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OISE's Ontario Historical Education Collections (OHEC)

Circular 14: Approved Textbook List

Circular 14, a publication produced by the Ontario government and provided to school boards from 1887-1996, listed the textbooks that had been reviewed and authorized for use in K-12 classrooms. 


Circular 14 also documented governmental policy concerning the process for the provision and selection of textbooks. With the exception of its early years, the circular was published annually in January. From the years 1952 to 1991, two supplements (Circular 14A, released in the spring, and Circular 14B, released in the fall) were issued with updated listings. Circular 14 from 1971 and later include an index of textbooks at the back, with page numbers indicating the levels and subjects for which the books were approved. Issues from 1979 and later also include a list of items deleted from the previous year. 


The OISE library’s collection of Circular 14 has been digitally preserved and is available to all users online through the Internet Archive. Many of the texts listed in Circular 14 are held in the Ontario Textbook Collection, also at OISE Library. More information about Ontario's current authorized textbooks, the Trillium list, can be found on the Ministry of Education website

Access Circular 14 from 1887 - 1996 online at the Internet Archive, or in print at the OISE Library

Tips for doing a text search of C14 online at the Internet Archive

The internet archive has made it possible to do full text searches of the items in its repository. A full text search is a fast and easy way to see if a textbook title, author, publishing company or any other key word appears in a particular volume.

1) Starting from the internet archive's C14 digital collection page, press the image or title of the volume you would like to search within.

2) Press the magnifying glass search icon midway down the screen

3) Type your keywords into the "Search Inside" box at the top right corner.

4) Press "Go," and arrows will appear along the bottom of the screen showing you which pages contain your key terms. Click the arrows to go to that page.

Note that the books are always listed at least twice - once in the schedules it was approved for (which correspond to grade levels), and then once in the index. Some books are listed under multiple schedules (or grade levels).