Recent Acquisitions: City Life

The Archives & Special Collections are always on the look out for historical or scarce items that may be of interest to our teach faculty or students. Here are a few items we've picked up this year that relate to city life in the 19th and 20th centuries, which may be of particular interest to researchers studying urban development, the history of towns or environmental studies.

We have acquired a published lecture from 1846 given by William A. Guy on innovative uses of town refuse as agricultural fertilizer.  The work, "On the Health of Towns, as influenced by defective cleansing and drainage and on the application of the refuse of towns to agricultural purposes" was published by Henry Renshaw in London. A link to the catalogue record can be found at:

We have also acquired a small little promotional almanac published by the Diamond Dye Company of Montreal in 1886.  In addition to containing calendar pages, the almanac also includes helpful tips about dyeing hair, neckties, ribbons, dyeing your own colouring crayons and advice on domestic issues. The catalogue record for this item can be found at:

William Orme McRobie wrote a personal memoir of his own career as a Montreal firefighter.  His book "Fighting the Flames! or, Twenty-seven years in the Montreal Fire Brigade: a record of prominent fires, thrilling adventures and hair-breadth escapes, together with practical suggestions for improvement." features a portrait of himself (and his own impressive moustache!).  The book was published in (you guessed it) Montreal by the Witness Printing House in 1881.  You can find a the catalogue record at:

This item complements an earlier acquisition to our pamphlet collection, a 1915 bilingual publication of the charter and by-laws of the Montreal Fireman's Benefit Association, or l'Associaton de bienfaisance des pompiers de Montreal. A link to the online catalogue record can be found here:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *