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
Entomological Society of Ontario Collection Records of the Entomological Society of Ontario 1863-
Everett Biggs Collection History of milk marketing in Ontario research materials. 1930-1990
Fiat (firm) Catalogues, parts manuals for tractors, and repair manuals. 1959-1980
Ford Motor Company Catalogues, 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 fonds Personal 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 fonds Minutes 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 Collection Materials related to the career of Helen C. Abell, rural sociologist. 1938-1985
Herrgott-Lobsinger fonds Cider mill account books, sales ledgers, deeds, foundry operations, payroll records, and photographs 1877-1970
Huron County Oral History Project Collection Collection of tape recorded interviews discussing rural life in Huron County 1980-1981, 1991
International Harvester Collection Materials 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 Limited Collection 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 Collection Materials 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
Journals of James Bowman Collection of handwritten journals of James Bowman. October 31, 1866 - January, 1944
Kenneth McDonald & Sons Limited fonds Bi-annual catalogues, administrative & financial records, minutes, photographs etc. for the Kenneth McDonald & Sons Limited. 1901-1967