Regional & Early Campus History

Regional history has been an important collecting area for the library for many years. The founding of the Ontario Agricultural College in 1874 links the college with one of Guelph's leading citizens, F.W. Stone, whose property provided the original site and building for OAC. The regional archival resources began in earnest after 1969 with the acquisition of the Hoodless Family Papers and other locally based families and community groups -- especially Scottish -- that had established a relationship with the University or complemented its areas of teaching and research.

Some collections are of provincial and national interest such as:

The regional collection also includes some documents from the era of the War of 1812.

This section also holds a variety of regional family, cultural, and business papers, such as:

It provides perspectives on the history of the region that are diverse, ranging from items of national significance to small, personal collections.

Early campus history

These collections are of academic, historic interest and highlight the relationship between "town-and-gown." For many years, after the Massey Library opened in 1903, the library has collected information about the founding colleges prior to the formation of the University in 1964: OAC, OVC, the Macdonald Institute, and the Federated colleges. Although the library houses a significant collection of archival and printed materials relating to the history of the campus, there is no official institutional university archive for the subsequent period after 1964.

Campus collections contain information on many Guelph graduates and their activities in student groups.


The Alumni-In-Action Oral Histories Collection contains audio recordings of interviews with past Guelph Alumni.

  • Ontario Agriculture College (OAC) records date from 1874 and cover many alumni and student groups.
  • Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) records date from 1862 and include the history of veterinary science as it was practised in Ontario.
  • Macdonald Institute records begin in 1903 and are closely related to the records of Adelaide Hoodless.

The OAC, OVC, and Macdonald Institute records do not extend beyond the late-1960s.


Regional and Early Campus History Collections

A list of Archival & Special Collections Resources
Title Description Dates
Adelaide Hoodless Family Papers Collection of correspondence, addresses, booklets, newspaper clippings, photographs and family scrapbook relating to Adelaide Hoodless. 1890-1972
Alexander MacGregor Papers Ship seating plans, certificates, insurance company information, receipts, marriage licenses, day journal belonging to Alexander MacGregor Galt. 1859-1907
Allan-Higinbotham Papers Collection of journals, scrapbooks, accounts, mortgages, legal documents, correspondence of David Allan, and Nathaniel Higinbotham families of Guelph. 1834-1955
Anderson Family Papers Letters to Thomas Anderson, settler near Guelph, from family and friends in Kennoway and Edinburgh and later from Paisley Block to Toronto. 1833-1870
Brink-Whitelaw Collection Collection of family material, correspondence, genealogy, memorabilia and photographs relating to Whitelaw, Brink, Cuthbert, Johnston and Gunn families of Woodstock, includes the Whitelaw Machinery Co 1828-2007
Burton Noble Gates Collection Materials related to the study of apiculture. Pre-1930
Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Ontario Minutes, newspaper clippings, copies of articles for the Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Ontario, kept by Roberta Gilbank. 1904-1968
Canada Company Papers Collection of charters, photographs, correspondence, minutes, legal papers relating to the Canada Company, founded by John Galt. 1827-1857, 1926
Clarke E. Leverette Collection Collection of stereographic cards that depict a wide variety of subjects, including views of the University of Guelph, portraits, and travel views from across the globe, including Scotland. 1873-1980
Conn Smythe Collection Equine breeding and training records of Conn Smythe Horse Racing Stables, Caledon, Ontario 1956-1980
Connon Collection Collection of photographs, glass slides, negatives, papers and correspondence of Thomas and John R. Connon, Elora, Ontario. 1850-1920
Davidson-Kennedy Collection Scrapbook and photograph album belonging to the Davidson and Kennedy families of Sunnyside (16 Arthur Street), Guelph. 1864-1890
Developing Countries Farm Radio Network Records of the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network. 1982-2004
Edna Staebler Collection Published works and manuscripts belonging to Mennonite cook Edna Staebler. 1900-1996
Edward Johnson Collection Collection of correspondence, photographs both operatic roles and family photographs, broadsides, theatre programs, speeches, postcards, diaries, slides, postcards, certificates, artifacts, etc. 1887-1959
Entomological Society of Ontario Collection Records of the Entomological Society of Ontario 1863-
F. W. Stone Family Collection Collection of F. W. Stone Family material, property photographs, articles on herefords, livestock, and articles on Morton Lodge (Johnston Hall). 1852-1960
Fasken Family Collection Family papers including correspondence, legal documents, business and genealogical records of William Fasken and Margaret Mitchell. 1784-1887
Federated Women's Institute Ontario Collection Records of the Federated Women’s Institutes. 1901-1994
Fiorenza Johnson Drew Collection Materials related to career and life of George Drew. 1872-1969
Goble Family This is a collection of materials relating to the Goble family of Woodstock, ON from 1777-1950. 1777-1950
Goodal-Moyer-Comfort Family Collection Memoirs of the Moyer and Comfort families, Mennonite immigrants from Pennsylvania to Niagara Peninsula, Saskatoon and Puslinch Township. 1880-1986
Goodwin-Haines Collection A diverse collection of Canadiana including material relating to Niagara region, assembled by a private collector. 1774-1930
Gordon Couling Collection Collection of materials relating to Guelph painter, stained glass artist and local art historian, Gordon Couling. 1920-1983
Guelph Centre for the Performing Arts Architectural proposals, newspaper clippings, season brochures for the renamed River Run Centre, Guelph. 1989-