Subseries 2 - Records relating to UCPH and Ryerson Press

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Records relating to UCPH and Ryerson Press

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  • Textual record

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Reference code

CA ON00340 F515-2-2

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Edition statement

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 55 cm of textual records

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

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Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

In 1968 the Division of Communication absorbed the responsibilities of the former Board of Publication and former Board of Stewardship and Information. In so doing the new division was meant to encompass all forms of communication media, including print. Print work was overseen by the United Church Publishing House (UCPH) which was responsible for the publication, sale and distribution of materials for the United Church.

The Publishing House also operated the Ryerson Press as a publishing division to print and publish secular literature. By action of the 23rd General Council the Ryerson Press also took on religious printing and publishing. However by 1971 the Ryerson Press was sold because of financial difficulty. The United Church Publishing House remained the sole publishing house until 2002 and was responsible for national and regional distribution of print material, marketing research and evaluation of resources, publishing, and encouragement of ecumenical cooperation. The publishing house was also responsible for the United Church newspaper The Observer but it was separated from the Division in 1974 for financial issues concerning the publishing house.

In 1976 UCPH changed its name to CANEC. After recognizing a need for regional outlets for resource distribution, CANEC merged with existing outlets operated by the Conferences, created new outlets and also created presbytery resource centres to further distribution. In the 1980s CANEC took over AVEL (Audio Visual Education Library) distribution. CANEC reverted to the original name United Church Publishing House in 1987.

In 1989 the Department of Graphics and Print Production was created to centralize the printing produced by all divisions. With formation of above department and growing pressure from declining mission and service fund the Department of Education and Information was formed. The Department brought together Information Services, AVEL and Education for Mission. Under this new department, a Resource Distribution Task Group was established to look at the methods of resource distribution. With the financial failing of AVEL and the new restructuring of conferences the Division to formed two new departments in 1994 which divided publication work between publishing and retail. The Publishing Unit was responsible for producing resources for General Council divisions and also publishing for markets beyond the church. The Department of Retailing and Distribution was responsible for distributing materials for congregational and personal use.

The Publishing Unit and Department of Retailing and Distribution operated until 2001 when the Division became the Resource Production and Distribution Unit. The Publishing House still existed as a brand within United Church Resource Production and Distribution. United Church Resource Distribution came about as a way of differentiating the warehouse and distribution work from the production which came from the GCO. Marketing remained a function of the publishing house despite the finances being provided by the Distribution strain.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Subseries contains records pertaining to the early years of UCPH management within the Division of Communication and records convening the relationship between UCPH and Ryerson Press and its various iterations 1967-1983.

Notes area

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General note

See Series 15 for lantern slides produced by the United Church Publishing House (1990.087P/1-64).

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Updated December 2021, AZ

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