OAC Historical Data

Background and Motivation:

The Ontario Agricultural College has been the cornerstone of agricultural education and research for over 140 years in Canada.  Research topics are broad and most research involves data collection.  However, we have not been very diligent about preserving and archiving our research data once the research paper hits the publication presses.  Now, as our faculty and researchers retire, we may be losing access to valuable data.

During this same time period, we have also been witness to great leaps in access to computing resources and improved statistical methodologies.  Today’s computing capabilities are now able to run analyses that match the statistical methodologies developed almost a century ago.  Yes, analyzing a generalized linear mixed model was discussed and published back in the 1950s – but we could not implement this type of analysis without the computing software packages and computers we have access to today.  No worries though, analyses conducted a while ago are valid!  However, wouldn’t it be grand to see our historical research and published analyses updated to use today’s methods?  And accessible to future researchers!

These two very important facets of research are what prompted this project. The goals of this project are listed below.

Goals of the Project:

  1. To collect OAC historical research data.
  2. To create opportunities for OAC graduate students to reproduce results and output from an historical OAC research study (published paper), using today’s statistical methodologies and statistical programs (R or SAS as primary examples).
  3.  To create metadata and deposit historical data, code, and updated tables/output into the UG’s Agri-environmental Research Data Repository for preservation and archiving.


Project Update:

June 2023 – May 2024:
  • 25 new projects uploaded
  • 420 files documented and preserved in the repository


Start to May 2023:


Services available:

Do you have an older paper and data hanging around on a server or your laptop?  We can help you create the needed documentation and upload your files to the Data Repository.  We also have tutorials and notes available for you to do a self-deposit.  Please visit our Educational Materials for tutorials and documents.