Ministry of Agriculture and Food motion picture films Help

Ontario Government Record Series RG 16-35

Ministry of Agriculture and Food motion picture films

About these records

Ministry of Agriculture and Food motion picture films
Dates of Creation
[1928?]-1988, 1992-1993
Physical Description

85,367 metres of motion picture film (114 hours)

4 audio reels (41 min.)

30 videocassettes

2 data tapes

12 centimetres of textual records

Scope and Content

Series consists of motion picture films created by the Department of Public Relations of the Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph and the Information (later Communications) Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. This series is a record of the Ministry's film production and distribution service, from its formal establishment in 1944 to the last major production in 1988, a trilogy celebrating the Ministry's centennial.

Films were created and distributed by the Ontario Agricultural College as a medium for educating and informing farmers and rural audiences about current agricultural research and trends, improved farming methods and practices, farm safety practices, and events at the College such as Farm and Home Week or the annual open house, the College Royal. Reflecting the home economics program of its sister institution, the Macdonald Institute, the College also produced films on sewing, cooking, and events at the Institute which were geared towards a female audience. The films also promoted agricultural organizations such as the Junior Farmers, 4-H clubs, and careers in agriculture.

From the 1940s until the early 1960s, the College's Department of Public Relations produced films both for its own purposes, such as college promotion and audio-visual aids in the classroom, and as information material for the Department of Agriculture as a whole. The films produced from the late 1960s onwards remained oriented towards a farm and rural audience, but there was also a decided shift to representing the province's agricultural sector to the general, urban, non-farming population.

As early as the early 1940s, the Ontario Agricultural College had offered courses to its students in radio broadcasting with a practical component of program production. By the late 1950s the College and the Department as a whole were distributing short films to stations for television broadcast. The Ministry continued television and radio service into the 1990s. There are some examples of the television shorts in this series. In addition to the films tailored for local television distribution, the other type of films produced were educational and promotional films, usually 15 to 30 minutes in duration. These were films with formal titles and credit as opposed to the television short films less than 10 minutes in length, which have no formal title or credits.

Series comprises the original film elements (original rolls, negatives, workprints, A&B rolls, optical and magnetic soundtracks), some sound recordings on audiotape, and answer and release prints. As much as possible, films have been arranged in chronological order which more or less coincides with the original production number. Within the production, release prints, where they exist, are listed first followed by any extant elements.

Series contains Lockwood Films elements (Lockwood Films was hired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to make educational films) from the 1980s that made up the two films "Farm Animals" and "Fruits and Vegetables". These include 16mm film positives and negatives, magnetic soundtracks, data tapes, textual records, and punch tape. The films were produced by Lockwood Films, London, Canada for Ministry of Agriculture and Food Ontario and the Ontario Bicentennial Commission.

Series also includes two files of film location lists (formerly stored in binders) dated ca. 1953 to 1969 that came from the Ontario Department of Agriculture / Ontario Agricultural College Information Branch.

Restrictions on Access
There are no restrictions on access to these records. Researchers must use video copies and reference prints where these are available in place of access to original film elements.
Terms For Use and Reproduction
Copyright is primarily held by the Crown. Series also contains material owned by various other copyright owners. To find out more about the copyright status of the particular material you wish to use, consult a Reference Archivist through the Reference Desk.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Original film elements and some prints were acquired by the Archives of Ontario through a scheduled transfer from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in 1981. In addition, a large number of prints were transferred from the Ministry's film library to the Ontario Agricultural Museum at some point after the Museum opened in 1975. The Archives acquired these film prints from the Museum as well as the remaining film elements from the Ministry's Communications Branch in 1999.
Associated Material

The release prints for "Farm Animals" and "Fruits and Vegetables" are located at Western Libraries.

Related Material

Some films were also acquired from outside sources by the same agencies, see Series RG 16-306.

See Series RG 16-298 for radio material by the same creators.

Availability of Other Formats

Some of the films have been transferred to DVD, video or digital files that will be made available upon request.

Box 50 contains videocassettes that were transferred from an unknown branch.

Former Codes

AV 106

Finding Aid
A list of the films in this series is available. The list provides reference code, original production or creator number if known, title, date of creation, physical description, a brief description of the film contents (not for all titles), and a note on the availability of film or video reference copies for screening.

View an online list of these records.

Agency or agencies that created these records

These records were created by the following Ontario government agency or agencies. Click on the agency reference code for information about this agency and other records it created.

1928-1962 :

Ontario Agricultural College (BA575) Department of Public Relations (CA1544)

1958-1966 :

Department of Agriculture (AA59) Information Branch (CA1027)

1966-1972 :

Department of Agriculture and Food (AA60) Information Branch (CA1027)

1972-1982 :

Ministry of Agriculture and Food (AA68) Information Branch (CA1028)

1982-1993 :

Ministry of Agriculture and Food (AA68) Communications Branch (CA1029)

How to order these records

From our Reading Rooms

Consult the film list to narrow your search down to particular titles of prints, and the reference code for the title. Depending on the availability of film or reference copies, the reference copy may be viewed in reading room or a copy may be made for viewing.

Scroll up to "Finding Aid" for more information about any available finding aids or listings.

By Microfilm Interloan
This material is not available through Interloan.