The Archives and Special Collections (A&SC) windows feature a series of seemingly random numbers worked into the window’s graphic pattern. The numbers are actually dates, chosen by A&SC staff, that are significant to the City of Toronto, Toronto Metropolitan University, and Archives and Special Collections. Over the course of the next year our blog will feature some of the window dates and explain their significance.
In 1899, after successfully operating on the American market for over a decade, George Eastman dispatched Kodak employee John G. Palmer to Toronto to determine the viability of establishing a subsidiary in Canada. Palmer discovered a robust market for photographic products and, on November 8, 1899, Canadian Kodak Co., Limited was incorporated under the Ontario Company’s act. The nascent company established headquarters in downtown Toronto, embarking on a relationship with the city that would last more than a century and would constitute the heart of the company’s manufacturing operations in Canada.
For more information on Kodak Canada, please read our earlier blog – “Kodak in Toronto”
The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association fonds came to the Ryerson Archives and Special Collections in 2011. In it are several notebooks filled with course notes, and practical knowledge for the student nurse.
One of the notebooks dates to the 1920’s and belonged to Wellesley School of Nursing class of 1925 graduate Elsie Kathleen Jones. Elsie K. returned to The Wellesley in 1928 and became the Director of Nursing in 1937, the role she held until her retirement in 1964.
In the notebook there are notations regarding everything from making a proper hospital bed and caring for the sheets, to recognizing and treating a hemorrhage in a patient. The following are some excerpts from the notebook.
To Make a Closed Bed
Loosen all the covers, removing one article at a time. Fold and place on a chair
Brush mattress well and turn from end to end
Place mattress protector on mattress
Put on lower sheet, wide hem at top, tucking in nine (9”) at top of mattress drawing tightly and turning straight corners.
Place the draw rubber, pulling on tightly, so there are no wrinkles
Place draw sheet, folding about 1/3 under at the top and tucking in tightly on each side
Place top sheet with the hem wrong side up, first coming to top of bed. Tuck in at the foot and make straight corners
Place blanket about 9” from top of the bed. Tuck in at the foot and make straight corners.
Then fold top sheet over the blanket and tuck in on both sides
Place the spread, reaching to the top of the bed, making straight corner at the bottom.
Place two pillows in bed. See that the pillows are well on the corners of the slips. Fold and place with closed end toward the door
The notebook also included instructions on how to make an “Ether” or surgical bed. The following are instructions for making up a surgical tray:
Surgical dressing tray
Six packages of absorbent wipes
Two large and two small dressings
One package of sterile towels
Set of instruments (forceps, scissors, probe)
Antiseptic powder (Borace or Bismuth Formic Iodide)
Bandages 2” x 3”
Sterile doctor’s gloves
Sterile bowl or basin of warm boracic solution
The nurses were also responsible to pre-treating the bedding if stained before sending them out to be washed:
Blood stains are soaked in cold water, then washed with soap and tepid water. For tea, coffee, and fruit stains use boiling water. If stains are still very persistent, use a solution of oxalic acid and rinse well afterwards in cold water.
Cocoa or anything containing milk use cold water
Grease stains, use hot water and soap or benzene
Iron Rust – spread over boiling water cover with salt and lemon juice, place in sun, if possible, and rinse thoroughly before sending to laundry
Ink stains – cover with salt and lemon juice and rinse thoroughly
Iodine – use ammonia or alcohol
When it came to treating their patients there were basic instructions such as recognizing sings of and type of fevers and proper care of thermometers:
Care of thermometer
Keep thermometer in bichloride of mercury solution 1-1000. Wash in cold water and dry before giving to patient
Types of Fever
Continuous fever which remains high with slight variations
Remittent, which remain above normal with considerable variations between highest and lowest temperature
Intermittent – alternately rises to high fever and falls to or below normal
Keep thermometer in bichloride of mercury solution 1-1000. Wash in cold water and dry before giving to patient
The notebook also has a number of recipes for poultices, enemas, purgatives, and various medical solutions used by nurses to treat a variety of medical conditions. The Linseed poultice was used for treating chest congestion and pneumonia:
Is made from linseed or ground flax seed meal. It is most effectual because it can be used at higher temperatures with blistering, as the linseed contains considerable oil.
For a small poultice, use about 2/3 cup of linseed to 1 cup boiling water. Add the linseed slowly to the boiling water, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula. Turn the gas low and just let come to a boil. Remove from gas and beat vigorously. Spread the linseed about 3/4” thick on poultice gauze leaving a good margin for folding in. Carry to the patient between heated plates. Have ready oiled muslin flannel protector binder and pins
*Note – Linseed poultice must be hot, light and smooth.
To view the notebook in its entirety or look through other items in this fonds – please contact Ryerson Archives and Special Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org
The plains of the prairies, the forests of the interior, and the seascapes of the Atlantic and the Pacific have served as muses for Canadian artists and writers for centuries.
In Canada 150: Picturing the Canadian Landscape, photographs and ephemera of the Lorne Shields Historical Photograph Collection at Toronto Metropolitan University showcase the ways in which the natural landscape has been an essential part of the identity and history of Canada.
Drop by the Archives and Special Collections Department, on the 4th floor of the Ryerson Library, to see the exhibition, curated by Image Arts students Bowie Fan, Gabriele Tai, Georgia Love, Justine Marasigan, and Lodoe Laura.
Adrian Walton-Cordeiro – Contesse De Bertren Ailene Devries – Two Cities and a River Fehn Foss – Remembering, Faring Julia Garnet – Elements Feline Gerhardt – About Mankind and the Attempt to Increase Significance Warren Rynkun – The Yard
Grayson Alabiso-Cahil – We’re not the first, and we won’t be the last Rena Balmain-Matthews – Poems Jana Beaton – Wallpaper Floorboards April Beatson – Skate Rebecca Bentolila and Natasha Serio – Yours and Mine
About the Award
As part of MPS507, a 3rd year Toronto Metropolitan University Image Arts class in The Photographic Book, students are expected to conceive of and create their own photobook. This is, in part, related to work that has been completed in the co-requisite class, MPS506 – Photographic Production. These are both required courses for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Image Arts) Photography Studies Option. Each year, the Library purchases the top photobooks in the class, as judged by the Special Collections Librarian, Alison Skyrme, and a special invited guest (this year Robyn York of Anchorless Press). The library pays fair market value for each book, and commits to spending a maximum of $1000 per semester. The books are judged at the First Edition Photobook Show – an exhibition of the photobooks at the end of the semester. For evaluation, particular attention is paid to design, sequencing, and integration of images and text. The library catalogues each book, including a note about the award, and houses the books in Special Collections. Occasional exhibits are created to showcase the works.
The First Edition Photobook Award was established in 2015 by Image Arts instructor Christopher Manson and the Ryerson Library to honour 3rd year photography students who have made exceptional achievements in photobook production. It provides incentive for them to achieve early recognition that will have a lasting legacy in our collection.
Previous Award Recipients
The following 2016 award winners were presented with a certificate during the Image Arts Awards Night, November 19th, 2016: Andrea Chartrand, Kaya Kelley, Mina Markovic, Terence Reeves, Gabriel Steele, Alia Youssef.
2017 Award Winners
Robyn York is a photographer and book artist whose work explores collecting, memory loss, and impermanence of place. She runs Anchorless Press, an independent publishing company that works with emerging artists to publish photo-based artists’ books, and has self-published and assisted in the design and production of over a dozen artists’ books and novels.
The new Archives and Special Collections reading room is now open for business. We are now located on the 4th floor of the Library in LIB 404, adjacent to the new quiet study and teaching room, LIB405. The Archives and Special Collections reading room is open from Monday – Friday form 9-5. Artifacts and exhibits are still being installed, but we are open for visitors and researchers. Here are a few photographs of our new digs.
For Instructors and Faculty: Teaching With Archival and Special Collections Material
If you are a teaching a class that might benefit from including primary source material, the quiet study/teaching space can be booked for classes. The archives and special collections staff can work with you to select books, photographs, documents, artifacts or other primary source materials from our collections. More information on our collection can be found on our website, and you can search for material on our online database. For more information, or to book a class, please email the Archives and Special Collections at email@example.com.
New Quiet Study Area:
A large quiet study area outside of Archives and Special Collections (LIB405) is now open as well and is available during library opening hours, but will occasionally be closed for booked classes. Signage will be posted indicating scheduled bookings.
The A&SC staff encourage you to stop by and visit if you get the chance.
Beginning Monday May 16 Special Collections will be rooming with the Toronto Metropolitan University Archives while renovations happen on the 4th floor. The Archives is located on the 3rd floor in the Library in room LIB387.
The move will take several weeks to complete, but we will continue to offer reference and research appointments while the shifting takes place.
To access Special Collections please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.
We are looking forward to an exciting Summer and Fall with A&SC finally located in one place! Check back here for move updates and photographs.
It’s Preservation Week, an initiative headed up by the American Library Association to raise awareness around the millions of artifacts in public collections that require special preservation attention. Photographs, films, videos, manuscripts, artworks and digital material can be invaluable cultural objects, containing unique information not found elsewhere. Many of these objects are in danger of becoming damaged or obsolete over time, and require more care than institutions can offer.
What we’re doing
Ryerson Library is doing its part by digitizing photographic and film materials that are degrading, including producing digital scans of the Canadian Architect photograph collection to make them accessible, and freezing the negatives to stop further damage to the original objects. Propaganda and documentary films from the Leniniana collectionhave also been digitized and are now accessible without having to run the fragile films through aging projectors.
What you can do
Closer to home, what happens to all those selfies you take? The likelihood is you’re not printing them (Some estimate that over 80% of all photographs taken now remain digital and are never printed out). The speed at which technology changes makes this is a cause for concern. Vint Cerf, Vice President of Google, noted at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that the loss of our primarily digital culture due to obsolescence may create a “forgotten generation, or even a forgotten century”.
There are some simple steps you can take at home to protect your personal digital photos, videos and file:
Don’t keep everything: every once in awhile, go through your images and select the most important memories to keep. Do you really need all those photos of your cat?
Organize your stuff: use a file organization and file naming system that makes sense to you. This could be chronologically, by subject or a combination of those (ex. by year and then by event).
Make several copies: store your important files in a few different places (on your desktop, on a portable hard-drive, DVD, or on cloud storage), and make sure at least one copy is physically in a different place. Be careful relying solely on third party providers, if a company goes out of business you might be out of luck!
Save files in common formats: proprietary files such as raw image or specialized software formats are at a higher risk of becoming obsolete. Save important files in high-quality formats like PDF or TIFF.
For more information on preserving different file formats, see the Library of Congress Personal Archiving site for helpful tips.
Feeling old school?
Still taking polaroids? Do you have boxes of old family photographs in your closet? Or worse, one of these:
One of the Archives longest artifacts (when fully extended it reaches 18 feet), this model slide rule was donated by the Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science Department. It was used for demonstration purposes in the classroom. It served as a useful visual aide by instructors who would need to explain concepts on the chalk board to a classroom of students. The students could then follow along with their respective slide rules.
The slide rule was developed in the 17th century and was used for calculations in science and engineering before the advent of the pocket calculator.
Donald Mordell, Ryerson’s President from 1970-1974, also donated his personal slide rule and case. He was a distinguished international engineer and academic.
The Photography Studies program at Toronto Metropolitan University together with Ryerson Archives & Special Collections is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients:
THE 2016 FIRST EDITION PHOTOBOOK AWARD
Book Award Recipients
Andrea Chartrand Kaya Kelley Mina Markovic Terence Reeves Gabriel Steele Alia Youssef
Jeffrey Christenson Kelsey Danahy Alexandra Demelo Sophie Trecroce
As part of MPS507, a 3rd year Toronto Metropolitan University Image Arts class in The Photographic Book, students are expected to conceive of and create their own photobook. This is, in part, related to work that has been completed in the co-requisite class, MPS506 – Photographic Production. These are both required courses for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Image Arts) Photography Studies Option. Each year, the Library purchases the top photobooks in the class, as judged by the professor, Christopher Manson, and the Special Collections Curatorial Specialist, Alison Skyrme. The library pays fair market value for each book, and commits to spending a maximum of $1000 per semester. The books are judged at the First Edition Photobook Show – an exhibition of the photobooks at the end of the semester. For evaluation, particular attention is paid to design, sequencing, and integration of images and text. The library catalogues each book, including a note about the award, and houses the books in Special Collections. Occasional exhibits are created to showcase the works.
The First Edition Photobook Award was established in 2015 to honour 3rd year photography students who have made exceptional achievements in photobook production. It provides incentive for them to achieve early recognition that will have a lasting legacy in our collection.
Previous Award Recipients
The following 2015 award winners were presented with a certificate during the Image Arts Awards Night, November 19th, 2015: Lodoe-Laura Haines-Wangda, Emily Pleasance, Evan Hutchinson, Imogen Walis-Mayer, Rebecca Zynomirski, Kristina Smith, Lucy Lu.