Local History


Each branch has a collection of local history materials. You can search for these items using our online catalogue or at your local branch. When searching online, we recommend using the following subject keywords: Alliston history, Beeton history, Tecumseth history or Tottenham history. For more information, please contact your local branch.

The Library subscribes to the online database Ancestry.com. It can only be accessed in the library.

Banting Digital Library

The Banting Digital Library is a 1600-page digital archive that is a pictorial record of rare artifacts, journals, photographs and paintings that pertain to the life and times of Sir Frederick Banting.

New Tecumseth Digital History

Funding from Industry Canada under the LibraryNet program was received in 2001 for student summer employment to digitize local history materials relating to Alliston, Beeton, Tottenham and Tecumseth Township. This website contains over 1700 images.

Tecumseth / West Gwillimbury Historical Society

Formed in 1978 and mandated to preserve and promote public interest in the rich and varied heritage of Tecumseth and West Gwillimbury Townships in Simcoe County.

Census Information

At the Memorial Branch in Alliston, microfilm reels with census statistics are available for Simcoe County covering 1861-1911. The Censuses of Canada for 1851-1916 are available to be searched on both the Library and Archives Canada and Ancestry.ca websites. The 1921 Census of Canada is currently only available on Ancestry.ca.

Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir Histories

Available at the Memorial Branch in Alliston is a book on the history of Alliston (formerly Tecumseth Township, now Town of New Tecumseth), and Everett (in former Tosorontio, now Adjala-Tosorontio). The Tottenham Tweedsmuir History Book is currently located at the Simcoe County Archives in Midhurst (705) 726-9331.

Alliston Herald on Microfilm

This local weekly paper is available on microfilm and microfiche at the Memorial Branch. Microfilm: 1881-1994. Microfiche: 1990-2018. These materials are not available through Interlibrary Loan (ILLO).

Beeton World

For anyone interested in the history of the Beeton area we have copies of the “Beeton World” newspaper for the years 1886-1968 on microfilm. These are located in the Memorial Branch in Alliston.

Tottenham Newspapers

Looking for historical information about Tottenham? We now have on microfilm the Tottenham Reporter, the Tottenham Tribune, the Tottenham Sentinel and the Cardwell Sentinel covering the years from 1875 to 1925. These are located in the Memorial Branch in Alliston.

Municipal Histories Available

Historical information on other municipalities is available through the Interlibrary Loan (ILLO) system. Please click here for more information about this program.

Tottenham Remembered

Recollections of Early Tottenham Life and Personalities. A CD-ROM set of interviews with long-time Tottenham residents originally recorded in 1977. Available to borrow at all three branches.

Archival Information

For archival information on Simcoe County, please contact the Simcoe County Archives at (705) 726-9300.

Genealogy Club

The Genealogy Club meets on the third Wednesday of the month in the Women’s Institute (WI) Room at the Memorial Branch at 2:00 pm. Join today by calling the Memorial Branch 705-435-5651. During COVID, the Genealogy Club is meeting via Zoom. Please email Chris at [email protected] to get your Zoom meeting link.