Saturday, 8 November 2008

Ottawa Room Improvements

When researching local history in Ottawa and vicinity a must visit destination is the Ottawa Public Librry's Ottawa Room on the third floor of the main building at 120 Metcalfe in downtown Ottawa.

The Ottawa Room provides a centralized information resource about Ottawa and the surrounding area, both past and present, plus a large collection of municipal documents, including all current and past city by-laws. Currently, the holdings of the Ottawa Room collection consist of:

  • more than 25,000 books, documents and reports – in English and French
  • over 1,200 maps – from 1856 to the present
  • an extensive vertical file collection – approximately 1,550 local subjects
  • 109 preservation microforms
  • a collection of community newspapers
  • over 500 high school yearbooks from many local schools
As the collection grows space has become an issue. At present you need to be an acrobat to see what's on the bottom shelves they are so tightly spaced.

OPL managers plan to expand The Ottawa Room into adjoining space, adding more than 500 square feet. At the same time the entrance will be relocated to give the Ottawa Room much greater visibility and prominence. More study space and computer workstations will be added and the collection is being rearranging to bring the parts relating to genealogy together into the most visible and accessible area.

To assist the rennovation the OPL Foundation is holding a literary fundraiser, An Evening with Sir John A., at the Fairmont Château Laurier on Thursday 20 November which will showcase three of our country’s leading popular historians and novelists. Our featured authors are Richard Gwyn, author of John A: The Man Who Made Us and Roy MacSkimming, author of the novel Macdonald. Charlotte Gray, celebrity advocate for Sir John A. on the CBC’s Greatest Canadians series will be the moderator.

Go here for further information about the event.

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