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Collection Highlights

Toronto Metropolitan University Archives & Special Collections hold a wide range of archival materials, cultural artifacts and rare book collections. 

The Archives mandate is to acquire, preserve and make available records essential to the understanding of the University’s purposes and operation or having other historical or archival value. Within its mandate, the Archives acts as a resource facility which documents the history of the University (1948 to the present) and its antecedent institutions at St. James Square.

These institutions include:

  • Toronto Normal School (1852-1941)
  • R.C.A.F. No. 6 Initial Training Centre and Dominion-Provincial War Emergency Training Program (1941-1945)
  • Toronto Training and Re-establishment Institute (1945-1948)

The archival collections consist of over 925 fonds from different departments, faculty, and staff and covers a wide range of topics.

Notable fonds

University photograph collections

Health Sciences

  • People seated on grass in Kerr Hall Quad listening to music
  • Illustration of a woman smelling a pile of grapes
  • Book cover with a red Jell-O dish with strawberries
  • Hot air balloon with red, yellow and blue stripes with the Kodak logo
  • The Wizard of Oz Ryerson Opera Workshop poster

Special Collections holdings comprise archival materials, cultural artifacts and rare book collections. The rare book collection was started by the library in 1971, and moved to Special Collections in 2008. It includes books on photography, artist books, the McGraw-Hill Ryerson Press Collection, Canadiana and an extensive collection of Victorian periodicals.

Other Special Collections and subject strengths include:

Rare books

Film & photography history

Architecture and governance

Theatre, media and television