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 smaller portion of our Archives collection is also described on ARCHEION, AAO Archeion logo buttona database managed by the Archives Association of Ontario.  Other Ontario Archives’ holdings may also be searched through Archeion.

 

The finding aids below were prepared for researchers to learn about the resources available in the Archives and Research Room.  These lists do not reflect the entirety of our collection.  They are only a selection.  Researchers are encouraged to call ahead to arrange for items in these aids to be retrieved from the archival storage area. Please remember that for the most part these are only a description of the items and not digital copies of them.

Business and Organizational Records
A massive amount of records are produced through the day-to-day work of companies and local organizations. Transactions, meeting minutes, advertising, photos, memos, correspondence and other parts of the paper trail can eventually be housed in the Archives. From ledger books of a general store or furniture factory, to the minutes of a local chapter of a Women’s Institute, the Archives are collecting these 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.

The Corran – Alexander McNeill Estate
This finding aid lists the resources held by the Bruce County Archives about The Corran estate of Alexander McNeill, Amabel Township.

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.

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.

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 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.

Fairy Lake
This finding aid lists the resources held by the Bruce County Archives about Fairy Lake.

Furniture Factories
Large stands of forests used to cover much of what is now Bruce County. The diversity of the trees and their sheer numbers made this area an ideal place for talented and industrious individuals to create a living working with this rich resource. Thus, Bruce County has an enduring history with furniture making. Here is a brief history of some of those factories, as well as a list of Bruce County and Grey County furniture factory catalogues available in the Archives’ holdings.  For furniture catalogues from other North American factories, see the Krug Bros. Co. Ltd. finding aids.

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

General Stores
General Stores were often the hub of a growing pioneer community.  A partial list of archival material from Bruce County General Stores is available in this finding aid.

Harold Button’s Orchestra fonds
Harold Robert Button, was born on September 15, 1916 in Kinloss Township,on the north-west edge of the Village of Lucknow. As a young man, Harold played his E-flat alto saxophone at over 400 engagements with local bands from 1936-1940.

Krug family fonds
The Krug family of Chesley played a significant role in the history of Bruce County through their involvement in the furniture manufacturing industry, historical organizations, and conservationist activities.  More finding aids will be added here as staff and volunteers continue to process material.

Krug Bros. Ltd. Co. (Series 1 of Krug family fonds)

Krug Farms and Chesley Chair Company Limited (Series 2 of Krug family fonds)

Bruce Krug Local History Scrapbook Indices
Bruce Krug created scrapbooks for every former township of Bruce County, consisting of newspaper clippings, historical notes and summaries of interviews he conducted with Bruce County residents. Indices of the scrapbooks will be added here as they are completed by Archives volunteers.

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 Online Collections advanced search.

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.

Loyal Orange Lodges of Bruce County
An inventory of records from the following LOL chapters: Allenford, Belfast, Bethel, Chesley, Dobbinton, Dyer’s Bay, Ebenezer, Elsinore, Hanover, Kincardine, Kinloss, Pinkerton, Purple Hill, Purple Valley, Rosemount, Royal Scarlet Chapter of Arran District, Southampton, Tara, Underwood and Walkerton.

Loyal Orange Lodges of Bruce County collection – Membership Certificates
These certificates were collected by the Kincardine Loyal Orange Lodge as various Bruce County L.O.L.s disbanded over the years.

Marine
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, and more. For photographs see the Historic Photo Gallery. and browse by Type: Marine.  In addition, see the Southampton Marine Heritage Society scrapbooks index below.

Military
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.

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 http://military.brucemuseum.ca. We also have some family videos and videos of the local communities which are gradually being transferred to DVD for easier access.

Municipal Records
The Archives are the official repository for many of the permanently retained records of the Corporation of the County of Bruce. As well, the other municipalities of Bruce County – past and present – 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.

Natural History
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.

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 letters, journals, diaries, business correspondence, 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.

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.

Port Elgin Senior Citizens Friendship Club #976 fonds
The fonds consists of minutes, correspondence, a scrapbook and certificates pertaining to the Port Elgin Senior Citizens Friendship Club, established in 1959.  The club was active in the community until the early 2000s. It was created for the betterment of life for all senior citizens, to serve their community and as a recreational outlet for senior citizens.

Southampton Marine Heritage Society scrapbooks index
Two volumes of scrapbooks, consisting of newspaper clippings glued to pages, concerning Marine Heritage of Bruce County and area, chiefly dated from 1994 – 2003.

Vance, Thomas family fonds
The Thomas Vance fonds consists of records of Thomas Vance which provide some details of his fifteen year military career in the 31st Regiment of Foot in the British Army (1851 – 1866).

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.