10 Reasons The Ryerson Collection Matters

1. The Ryerson Collection comprises some 3000 titles. These publications range from biographies and autobiographies of early Methodist preachers in Canada to novels, poetry collections as well as art books, historical and satirical works.
2. Some of Canada’s most prominent authors are represented. Sir Charles G.D. Roberts, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Earle Birney, Hugh Garner, Alice Munro, as well as Canadian editions by international authors Robert Service, A.J. Cronin and Dafne Du Maurier
3. The collection represents one of Canada’s foremost publishers of the 19th and 20th century.The Ryerson Press began as the publishing arm of the Methodist Church in Canada. In 1925 when the Methodist, Congregational and Presbyterian churches combined to form the United Church the Ryerson Press continued to publish and became known as Canada’s Publishing House.
4. The publications are interesting from an historical perspective. Decade by decade, the publications chronicle a nation from before Confederation through two World Wars, the Cold War and the tumultuous fifties and sixties.
5. The collection has been maintained for over 45 years by McGraw-Hill Ryerson. In 1969, the United Church no longer wanted to be a publisher and The Ryerson Press was subsequently put up for sale. No other Canadian publisher wanted The Ryerson Press. McGraw-Hill Canada took over the press, renamed the company McGraw-Hill Ryerson and continued the publishing tradition which included overseeing the Ryerson Collection.
6. Many of the editions are first edition copies. This makes the collection unique and worth studying further.
7. The collection has been maintained by McGraw-Hill Ryerson. MHR ceased to exist in 2014 after the McGraw-Hill Companies sold the publishing arm of their enterprise.
8. The Ryerson Press is named after Egerton Ryerson, a man whose accomplishments include the creation of a model for public education in Canada, still in use today.
9. The collection needs to be kept intact. As a collection, there is value in keeping the Ryerson Collection together as a unit. From an historical perspective it makes sense when viewed from start to finish — it is truly a snapshot of Canadian history from 1862-1970.
10. A suitable home must be found where the collection may made available for scholarly research and review and for the general public to pursue at their leisure.

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About The Ryerson Press Archive

My name is Clive Powell. I worked for McGraw-Hill Ryerson for 35 years. Recently I was asked to find a home for 3000 publications that represent the Ryerson Press Archive. I am happy to share my discoveries.
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