Trent Valley Archives has an impressive research library that contains over 4000 titles. Our collection includes township histories and other books of local interest as well as titles related to architecture and housing, lumbering, soldiering, railways, gardening and topics pertinent to the experience of people who lived in this area. We also have serials such as Municipal World, Ontario History, Bandwagon, Archivaria and archival and historical newsletters.

To access to the catalogue click here. The search screen allows you to be able to search by Keyword, Title, Author and Subject.


Peterborough Newspapers Online: Thanks to a project undertaken by the City of Peterborough in 2019, issues of the Peterborough Examiner and other Peterborough newspapers from 1847 to 1947 are now available online! For best results, use this link and download separate PDFs by date range.

Our in-house newspaper collections include:

  • Peterborough Examiner, microfilm,1847-2008 and hard copy 1970-1973 and 2008 to 2010
  • Peterborough Times and the Peterborough Review, microfilm and some hard copy 1872-1884; 1898-1900; 1916-1920
  • Peterborough Review, hard copy, 1935-1975
  • Cobourg Star, microfilm 1831-1839
  • Havelock Standard, hard copy, 1899-1970
  • Lakefield newspapers, various titles, hard copy 1950-present

Over the years, many people have also donated single issues of local newspapers and we have filed these in separate boxes for each decade.

Archival Sources

Our major archival sources are the land records of Peterborough County and the archives of the Peterborough Examiner, but many treasures are also hidden within our smaller collections.

For a list of our holdlings, click here.


Historical photographs of Peterborough County and beyond are found in several collections, including:

  • The Peterborough Examiner fonds contains half a million photographs and negatives that date from about 1950 to 2008. We are still cataloguing this sizeable collection, so at the moment, the best way to find the photo you are seeking is with a date– the more specific, the better!
  • The Osborne Photographic Studio covers the 1970s and early 1980s and contains many portraits.
  • The Electric City Collection contains several hundred photographs, mainly tied to the city of Peterborough, and covers a wide range of subjects.
  • The Fairbairn Collection contains 192 glass plate negatives from 1895 to 1905. These were featured in the SPARK exhibit of April 2014.


The Peterborough City Directories are available online.

Do you prefer to hold the book in your hands? A number of hard copy Peterborough City Directories are available for viewing in-house at Trent Valley Archives.


Our map collection is highlighted by:

  • Historical atlases for many counties in Ontario
  • Fire insurance plans for the city of Peterborough– we have originals for 1915, 1929 and 1968
  • Cameron Map of Peterborough, 1896
  • Bird’s Eye View, 1895
  • The Plan of the City of Peterborough issued by the Peterborough Examiner, 1922