Here you can find guides to help your research. You can search the Archives using our online search portal. 

If you require a PDF in an accessible format, contact our Municipal Accessibility Specialist.

Researching changes to the landscape in Thunder Bay

Learn more about researching major developments and changes to the physical landscape in Thunder Bay.

Researching your family history

Explore the different kinds of family history resources available at the Archives and learn about other institutions that are also helpful in family history research.

Researching your house or property

Get started on researching the history of your house or property with these helpful tips that feature an overview of resources available at the Archives.

Researching your favourite park

Discover the history and development of Thunder Bay's parks with the wide variety of information available at the Archives.

Researching municipal decision making

Learn how to search and use Council minutes, By-laws, Mayor's Files, Office of the City Clerk's files, and City Manager's Office files.

Resource guide for external sources

Learn how to locate records at the Land Registry Office, Office of the Registrar General, Ontario Superior Court, and other archival institutions.


Archival Record - A document made or received in the ordinary course of business and selected for permanent preservation. An archival record gains context from the series and fonds of which it is a part.

Finding Aids - Tools such as indexes, guides or inventories that describe and give background information about archival records to help find information.

Original Order - The order in which records and archives were kept when in active use. The principle of original order requires that the original order be preserved or reconstructed.

Provenance - The chain of custody which reflects the office(s) or person(s) that created, received or accumulated and used the records in the conduct of business or in the course of personal life.

Series - A group of records which is organized as a unit and documents a specific activity or function.

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