The Red River Library: A Search after Knowledge and Refinement.

p. 154: Consequently, books were introduced into the colony only a year after the first party of settlers arrived at York Factory in 1812. The children “were instructed in arithmetic, reading, and writing, using books furnished at Selkirk’s expense from the British and Foreign School Society.” Lord Selkirk was very involved in ordering book sources for the community. HBD conducted an inventory including books in 1822, and again in 1825.

p. 155:“By 1825, the Selkirk collection was a small reference library… [in addition to agricultural works]. The collection emphasizes as one would expect, the most practical reference material—dictionaries, a law book, a cook book; chemistry, mathematics, and history texts. Maria Edgeworth Popular, Fashionable and Moral Tales were the closest the settlers might come to frivolous reading, but there were editions of The Odyssey, The Illiad, Robert Burns (of course), ten volumes of Shakespeare, Milton, Don Quixote, and Robinson Crusoe.

p. 156: Colonel Crofton supported Adam Thom in planning a library: [Crofton] was accustomed to using the military library provided for his region, and…described how he used the library to relieve his own boredom and in ‘Keeping up contentment and good order’ among his officers and men. [Remainder of article recounts the rise and decline of the Red River Library. One writer in 1926 described the citizens as “not bookly minded people. They saw no value in and had no appreciation of such things.”]