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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. 

A list of Archival & Special Collections Resources
TitleDescriptionDates
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 CollectionReel to reel tapes and transcripts of oral histories recorded and collected by Allan Anderson. 1940-1993
Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing CompanyCatalogues, 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. LimitedCatalogues, repair parts lists, advertising brochures for Beatty Bros. Limited.1916-1977
Blanshard and Nissouri Cheese and Butter Company fondsCompany 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 CollectionMaterials 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' FederationMaterial and documents belonging to the Canadian Farm Writers' Federation. 1955-
Canadian Society of Agricultural EngineersRecords 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, Ontario1956-1980
Dairymen’s Association of Western Ontario Collection Publications of the Canadian Dairyman's Association.ca. 1890-1932
Daniel E. Stauffer CollectionCorrespondence, 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 LimitedHistory, 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 CollectionMaterials 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-
Entomological Society of Ontario Collection Records of the Entomological Society of Ontario1863-
Everett Biggs CollectionHistory of milk marketing in Ontario research materials.1930-1990
Fiat (firm) Catalogues, parts manuals for tractors, and repair manuals.1959-1980
Ford Motor CompanyCatalogues, parts-operating manuals for tractors, backhoes and farm equipment for the Ford Motor Company.1947-1980
Frost & Wood Collection Material, documents and photographs belonging to Frost & Wood Co., Ltd., Smiths Falls, Ontario.1858-1965
Gehl Bros. Manufacturing Company Parts catalogues, Peerless machinery catalogues, advertisements.ca 1927-1964
George S. Atkins fondsPersonal records, correspondence, newsletters, articles, newspaper clippings relating to career of George S. Atkins.1868-1993
George White & Sons Catalogues, operating manuals, parts lists, correspondence for the George White and Sons Company Limited, London, Ontario. 1847-1995
Goold, Shapley and Muir Co.Catalogues of windmills, pumps, bee-keepers’ supplies, advertisements for the Goold, Shapely and Muir Co., in Brantford, Ontario.1897-1985
Hamilton and Wentworth Milk Producers' Association fondsMinutes of annual, executive and directors meetings, financial accounts and expenses, lists of dairies, charter and by-laws, and member lists.1903-1967
Harold S. Turner Collection Farm press periodicals, newspapers, books, pamphlets, notes on history of agricultural machinery, steam show publications.1840-1974
Harry Ferguson Limited Materials related to Harry Ferguson Limited.1917-1983
Helen C. Abell CollectionMaterials related to the career of Helen C. Abell, rural sociologist.1938-1985
Herrgott-Lobsinger fondsCider mill account books, sales ledgers, deeds, foundry operations, payroll records, and photographs1877-1970
Huron County Oral History Project Collection Collection of tape recorded interviews discussing rural life in Huron County1980-1981, 1991
International Harvester CollectionMaterials related to the International Harvester Company.1880-1986
J. Fleury’s & Sons (Aurora, Ontario), Fleury-Bissell Limited (Elora, Ontario)Collection of material related to J. Fleury's & Sons (Aurora, Ontario) and Fleury-Bissell Limited (Elora, Ontario)1886-1992
J. Fleury’s & Sons, Fleury-Bissell LimitedCollection of material related to J. Fleury's & Sons (Aurora, Ontario) and Fleury-Bissell Limited (Elora, Ontario).1886-1992
J. I. Case Company Catalogs, parts manuals etc. for J. I. Case Company.1900-1985
J. M. Bain CollectionMaterials related to life and career of J. M. Bain.1893-1982
John Deere Company Collection of catalogues, prices lists, and operators manuals. 1908-1988
John T. Schmidt fonds Various newspaper, rural newsletters, and farm magazine articles written by farm writer John T. Schmidt.1948-2005
John Watson Mfg. Co. Catalogues of farm implements, price lists, company history, and newspaper articles for John Watson Mfg. Co., Ayr, Ontario. 1865-1980
Kenneth McDonald & Sons Limited fonds Bi-annual catalogues, administrative & financial records, minutes, photographs etc. for the Kenneth McDonald & Sons Limited. 1901-1967
Ladell Archives Collection Notes, tape recordings, research material, photographs relating to interviews for "Inheritance : Ontario's Century Farms Past and Present".1977-1984
Leonard Harman/United Co-Operatives of Ontario Collection Collection of minute books, correspondence and clippings from the United Co-Operatives of Ontario. ca 1910-2004
Louden Machinery Co. of CanadaCatalogues for Louden Barns, price lists for repairs, newspaper clipping relating to Louden Machinery Co. of Canada.1903-1992
MacDonald Thresher Co. Threshing machine catalogues, company history, legal papers, maps for MacDonald Thresher Co., Stratford, Ontario.1878-1995
Massey-Harris-Ferguson Collection Materials related to Massey-Harris-Ferguson and related companies.1806-1986
Miller-Davidson Family Collection Collection of letters and scrapbooks relating to Miller and Davidson families. 1867-1945
Minneapolis-Moline Company Operator’s manuals, advertisements, repair catalogues for Moline tractors, balers, combines for Minneapolis-Moline Company. 1904-1982
Nach der Arbeit Collection of coloured fruit prints, by Nach der Arbeit.1938-1946
New Holland Machine Company Owner’s manuals, part lists & catalogues, service manuals, advertisements etc. for the New Holland Machine Company. 1946-1970
Noxon Brothers Manufacturing Co. Catalogues, price lists, advertisements, minutes, photographs. 1881-1981
Nursery and Seed Catalogue Collection Nursery & seed catalogues mostly from Ontario, with some from Quebec, United States & United Kingdom.1827-1968
Oliver Corporation Operator’s manuals for farming equipment, part catalogues, shop manuals for Oliver Corporation. 1912-1984
Ontario Dairy Industry Records Photographs, dairying information, minute books, speeches, papers, and reports.1888-1993
Ontario Fairs Prize Lists and Program Collection Prize lists, programs, seed fairs, school fairs, plowing matches, photographs, for Ontario Fall Fairs.1891-1983
Ontario Farm Movements Collection Collection of correspondence, clippings and interview transcripts relating to Ontario rural organizations from the 1920s to 1940s. 1924-1987
Ontario Farm Women's Network Collection Correspondence, constitution, financial information, minutes, reports, photographs, videos for the Ontario Farm Women’s Network.1988-2002
Ontario Institute of Agrologists Papers of the Ontario Institute of Agrologists, Division of Agricultural Institute of Canada. 1937-1987
Ontario Red Triangle Baby Beef Association fonds Correspondence, financial statements, photographs, and minutes, relating to the Ontario Red Triangle Baby Beef Association.1949-1976, 1982
Ontario Stock Yards fonds Photographs, minutes, stock certificates, articles, accounts and other materials, relating to the Ontario Stock Yards.1900-1991
Ontario Sugar Beet Growers' Marketing Board CollectionMinutes, constitution & by-laws, photographs, financial, correspondence and other materials related to the Ontario Sugar Beet Growers` Marketing Board.1942-1973
Otaco Limited Catalogues, parts manuals, operating manuals, advertisements for Otaco Limited. 1946-1961
R. A. Lister & Co.Catalogues, operational manuals, advertisements for cream separators, oil burners for cooking, pumps for R. A. Lister & Co.1901-1931
R. Alex Sim Collection Papers belonging to R. Alex Sim. 1931-1999
R. W. Carbert Collection Research material & reports, newspaper articles, photographs, correspondence on milk production & old buildings.1935-1989
R. Wilcox collection Massey-Harris repair parts cataloguesMassey-Harris repair parts catalogues.1950-1960
R.E. Goodin papersCorrespondence, newspaper articles, meeting minutes, financial statements, relating to R.E. Goodin, the Ontario Turnip Council and the Ontario Rutabaga Council.1943-1983
Ralph S. Staples Papers Personal papers of Ralph S. Staples related to co-operatives.1932-1988
Rural Learning Association Organizational archives.1943-2007
Sallows CollectionPhotographs of Reuben Sallows.ca 1836-1986
Sawyer-Massey Co. Correspondence, financial accounts, photographs, advertisements, catalogues & bulletins, company history and other materials from the Sawyer-Massey Company.1835-1987
Scott General Store fonds Thresher's books, receipts, cash books, accounts, correspondence and other materials.1891-1973
Stephen Sylvester Main Collection Collection of glass negatives taken by Stephen Sylvester Main, Sheffeld, Ontario.ca 1886-1929
Sylvester Bros. Mfg. Co. Catalogues of agricultural implements, photographs, newspaper clippings relating to Sylvester Bros. Mfg. Co., Lindsay, Ontario.1881-1989
Templin Manufacturing Co. Templin Manufacturing Company, Fergus, Ontario manufactured carriages and farm equipment.1902-1983
Toronto Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association Financial accounts and minutes of the Toronto Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association.1940-1978
Tweed Steel Works Ltd. Catalogues, newspaper articles, advertisements, photocopied photographs relating to Tweed Steel Works Ltd., Tweed, Ontario.1909-1936
Vineland Growers' Co-Operative Limited fondsMaterials related to Vineland Growers' Co-Operative Ltd.1913-1988
Waterloo Manufacturing Co. Catalogues, price lists, annual reports, biographies, sales records for the Waterloo Manufacturing Co., Waterloo, Ontario. 1865-1984
Waterous Engine Works Co. Photographs of Waterous Engine Works Co. engines and equipment, Brantford, Ontario.1877-1900
Watford Stock Yards Account books for the Watford Stock Yards.1937-1952
White Farm Equipment Co. Catalogues, correspondence, advertisements, operator’s manuals, parts lists, blueprints for the White Farm Equipment Company. 1966-1989
Wilfred L. Bishop Collection Personal records relating to his education and family farm, addresses on Co-operative Farm Marketing, Agricultural Associations in Ontario.ca. 1925-1977
Woodlands Orchards Ltd. Collection Financial ledgers, farm journals, correspondence, minutes, plans, resolutions, by-laws & agreements for Woodlands Orchards Ltd.1921-1983
Journals of James BowmanCollection of handwritten journals of James Bowman.October 31, 1866 - January, 1944
Miller-Davidson Family CollectionLetters, books, scrapbooks and other records relating chiefly to the shorthorn cattle business between Amos Cruikshank of Sittyton Grove, Aberdeenshire and the Miller and Davidson families of Ontario.1867-1945
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