Margaret E. Derry | College of Arts

Margaret E. Derry

Adjunct Faculty


Ph.D. University of Toronto, 1997.
M.A. University of Toronto, 1970.
B.A. University of Western Ontario, 1967.


Adjunct Professor, History Department, University of Guelph.
Associated Faculty, Campbell Centre for Animal Welfare, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph.
Former Associated Scholar, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto.

Current Research

Book, Animal Industries, is under way and is comprised of three main sections.



Made to Order: Designing Animals and Impact on Human Society, 17th to 21st Century. Out for peer review for the University of Toronto Press.

Before the Road: Killarney’s Past. Poplar Lane Press, 2020.

Horses in Society: A Story of Animal Breeding and Marketing Culture, 1800-1920. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006.

Masterminding Nature: The Breeding of Animals, 1750-2010. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015.

Debutante’s Story. Caledon: Poplar Lane Press, 2014.

Melody Family: Portraits in Digital Art. Caledon: Poplar Lane Press, 2013.

Dream of My People: A Home on Lake Erie’s Shore. Caledon: Poplar Lane Press, 2013.

Liberty is Dead: A Canadian in Germany, 1938. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012.

Art and Science in Breeding: Creating Better Chickens. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012.

Manitoulin and Region: Voices from the Past. Caledon: Poplar Lane Press, 2010.

Killarney Memoir: Summers over a Century. Caledon: Poplar Lane Press, 2008.

Georgian Bay Jewel: The Killarney Story. Caledon: Poplar Lane Press, 2007.

Pathway: Life as Art, Science, and History. Caledon: Poplar Lane Press, 2005.

Bred for Perfection: Shorthorn Cattle, Collies, and Arabian Horses Since 1800. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.

Ontario’s Cattle Kingdom: Purebred Breeders and Their World, 1870-1920. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.


“Quest for Quality: Theory and Method in Animal Breeding Practices, 18th to 21st Century.” Agricultural History (Summer 2020).
“The Transition from Type to Breed: Draft Horses and Purebred Breeding in the International American Market, 1870-1920." In Horse Breeds and Human Society: Purity, Identity and the Making of the Modern Horse, edited by Kristen Guest and Monica Hattfeld. London: Routledge Press, 2020.
“Roundtable on Breed”. Participants: Margaret Derry, Donna Haraway, Harriet Ritvo, Sandra Swart. Moderators: Kristen Guest and Monica Hattfeld. Humanimalia 10, no. 1 (Fall 2018).
“Attempts to Direct Horse Breeding: Stallion Legislation in the United States and Canada, 1880-1920." Changing Animal Bodies: Animal Breeding in Changing Social and Environmental Contexts [Papers given at the Uppsala University Conference]. London: Routledge Press, 2021.
“The Transition from Type to Breed: Draft Horses and Purebred Breeding in the International American Market, 1870-1920." Horse Breeds and Human Society: Purity, Identity and the Making of the Modern Horse, edited by Kristen Guest and Monica Hattfeld. New York: Routledge Press, 2020.
“Genetics, Biotechnology, and Breeding: North American Shorthorn Production in the 21st Century." Agricultural History 92 (Winter 2018).
“White Collies, Beauty or Genetic Defect: Regulation and Breeding, 1870-2013,” online, Society and Animals, March 2018.
“Chicken Breeding: The Complex Transition from Traditional to Genetic Methods in the United States." In Cultivating Knowledge: New Perspectives on the History of Life Sciences and Agriculture, edited by Sharon Kingsland and Denise Phillips, Archimedes series (Springer, 2015).
Biographies of John Miller, James Davidson, and F.W. Wegenast, Dictionary of Canadian Biography. 2019,
Biography of Robert Miller, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XVI, 1930-1939. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2017,
Biographies of J.G. Rutherford, G.C. Creelman, and J. Mills, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XV, 1920-1929. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005.
“Cattle Scourge." The Beaver (August/September 2001).
“Patterns of Gendered Labour and the Development of Ontario Agriculture." In Ontario Since Confederation: A Reader, edited by E. Montigny and L. Chambers. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.
“The Role of Purebred Breeder/Ordinary Farmer Conflict in the Rate of Herd Improvement – A Study of Cattle Farming in Ontario, 1870-1920." Proceedings for the Association of Living Historical Farms and Agricultural Museums Conference, 1998.
“Gender Conflicts in Dairying: Ontario’s Butter Industry, 1880-1920," Ontario History (Spring 1998).
“Contemporary Attempts to Understand the Cattle Plague of 1865." Victorian Studies Association, Ontario Newsletter (Fall 1994).


Roundtable review: The Invention of the Modern Dog: Breed and Blood in Victorian Britain, by Michael Worboys, Julie-Marie Strange, and Neil Pemberton, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018.
Book Review for Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. “The Commercialization of Breeding for Beauty” by Margaret Derry (Summer 2020).
Review of Animal Metropolis: Histories of Human-Animal Relations in Urban Canada, edited by Joanna Dean, Darcy Ingram, and Christabelle Sethna. Canadian Historical Review (September 2017).
Review of Milk: A Global History, by H. Velten. Agricultural History Review (Spring 2012).
Review of Making Catfish Bait out of the Government Boys: The Fight against Cattle Ticks and the Transformation of the Yeoman South, by Claire Strom. American Historical Review (April 2011).
Review of Horses at Work: Harnessing Power in Industrial America, by Ann N. Greene. Indiana Magazine of History 106 (2010).
Review of Breeds of Empire: The ‘Invention’ of the Horse in Southeast Asia and Southern Africa, 1500-1950, by Greg Bankoff and Sandra Swart. Agricultural History (2009).
Review of Cow, by Hannah Velten, in Agricultural History Review, Spring 2008.
Review of Pursuing Giraffe: A 1950s Adventure, by Anne Innis Dagg. University of Toronto Quarterly (Winter 2007/2008).
Review of Frontier Cattle Ranching in the Land and Times of Charlie Russell, by Warren M. Elofson. University of Toronto Quarterly 75, no. 1 (2005).
Review of And On That Farm He Had a Wife: Ontario Farm Women and Feminism, 1900-1970, by Monda Halpern. Ontario History (Fall 2002).
Review of The Farm on the North Talbot Road, by Allan Bogue. Canadian Historical Review (September 2002).