Fonds F1 - Guelph Public Library fonds

Annual reports Chief Librarian's administrative materials Guelph Public Library Board minutes and agendas Year 2000 planning records Library associations records Membership records Publicity and promotion records Information Services Annual and Monthly Reports Library pamphlets and brochures Guelph Public Library Mid Western Library Association

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Guelph Public Library fonds

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Fonds

Reference code

CA ON00126 F1

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Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1850-2019 predominant 1904-1983 (Creation)
    Creator
    Guelph Public Library

Physical description area

Physical description

3.0 m of textual records
ca. 1200 photographs
3 audio cassettes
4 audio reels
2 rolls of architectural plans

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1883-)

Administrative history

The first circulating library in Guelph appeared in the rear of the general store operated by one of the city's early merchants, Thomas Sandilands, in 1832. For more than fifteen years, this small collection of books remained the closest thing to a public library in Guelph. On January 14, 1850, a number of local citizens met for the purpose of organizing a Farmers' and Mechanics' Institute in Guelph. Within a few months, a library was collected and a reading room was opened for the use of the members. In addition to the operation of a lending library, the objective of the Guelph Farmers' and Mechanics' Institute was to encourage the diffusion of knowledge among its members through the delivery of lectures and instruction in reading.

With the passage of the Free Libraries Act in 1882, Guelph became one of the first communities in Ontario to take advantage of the Act's provisions to establish a public library supported by local taxes. In 1883, the Guelph Free Public Library was founded. The Mechanics' Institute agreed to transfer its holdings and jurisdiction to the new Board of Management of the Guelph Free Public Library on March 15, 1883. The new library occupied premises adjacent to the former City Hall building until 1905. As the library grew and services expanded, a new facility was needed.

The City of Guelph was one of the first North American municipalities to receive a grant from the Carnegie Foundation, a philanthropic charity of American steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie, to build a new library. When the new Carnegie Library was completed in 1905, the Guelph Public Library moved to its present location at the corner of Norfolk and Paisley Streets.

The Carnegie building, though beautiful, proved too small for Guelph's growing population. In 1964, the Carnegie Library was demolished and, after months in a temporary residence, the current main library opened its doors in November of 1965. A new addition to the main library building was completed in 1975.

The Guelph Public Library continued to grow in order to meet the demands of the City's physical expansion and growth in population. During the late 70's and early 80's, a traveling bookmobile and two satellite branches were added, providing citizens with neighbourhood libraries where they could easily browse for reading material. A third branch in the West End was completed in 2001. Further growth in the City's south end resulted in a fourth branch, Westminster Square, located at 100-31 Farley Drive which opened in November 2006. A fifth branch, the East Side Branch, opened in May 2010.

With the addition of the virtual library, the Guelph Public Library is fulfilling its mission to serve the changing needs of the local population by becoming a gateway to the information networks of the world.

Custodial history

These records were held throughout the Guelph Public Library and centralized in its archives in the late 1970's. The Guelph Public Library makes regular transfers of its records to the archives.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of the executive, administrative, public service, collections management and facilities records created or accumulated the Guelph Public Library Board, the Guelph Public Library, and its predecessor, the Farmers' and Mechanics' Institute of Guelph. The records document the administration and operation of the Library and its provision of library services to the Guelph public.

This fonds is arranged into nine series.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records of the Guelph Public Library are transferred regularly into its archives.

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Restrictions on access

Access to some records in this fonds is restricted. See series descriptions for more details.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Donor-held copyright in these records has been transferred to the Guelph Public Library. Permission of the Guelph Public Library is required for publication.

Finding aids

See series descriptions for more details on available listings for these records.

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Further accruals of records are expected.

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