Print, profit and pedagogy: the school aids and text book publishing company
PublisherSaskatchewan Archives Board
The School Aids and Text Book Publishing Company operated in Saskatchewan from the early 1930s through to 1978. The company specialized in textbooks for the K-12 market, but also published several trade titles of Western Canadiana. This small prairie publishing firm was able to thrive through the Depression years and beyond by profiting from its association with a successful job printing plant, by employing local educators, artists, and amateur historians as writers, by marketing directly to teachers and to the provincial Department of Education, and by exploiting the crucial role that the authorized textbook played in classroom instruction during this time. Distinctive features of School Aids publications include a strong interest in and focus on the history of Aboriginal peoples on the prairies, incorporation of considerable local content, translation of homegrown textbooks into French, and suggestions of socialist influences. Winnipeg bookseller Jim Anderson referred to the School Aids and Text Book Publishing Company as "the most energetic and prolific of prairie school-book publishing firms." The story of this little known company represents a noteworthy chapter in the history of education and publishing in our province.