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University of Guelph Library
The Pioneer Collection

      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.


The Pioneer Collection was acquired by the Library in 1982 as part of its efforts to increase the scope of Canadian-Scottish materials. The books, pamphlets, periodicals and maps include many rare Scottish publications.


The Pioneer Collection represents the personal library of Mr. Daniel Lizars, a Scottish immigrant who came to Canada from Edinburgh with his family in 1833 and settled near Goderich, Ontario. There are 650 volumes, including many books and pamphlets, brought directly from Scotland, thus providing an indication of what an early pioneer circulating library must have been. Daniel Lizars was a printer and bookseller in Edinburgh, who sold his stock and in 1833 emigrated with  his family to Upper Canada. They settled near Colborne (Goderich) Ontario. The Lizars’ library of books and pamphlets was very valuable to early settlers.


English is the predominate language.


Approximately 650 volumes: books are shelved in wooden cabinets by Library of Congress call number.


All titles are catalogued and available via the library’s online catalogue. Library of Congress classification is used for all material. Use of the search limit, Pioneer Collection,  is the most efficient way to retrieve items in conjunction with keyword searching. A printed list of available titles is also available for consultation in the Wellington Country Reading Room.


Rare and archival collections are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. (4:30 in the summer).

Interlibrary Loan:

No publications are available for loan.


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

Reference Assistance:



Cunliffe, Vera – From Edinburgh to Colborne Township: Daniel Lizars and the Pioneer Collection at Guelph – [Guelph, Ontario] : University of Guelph Library, 1984.



Xenophon, Cyrus Into Persia. (1776)                  Pioneer Collection                            DF 231.32 A3


Hugo, Les Miserables. (1890)                               Pioneer Collection                         PQ 2286 A45


Cary, Dante.  (1852)                                             Pioneer Collection                         PQ 4315 C4


Library of Useful Knowledge, The Horse. (1843)     Pioneer Collection                         SF 285 Y66


Swift, Gulliver’s Travels. (1875)                           Pioneer Collection                         PR 3724 G8


Tennyson, Enoch Arden. (1864)                           Pioneer Collection                          PR 5556 A1


Trail, Canadian Crusoes. (1881)                          Pioneer Collection                          PS 8489 R3 C3


Potts, Euclid’s Geometry. (1866)                         Pioneer Collection                            QA 451 S63


Confession of Faith. (1843)                                 Pioneer Collection                          BX 9183 W47


Lockhart, Life of Scott. (1839)                             Pioneer Collection                            PR 5332 L6

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