External Resources | College of Arts

External Resources

Photograph: Beekeeping, Reuben Sallows collection, University of Guelph Library, Archives, and Special Collections, Agricultural History (XA1 MS A182 #0626)

The following is a list of various external websites, including Museums, Universities, Archives, etc. that provide or direct visitors to resources or do research in rural history.



The Wellington County Museum and Archives  – Ontario
The Wellington County Museum and Archives serves as a cultural centre, providing resources, programmes, exhibits, support and services for the historical, educational and artistic interests of the communities of Wellington County.


Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum – Nova Scotia
The Cole Harbour Heritage Museum is a community museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting Cole Harbour’s agricultural past, and to developing an understanding of plants, animals, and farming today. It is owned and operated by the Cole Harbour Rural Heritage Society, a registered charity which relies heavily on community support, volunteers, and donations.

The Boundary Museum  – British Columbia
The Boundary Museum is dedicated to providing an in depth look into the history of Grand Forks, and the surrounding area. There is a wealth of regional information as well as a collection pertaining to the Doukhobor heritage of the area.  

Kilby Historic Site: BC’s Museum of Rural Life – British Columbia
Kilby Historic Site is a living history museum that preserves the history of the Kilby family and Harrison Mills. They also house an extensive collection of archives and photographs.

The Sheffield Museum of Rural Life – Ontario
The Sheffield Museum aims to preserve, study, and present the heritage of a rural community – Sheffield, Ontario, from the recent past to the pioneers and beyond to the medieval and ancient roots of rural culture. The museum has its own collection.

United States

The Rural History Confederation – Pennsylvania
The Rural History Confederation (RHC) is an association of museums and historic sites in southeastern Pennsylvania. They are dedicated to preserving the past and to promoting historical awareness of the region. A visit to one of or all of these unique historic museums will give you a comprehensive view of how the region has blossomed from colonial times through the industrial age.

Shelburne Museum – Vermont
Shelburne Museum holds world-renowned collections of art and Americana that spans four centuries. Its collection is housed in thirty-nine buildings and numbering more than 100,000 items.

The Farmers’ Museum – New York
The Farmer’s Museum is a private educational institution, serving the public that is dedicated to representing American rural life as typified in central New York by preserving the past, recording the present, and educating for the future.

Colonial Williamsburg – Virgina
Colonial Williamsburg, in Williamsburg, Virginia, is the world’s largest living history museum – the restored 18th century capital city of Britain’s largest wealthiest, and most populous outpost of empire in the New World. Here we interpret the origins of the idea of America, conceived decades before the American Revolution.

The Connor Prairie Rural History Project – Indiana
The Rural History Project is a community documentation and heritage preservation effort undertaken by Conner Prairie to study and preserve the history of rural life in Hamilton County, Indiana from 1875 to the present.

Greenfield Museum – Michigan
The soul of 19th-century America comes alive, with horse-drawn wagons, livestock and fields of ripening vegetables and grain in scenes straight from the nation's agricultural revolution. At Firestone Farm, see living history presentations minus modern conveniences, from daily household chores to seasonal field work, demonstrating how people truly lived off the land.

Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer – Nebraska
Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer offers a hands-on living history experience that tells the story of early town building in Nebraska. The pioneers who challenged the land did not think their story remarkable, but visitors are amazed at the accomplishments of common people who built satisfying and productive lives on the prairie.


National Museum of Rural Life – Scotland
The museum cares for museum collections of national and international significance, presenting and interpreting them for a broad audience.

Ulster Folk & Transport Museum – Northern Ireland

Other Rural History Resources and Repositories


Rural Research Centre (RRC) at Dalhousie University
The RRC is a small research institute focused on rural research and making connections between research and the people who shape rural life. They do this through multi-disciplinary rural research, and a variety of endeavours and activities rooted in “the rural” – weather that rural reality is in Atlantic Canada or elsewhere in the world. With a mandate to serve the rural community of Atlantic Canada, the RRC conducts rurally focused Atlantic research on a variety of subjects including: agrarian movements, rural disaster resilience, health knowledge and home remedies, rural women’s volunteerism, and wool value-chain development.​

This link directs to a list of agriculture and rural museums and resources across Ontario. 

United States

The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) at Cornell University
The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) is a core electronic collection of agricultural texts published between the early nineteenth century and the middle to late twentieth century. Full-text materials cover agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, crops and their protection, food science, forestry, human nutrition, rural sociology, and soil science.

The Hive and the Honey Bee at Cornell University
The Everett F. Phillips' Beekeeping Collection at Cornell's Albert R. Mann Library is one of the largest and most complete apiculture libraries in the world. Having first started out as an initial collection of ten titles deemed to be among the most historically important books in the Phillips library, with the support of beekeepers across the United States The Hive and the Honeybee has since grown to include over thirty key monographs as well as the first forty volumes of the American Bee Journal, covering the years 1861 through 1900 of that landmark publication. Each volume of this growing digital collection is available in full text format and is fully searchable.

HEARTH – Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition, and History at Cornell University
HEARTH is a full-text electronic collection of books and journals in Home Economics and related disciplines. Titles published between 1850 and 1950 were selected and ranked by teams of scholars for their great historical importance.

The Plant Pathology Herbarium Photograph Collection at Cornell University
The Cornell Plant Pathology Herbarium (CUP) is a large research collection of preserved fungi and other organisms that cause plant diseases. The CUP Photograph Collection includes about 60,000 historical scientific photographs of mushrooms, agricultural practices, plant diseases, and portraits.

Agricultural History at Pennsylvania State
Pennsylvania State’s Special Collections Library holds material on Agricultural History.


The Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading
The Museum of English Rural Life was founded by the University of Reading in 1951 to reflect and record the changing faces of farming and the countryside. It houses designated collections of national importance that span the full range of objects, archives, photographs, film, and books. Today, it forms part of the University’s Museums and Collections Service.

Archives of Rural History (AHR) – Switzerland
The Archives of Rural History, founded in 2002, is an independent institution engaged in archival historical records and conducting historical research. They search for, collect, and catalogue records related to the history of agriculture and rural society in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They have catalogued more than 170 institutions, organizations, and individuals. As a virtual archives, the ARH does not store the archives itself, but rather deposits the collections in existing public archives.

Canadian Census/Census of Agriculture Online
The British North America (BNA) Act of 1867 determined that a census would be taken every 10 years starting in 1871. However, rapid expansion in western Canada at the turn of the last century made a more frequent census necessary. Starting in 1896, a separate Census of Agriculture was taken every five years in Manitoba, and in Alberta and Saskatchewan beginning in 1906.
Although the Census of Agriculture and the Census of Population are conducted at the same time, they do have separate questionnaires. Most of the development, testing, processing, data validation and preparation for disseminating data for the Census of Agriculture and the Census of Population is handled by different groups within Statistics Canada. However, collecting the data and sharing communications activities for both censuses streamlines procedures and reduces costs considerably. Another important benefit of conducting the two together is that information from the two questionnaires can be linked to create the Census of Agriculture - Population Linkage database. This unique database, started in 1971, provides users with a wealth of information pertaining to the social and economic characteristics of the farm population.

Other Archives, History and Hertiage Sites, which may be helpful to Rural Historians

Many archives, including universities include at least some collections with documents useful to rural historians. This material can be accessed though finding aids and other online research tools.

Library and Archives Canada

Archives of Ontario

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

British Columbia Archives

Prince Edward Island Archives and Records Office

Provincial Archives of Alberta

The Rooms Provincial Archives Vision, Newfoundland and Labrador

Archives of Manitoba

Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Nova Scotia Archives

Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan

Canadian Archival Information Network

S.J. McKee Archives - University of Brandon 

Canadian Historical Association

Atlas of Canada

Historical Atlas of Canada

The Canadian County Atlas Digital Project
The County Atlas Digital Project is a searchable database of the property owners' names which appear on the township maps in the county atlases. Township maps, portraits and properties have been scanned, with links from the property owners' names in the database.


Almost any historical journal will include material related to rural history.  The following is a list of rural history journals.

Rural History
Rural History is well known as a stimulating forum for interdisciplinary exchange. Its definition of rural history ignores traditional subject boundaries to foster the cross-fertilisation which is essential for an understanding of rural society. It stimulates original scholarship and provides access to the best of recent research. While concentrating on the English-speaking world and Europe, the journal is not limited in geographical coverage. Subject areas include: agricultural history; historical ecology; folklore; popular culture and religion; rural literature; landscape history, archaeology and material culture; ethnography, anthropology and rural sociology; the study of women in rural society; relationships between the urban and the rural; and the politics of rural societies. The journal accommodates varying disciplinary reference systems, and publishes book reviews and review articles.

Agricultural History
Agricultural History, the official journal of the Agricultural History Society, explores agricultural developments over time, in all geographies, and among all peoples. Agricultural History is issued quarterly and publishes a range of articles on institutions, organizations, methodologies, and sciences—all of which have been contributing factors in agricultural growth. The journal includes innovative research, timely book and film reviews, and special issues that unite diverse methodology under one agriculture history-related theme.

Agricultural History Review
The Agricultural History Review is published by the British Agricultural History Society, founded in 1952 to promote the study of agricultural history and the history of the rural economy and society. The Society’s journal is published twice a year and includes both articles and book reviews.

Discussion Lists

H-Rural Listserv
The primary purpose of H-Rural is to facilitate discussions about scholarship and teaching in rural and agricultural history. We welcome contributions such as conference announcements, calls for papers, course syllabi, conference reports, news of new datasets, and other items related to our focus, rural and agricultural history over time and place.

H-Canada Listserv
The purpose of H-Canada is to provide a forum discussing the history of Canada and other related subjects (sociology, political studies, literature, women's studies, Canadian studies etc). There are no chronological or topical limits. H-Canada is a bilingual (French and English) discussion list.

The Canadian Rural Research Network
The Canadian Rural Research Network is an on-line community of rural research stakeholders that facilitates links, exchanges, partnerships and information sharing among all parties interested in rural research by means of new and innovative networking approaches.