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University of Guelph Library
Clan & Family History

        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.


Although small amounts of material have been added since the founding of the Scottish studies programme, family and clan history was not really significantly developed until the middle 1970s when funding for Scottish studies became available, initially from private agencies and special university initiatives, and then later from government sources (SSHRC).


Material on all aspects of Scottish clan and family history is collected at a comprehensive level, in printed works as well as manuscripts. The collection includes books, periodicals, pamphlets, local histories (private and society publications), broadsides, maps, photographs, and other ephemera. Included are the family histories by Sir William Fraser which provide a rich source of genealogical information. The archives collection is particularly strong in the family papers of Scottish immigrants to Upper Canada, of which the most significant single family represented is the Mickle family that settled in the Guelph area in 1832 from Edinburgh. Other significant family papers include those of the Ewen-Grahame family of Aberdeen, the Urquhart-Campbell-Sutherland family, Campbell of Monzie, the MacIntosh-Duff family, and the Godwin-Haines family. There is significant overlap with the topographical collection, as much of the history of a place or region is often connected to one family.


English predominates, almost exclusively, but there is some Gaelic, early Latin, old Scots and old English manuscript material, and some related French printed material in the collection. Material in any language will be acquired if relevant and available.


Approximately 1000 monographs, serials, charts, maps, pamphlets, documents, and archives are included in the collection; of these, 135 volumes are in the Rare Book Collection and 25 linear metres in the archives.



All titles are catalogued and available via the library’s online catalogue. LC classification is used for all material.


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:



 Beattie Family Papers.                                                               archives           XS1 MA a099

Anderson Family Papers.                                                             rare books      XR1 MS a110

Brough Family (letters).                                                                archives           XS1 MS a224

Genealogy charts.                                                                        archives           XS1 MS a239

Mackay, Eneas, The songs of Skye: an anthology. (1934)              archives           XS1 MS a239

MacLeod, Isabel, 50 years of history: Glengarry Clan MacLeod.  1986) archives      XS1 MS a239

Morrison, Alick, The chiefs of Clan MacLeod. (1986)                       archives            XS1 MS a239


It should be noted that there are many clan histories on the third floor of the library which you can borrow but the books and papers mentioned above and others are only held in the rare book dept. and thus can only be read in their reading room.  Below are just a few pictures of the rare book clan and family collection.


It is amazing what you find... these pages are accounts of the Highland Regiments

There is also considerable Clan and Family Histories on the third floor of the library. See the page on Scottish History for more details.

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