Department of Education incoming general correspondence Help

Ontario Government Record Series RG 2-12

Department of Education incoming general correspondence

About these records

Department of Education incoming general correspondence
Dates of Creation
Physical Description

93 metres of textual records

Scope and Content

Series consists of incoming correspondence received by the Department of Education and its predecessors. This correspondence was folded and wrapped into blue wrappers or dockets by the Department. The correspondence was generally written by teachers, trustees, local superintendents, municipal officials and, up to 1850, District Superintendents of Common Schools.

The correspondence deals with such matters as school financing, school section boundaries, text books and supplies, complaints, requests for the Journal of Education, and other issues pertaining to the education system. In the later years the subject matter of the correspondence tends to become more routine in nature.

The correspondence is arranged chronologically and from 1853 to 1884 each letter was assigned a registration number. Each year, the first letter received was assigned the number 1, and subsequent letters were given the next available number. Each letter was placed in a blue printed wrapper (docket), which listed the number of the letter, the name and address of the writer, date written, date received and the subject of the letter (e.g. Normal Schools).

Access to the letters was controlled by geographical indices (see Archives of Ontario Series RG 2-11). Unfortunately, the blue wrappers have been removed from most letters dated from 1853 to 1862. Therefore, the geographical indices are of little use in locating letters for those years.

For certain years, letters relating to specific topics were tied together in separate bundles; these have been returned to their proper numerical sequence in the general correspondence. However, there are still gaps in the numbering sequence; indeed, numerous other education records series from this time period contain some letters that were once part of this series.

Restrictions on Access
No restrictions on access.
Terms For Use and Reproduction
Copyright is primarily held by the Crown. There are no restrictions on reproduction. Permission of the Archives of Ontario is required for publication; submit a Request for Permission to Publish, Exhibit or Broadcast Form.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The records covering the period 1841 to 1862 were acquired by the Department of Public Records and Archives from the Department of Education in 1947. The records for the period 1863 to 1884 were acquired in 1955.
Related Material

Related records held by the Archives of Ontario include the following series: Department of Public Instruction registers of incoming general correspondence (Reference Code: RG 2-10), Department of Education geographical indices to incoming general correspondence (Reference Code: RG 2-11), and Department of Education outgoing general correspondence letter books (Reference Code: RG 2-8).

See also Department of Education incoming correspondence files regarding qualification of inspectors (Reference Code: RG 2-298) for letters removed from this series by Department of Education staff.

The incoming correspondence files included in this series were replaced by subsequent registry systems. For records covering the period from 1885 to 1912, see Department of Education select subject files (Reference Code: RG 2-42) and for records covering 1913 and 1968, see Department of Education central registry files (Reference Code: RG 2-43).

For related private records held by the Archives of Ontario see Miscellaneous collection (Reference Code: F 775), which contains correspondence to and from Egerton Ryerson that was of a political nature, but relating to education matters.


No further accruals are expected.

Former Codes

These records were formerly described as RG 2, Series C-6-C (1841-1876) and RG 2, Series D-3-C (1876-1884).

Finding Aid
Subject access to this series is very limited. A list of files pertaining to publishers is available as an online finding aid. Click here to view A selective list of files pertaining to separate schools for the years 1864-65, and 1869 (primarily half-yearly returns indicating names, ages and records of attendance of each student), is also available: Click here to view A third finding aid is an index prepared for incoming correspondence received in 1865 only, and can be found in "Analysis of Record Group 2, Ontario Archives, C 6 C, 1865, Archives, Educational Records Series 4," by Roy Reynolds, Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. A copy of this publication is available in the Archives of Ontario Reading Room. A complete box list for the entire series, with year and file ranges only, is available as an online list.

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.

1841-1846 :

Provincial Secretary's Office (BA65) Education Office (CA16)

1846-1850 :

General Board of Education for Canada West (BA98) Education Office (CA16)

1850-1876 :

Department of Public Instruction (BA95) Education Office (CA16)

1876-1884 :

Department of Education (AA3)

How to order these records

From our Reading Rooms

Using one or more of the finding aids mentioned above, the geographic indexes in series RG 2-11, or dates from related material in outgoing correspondence in series RG 2-8, narrow your search by date as much as possible. Then use the online box listing to order by reference code and barcode number(s).

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.