Agricultural History & Rural Heritage

The Agricultural History and Rural Heritage collections are a rich resource demonstrating the library's strong commitment to agricultural and rural life and reflecting the history and roots of the university. The beginning of our agricultural history collection dates to the founding of the Ontario Agriculture College in 1874.

This section contains:

  • Farm business papers
  • Equipment and sales brochures
  • Manuscripts
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Books

Particularly notable are our extensive Apiculture Collection, containing the Burton Noble Gates Collection, and the Rural Heritage Collection that features the Massey-Harris-Ferguson and International Harvestor records. These materials document the history of agricultural collectives in Ontario, information crucial to understanding changes in rural farming and communities in Ontario. A comprehensive collection of rural and agricultural periodicals is also available.

The collections are diverse, and range from items of national significance to small, personal collections. Rare items are included and date to the 16th century with strengths in the practice of agriculture, crops, and agriculture technology.

Material relating to agriculture can also be found in portions of the Regional and Campus Collections that contain data on past graduates and their subsequent agricultural careers. As well, the Scottish History Collections contain diaries and correspondence that may be of particular relevance.

Overall, the library's commitment to Agricultural History and Rural Heritage is significant, a choice unsurprising considering the roots of the university. 

Agricultural and Rural Heritage Collections

A list of Archival & Special Collections Resources
Title Description Dates
Advance-Rumley Thresher Co. Catalogues, advertisements, magazines, operator’s manuals for Advance-Rumley Thresher Co. 1912-1981
Albert A. Thornbrough fonds Reports, correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper and magazine clippings, planning materials, speeches, memoranda, and appointment books. 1945-2004
Allan Anderson Collection Reel to reel tapes and transcripts of oral histories recorded and collected by Allan Anderson. 1940-1993
Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company Catalogues, operating manuals, parts lists for tractors & plows. 1923-1980
Barlow/Sullivan Collection Pictorial materials of trotters, roadsters and other show horses. ca.1875-1963
Beatty Bros. Limited Catalogues, repair parts lists, advertising brochures for Beatty Bros. Limited. 1916-1977
Blanshard and Nissouri Cheese and Butter Company fonds Company records, charter & by-laws, minute books, receipts, financial accounts etc. relating to the Blanshard and Nissouri Cheese and Butter Company. 1880-1991
Burton Noble Gates Collection Materials related to the study of apiculture. Pre-1930
Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association Applications for recognition in the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. 1961-
Canadian Farm Writers' Federation Material and documents belonging to the Canadian Farm Writers' Federation. 1955-
Canadian Society of Agricultural Engineers Records relating to the Canadian Society of Agricultural Engineers. 1906-1985
Cheese-making and Cheese Factories Photographs of cheese-making and cheese factories. ca 1800-1977
Co-Operative Union of Ontario Collection By-laws, correspondence, minutes from meetings, financial records from the Co-operative Union of Ontario and individual Co-operative members of the Union. 1920-1982
Cockshutt Farm Machinery Operator's manuals, parts catalogues, company histories, annual reports, minutes, financial statements, photographs. 1887-1995
Conn Smythe Collection Equine breeding and training records of Conn Smythe Horse Racing Stables, Caledon, Ontario 1956-1980
Dairymen’s Association of Western Ontario Collection Publications of the Canadian Dairyman's Association. ca. 1890-1932
Daniel E. Stauffer Collection Correspondence, books, reports and other materials relating to the life of Daniel E. Stauffer. 1928-1987
David Maxwell & Sons Catalogues of farm implements, washing machines, lawn mowers, butter churns, price listings, advertisement, history for the David Maxwell & Sons, St. Mary’s, Ontario. 1875-1978
De Laval Company Catalogues of milk equipment, dairy handbooks, and advertisements for the De Laval Company. 1900-1951
Delhi Foundry and Farm Machinery Limited History, correspondence, catalogues, parts lists, photos, slides, memorabilia, financial records relating to Delhi Foundry and Farm Machinery, Delhi Ontario. 1942-2003
Developing Countries Farm Radio Network Records of the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network. 1982-2004
Dominion Seed House fonds Correspondence, photographs, financial ledgers, and seed germination log books, for the Dominion Seed House. 1922-1992
Donald Beckett Collection Materials collected by or related to career of Don Beckett at the Kemptville School of Agriculture and Agriculture Canada. 1890-1991
Donald McQueen Shaver Collection Business and personal files related to poultry breeding. 1910-2006
Eastern Canadian Farm Writers' Association Materials and documents relating to the Eastern Canadian Farm Writers' Association. 1955-