Library and archival research
Archival research can be exciting and challenging, and very time-consuming. It is much more complex and difficult than library research. You will need to set aside several hours and, if the topic is complex or detailed, you may need to make several trips. After you request the records, it may take an hour or two to have them transferred to the reading room, if they are available on site. If not, it may take several days. If you have very specific questions about the history of Ottawa and its population, library and archives reference staff may be able to give you a brief answer by phone, email or fax. For more complex topics and questions, it is better to visit the archives yourself. An appointment is sometimes needed, especially for private archives. Libraries and archives have staff or volunteers who can explain the procedures. Large reference libraries have a selection of published and unpublished documents on the history of Ottawa and its inhabitants.