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declared to be the “ School Fund” of the Municipality, and from which, as such, the Separate Schools were to receive their legal share.
The other subject of special local interest in 1852 was that of “ Free Schools." An agitation against their adoption, which had been kept up by individuals and in the Press for some time, at length culminated in the active formation of an antiFree School Crusade. The promoters of this movement took strong ground against the imposition of any Rates upon property for the purchase of School Sites, the building of School Houses, or the maintenance of Free Schools. They held that those alone, who required these Schools for their children, should pay for them, but that the general public should not be taxed for their support.
A Public Meeting having, by Requisition, been called by the Mayor—which was well attended-a prolonged discussion, (as given on pages 274-277), took place on the subject, which resulted in an almost unanimous and hearty vote by the Meeting in favour of a general taxation for the proposed School Sites, School Houses, and for the support, in future, of the City Public Schools as Free Schools.
It is especially gratifying to be able to turn from these less pleasing—yet, on the whole, not discouraging,-episodes in the educational history of these times, to the two chief events of the years 1851 and 1852.
The first event of importance here referred to, was the erection, in 1851, at a cost of One hundred thousand dollars, and the permanent occupation in 1852) of the handsome pile of Buildings on St. James' Square, (as it is now called), for the Normal and Model Schools, and for the Education Offices.
A full record of these notable events, and of the able and statesmanlike Speeches delivered on these occasions by Lord Elgin and by other prominent Public Men of those days is given in this Volume. The Address of Lord Elgin was especially marked by great clearness and beauty, by its eloquent tone and the almost touching pathos of his appeal to Ministers of Religion, to care " for the lambs of the Hock.”
These Speeches may be read to-day with a great feeling of satisfaction, as the hopeful, and almost prophetic, utterances of Fifty Years ago, by those who took part in the events recorded, have been more than fully realized in the after success and prosperity of the two important Institutions named, and also of the Education Department.
Another important movement was made in 1851 for the promotion of Public School Libraries.
The School Act of 1850 had provided for an Annual Grant of Twelve thousand dollars " for the establishment and support of Public School Libraries" in Upper Canada. Preliminary steps were taken by the Chief Superintendent, in 1851, to give effect to this wise and generous grant of the Legislature for these libraries. A record of the proceedings to this end is given, and the proceedings are also fully detailed on pages 97-99 and 191-201 of this Volume.
In his Annual Report for 1852, the Chief Superintendent, after having given particulars as to what had been done to provide a supply of good wholesome literature for the proposed Public Libraries, stated, that, in addition “ to the establishment of these Libraries upon a right foundation," he had “ deemed it essential .. to provide for the accomplishment of the following objects :
1. The prevention of the expenditure of any part of the Library Fund in the purchase and circulation of Books having a tendency to subvert public morals, or vitiate the public taste.
2. The protection of local parties against imposition, by interested itinerant Book Vendors, in regard to both the prices and character of Books introduced into their Libraries.
3. The placing of the remotest Municipalities upon an equal footing with those adjoining the Metropolis, in regard to the terms and facilities of procuring Books, with the single exception of their transmission which is now becoming safe and easy to all parts of Upper Canada.*
4. The selection, procuring, and rending equally acceptable to all the School Municipalities of the land a large variety of attractive and instructive reading Books, and that upon the most economical and advantageous terms.
5. The removal of all restrictions upon local exertion, either as to the sums raised, or the manner of raising them, whether in a School Section, or Township, or County, and the encour. agement of such exertions by proportioning, in all cases, the amount of public aid to the amount raised by local effort.
The Council of Public Instruction, in adopting the Library Regulations, in 1853,(after specifying certain limitations in regard to the selection and approval of Books for Public Libraries), stated that:
With these exceptions and limitations, it is the opinion of the Council that, as wide a selection as possible, should be made of useful and entertaining Books of permanent value, adapted to popular reading in the various departments of human knowledge ; loaving each Municipality to consult its own taste, and to exercise its own discretion in selecting such Books from the General Depository Catalogue of the Department as it prefers.
By reference to that Catalogue, as revised from time to time, it will be seen that none of the "Popular” Novels of the day were included in the Catalogue list. But a number of Tales and Stories, illustrative of “ Practical Life,” and issued by well-known Publishers, were included in the Official Catalogue, under that general heading. In later years “ Fiction" was added, but only such sterling works of distinguished Authors, as had merited the general approval of those competent to judge in such matters.
It was no wonder, therefore, that Lord Elgin, the able and gifted Governor General of that period, who was personally cognizant of what had been done to establish the System of Public Libraries, should have referred, in one of his eloquent speeches, at the time, to these Libraries as :
"THE CROWN AND GLORY OF THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE PROVINCE.
J. GEORGE HODGINS, Librarian and Historiographer of the Education Department of Ontario.
TORONTO, 17th of March, 1903.
* The terms, upon which it was proposed that Books would be supplied to Public Libraries, were thus stated in a Departmental Notice issued by Doctor Ryerson :
The Chief Surerintendent of Education is prepared to apportion One Hundred per cent, upon all sums which shall be raised from local sources by Municipal Councils and School Corporations for the establishment or increase of Public Libraries in Upper Canada under the Regulations provided according to law. Prison Libraries and Teachers' County Association Libraries may, under these Regulations, be established by County Councils, as Branch Libraries.
On page 194, I have quoted some recent utterances of President Eliot, of Harvard University, on the demoralizing effect of the general introduction into certain popular Libraries "of ephemeral reading matter, which is not good in either form, or substance."
CONTENTS OF THE TENTH VOLUME, 1851-1852.
II. Ceremony of Laying the Corner Stone by Lord Elgin, July 1851........
IV. Front and Side Perspective of the Buildings......................
IV. To County Clerks, sending specimens of Maps and School Appliances....
IV. Report of the Toronto University Endowment Board, 1851 .........
V. Report of the Endowment Board on Upper Canada College, 1851....
(2) Correspondence between the Reverends Doctors Ryerson and Nelles ..
III. The Free Presbyterian Church, representing Knox College. .............
II. Church of England Separate Schools advocated by Doctor Strachan ......
II. Common School Act for a Limited Period, 1852 .......
(1) Provision for Taking Meteorological Observations......
II. Supplementary School Bill of 1853 and Explanatory Correspondence .....
(1) The Original Draft of Supplementary School Bill, ..
(2) Additions and Alterations in the Bill..
(3) Separate School Correspondence in the Return..... ...............
(Letters IV. and V. in the Return are printed in extenso)...
IV. Supplementary Return Relating to Toronto University Accounts..... 2016