Research at the Thunder Bay Museum

Volunteer researching through old publications

The Thunder Bay Museum possesses a rich collection of resources to assist researchers in learning more about the history of the Lakehead and Northwestern Ontario.

Appointments are necessary to utilize our research facilities.

For requests from those who cannot visit our research room in person we will make reasonable efforts to assist with the research based on staff resources available at the time. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

Thanks to a grant from the Documentary Heritage Communities Program the Thunder Bay Museum is able to offer an online inventory of its library catalogue.

View Library Catalogue

Research Request Form

Please tell us about your research request so we can get back to you. Due to a high volume of requests, there may be delays in our response – your patience is appreciated.

Archival Photograph Shop

The Thunder Bay Museum is pleased to announce the launch of its online archival photograph sales platform. Online viewers can now browse our digital collection of rich historical photos depicting the vibrant history of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario, and purchase photos from the comfort of their desk.

 Please visit to see the photos. Please note that this does not yet represent the entirety of our digitized photograph collection. More will be added as staff resources allow – please stay tuned for further updates on uploads. For photos not yet on the web sales platform, please use the contact form above.

Purchase Photos

Most recent upload: October 25, 2023

We are grateful for the financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation in supporting this project.

Government of Ontario

The Dr. Thorold “Tory” Tronrud Research Library

The Thunder Bay Museum has a special, non-lending library of over 2,700 books about the city of Thunder Bay and its predecessor communities, as well as the region of Northwestern Ontario. This includes rare volumes that are unlikely to appear elsewhere and books that reference specific types of artifacts that exist among the Museum’s holdings.

Access to the library is open weekdays from 9am to 5pm, by appointment. Contact the Museum to arrange for access.

Library’s Dedication

Plaque for the Dr. Thorold "Tory" Tronrud Research Library

The Museum’s library was dedicated in Dr. Thorold “Tory” Tronrud’s name in January of 2021 in honour of his 36 years of dedicated service to the preservation of the history of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario with the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society.

Having started with the Thunder Bay Museum when it was still housed in the basement of the Brodie Library, Dr. Tronrud was responsible for the museum’s successful development from a small organization into a key institution in the City of Thunder Bay.

Much of his career he served as the organization’s curator and finally its executive director. It is right and fitting that the library be named after him for his years of editing and publishing historical texts and journals on behalf of the Society, for many shelves of the library contain printed works he reviewed every grapheme of.