Ontario Government Agency History

An agency history provides information about the history of a part of the government of Ontario that  has created archival records. 

There are close links between what an office in government does and the nature of the records that it creates. An agency history can help us to understand why a group of records were created in the course of what activity of government.

For more information on how archival records are organized and described, please see How Government of Ontario Records are Organized .

What information is contained in an agency history?

An agency history may describe:

  • a Ministry (known before 1972 as a Department)


    Ministry of Energy
    Department of Agriculture

  • an agency, board or commission, level of court etc.


    Royal Commission on Industrial Safety
    Victoria Industrial School (Mimico, Ont.)
    Ontario Arts Council
    Surrogate Courts

  • a part of a ministry or agency, board or commission


    Historical Conservation and Promotion Section
    Water Quality Branch
    Division of Surveys and Engineering

What information is contained in an agency history?

An agency history provides the following information:

  • information about when the part of government existed
  • information about what this part of government did
  • information about the history of this part of government

What does an agency history link to?

An agency history provides links to descriptions of the archival records that the agency was responsible for creating.  Follow these links to identify archival records that may relate to your research need.

An agency history also provides links to related agencies:

  • links to the Ministry or Department to which the agency reported
  • links to the different offices that reported to a Ministry or Department
  • links to predecessor and successor offices that performed the same functions.