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Northwestern Ontario Archivist Association

The Northwestern Ontario Archivist's Association (NOAA, for short) was established in 1988 by a small but dedicated group of individuals with interests in archival studies.  Representing archives and archivists throughout the region, our main objective is to care for the needs of archivists and users of archives.  To this end we promote the preservation and public use of historical records in Ontario and hold meetings, workshops and lectures to improve archival standards and practices in the field.


Through our affiliation with the Archives Association of Ontario we are able to run AAO sponsored core curriculum, advanced workshops, and continuing education courses.  Offerings include workshops on archival management, arrangement and description, acquisition, introduction to records management, reference and public service, media collections, authority controls and graphics.  For complete course descriptions and additional information see the Archives Association of Ontario's Professional Development Education Program page.


A.A.O. Office,
College Park Post Office
444 Yonge Street, Box 46009
Toronto, Ontario
M5B 2L8


Archives in Ontario's Northwest

Archives are places where a broad range of mostly unpublished materials (also called archives) are preserved for use by researchers.  Such materials can include the records of businesses, organizations and governments or the records of individuals.  A visit to an archive may uncover such things as diaries, accounts, letters, reports, minute books, lists etc.  Many archives also hold photographs, maps, blueprints, films, audio tapes, microfilms and even computer disks.


Each archive is unique just like the records its preserves.  In Northwestern Ontario there are specialized archives holding records produced by governments, churches, hospitals, or clubs and organizations.  Some local archives concentrate on specific subjects such as sports, or the fur trade or on particular geographic areas such as town, district or city.  There are also several general archives which collect widely in all areas.


How to visit an Archives

Before visiting an archives it is always best to phone ahead.  This will ensure that there is space available for you and staff ready to assist you.


Most of Northwestern Ontario's archives have very small reading rooms and some require you to make an appointment.


Donating to an Archives

Every archives has an acquisition mandate defining the types and scope of records that it accepts.  Some archives exist only to handle the records of an existing institution such as a church, a government or a business, while others accept donations from the general public and a great variety of organizations and businesses.


If you have records you feel should be preserved - family letters, the minutes of a defunct organization, a photographic album, or that film Uncle George took of the troops going off to war in 1939 - contact your local archives and ask about making a donation.


Northwestern Ontario Archives

Atikokan Centennial Museum and Historical Park
Box 849, Civic Centre, Atikokan, ON, P0T 1C0
Phone: (807) 597-6585
Collection: Photographs, slides, paintings, documents pertaining to early lumbering, mining, fur trade and railroads in the Atikokan area.
Mandate: Atikokan and surrounding area.  All record types.
Access: Seasonal facility, May 1 - October 31 - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays;

subject to change.
Other Services: Photocopying, slide projecting, library.
Contact: DeNeille Guillet, Director/Curator


Archives of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Thunder Bay
Box 10400, Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 6T8
Phone: (807) 343-9313   Fax: (807) 343-9114
Collection: Documents, records, financial papers, curial work, maps and photographs primarily from 1952 to the present.
Mandate: Diocese of Thunder Bay
Access: By appointment
Contact: Sister Teresa Sabatini, CSJ, Archival worker.


The Chancellor Paterson Library Archives
Rm LI 5001, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 5E1
Phone: (807) 343-8856   Fax: (807) 343-8007
Collection: Personal papers, literary manuscripts, records of local businesses and community organizations, local and regional Finnish-Canadian ethnic archives from 1870 to present, maps, blueprints, photographs, pictures and paintings, newspapers and periodicals.
Mandate: Lakehead University records, and records relating to industrial business, social, religious and cultural activities in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario,
Access: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm weekdays, Sundays 1 pm to 5 pm from September to April. Appointments preferred.
Other services: Photocopying, microfilm reader, photo reproduction, library.
Contact: Vivian Sharp, Archivist  Email:


Northern Studies Resources Centre
The Chancellor Paterson Library, Rm. L1, 5007, Lakehead University,
Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 5E1
Phone: (807) 343-8728   Fax: (807) 343-8007
Collection: The regional collection relates to Northern and especially Northwestern Ontario and includes many rare publications as well as extensive holdings of local newspapers on microfilm.  The North collection relates to circumpolar regions.
Mandate: Northern Ontario, Northern Canada, World circumpolar regions.
Access: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays, Sundays 1 pm to 5 pm from September to April.
Contact: Louise Wuorinen, Northern and Regional Studies Librarian 


City of Thunder Bay Archives
Street Address: 235 Vickers Street North, Thunder Bay, ON
Mailing Address: 500 Donald Street East, Thunder Bay, ON, P7E 5V3
Phone: (807) 625-2270 or (807) 625-3390  Fax: (807) 622-4212
Collection: Primarily minutes, by-laws, assessment rolls, collectors rolls, committee records, financial records and correspondence for the City of Thunder Bay and the former cities of Port Arthur and Fort William.  This material is supplemented by a number of photographs and maps along with a collection of publications related to the City of Thunder Bay.
Mandate: Responsible for the records management programme of the City as well as identifying and preserving Corporate records of permanent significance.
Access: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday
Other services: Microfilm reader/printer, photocopying.
Contact: Alex Ross, City Archivist  Email:


Dryden and District Museum
15 Van Horne Avenue, Dryden ON, P8N 2A5
Phone: (807) 223-4671  Fax: (807) 223-7354
Collection: Photographs, personal and business correspondence, journals, records pertaining to early lumbering and mining, minute books and ledgers, Homestead Act Ledgers, maps, blueprints, local newspapers and general materials.
Mandate: Dryden and surrounding areas.  All record types.
Access: 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday in Winter (October to March), 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday in Summer (April to September).
Other services: Reference library, photocopying, slide projecting
Contact: Leah G. Gardner, Curator or Mary Lou Ward, Assistant 


Fort Frances Museum and Cultural Centre
259 Scott Street, Fort Frances, ON, P9A 1G8
Phone: (807) 274-7891
Collection: Personal papers, records of business and community organizations, photographs (indexed) from the late 1800's to the present.  Original copies of the Fort Frances Times (1918 to the present) indexed to 1930.
Mandate: All records pertaining to the Rainy River District.
Other services: Photocopying, photo reproduction.
Access: 11 am to 4 pm weekdays (September to June); 10 am to 6 pm weekdays (June to August). Appointments preferred.
Contact: Pam Hawley, Museum Superintendent-Curator.


The Lake of the Woods Museum
300 Main Street South, P.O. Box 497, Kenora, ON, P9N 3X5
Phone: (807) 467-2105  Fax: (807) 467-2109
Collection: Photographs, personal and business correspondence, journals, maps, blueprints, unpublished research papers and general information files.
Mandate: All records relating to Kenora, the Lake of the Woods and immediate
surrounding areas.
Access: 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday.  Appointments preferred.
Other services: Photocopying, photo reproduction, reference library.


Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
219 May Street South, Thunder Bay, ON P7E 1B5
Phone: (807) 622-2852   Fax: (807) 622-2736
Collection: Records pertaining to organizations and individuals active in sports throughout Northwestern Ontario from the late 19th century to the present day.  Items include scrapbooks, photographs, books, biographical and general subject files.
Mandate: Northwestern Ontario from Manitoba border to White River.
Access: 10 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.  Appointments preferred.
Other services:  Photocopying, photo reproduction, library.


Old Fort William Library
Vickers Heights P.O., Thunder Bay, ON P0T 2Z0
Phone: (807) 473-2310 or (807) 577-8461
Collection: The collection relates to the early 19th century fur trade and the site reconstruction.  It includes pictures, photocopies of records from national and provincial archives, microforms, maps and photocopies of engagement contracts to the North West Company.
Mandate: To provide information to all staff, volunteers and visitors.
Access: Hours are subject to change 10 am to 5 pm mid May to mid October, Winter by appointment only.
Contact: Shawn Patterson  Email:


Paipoonge Museum
R.R. No. 6, Thunder Bay, ON P7C 5N5
Phone: (807) 939-1262  Fax: (807) 939-4132
Collection: Photographs and a limited number of records related to local activities.
Mandate: Paipoogne and surrounding area.
Access: May to September by special appointment.
Contact: Lois Garrity   Email:


Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society
425 E. Donald Street, Thunder Bay, ON P7E 5V1
Phone: (807) 623-0801  Fax: (807) 622-6880
Collection: Personal papers and the records of business, labour, military and community organizations from the early 1800's to the present.  Includes maps, blueprints, art work, photographs and research files containing biographical, architectural and general historical materials.
Mandate: Northwestern Ontario and Thunder Bay District
Access: 9 am to 5 pm weekdays.  Appointments preferred.
Other services: Photocopying, microfilm reader, photo reproduction, library.
Contact: T.J. Tronrud, Curator/Archivist  Email:


Thunder Bay Public Library
Collection: Brodie Public Library - books, maps, census material, Thunder Bay Index, local history files, photographs, city directories and telephone books, local newspapers on microfilm, obituary files and index, genealogical material.
Collection: Waverly Resource Library - books, Thunder Bay Index, local newspapers, limited local history files.
Mandate: Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay District, Northwestern Ontario.
Access: 10 am to 9 pm Monday to Wednesday, 10 am to 6 pm Thursday and Friday, 10 am to 5 pm Saturday, 1 pm to 5 pm Sunday, from mid September to mid May.
Other services: Photocopying, microfilm reader/printer.
Contact: Reference Department  Email:


John B. Ridley Research Library
Quetico Park, Atikokan, ON P0T 1C0
Phone: (807) 929-2571   Fax: (807) 929-2123
Collection: Photographs, slides, oral history tapes, maps, historical records, natural history inventories, herbarium, wilderness management related inventories, and general material related to Quetico Park.
Mandate: Material to support the historical, scientific, research, interpretive, educational and recreational interests of Quetico Provincial Park and surrounding area.
Access: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm daily (mid May to Labour Day), appointments preferred; by appointment Labour Day to mid May.
Other services: Photocopying, reference library.
Contact: Andrea Allison, Librarian

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