Ottawa Resources

This page lists literature and resources on the history of music, musicians, and cinemas in Ottawa during the silent film era. Please refer to the footnotes in the exhibits for resources related to specific musicians or cinemas.

Silent Film Music History

Marshall, Elsa. “Silent Film Music Research as Local Musicology: A Case Study of Musical Practices and Networks in Ottawa Theatres from 1897 to 1929.” Master’s thesis. University of Ottawa, 2017.


Begg, Debra Ann. “A History of Orchestras in Ottawa From 1894 to 1960.” Master’s thesis. Carleton University, 1981.

Southworth, Jean. “Music in Ottawa.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada.

“History of the RCCO Ottawa Centre.” The Royal Canadian College of Organists. Accessed June 7, 2017.


Early Cinema Filmography of Ontario

Miguelez, Alain. A Theatre Near You: 150 Years of Going to the Show in Ottawa-Gatineau. Manotick: Penumbra Press, 2004.

Russell, Hillary. “All that Glitters: A Memorial to Ottawa’s Capitol Theatre and its Predecessors.” Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History No. 13. Parks Canada.

Tepperman, Charles. "'Stolen From the Realm of Night': Modernity, Visual Culture and the REception of Cinema in Ottawa." Canadian Journal of Film Studies 18 no. 2 (Fall 2009):2-25.

Tepperman, Charles. “The Perfect Order of a Canadian Crowd: Cinema in Ottawa, 1894-1896.” Master’s thesis. Carleton University, 2000.

Guides to Ottawa Research

The following websites include guides to digitized and physical resources specific to the city. They are also available in French.

"Genealogy." Ottawa Public Library.

"Research guide: daily newspapers."Ottawa Public Library.

Ottawa Museums & Archives Collections. Ottawa.

The Ottawa Room at the Main branch of the Ottawa Public Library has a large collection of primary and secondary resources pertaining to the city. More information here.


Heritage Ottawa

Workers' History Museum

Online Local History Resources

The following websites include posts on Ottawa heritage. They sometimes provide information on and photos of Ottawa cinemas and musicians.

Lost Ottawa 

Margins of History

Ottawa HH

Ottawa Past & Present



Compiled by Elsa Marshall, December 2017