Agricultural Newspapers and Magazines | College of Arts

Agricultural Newspapers and Magazines

man reading newspaper

Agricultural newspapers are a great source for finding out what agricultural experts, reformers and journalists deemed to be newsworthy topics. As more farm families became literate, they subscribed to these to learn about the latest knowledge and be entertained.  The papers are useful not just for the editorials but also for advertisements and letters to the editors.  In the later part of the nineteenth-century, columns for women and children appeared too.

A very useful finding aid was compiled by Edwinna Von Baeyer, “Ontario Rural Society, 1867-1930 a Thematic Index of Selected Ontario Agricultural Periodicals.” Ottawa:  E. von Baeyer 1985. It is also available on microfiche in Archival and Special Collections, McLaughlin Library, University of Guelph.

The University of Guelph has one of the finest collections of Ontario farm periodicals and increasingly these periodicals are also available online. The attached file is a compiled list of rural newspapers and magazines available at the Univeristy and online.

The following sources will provide helpful context about the farm press and how to use it.

  • Fry, John J.  The Farm Press, Reform and Rural Change, 1895-1920. New York: Routledge, 2005.    This is a study of the rural Midwestern US. He explores how rural people selectively adapted the advice given in newspapers and offers suggestions to researchers on how to use them as sources
  • Shulman, Stuart W. “The Progressive Era Farm Press: A Primer on a Neglected Source of Journalism History,” Journalism History, 25:1 (Spring 1999).
  • Abbott, Richard H.  The Agricultural Press Views the Yeoman 1819-1859.” Agricultural History 42 (1968): 35-48.

Photograph: Man reading a newspaper, Reuben Sallows collection, University of Guelph Library, Archives, and Special Collections, Agricultural History (XA1 MS A230 #0638)