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Catalogues (1880-1975)
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Introduction to the Catalogues

On this site, there are hundreds of catalogue pages from 1880 to 1975 with text- and image-rich material. There are also photographs of objects from these catalogues, a catalogue timeline, and articles about such topics as toys, women's fashion, and oriental rugs.

Start browsing
the catalogues

How to view catalogue pages

Start browsing
the catalogues

To view the catalogue pages, we suggest you load the free MrSID plug-in software, which will download automatically from this site the first time you view a catalogue page.

The first time you select a catalogue page, a "MrSID plug-in" message box will pop up on your screen. You can view the pages without this free software, but we recommend that you install it so you can view the pages more quickly and with more control. Just click "Yes" when prompted and the plug-in will load automatically. This plug-in is free, takes up very little space on your hard drive, and will not interfere with other programs on your computer.

For further details on the MrSID plug-in, or for information on downloading the plug-in on a Macintosh computer, click here.

See sample catalogue pages

  Page 296, P.T. Legaré 

Enlarge image.P. T. Legaré 1920, p. 296.
(Library and Archives Canada)

  Page 7, Eaton's 
Christmas Book 1956  

Enlarge image.Eaton's Christmas Book 1956, p. 7.
(Used with permission of Sears Canada Inc., Library and Archives Canada)


A typical catalogue page comprises text, numbers, and black-and-white or colour photographs, or illustrations. The P. T. Legaré Catalogue is unique on this site because it is bilingual with text in both English and French. The other catalogues are in either English or French, like the sample pages from the Eaton's Christmas Book 1956 and the Eaton - Automne et hiver 1950-51 catalogue.

Teacher Hints: Suggestions for using the pages

  • Print out these pages in colour or black and white. See How to print a page for information on printing the pages.
  • For Kindergarten, make them into colouring sheets. Leave space to print the names of objects. See How to print a page for information on printing the pages.
  • Use the text and images for English or French Language Arts, Core French, English as a Second Language, French as a Foreign Language, and Art. Define selected words, create vocabulary lists, write descriptions for items, or create new catalogue pages.
  • Use the numbers to create problems for Math.
  • Compare pages from different catalogues for Social Studies and History.
  • Research items and their origins for History and Geography.

See Elementary Teachers: Curriculum-Linked Activities or Secondary Teachers: Curriculum-Linked Activities for additional details on these suggested activities and to find other curriculum-linked activities that use the catalogue pages.

See a Sample Catalogue Index

Page 1 of Eaton's Fall 
and Winter 1918-19 index Page 2 of Eaton's Fall 
and Winter 1918-19 index Page 3 of Eaton's Fall 
and Winter 1918-19 index

Enlarge image.Index from the Eaton's Fall and Winter 1918-19 catalogue
(Used with permission of Sears Canada Inc., Library and Archives Canada)



Most catalogues on this site contain an index, like this one from the Eaton's Fall and Winter 1918-19 catalogue. Click on an image to see an index page. To access a catalogue's index, click on the Index button. Refer to the index to find out what each catalogue features and to find out what terms to use to search a catalogue.

Teacher Hints: You can create activities that use the indexes of several different catalogues, to compare what goods were available in different periods. You can also teach your students how to use the indexes to perform their own research.

How to search for a catalogue item

Start browsing
the catalogues

You can search the entire collection of catalogues or search a particular catalogue. If you wish to search the entire collection of catalogues, type the object name into the search box at the top of the Catalogues page.

If you know which decade you are interested in, click on Browse by Date. Once you have chosen a catalogue, click on Index to see how the objects are organized. Use the terms from the index as keywords to search for an object. Search for an object by typing its name in the search box on the left of the page.

For additional assistance, click on Search Help.

How to print a page

Place the cursor within the page you would like to print. Right click on your mouse and select Print. Because most catalogues have restrictions on their printing, please click on the copyright button on each page before you print it. The following three catalogues have no restrictions and can be printed freely for classroom use: Goodwin's Fall and Winter 1911-12 catalogue, Christie Grant Midsummer Sale 1918 catalogue, and P. T. Legaré 1920 catalogue.


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