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OISE's Ontario Historical Education Collections (OHEC)

Ontario Textbook Collection (OTC) 1846 - 1970

The Ontario Textbook Collection (OTC) includes elementary and secondary school textbooks authorized for use in Ontario schools from 1846 to 1970, as well as some materials used in nineteenth-century schools which were not authorized by the Ontario Department of Education. Beginning in 1887, authorized and approved textbooks were listed on the annual department publication, Circular 14. Textbooks were often approved for more than one grade level or subject.

The OTC includes textbooks for subjects ranging from math and science to languages, arts, history and geography, health, home economics, and agriculture. The collection also includes several sets of Ontario readers. Catalogue records note the subject and grades for which each textbook was approved. If available, accompanying materials such as teacher’s editions and student workbooks are included in the collection and are listed in the same catalogue record. 

Locating Books in the Ontario Textbook Collection

Find specific titles in this collection by searching the library catalogueAdvanced Search

  • Using the Advanced Search option, click “Catalogue” and select "OISE/UT Library" from the Search Scope drop-down menu.
  • Enter a subject keyword (e.g., biology) or a grade level keyword (e.g., primary) along with the word “authorized.”
  • On the results page, use the Location filter on the left side menu to limit results to "OISE/UT Library Ontario Historical Education collection.
  • See the “General Notes” field in a catalogue record for information about when the textbook was authorized. 

Alternatively, search the Ontario Textbook Collection Catalogue, 1846-1970, available in print in the OHEC.