First and Second World Wars

Learn about the people and events of the two world wars on this page created to commemorate the centenary of First World War and the 70th anniversary of the Second World War.

See also: History and Current Events

Library Databases

Ancestry Library Edition (In-Library Only)

Your first stop for all your genealogy searches. This is a made-for-libraries version of the popular Ancestry.com database.

World War I Reference Library

Articles, biographies, diaries, speeches and more from the First World War. A great place to start for World War I school assignments.

World War II Reference Library

Articles, biographies, diaries, speeches and more from the Second World War. A great place to start for World War II school assignments.

On the Shelf

Research to Remember

Research packages that contain a brief history on a soldier, questions to guide your reading, and copies of real papers, documents and photos from local soldier's service records.

World War, 1914-1918

Browse these books, ebooks, CDs and DVDs about The Great War. Includes both fiction and nonfiction.

World War, 1939-1945

Explore these books, ebooks, CDs and DVDs about World War II. Includes both fiction and nonfiction.

On the Web

BBC History – World War II

The causes, events and people of World War II.

Book of Remembrance/Canadian Virtual Memorial

The seven Books of Remembrance commemorate the lives of more than 118,000 Canadians who have died while serving their country in uniform. 

Canadian Great War Project

An ongoing work-in-progress, this website provides a database of Canadian soldiers who served in World War I, as well as timelines, articles, statistics, war diaries and letters from the front.

Canadian War Museum – Canada and the Second World War

Explores aspects of the World War II as they pertain to Canada, including various battles and campaigns and the home front.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission honours the 1,700,000 men and women of the forces of the Commonwealth who died serving in both world wars. This organization cares for cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations in 154 countries.  

Library and Archives Canada – Military Heritage

Library and Archives Canada has extensive records relating World War I and World War II, many of which are featured in databases, research guides and virtual exhibitions. The records include muster rolls, military service files, unit war diaries, medal registers, photographic collections, documentary art and posters, as well as published sources.

World War I Document Archive

Archive of international primary documents (treaties, diaries, images, etc.) from World War I.