Series 1 - Christian Guardian, The

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Christian Guardian, The

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  • Textual record

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Reference code

CA ON00340 F578-1

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Dates of creation area


  • 1829-1925 (Creation)
    Christian Guardian

Physical description area

Physical description

96 v.

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Archival description area

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Administrative history

The Christian Guardian was a Wesleyan Methodist journal founded in 1829 in Toronto, Ontario. The first volume was published on November 21, 1829. The journal was one of the first religious publications in Canada. Egerton Ryerson was the publications founding editor.
At the outset, the publication was published weekly. It quickly gained an audience outside of the Methodist Church. Over time, the publication expanded in length and featured more illustrations as it grew.

From 1875 to 1878, The Christian Guardian merged with The New Connection publication, The Evangelical Witness (est. 1855). In 1884, with the union of churches, The Christian Guardian absorbed the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada's Canadian Christian Advocate (est. 1857) the Primitive Methodist Church of Canada's Christian Journal (est. 1857), and the Bible Christians Church's The Observer (est. 1866).

The Christian Guardian was published under the following bodies:
Published for the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada - 1829-1830
Published under the direction of the Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada - 1830-1833
Published under the direction of the Conference of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in British North America - 1833-1834
Published under the direction of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada - 1834-1874
Published under the direction of the Methodist Church in Canada - 1874-1925

Editors for the publication include:
E. Ryerson and F. Metcalf (1829-1830)
E. Ryerson and W. Smith (1830-1831)
Egerton Ryerson (1831-1832)
James Richardson (1832-1833)
Egerton Ryerson (1833-1835)
Ephraim Evans (1835-1838)
Egerton Ryerson (1838-1840)
Jonathan Scott (1840-1844)
George Frederick Playter (1844-1846)
George Rivers Sanderson (1846-1851)
James Spencer (1851-1860)
Wellington Jeffers (1860-1869)
Edward Hartley Dewart (1869-1895)
A.C. Courtice (1895-1902)
G. J. Boyd (1903-1905)
William Black Creighton (1906-1925)

Please note that many issues do not have the editors printed on the issue. There may be some discrepancy in the editors for a given volume.
From 1829-1834 the publication was published in York, Upper Canada. In 1834 York became the City of Toronto. The publication was printed in various buildings on King Street East, Queen Street East and Richmond Street West.

From 1879-1919, William Briggs became the book steward and the publisher, under the Methodist Book and Publishing House. Samuel W. Fallis took over in 1919 as book steward.
In 1925, 70% of the Presbyterians, the Congregationalist and the Methodists merged to formed The United Church of Canada. The publications of each of the denominations also merged to form The New Outlook which became the United Church Observer in 1939, and Broadview in 2019.

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Methodist Book and Publishing House was founded in 1829 in Toronto, Ontario. By the 1890s the Methodist Book and Publishing House was responsible for the Christian Guardian, Sunday-school papers, textbooks, and undertaking jobbing printing. In 1919, Methodist Book and Publishing House became Ryerson Press.

Name of creator


Administrative history

Ryerson Press, a Canadian book publishing company named after Egerton Ryerson, was founded in 1919. It was previously known as The Methodist Book Room, run by the Methodist Church of Canada. After the merger of the Methodist, Congregation and the Presbyterian Churches in 1925, Ryerson Press was operated by the United Church Publishing House. The publishing company was sold in 1970 to McGraw-Hill.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Series consists of digitized copies of The Christian Guardian publication from 1829-1925. The publication is known as Christian Guardian from 1829-1868 and The Christian Guardian from 1869-1925. Common sections in the publication include: editorials, columns from the Woman's Missionary Society, foreign news, notices of meetings, classifieds and advertisements, obituaries, parliamentary proceedings, summary of Conferences and district meetings, global news, and religious news. Many volumes also feature supplement issues or holiday issues.

Notes area

Physical condition

Some originals are torn or covered in ink stains making the issues difficult to read. Others issues have fonts that bled through the page making the issues difficult to read.

Immediate source of acquisition


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    Script of material

      Location of originals

      Originals of the publication can be found in the United Church of Canada Archives Library collection under the call number BX8251.A22 C45 PS. Material is in library use only.

      Availability of other formats

      Digitized in 2014.

      Restrictions on access

      Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

      If a higher resolution of the Christian Guardian is required, please contact the United Church of Canada Archives.

      Finding aids

      Table of contents for the publication is available in the PDF finding aid.

      Associated materials

      Obituaries Printed in the Christian Guardian, 1861-1870, (located in the United Church of Canada Archives reading room).

      Material about Ryerson Press can be found at Ryerson University Archives and Special Collections:


      General note

      Volume I , No. 1 and Volume I, No. 51 are incomplete.

      There are two issues of Volume LVI, No. 33.
      There are two issue of Volume XXXI, No. 49

      Volume XXV, No. 22 is listed twice however, the issue from March 22, 1854 should be issue 24.

      The following issues are missing:
      Volume I, No. 2
      Volume II, No. 4
      Volume IV, No. 48
      Volume V, No. 10
      Volume V, No. 16
      Volume V, No. 51
      Volume VII, No. 27
      Volume VII, No. 28
      Volume VII, No. 29
      Volume VIII, No. 22
      Volume VIII, No. 39
      Volume IX, No. 12
      Volume XV, No. 25
      Volume XV, No. 28
      Volume XV, No. 29
      Volume XV, No. 30
      Volume XV, No. 31
      Volume XV, No. 39
      Volume XV, No. 47
      Volume XVI, No. 4
      Volume XVI, No. 5
      Volume XVI, No. 6
      Volume XVI, No. 19
      Volume XVI, No. 23
      Volume XVI, No. 51
      Volume XVIII, No. 28
      Volume XVIII, No. 40
      Volume XX, No. 50
      Volume XXV, No. 11
      Volume XXV, No. 46
      Volume XXXI, No. 39
      Volume XXXVI, No. 30
      Volume XLII, No. 23
      Volume XLV, No. 5
      Volume XLV, No. 45
      Volume XLVIII, No. 22
      Volume LVI, No. 35
      Volume LXVII, No. 10
      Volume LXXIV, No. 25
      Volume LXXXI, No. 6
      Volume LXXXI, No. 9
      Volume LXXXI, No. 10
      Volume LXXXIV, No. 31
      Volume LXXXV, No. 3
      Volume LXXXV, No. 7
      Volume LXXXV, No. 16
      Volume LXXXVIII, No. 8
      Volume LXXXVIII, No. 20
      Volume LXXXVIII, No. 21
      Volume XCII, No. 12
      Volume XCIII, No. 35
      Volume XCIII, No. 49


      Material is in the public domain.

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