Department of Education select subject files Help

Ontario Government Record Series RG 2-42

Department of Education select subject files

About these records

Department of Education select subject files
Dates of Creation
[18--]-1964, predominant 1885-1913
Dates of Accumulation


Physical Description

13.4 metres of textual records

Scope and Content

Series consists principally of files from the central correspondence registry of the Department of Education between 1885 and 1913, which included all incoming correspondence to the department, and typically also includes drafts of the outgoing responses. Several exchanges may be included in the same file. The original registry docket has usually been removed. There are, however, many atypical files, some of which represent artificial collections of types of documents like Orders-in-Council, forms, and circulars.

After the central registry series ceased to be used for all incoming correspondence in 1913, the Department of Education continued to use it as an "historical" collection. To the 1885-1913 materials, the Department added other material, and also a quantity of contemporary material (chiefly clippings from local newspapers, 1950-1964) on the same subjects, forming, in essence, a reference collection on the history of education in Ontario, with an emphasis on the Ross and Harcourt ministries.

Beginning in the 1950's, Education Department staff affixed on most files a pasted label with a descriptive title and an identifying code. Pencilled underlinings and marginalia by the selection team are quite common. Short responses, rather than being preserved in the original, were sometimes typed by the staff directly onto the incoming letter. Typed transcriptions of illegible documents can sometimes be found interfiled with the originals, and typed excerpts from works of reference such as J. George Hodgins' Schools and Colleges are to be found both as "files" in themselves, and as additions to the Registry material.

The series is a source of information not only on department policies, but on its transactions with school boards, teachers, inspectors, other education offices around the world, and special interest groups such as the temperance lobby. The training and certification of teachers through the Normal and Model Schools is another well-represented topic. The Department also had responsibility for various specialized schools: those for the blind and deaf in Brantford and Belleville respectively, and the Industrial Schools for truant and wayward children. At this period, Public Libraries (and their predecessors, the Mechanics' Institutes) also fell within the Department of Education's jurisdiction. All of these responsibilities are reflected in this series, as is the Department's close relationship with the Province's universities, particularly the University of Toronto.

Restrictions on Access
Original records are closed for preservation reasons. There are no restrictions on access to the microfilmed copies.
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 were acquired by the Department of Public Records and Archives from the Registrar's Branch of the Department of Education in 1964.
Related Material

Related records held by the Archives of Ontario include: Department of Education incoming general correspondence (Reference Code: RG 2-12) and Department of Education central registry files (Reference Code: RG 2-43).

Availability of Other Formats

Also available on microfilm.

No further accruals are expected.

Former Codes

This series was formerly described as RG 2, Series P-2.

Accession number: 3882.

Finding Aid
An online file listing is available for this series.

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.

1885-1951 :

Department of Education (AA3)

1951-1964 :

Department of Education (AA3) Registrar's Branch (CA1776)

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