Ontario Historical Education Collections (OHEC)

Collections overview

View of the Ontario Historical Education Collections

The Ontario Historical Education Collections (OHEC) include approximately 6,500 items. In addition to the Ontario Textbook Collection, the OHEC includes numerous documents, mainly from the Ontario Ministry of Education (formerly the Ontario Department of Education) that cover the areas of elementary, secondary and teacher education in the Province from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day including:

  • Calendars: for teachers colleges, summer schools for teachers and model schools from early 1900s to 1979
  • Circulars: including Circular 14, a list of textbooks authorized from 1873 to 1996. These are now available online through the Internet Archive.
  • Course profiles, elementary curriculum units and exemplars: also available in circulating collections from 1990
  • Curricula: for both elementary and secondary levels together with support documents from early 1900s to present
  • Examinations: written province-wide including high school entrance, high school leaving, departmental, normal school and school inspector from 1873 to 1967
  • H.S.1 documents: outlining requirements for high school graduation from 1943 to present
  • Ontario teacher college yearbooks: from 1900s to 1970s
  • Ontario teacher manuals: used in normal schools and teachers colleges from 1910s to 1930s
  • Policy documents: examples include Cooperative Education, Opening or Closing Exercises for Public Schools in Ontario
  • Policy/Program memorandum: from 1950s to present
  • Programs for observation of special days: including Empire Day, Commonwealth Day, Remembrance Day and Arbour Day
  • Regulations: covering legislative grants, religious education, etc.
  • Reports: from nineteenth century to the present

For more detailed information about these resources, please consult our OHEC research guide.


The Ontario Historical Collections are accessible to University of Toronto faculty, students, staff and members of the public by appointment only.

Borrowing privileges

Materials from the collections may not be borrowed, but a staff member will determine if the condition of the material will allow it to be scanned or photocopied.

Finding resources

Find items in this collection by searching the library catalogue and refining results to "OISE Library" and then "Ontario Historical Education Collection".


For further information or to book an appointment contact oise.library@utoronto.ca