This virtual library holds the most complete set of full-text historical content about Canada, including books, magazines and government documents.
Early Canadiana Online is used by scholars to advance our knowledge of Canada in a wide variety of fields, by educators to bring primary sources into the classroom, and by genealogists and history buffs to discover Canada’s early days.
We take painstaking efforts to capture the full span of Canada's documentary record, adding new content every year. This includes material published from the time of the first European settlers to the first half of the 20th century.
Our content spans 21 languages, including French, English, Latin, Greek, and many First Nations languages.
This collection of 900 titles relating to Canada’s early First Nations Peoples was published from 1558 to 1900 in a variety of countries (Canada, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States) and in a variety of languages (e.g. Micmac, Iroquois, Mohawk, Chipewyan, Nootka, Chinook, Ojibwa). Here you will find writings on: customs, folklore, spirituality, history, languages, treaties, battles, biographies, relations with the government, cultural assimilation, education, etc. Browse this collection »
The Early Canadian Periodicals collection includes over 1,000 magazines, totaling over 65,000 issues. It covers a wide range of topics such as political satire, agriculture, religion, medicine and health, as well as many men’s, women’s and children’s popular magazines. This collection even includes the first magazine ever published in Canada, The Nova Scotia Magazine (1789-1792). It offers a remarkable record of the development of thought and opinion on diverse issues of the nation in its formative years. Many of Canada's initial prominent poets, novelists, scientists and great minds were first known through their works published in these magazines. They give an entertaining window into society and individual lives of the early Canadians with their stories, articles, advertisements, cartoons, drawings and photographs. Browse this collection »
This online collection consists of 60 publications focused on the lives of the early Governors General of Canada. Browse this collection »
The Early Official Publications collection includes over 1.5 million digitized pages of historical pre-1901 colonial and federal government documents. This collection includes government acts, bills, committee reports, court rules, debates, journals, ordinances, a selection of official publications from France and Great Britain, sessional papers, regulations, royal commission reports, and treaties. Browse this collection »
This collection of 875 works includes fiction, drama, songs, and poetry, as well as biography, travel literature and exploration accounts. It is comprised of books published from 1697 to 1900, and from a variety of countries (Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland). Browse this collection »
Local and family histories chronicle the rich historical world of pioneering, settlement, and local government in early Canada. Their focus on individuals and communities make them the ideal genealogical resource, helping people explore the experiences of previous generations and leaving clues about their wider social and cultural background. Related documents include: voter’s lists, eulogies, directories and gazettes, biographies, civil service lists, published diaries, church magazines and pamphlets, militia lists, publications from professional and trade societies, school publications, and more.
Genealogy content can be accessed through the Basic Search. Suggested searches: city or county name (Montreal, Essex County), family name, profession (civil service), association, education (McGill), or keywords: voters, family, directory, annals, register, parish, list.
This collection of periodicals and books relates to the field of health and medicine and covers almost 100 years of medical thought, news, practice and research in Canada. Here you will find writings on: public health, human anatomy, promotion of health, pharmacology, diet, physical fitness, dentistry, surgery, obstetrics, childbirth, pediatrics, etc. Browse this collection »
The 732 French language books in this collection relate to the history of French settlement and French culture in Canada. In the collection are books published from 1575 to the early 20th century, and from a variety of countries (Canada, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands). Topics covered include: the discovery and exploration of Canada; religious works, including those of the Jesuits; history of Acadia; First Nations settlements; scholarly writings on the French language; French Canadian songs and poems; education; biographies; geography; politics; law; social life and customs; commerce, and natural resources. Browse this collection »
The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) collection consists of 160 titles (20,000 pages) that detail the rich history of one of the oldest and still active companies in the world. Browse this collection »
The Jesuit Relations is a 73-volume set of books (22,500 pages) in the original Italian, Latin and French with commentary and translation into English by Reuben Thwaites (1853-1913). Most of the Relations are annual missionary reports written between 1632 and 1678 by the Jesuits in New France for their superiors in France. Through their Relations, the Jesuits provide details of colonial life during the French regime in Canada. Browse this collection »
This collection of 683 titles consists of the early published writings of Canadian women authors, as well as Canadian publications written about women or "women's issues". The collection covers many genres, including memoirs, diaries and collected letters, drama, exploration and travelers' accounts, printed ephemera, political pamphlets, and much more. Comprised of books published from 1677 to 1900, and from a variety of countries (Canada, France, United Kingdom, United States). Browse this collection »