Resources in the physical collection
(online resources follow in the sections below)
Much of this collection has a historical colonial perspective. The library recognizes that local history collections should be developed to recognize all peoples who live or have lived in the library’s community and territory. This collection should reflect respect for, and reconciliation with, Indigenous people. MMPL continues to work towards addressing & meeting this goal.
Local interest, history & genealogy
Learn valley legends, find rural rambles & old-timey tall-tales! Virtual exhibits, local stories, historic photos, walking tours, a life-changing guide to genealogy for beginners, tombstone epitaphs – at the library!
MMPL’s physical collection includes titles about local people & families and materials relating to the histories of the formerly independent Town of Almonte, Village of Pakenham and Ramsay Township. The majority of materials are located in the Almonte branch, a smaller collection in Pakenham. If possible, call 613-256-1037 (Almonte) or 613-624-5306 (Pakenham) before your visit.
Click here to browse the Local History Collection (much of this material is in-library use only)
Census records are available as well as a complete archive of The Almonte Gazette from 1861 to 2005 on microfiche (also digitalized, see below), church and cemetery records, Women’s Institute scrapbooks, birth, death and marriage records. These are part of a special, non-circulating research collection. No reserves are allowed.
Interested in those “rural rambles” mentioned above? Visit this link for some rural & urban trails!
The library tags items written and illustrated by local authors. The tag “local” in the catalogue encompasses Lanark County. To browse local titles, please follow this link to the catalogue.
Online genealogy resources
Research your family tree. Ancestry Library Edition is only FREE when accessed at the library.
FamilySearch.org provides free online access to records containing over 4 billion names from many countries. Using FamilySearch from your library allows users to access many digital images of original documents. Access is available at the Almonte branch on public computers or with your own device on library WiFi.
Lanark County Genealogical Society is a very exciting, very accessible, very local organization. Highly recommended! Click to explore the resources on offer. There are so many!
Also at this site, among many tools, publications and other useful links, is the following highlight: The Life-Changing Guide to Genealogy for Beginner’s in 2023 [An Essential Guide] – broken into six sections – so informative, colourful and fun!
Online local resources & virtual exhibits
Mississippi Mills All My Relations offers & leads Indigenous educational events & reflections in this area.
Other resources about the Algonquins of Ontario:
Map of Ontario treaties & reserves (note: Rideau Purchase, Treaty 27)
PODCAST: History of the Ottawa River Watershed – Peter Di Gangi, Algonquin Nation Secretariat
Located in Perth ON, the Archives are open only by appointment – click here to get contact information and many more details. Archive holdings include land registry books, cemetery transcripts, census records, books and family histories, voters’ lists, pictorial histories and more.
Almonte Gazette Archive
A searchable archive of the Almonte Gazette is available online courtesy of the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, located in Almonte (Mississippi Mills). This invaluable resource was digitized in 2012, creating an archive of searchable content online. The archive spans hundreds of years of the Almonte Gazette: 1861 through 2007.
Memories of ’42 – stories of the Almonte train wreck – virtual exhibit
The North Lanark Regional Museum, in Appleton (Mississippi Mills) in partnership with the Virtual Museum of Canada is pleased to offer this virtual exhibit. Access Memories of ’42 here. This exhibit includes audio files, visual images and stories/quotes. This event was one of the worst accidents in Canadian Railway history.
Mississippi Mills municipal website – explore the history & heritage pages
History pages include information on the area’s historic landmarks, figures, settlement areas and more. Visit the history pages here.
Heritage pages include information on the area’s many properties with heritage designation as well as properties of significance and other resources. Visit the heritage pages here.
Download the four heritage walking tours in Mississippi Mills.
And for Mississippi Mills community profile, demographics and statistical information, click here.
The Mills of Appleton – virtual exhibit
The North Lanark Regional Museum, in partnership with the Virtual Museum of Canada is pleased to offer this virtual exhibit. Access The Mills of Appleton here. This exhibit is a series of 150+ visual slides with descriptions.
Almonte Historic Photo Archive
Over 700 historic photos of Almonte and area sites, buildings, people, events. These wonderful photographs were collected by local resident, Michael Dunn, and are all available online thanks to Brent Eades / almonte.com
The Museums of Mississippi Mills
The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum – Located in the annex of the former Rosamond Wollen Company in Almonte, Ontario. Constructed in 1867, this National Historic Site of Canada now features a blend of the old and new, all related to the history of the Mississippi Valley and the textile industry.
The North Lanark Regional Museum (Appleton Museum) – The museum collects, preserves and celebrates local history and culture. Explore the Museum’s unique collection, discover local history in the research library, and tour a pioneer log cabin.
Dr. James Naismith Museum and The R. Tait McKenzie Museum – Located at the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area, learn about the inventor of basketball, Dr. James Naismith. The museum contains pictures and artifacts from Naismith’s past. Robert Tait McKenzie was one of Canada’s best known artists of his time and is a recognized National Historic Figure. His life achievements are celebrated in the grist mill he restored on the grounds of the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area. Both men were born and raised in Mississippi Mills (Almonte & Ramsay).