Browse Exhibits (10 total)

Tried, Tested, and True: A Retrospective on Canadian Cookery, 1867-1917

This exhibit explores cooking in Canada from Confederation until the First World War. The aim of the exhibit is to use cookbooks and domestic manuals as a window into Canadian society during the period in question. It is hoped that audiences gain an appreciation for the diversity of Canadian foodways and the usefulness of cookbooks as primary sources.

The cases and online exhibit focus on 8 themes:

  • Technical Housewifery
  • Agriculture & Rural Life
  • Local History: Guelph & the Surrounding Area
  • Community Cookbooks: Religion, Fundraising & Communities
  • Advertising Cookbooks: Corporate Advertising
  • Wartime Cookery
  • Economical Cooking
  • Health & Nutrition

This online exhibit accompanies the physical exhibition on display in McLaughlin Library from April 7th, 2017 to December 31st, 2017. Materials on display in the exhibit are drawn from Archival & Special Collections’ distinguished Culinary Arts Collection in the University of Guelph Library. Highlights include a copy of a very rare cookbook published in the year of Canadian Confederation in Ottawa called The Canadian Receipt Book. Only 2 copies in the world are known to exist. Another highlight is The Housewife's Library: a rare book published in Guelph in 1883. 

The exhibit was curated by the following University of Guelph students and staff: 

Melissa McAfee (Special Collections Librarian)

Kristyn Pacione (3rd year Anthropology student)

Stephanie Reynolds-Badder (4th year History student)


Bidloo and Cowper: Anatomists in Conflict

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This exhibition will examine three anatomical atlases, two produced by the Dutch anatomist Govard Bidloo, and one produced by the English anatomist William Cowper. These atlases are titled Anatomia Humani Corporis (1685), Ontleding des Meschelyken Lichaams (1690), and The Anatomy of Humane Bodies (1690). This exhibition will examine these atlases in relation to their circumstances of production, their reception, and relation between each other. This exhibition will also provide a discussion on the relationship between Govard Bidloo and William Cowper and their atlases, focussing on themes of copyright, plagiarism, and competition between medical professionals.

This exhibition is part of a larger project within the AVC*6500 Directed Reading course under the supervision of Dr. Sally Hickson (SOFAM), and will act as a foundation for a portion of an upcoming thesis that looks at Anatomia Humani Corporis within broader social, religious, and scientific discourse in the Early Modern Dutch Republic.

Culinary Ephemera

This exhibit explores the origins, purpose and history of culinary ephemera.... 



Welcome to the HIST*1200, History of Stuff, site! 

In this class, a group of curious and industrious first-year students drawn from a variety of disciplines at the University of Guelph cut their teeth in archival research, exploring the extraordinary history of 'ordinary stuff'.

This is the result of our tireless work -- an exhibit highlighting the disparate materials that we have explored. In researching their origins, historical contexts and uses, we have underscored the incedible history that lies, often hidden, behind everyday materials.  In addition reading to the class's insights into the individual archived object, you can click on each main object image to reveal more details about it!

We invite you to explore the site -- and to remember, as you consider discarding items that may seem to have outlived their usefulness, that those items may be in fact beginning a new life, which makes them a source of incredible value to historians.  Everyday 'ephemera' -- the cast-offds and disposables that lie hidden in attics, and the botttom of drawers -- tell incredible stories about our past.

From Glen Notes to War Notes: A Canadian Perspective on the First World War in Rilla of Ingleside

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This exhibit examines L.M. Montgomery’s novel, Rilla of Ingleside against its First World War backdrop. Each section of the exhibit is curated to show the perspective of characters from the book—Rilla, Walter, Anne, Susan, Jem, Shirley, and Whiskers-on-the-Moon. Topics include: (1) lost youth, (2) the home front, (3) the battle front, (4) war poets, (5) pacifism, and (6) L.M. Montgomery’s creative process in writing Rilla of Ingleside.

Rilla of Ingleside was L. M. Montgomery’s tenth novel and the last book in the Anne of Green Gables series. The story begins just before the start of the First World War and follows the war to its end. It depicts life in a small Canadian community in Prince Edward Island during the War and focuses on the Blythe family, which includes Anne and her husband Gilbert, and their children, Rilla, Walter, Jem, and Shirley.

As the novel is framed by newspaper accounts of local events and the war, we decided to call the exhibit “From Glen Notes to War Notes” to reflect the transition in interest by Susan Baker, the Blythe family’s housekeeper, from the local affairs of Glen St. Mary (the community in which they live) and reported in the “Glen Notes” column of the local newspaper to foreign affairs reported in the “War Notes” column.

Materials selected for the exhibit were drawn primarily from the library’s extensive Lucy Maud Montgomery Collection. In particular, the curators looked at important editions of the novel and the original manuscript of the book, Montgomery’s journals and scrapbooks, and her photograph collection. To contextualize the book against its First World War backdrop, we identified materials on the War from the archives of the Ontario Agricultural College, Ontario Veterinary College, and MacDonald Institute.

The online exhibit was based on a physical case exhibit (launched in March 2018), which was curated by University Guelph librarians, History students, and faculty. Among these were two fourth-year undergraduate history majors, who participated as part of an experiential learning experience for course credit.
Curators of the physical exhibit: Catherine Carstairs (Professor History), Kathryn Harvey (Head, Archival & Special Collections), Keshia Krucker (4th year student, History), Kesia Kvill (Ph.D candidate, History), Melissa McAfee (Special Collections Librarian), Abigail Murray (4th year student, History), and Ashley Shifflett McBrayne (Archives Associate).

Curators of the online exhibit: Peter Flannery (MA candidate, Art History), Melissa McAfee (Special Collections Librarian), and Kristyn Pacione (Archives Clerk).

Metadata Consultant: Gillian Manford (Archives Clerk).

Nadia Boulanger and the Stravinskys


Nadia Bolanger and the Stravinskys: A Selected Correspondence - Edited by Kimberly A Francis

Nadia Boulanger and Igor Stravinsky began corresponding in 1929 when Stravinsky sought someone to supervise the musical education of his younger son, Soulima. Boulanger accepted the position and began what would prove to be a warm and lasting dialogue with the Stravinsky family. For fifty years, Boulanger exchanged letters with Igor Stravinsky. An additional 140 letters exist written to Boulanger from Stravinsky's immediate family: his wife Catherine, his mother Anna, and his sons Théodore and Soulima.

Nadia Boulanger and the Stravinskys: A Selected Correspondence makes available a rich selection from this many-sided dialogue. The letters are published here in English translation (most for the first time in their entirety or at all). The little-known French originals are available on the book's companion website. The letters allow us to follow the conversation shared between Boulanger and the Stravinskys from 1929 until 1972, the year following Igor Stravinsky's death. Through the words they exchanged, we see Boulanger and Stravinsky transition from respectful colleagues to close friends to, finally, distant icons, with music serving always as a central topic. These letters are a testament to one master teacher's power to shape the cultural canon and one composer's desire to embed himself within historical narratives. Their words touch upon matters professional and personal, musical and social, with the overall narrative reflecting the turmoil of life during the twentieth century and the fragility of artists hoping to leave their mark on the modernist period.



Canada’s has one of the world’s most dynamic and robust food systems. Blessed with abundant natural resources and populated by people with an incredible range of native, foreign and domestic culinary traditions, it seems that just about any recipe associated with a traditional ethnic cuisine could be prepared using foods produced, or easily available, in Canada.  Close to 100 students in the Cultural Aspects of Food explored this idea using a class project during the fall semester of 2017

The exhibits in this collection were prepared by undergraduate students. Each exhibit started with a curiosity about an ethnic-culturally distinct cuisine and a cookbook  To create the exhibit, students did a primary analysis of the cookbook and a selected recipe, calculated the cost of preparing it for 4 adults, prepared a nutritional profile and conducted a basic value chain analysis for recipe’s essential and distinctive ingredients.  Students purchased their own ingredients, prepared their recipes and served their culinary creations to classmates in order to obtain feedback.  All students presented their research work in class, received reviews and wrote the text that appears in their exhibits.  With the exception of the images of cookbook covers, all photos in this exhibit were taken by students, and almost always on a smart phone.

The exhibit is arranged into 11 "kitchens" with 4 to 6 recipes each. Kitchen #1 features Vintage Recipes published before 1967; Kitchen #2 features New World Classics from Mexico and Peru. The next kitchens feature meat focused recipes; Kitchen #3 Pork, Kitchen #4 Beef, Veal or Lamb and Kitchen #5 Chicken and Fish. Kitchen #6 features rice dishes, while Kitchen#7 contains vegetarian dishes.  Kitchen#8 is for Soup and Kitchen#9 is for Appetizers. Kitchens #10 and #11 were needed for all the desserts. When you enter each kitchen, you will see a menu of the ethnic cuisines and the associated recipes. Each recipe and the student work follows.

Enjoy! Bon Appetit, Eet smakelik, Selamat makan, 请享用, Umeed hai key apko pasand aye, Prijatnogo appetita, 楽しい ,SAHTEIN ... and more

This exhibit was curated by Dr. Erna van Duren, Professor, School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management and Tianyue Yue, M.Sc. Student, School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management. 

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please email

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The Clan Leslie: A Celebration of 950 years of Leslies in Scottish History, Literature, and Culture.

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This exhibition grew from a partnership with University of Guelph Library staff and  students in the History and Art History Departments at the University of Guelph to provide an experiential learning opportunity. Archival & Special Collections staff and faculty from the Art History Department guided the students in interpreting original primary resource materials from the Clan Leslie and Scottish Studies Collections in Archival & Special Collections and in curating the exhibition. It was originally launched as a phylsical exhibit in 10 cases in McLaughlin Library at the University of Guelph in August 2016 in honor of the Clan Leslies, the featured clan of the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games in Fergus Ontario. 

The process of creating this exhibition has led us to many fascinating discoveries about the contributions of the Clan Leslie in literature, politics, religion, the domestic arts, and sciences in Scotland and beyond. These  achievements can be viewed in the #? sections of this digital exhibit. 

The University of Guelph is the official repository for the Clan Leslie Collection. We are grateful to the following individuals, who have donated materials to this collection over the years: Margaret Aitken (Acton, Ont) Donald W. Leslie (Abbeville, S. C.), Thomas G. Leslie, KSG (Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, UK), Gary A Leslie (Lexington, KY), Harold and Val Leslie (Didsbury, Alb), Robert Leslie (Acton, Ont), William Leslie, Sandy Eliza McDaniel (Evanston, Il), Diane L. Sadler (Pasadena, MD), James Barrie Leslie, (Gordon, New South Wales,  Aus) and David Leslie White (Ft Worth, TX).

This exhibit was curatated by:  

University of Guelph Library Staff

Janna Avon, Co-op Librarian from the University of British Columbia

Melissa McAfee, Special Collections Librarian

Ashley Shifflett McBrayne, Library Associate

Judy Wanner, Associate Librarian (retired)

University of Guelph Students

Jennifer Oldham, BA student, Psychology

Desiree Scholtz, BA student, History & Art History

Marian Toledo,  PhD student in Scottish History

The Extraordinary History of Stuff Recipe Pamphlet Exhibit

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Welcome to our exhibit, which showcases the work of UNIV*1200 F '17.  Through the course of the fall semester, the class explored readings and participated in excursions to archives, museums and galleries, where we learned about the nature of ephemera, its status as historical evidence, and its use in historical scholarship.

We focussed our examination of ephemera on printed culinary material, and this exhbit is the culmination of our study of this form, and of eighteen specific sources held in the Archival and Special Collections unit at the McLaughlin Library, University of Guelph.

Melissa McAfee and Ryan Kirkby at the Library made this class possible: thank you for your commitment to our learning.

Enjoy the fuits of our labours ... we hope you will never see 'throw-away' stuff the same way again!