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Prairie History

    Why am I not able to borrow books from the Prairie History Room and take them home with me?

    The Prairie History Room has a specialized collection of resources that do not circulate. Due to the fragile condition and rarity of many of the items, they could not be easily replaced if they are damaged or are not returned to the Library. To preserve these materials and provide access to them, we must maintain a strict non-circulation policy. Of course, customers are more than welcome to make photocopies of the materials when our locations are open.

    Is the Prairie History Collection catalogued and available online?

    Yes. The Library's entire print and microfilm collections are available for searching within the Regina Public Library's online catalogue which can be searched at the top of the page. The only exception are topographical and thematic maps, which can be accessed via the in-house finding aid.

    What if I am not a resident of Regina? May I request these items through interlibrary loan or through the province-wide loan system?

    Prairie History Room books are occasionally lent to borrowing libraries outside of the Regina area on a case-by-case basis, but for in-library use only. The Prairie History Room Librarian reserves the right to decide on whether or not the book may be borrowed by libraries outside of Regina.

    Frequently used reference materials such as city directories, microfilmed census records and local Saskatchewan history books will not be lent under any circumstances. Similarly, rare or more fragile items, such as small-size pamphlets or materials with soft-covers, will also not be lent. In some cases, staff will photocopy the item and send the copies to the requesting library instead of sending the original.

    Will the Prairie History Room staff photocopy information from books or newspapers (especially obituary or death notices) and then email, fax or mail the articles to me?

    No. Due to workload and time commitment, Prairie History Room staff members are unable to photocopy the materials for clients. If you live in Regina, we encourage you to visit the Prairie History Room when our location is open to photocopy the items or to print the articles from the microform reader yourself. If you are a Regina resident and have an active library card, you can access the full print run of the Regina Leader-Post and its predecessor publications from home through ProQuest Newspapers.

    If you are not a resident of Regina, you may contact your local public library to request photocopies of death notices published in the newspaper or articles from a book. In some cases, you might be required to pay for the photocopying and/or the postage costs for interlibrary loans. The staff at your local public library will be better able to explain how these charges work as well as the status of your request.

    Do you have back copies of the Leader-Post newspaper? What about back copies of other local community papers such as the Community Sun or the Saskatoon StarPhoenix?`

    The Prairie History Room has the complete run of the Leader-Post newspaper, as well as its predecessor, The Morning Leader, from 1883 onwards on microfilm reels. We also provide electronic access to the Leader-Post and its predecessor publications through ProQuest newspapers

    Back issues of the Community Sun and the Western Producer newspapers (up to 2000) are available on microfilm, but we do not carry the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. Please check our list of available newspaper resources for more information.

    For all other local papers in Saskatchewan, please contact the Saskatchewan Archives Board to gain access to the microfilm and how to obtain photocopies.

    I wish to purchase a book that was published about my small town/village in Saskatchewan but I cannot find a copy anywhere. Would you be willing to sell me your copy from the Prairie History Collection?

    No. Most communities only published a small number of their local history books. To purchase your own copy, try contacting the municipality's city hall, local museum or historical society to inquire about the availability of additional copies. Another possible source is to check with used bookstores in the area or with Internet booksellers.

    I just finished cleaning out my attic/basement/garage and I found a box of really old books that are in good condition. May I donate them to the Prairie History Room?

    Thinking of donating to the library? Why not consider a monetary donation, or a donation of your time as a volunteer?

    If you’re considering donating materials (books, DVDs, etc.) to the library, here are some guidelines to help you with the process.

    • Materials must be:
      • new – published in the last three years;
      • not already available from the library;
      • in good condition:
      • free of mildew, mould, dirt or water damage; and
      • free from excessive spine damage, missing pages, or missing covers.
      • Media sets must be complete and include the original case art.

    With this in mind, we accept:

    • books;
    • DVDs;
    • CDs;
    • video games;
    • graphic novels; and
    • musical instruments (gently used stringed instruments, keyboards, and light percussion)

    Ensure each item meets our donation requirements. When in doubt, give only what you would consider as good quality for your own use.

    RPL doesn't accept:

    • Old materials – older than three years
    • materials we deem to be in poor condition;
    • DVDs, BluRay, CDs or videogames without their original packaging;
    • encyclopedia sets;
    • magazines or condensed books; or
    • audio cassettes and VHS tapes

    Disposal of materials

    If you donate materials that are not added to the library's collection, we will dispose of them. Disposal methods include offering materials in a library book sale, donating the materials to a charity, or recycling them. Please do not use the library to get rid of unwanted items - handling and disposing of materials costs RPL money.

    The Library is not responsible for informing donors about the outcome of their donations. Nor do we assess the monetary value of, or issue tax receipts for, donated materials.

    Who might I contact to do more extensive genealogical or historical research for me in Regina?

    The Prairie History Room staff maintains a brief list of Certified Saskatchewan Record Searchers with considerable experience in using both our resources and other genealogical and historical institutions for various research projects. These individuals are willing to accept new clients, regardless of geographic location. Please contact us for a current list of local area researchers.

    To find researchers living outside of the Regina area, please contact the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society to inquire about their list of Certified Saskatchewan Record Searchers.

    I am told that the Prairie History Room had a collection of historic photographs of Regina. What happened to this collection?

    In the early 1990s, the Library made the difficult decision to donate their photographic collection to the Saskatchewan Archives Board. It was felt that Saskatchewan Archives Board would be better suited for the handling and long-term preservation of photographic materials than the Library. Since then, this collection has now been donated to the City of Regina Archives. Researchers can access these historical photographs by contacting the City of Regina Archives or view the city's Virtual Archives.

    Ask a Librarian Chat

    RPL's online chat service is only available during the Library's regular hours of service when staff are logged on and ready to help you. During these support hours you will be able to initiate a live chat with library support staff by selecting the purple LIVE CHAT graphic displayed in the bottom right section of your screen.

    RPL Support Hours

    Mon - Thurs: 9:30am - 9:00pm
    Fri - Sat: 10:00am - 6:00pm
    Sun: 1:00pm - 5:00pm


    If you have difficulty using online chat, or have a question when we are offline, please send an email to 

    or phone us at 306.777.6000
    (306.777.6111 for renewals).

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