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About Early Canadiana Online

These collections contain over 80,000 rare books, magazines and government publications from the 1600s to the 1940s.

This rare collection of documentary heritage will be of interest to scholars, genealogists, history buffs and anyone who enjoys reading about Canada's early days.

The Early Canadiana Online collection of rare books, magazines and government publications has over 80,000 titles (3,500,000 pages) and is growing. The collection includes material published from the time of the first European settlers to the first four decades of the 20th Century.

You will find books written in 21 languages including French, English, 10 First Nations languages and several European languages, Latin and Greek.

Early Canadiana Collections

Aboriginal Studies

Aboriginal Studies

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 »

Early Canadian Periodicals

Early Canadian Periodicals

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 »

Early Governors General of Canada

Early Governors General of Canada

This online collection consists of 60 publications focused on the lives of the early Governors General of Canada. Browse this collection »

Early Official Publications

Early Official Publications

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 »

English Canadian Literature

English Canadian Literature

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 »

Genealogy and Local History

Genealogy and Local History

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.

Health and Medicine

Health and Medicine

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 »

History of French Canada

History of French Canada

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 »

Hudson's Bay Company

Hudson's Bay Company

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 »

Jesuit Relations

Jesuit Relations

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 »

Women's History

Women's History

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 »