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
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 Canada Catalogues 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
Miller-Davidson Family Collection Letters, 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
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 Collection Minutes, 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