historical Society. We also house the Bruce County Veterans Oral History Project Videos. Excerpts of some of these can be found at We also have some family videos and videos of the local communities which are gradually being transferred to DVD for easier access.

Photo Gallery
Browse through historic photographs from the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre’s archival collection.  Subject areas include: Agriculture, Architecture, Business & Industry, Disasters, Government, Marine, People, Schools, Social Events, Sports, and Views & Miscellaneous.

Natural History Records

Bruce County has a strong natural history. The Bruce Beckons is a wonderful book about the natural history of Bruce County by Sherwood Fox. We have a reference copy as well as holding the manuscript. Many of our Area History books have a chapter on the natural history of the area. We also hold the Grey Bruce Birding Committee records.

Organizations’ Records

The Archives holds the administrative and historical records of a number of Bruce County organizations, including for example:  Concerned Farm Women, Country Sisters Community Club, Gould Lake Ratepayers Association, and Southampton Tennis Club.

Women’s Institute
We have a newly acquired collection of copies of all of the Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir Collections from Bruce County. These books show a women’s perspective of history. We also have various original minute books, scrapbooks, rally books, minutes of the Bruce County Tartan Committee and Tweedsmuirs.