The Waterloo Historical Society fosters the recognition of our region’s unique heritage and diligently encourages heritage preservation.
The Waterloo Historical Society documents the history of Waterloo Region, including the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, along with the Townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich.
Annual Volume Patronage Program
Since the first annual volume was published in 1913, it has preserved the history of Waterloo Region with articles about people, places, buildings and activities, including the natural environment. The annual Volumes have been recognized as the most comprehensive source of historical information about Waterloo Region, receiving the Scadding Award for Excellence from the Ontario Historical Society in 1993. Content has evolved from two papers given at public meetings, to an average of 20 articles per volume of varying lengths accompanied by photographs, drawings, and maps. Submissions are accepted from anyone writing about Waterloo Region, whether or not they are Waterloo Historical Society members, professionals, or first-time writers. Standards are adhered to and the result is a very readable, interesting, and educational publication.
The annual volumes are available for local history research at most libraries and archives through Waterloo Region, including high schools and universities. Earlier volumes can be accessed worldwide through the Waterloo Historical Society’s website. A project is currently underway to create an online index of all the annual volumes so that researchers are quickly able to locate relevant articles and subject matter.
The funds donated by Volume Patrons allow the Waterloo Historical Society to continue publishing the annual volume in the professional manner that the community has come to expect and rely on in order to preserve the history of Waterloo Region.
The Waterloo Historical Society seeks financial contributions for publishing the annual volume which is our largest ongoing expense. Contributions to this program enable the Waterloo Historical Society to continue publishing a quality volume, the only one of its kind in Waterloo Region. To acknowledge the gifts of our patrons, your name and recognition level will be published in the annual volume and online at the WHS website. The donor lists will be refreshed annually.
The Waterloo Historical Society board of directors acknowledges and greatly appreciates your support.
Patronage Levels of the Waterloo Historical Society Annual Volume
- Friend: $100 – $199
- Partner: $200 – $499
- Benefactor: $500+
Active steps toward the establishment of a historical society in Waterloo County (now the Region of Waterloo) were taken in 1912. With the encouragement of the Ontario Historical Society, a public meeting was held in November 1912, which resulted in a recommendation that the Waterloo Historical Society be organized. The first meeting of the board was held on November 26, 1912.
It has been over 100 years since that modest beginning. The Waterloo Historical Society has grown to over 200 members and has a set of by-laws which govern activities carried out by the board of directors. Current activities include five public meetings each year with invited guest speakers, which are held in various locations within the region; since 1913, continuous publication of a volume of local history articles totaling over 10,000 pages of historical information about Waterloo County/Waterloo Region; copies of the annual volumes are provided to area libraries, high schools and university collections as well as the region’s historical sites; quarterly newsletters; acquisition of documents and photos for Waterloo Historical Society archives; participation in numerous regional heritage and history events, outreach by means of providing speakers to local organizations and the local high school history fair; and erecting historical plaques.
Since 1912, Waterloo Historical Society has partnered with Kitchener Public Library to create an archival collection which is now housed and cared for by the library in the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History. Access to the archives is available to the public through the library. Select photographs have been digitized and are available online through Our Digital World.