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Skip Navigation LinksSimcoe County > Archives > Preparing for your visit to the Simcoe County Archives

Preparing for your visit to the Simcoe County Archives


We look forward to welcoming you to the Simcoe County Archives. Undertaking  research at the Archives can be rewarding, but it is often a complex and slow process. Below you will find a list of information, guildelines, and tips to ensure that you get the most out of your time at the Archives.

The Archives is a mask-friendly environment. As research and donation visits can be lengthy and may involve on-going close contact with staff, we strongly encourage you to wear a mask for in-person visits to the Archives. If you feel sick, please stay home, contact us so we can reschedule, and get well.

Simcoe Muskoka's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner recommends everyone continue to practice prevention measures, such as wearing a mask, physical distancing, staying home when ill, and hand washing.​

Before you arrive

  • Access to the Archives Reading Room is by appointment only. Please do not come to the Archives if you have not scheduled an appointment.

  • Appointments can be booked for 2.5 hour intervals between 9:00AM-11:30AM and 1:30PM-4:00PM. If you would like to stay for the entire day, you must schedule appointments for both timeslots.

  • If you have ordered Microfilm from another institution, please wait for confirmation from SCA staff that it has arrived before booking your appointment.

  • Though not a requirement, it is recommended that you call, email, or book a virtual reference interview to discuss your research topic prior to your visit. Please visit our Booking Services page to book a virtual reference interview. For questions regarding the virtual reference, please contact the Archives at archives@simcoe.ca  or 705-726-9331.

Tips for before you arrive

To maximize your research time, Archives staff recommend familiarizing yourself with what is available at the Simcoe County Archives by reviewing our online resources.

  • Descriptions Database
    The Descriptions Database includes descriptions for many of the records, fonds, and collections held at the Simcoe County Archives. Be sure to note down the Record ID# for any records you are interested in reviewing onsite.
  • ​​Descriptive Finding Aids
    Review the Descriptive Finding Aids Titles list for a better idea of the fonds, collections, and subject areas of focus at the Simcoe County Archives. Make note of any titles you would like to review onsite.​
  • Research Guides and Tools
    Simcoe County Archives have a number of research guides available online that cover subject areas of interest at the Archives.
  • Historical Research from Home
    Archives staff have put together a list of online resources relevant to researching the history of Simcoe County.

Having a list of records, reference material, and finding aids ready prior to your visit will speed up the process of retrieval, and allow you to spend more time reviewing archival material.

What to expect during your visit

  • Please ensure that you arrive promptly for your appointment. Early admittance to the Reading Room will not be permitted.

  • A maximum of two researchers are permitted in the Reading Room per appointment.

  • Parking is available at the Archives.

  • Public Wi-Fi is available at the Archives.

  • Accessible washroom facilities are available at the Archives.

  • The Archives Reading Room is wheelchair accessible

  • Out of respect for staff and researchers, the Archives is a scent-free facility. Please read our Scent-Free Policy.

  • The Archives is a climate-controlled building and tends to be cooler. Wearing layers is recommended.

  • The Reading Room closes from 12:00PM – 1:00PM daily for lunch. Please note that there are no premises onsite for researchers to eat. The lounge at the Museum next door and, when weather permits, an outdoor picnic table to the west of the Archives are available to researchers.

  • No food or drink is allowed in the Reading Room.

  • The Archives does not lend or check out material.

Copying and scanning material

  • Researchers are encouraged to bring a USB for storing digital files. 

  • All outstanding fees for photocopying and scanning must be paid before 4:00PM. Please refer to our Fees Schedule for pricing.

  • The Archives operates on a cash only basis.

  • Digitization and scan requests will be completed by staff as time permits. Scans not completed during an appointment will be sent to researchers at a later date, either via email or made available through OneDrive. Please note that Staff cannot work to deadline.

  • Researchers seeking scans of graphic material will be required to sign our Agreement for Use.

  • Researchers are permitted to take photos of collections material, provided their camera's flash is turned off. 

  • Please review the our Copyright Notice​.

Handling Archival Records

  • No pens or inks permitted. All notes are to be taken with a pencil.

  • ​Ensure that your hands are clean and dry before handling paper records.

  • Cotton or nitrile gloves must be worn when handling photographic and film material.

  • Records will be handed out to researchers one envelope or item at a time.

  • Documents are to be kept in the order in which you receive them.

  • Do not lean on or otherwise apply pressure to archival records.

  • All records are to be kept flat on the table.​

  • Personal copiers and scanners are prohibited. Scanning and copying services are available. Please refer to our Fees Schedule​ for pricing.

  • Digital cameras may be used with prior permission if the flash is disabled and the camera is silent. If you are photographing graphic material, you will be required to include an Agreement for Use.

  • Note: Original records will not be pulled if microfilm or digital copies are available.

Thank you, and we hope you enjoy a productive day with us!

For any questions, please contact the Archives at archives@simcoe.ca  or 705-726-9331.​