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University of Guelph Library

The Library’s archival, rare, and special collections section can be reached by taking the single elevator or stairs in the south-east corner (past the Circulation/Reserve area) to the lower level where researchers can use materials in the Wellington County Room. TRELLIS, the TriUniversity Libraries catalogue, is the primary tool for identifying and locating materials in Archival and Special Collections. TRELLIS can be accessed via the public terminals through the Library home page (, where various electronic resources, such the rare books in Early English Books Online and Eighteenth Century Collection Online are also available.


Purchased with the aid of a grant from the Macdonald Stewart Foundation in 1975, the Jacobite Collection has been expanded extensively since then. Generous university funding and support from SSHRC have allowed the collection to grow substantially.


The Jacobite Collection is undoubtedly one of the finest in the world. While some of the materials are to be found on the open shelves, the majority are rare and limited editions of contemporary books, pamphlets, maps, and broadsides housed in the Rare Book Room. Editions of tales of the Young Chevalier often include flattering portraits of Bonnie Prince Charlie while other works such as the Collectanea curiosa, a collection of English newspaper clippings from 1745 to 1747, present anti-Jacobite views in the flamboyant and emotional journalistic terms of the times. Contemporary literary treatments of the Jacobite cause, both pro and con, are well represented. The archival collections contain, among other things, a letter with the earliest reference to the coming birth of Prince Charles Edward Stewart.


English predominates, with lesser amounts of material in French and Gaelic present. Primary or secondary materials in any language are collected if concerned with the Jacobite rebellion.


700 monographs, theses, pamphlets, broadsides, maps, serials, and archives are included in the collection; of these, 223 items are in the Rare Book collection and 13 linear cm of manuscript material is in the archives.


All titles are catalogued or coded. Access is through the library’s online catalogue. LC classification is used. Government documents are coded in the CODOC system. The archival collections are coded in an adaptation of the cataloguing and coding system. A finding aid (2001) is available.


The collection is open to the public. The hours of opening for circulating books in the library are posted. Rare and archival collections are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. (4:30 in summer).

Interlibrary Loan:

Available except for rare and archival materials.


Yes, as the condition of the material warrants, and as the copyright allows.

Reference Assistance:



Steele, Margaret. -- "The Jacobite Collection." -- Collection update. -- No. 8 (1984). -- [Guelph, Ont.]: University of Guelph Library, 1984.

Edwards, Louise. -- “Maps in the Jacobite Collection.” -- Collection update. – No. 2 (1980) -- [Guelph, Ont.]: University of Guelph Library, 1980

Source: the Directory of special collections of research value in Canadian libraries reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Canada.


Charles Edward Stewart, An authentic account of the young chevalier. (1749)    rare books   s0281b08

John Ker, Memoirs of John Ker. (1726)                                                                      rare books   s0358b25

Late King James’s letter to his privy-counsellors. (1692)                                      rare books   s0345b35

James, Prince of Wales, His majesty’s most generous declaration. (1743)           rare books   s0355b10

Thomas Burnet, Some new proofs by which is appears that the                            rare books   s0310b18

      Pretender is truly James the Third. (1745)

Collectanea, or a collection of advertisements and paragraphs                          rare books   s0480b19

      from newspapers. (17--)

And here we have just a few pictures from this major collection...

The above pictures are of a new addition just added to the library

The book on the right holds the details of where to find everything in the collection. Hopefully this has given you a wee flavour of what you can find

And here is an account of the Battle of Culloden

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