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Ontario City LibraryThe Ontario History Collection

The Model Colony History Room brings together collections of books, photographs, ephemera, and other materials which document and reflect the City's unique historical and cultural development.


Ontario History Collection books

Books about Ontario and the Inland Empire

Documented history of the area in a collection of historical and descriptive books and manuscripts about Ontario and the Inland Empire including citrus and agricultural activities, business correspondence of the Chaffey Brothers and Charles Frankish, city directories, business directories, and vital records covering the years 1882 - present. A collection of City-issued documents, reports, codes, newsletters, EIR/EIS studies are also available to the public for review. 

Ontario History Collection pictures

Historical Photographs

The Model Colony History Room contains thousands of photographs illustrating Ontario and the surrounding areas, dating from the early 1880's to the present.

Digital reproductions of the photographs are available for purchase in two file formats. Fees paid to the library will vary according to the planned use of the images. 

Ontario History Collection building-survey

Building Survey

The Ontario Building Survey Collection consists of 3000 architectural surveys of commercial buildings and residences erected prior to 1940. The survey was conducted by the city in 1983 - 1984.

Ontario History Collection pamphlet

Ephemera and Other Materials

Other materials in the Model Colony Local History Room include extensive newspaper clipping files, maps, pamphlets, scrapbooks, postcards, videos and oral histories.
  A Sampling of Our Special Collections

Ontario History Collection armstrong 

Armstrong Nurseries Collection
1889 - 1984

Business and research records of the John S. Armstrong Nursery Company which originated in Ontario. The collection includes photographs, posters, catalogs and research notes of varieties of roses and deciduous plants, including the famous "Charlotte Armstrong" Rose. 

Ontario History Collection iron

G.E. Hotpoint Collection
1904 - 1982

This collection contains business records, mechanical drawings, photographs and ephemera including a picture of Ronald Reagan accepting the 50 millionth iron produced by the Ontario G.E. plant in 1956. 

Ontario History Collection ontario-races

Ontario Motor Speedway Collection
1963 - 1985

This collection is comprised of planning documents, business correspondence, maps, photos, videos, posters and race memorabilia during the lifetime of the Ontario Motor Speedway. 

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Last updated: 8/16/2013 1:59:02 PM