Services to the Public

Archives of Ontario Speakers Bureau


The Archives of Ontario maintains a dynamic and informative Speakers Bureau, and our staff experts deliver engaging presentations, free of charge, to interested organizations and groups.

All of our presentations run from 40 to 60 minutes. Our presenter can bring all required technology (laptop, projector, speakers) if necessary.

There is no charge for any of our presentations, but please note that we require at least one month’s advance notice and a projected group size of at least 30 people.

We offer seven different presentation topics:

1. Family Ties: Ontario Turns 150

This presentation will focus on stories of four family groups in Ontario at the time of Confederation, and how their lives intersected with larger historical forces of the era. Based on our exhibit Family Ties: Ontario Turns 150 this presentation will also touch on themes of early photography in Ontario, communication, social change, and the value of genealogy in studying the past.

2. Dear Sadie: Love, Lives and Remembrance from Ontario’s First World War

This WWI-themed presentation focuses on our exhibit commemorating the WWI centennial.  The exhibit highlights the unique, personal stories underlying the war, and is based on a series of letters exchanged between Harry Mason, a Canadian soldier fighting overseas, and Sadie Arbuckle, his sweetheart back home.  More information is available through the related online exhibit on our website.

3. Accessing and Preserving Family Heirlooms

This presentation is of particular interest to genealogical researchers, and explores best practices for storing personal treasures, with a particular focus on paper records. Participants will learn how to care for their family history documents at home, including detailed instructions on proper storage and handling. The presenter will offer advice about where to acquire archival supplies or the help of an independent conservator. This presentation also includes information about digitizing private collections to ensure they will be available for future generations.

4. A Century of Ontario Photographs

This presentation examines some of the highlights of our extensive photograph collections, and explains how these records are managed and preserved.

5. Lights, Camera, Archives

This presentation is one of our most popular, and features historical film clips from our collection.  The films were all produced by the Government of Ontario, and subjects include health promotion, tourism, education, and OPS staff training.

6. Doing Research from a Distance

This presentation is well-suited to researchers who are unable to travel to Toronto to visit the Archives of Ontario in person.  The speaker focuses on using our website and our Microfilm Interloan program to access our collections, and explains which services are available from anywhere in Ontario.  This program usually includes a comprehensive tour of the Archives’ website.

7. An Introduction to the Archives of Ontario

This presentation is useful for researchers who are new to the Archives, and are looking for an overview of our collections and services.  The speaker outlines a typical visit to our facility, and explains how to access our most frequently used records.

For more information, or to book a presenter, please contact us:

Tel: 416-327-1600
Toll free: 1-800-668-9933 (Ontario residents)
Email: reference@ontario.ca