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2024 First Edition Photobook Award

Group of four individuals holding books
Award recipients and their books at the opening reception and awards celebration. Image courtesy of Artspace TMU gallery.

We are thrilled to announce the 2024 winners for the First Edition Photobook Award!

The TMU Libraries First Edition Photobook Award was instituted in 2015 by Special Collections Librarian Alison Skyrme and Image Arts Instructor Christopher Manson. As part of MPS507 – The Photographic Book, 3rd year Image Arts students conceive of, and produce photobooks during the course, based on their photography. The course concludes with a group show of the books at TMU Artspace gallery.

Each year, TMU Libraries purchases the First Edition Award winning books from the students, catalogues them, and houses them in Special Collections. The winning books are selected by a jury panel using design, sequencing, and integration of images and text as the main evaluation criteria.

The First Edition Photobook Award is generously sponsored by the Photographic Historical Society of Canada.

First Edition Photobook Award Recipients

Pink book cover with the title FRISSON!

Sai Bagni, Frisson! A universe built from my observations of my online youth. It is a coming-of-age that exists in pixels and code. Frisson: a word of French origin that describes a feeling of fear or excitement that precedes the anticipation of something that’s about to happen. It denotes the act of waiting and anticipating for something that stands out amongst the banality of everyday life.

Madison Chow, Works of the Flesh. A collection of Polaroids and long exposure imagery that explores the body, created with the intention to speak to experiences of sexualization in the church. Paired with handwritten text, the images create a biblical narrative, using its symbolism to confront and heal from religious trauma.

Dark red book cover with the title Works of the Flesh
Newsprint with an image of a metal paper airplane and the text HAUTE COUTURE

Max Grueninger, HAUTE COUTURE. By reimagining the purpose of each image and subtly weaving fashion elements into the narrative, the visuals aim to inspire a new generation to see the term haute couture as not merely clothing but as a dynamic, evolving concept that can transform and elevate the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Alejandra Harrison, Murder at Monochrome Manor. Inspired by the classic board game Clue and visual styling of film noir Murder at Monochrome Manor explores the limitations of photography in data collection and the power of individual understanding. Offering minimal context to enhance the interactive element, this work invites viewers to take on the role of investigator by examining the images for clues and piece the mystery together to find a solution they interpret.

Black book cover with the outline of a file folder
Grey marble book cover with stains from cups

Sophia Markelj, Generational Flavours. Explores the intimate connection between food, family traditions, and cultural heritage. Using passed-down dishware, tablecloths and cutlery, I explore a gift my grandmother gave me before she passed. Motivated by the notes she left me, these images become not merely representations of dishes, but visual tributes to the love and stories passed down through generations.

Joon-Young Lee, Nicotine, Glass & Fabrics. A photographic love letter to 3 friends who have been apart of my entire career as a photographer. The book recontextualizes each image to reflect on the memories and relationship built from them, paried with transcripts from my conversations with each friend.

Book cover with hands making the shape of a heart over cigarettes
Book cover with an image taken inside the front of an airplane

Christie Xu, A Place On Earth. In the summer of 2023 my partner and I plotted out our longest cross-country flight after a failed attempt last winter break. “A Place On Earth“ documented our trip from Albany, New York to visit Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana where he started his flight training, just in time for our friend’s graduation. After that, we head South to Huston, Texas before turning back to New York via Louisiana, Tennessee and Ohio. This book includes polaroids and 35mm film during flying.

2024 Jury Panel

This year we were fortunate to have a judges panel that included Kristen Adlhoch, Holly Forsythe Paul, Jennifer Park and Rahim Perez-Anderson.

Kristen Adlhoch holds a BFA in Photography from Toronto Metropolitan University, and an MLit and PhD in the History of Photography from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. She is currently a Part-Time Lecturer and the Student and Partner Outreach Coordinator for the Film and Photography Preservation and Collections Management MA program at TMU.

Holly Forsythe Paul is a rare book librarian who received her M.I. from the University of Toronto in 2021. Prior to her studies in librarianship, Holly taught English literature and writing at University of Toronto for over a decade. She is currently the Special Collections Librarian at TMU Libraries and teaches Conservation & Preservation of Recorded Information at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information.

Jennifer Park is the Art Preparator at The Image Centre at Toronto Metropolitan University. She is also a Co-Coordinator of the IMC’s Art Handing Apprenticeship Program which offers training to BIPOC who are in the early stages of their career in museum work.

Rahim Perez-Anderson is a Black visual storyteller, working out of Tkaronto/Toronto. Intrigued by human experience and the observation of life, Rahim specializes in self-portraiture and documentary photography, exploring his lived experiences within and around topics of identity, race, and selfhood.

Related articles

First Edition Photobook Show (TMU Artspace Gallery)

First Edition Photobook Show highlights TMU image arts students (The Eyeopener)

LGBT History Month

Explore the vibrant 2SLGBTQ+  history at TMU! For LGBT History Month we are highlighting key moments and achievements of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities at TMU and more broadly in Toronto.

The Wilde ’82 History Conference was one of the first North American gatherings dedicated to the recovery of LGBT histories. It was held on TMU campus on June 30-July 3 1982. The name of the conference was in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s famous North American Tour.

In 1986, TMU started offering the first LGBT course called “New Perspectives on Gay and Lesbian Realities.” The course was aimed at members of the LGBT community, allies and families.

 During the 1980s and 1990s, the TMU theatre hosted the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal’s annual fundraiser called Fruit Cocktail. The show included vaudeville-style acts with cast members dressed in fruit costumes!

In 1992, TMU’s campus community radio station CLKN recorded a program at the Pride parade. Listen CKLN’s Queer Radio pride report.

Did you know the TMU Libraries has copies of the Body Politic, a Canadian monthly queer magazine published from 1971 to 1987? It was one of Canada’s first significant gay publications, and played a prominent role in the development of the LGBT community in Canada. In 1973, the newspaper also spurred the creation of the ArQuives in Toronto in 1973, one of the largest independent 2SLGBTQ+ archives in the world and the only archive in Canada with a mandate to collect at a national level.

cover of Body Politic: A magazine for gay liberation

The Body Politic – issues available online and in Special Collections

Throughout the month of October, visit our LGBT History Month display on the 4th floor of the Library building to view more material from Archives & Special Collections related to TMU queer history, or join us for the Pink Libraries Tour on October 24th and 26th.

Grant Collingwood Fonds

If you’re looking for photographs from the 1940s to 1990s taken in Ontario, there is a wonderful collection at the Archives and Special Collections waiting for you!

The Collingwood collection was donated to the Archives & Special Collections in 2021 by a relative of the photographer. The collection consists of 35 mm and  2 ¼ negatives, prints, and textual records. The volume of the collection is high and it is being processed and it will be added to our database. A part of the collection consists of  acetate based negatives suffering from vinegar syndrome. Vinegar syndrome is a term that refers to the odor of vinegar that is emitted due to hydrolysis of the acetate base of the negatives. The deteriorated negatives require special care and handling practices and due to their condition are not accessible for viewing in the reading room. The Archives and Special Collections is in the process of digitizing the deteriorated negatives before moving them to cold storage to increase accessibility to the collection. 

Harold Grant Collingwood was born on August 4, 1909, in Exeter, South Huron, Huron, Ontario and died at the age of 87 in May 1996. As an avid photographer, he photographed well-known jazz musicians, street views, buildings, events and venues. He was a commissioned photographer who took photographs for numerous companies namely the Mclean Hunter newsletter and Chatelaine magazine. In his portfolio, there are photographs depicting the office culture of the 40s to 90s in Canada. You will be able to find photographs of important events like the Eaton’s main store demolition and buildings like the old City Hall and the new City Hall. As a result of the variety of subjects that Collingwood photographed, this collection can be used for researchers who are interested in Toronto street views, events and even fashion between the years 1940 and 1990. Additionally, since Collingwood was commissioned to photograph events for companies and businesses, it can also be an excellent resource for researching the existing industries and businesses in Canada during that time period. 

Drop by the Archives and Special Collections Department on the 4th floor of the library to see the current exhibition of the Collingwood collection. If you are interested in learning more about this collection you can check our database.

The Jack Layton Book Club

JLBC-FINAL-Web

The Jack Layton Chair, in partnership with the Ryerson Library and Achives, are pleased to invite you to the inaugural series of presentations of the Jack Layton Book Club. They promise to be interesting, inter-active discussions of books that mattered to Jack, and the ideas Jack championed through his remarkable career.

Jack Layton’s personal book collection has been donated to Ryerson, where he was a Professor of Politics during the 1970s and 80s. At each meeting of the Jack Layton Book Club, an expert speaker introduces us to a book Jack read, treasured and was inspired by. All are welcome to attend.

Three sessions of the Jack Layton Book Club are scheduled in the weeks ahead.  All begin at 5:30 PM in the Archives, 3rd Floor, Ryerson Library, 350 Victoria Street. The Archives currently hosts a Jack Layton exhibit, which you are welcome to visit from 5 PM before each Book Club meeting.

Session 1

Tuesday 12 March 2013
Terry Grier, Ryerson President Emeritus

“Jack Layton’s Political Journey: From the Classroom to National Icon”.

Session 2

Thursday 28 March 2013
Dr. Alex Wellington, Philosophy Department, Toronto Metropolitan University

“Jack Layton’s Environmental Vision: Green Economy and Climate Justice”

Session 3

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Dr. Jason Boyd, English Department, Toronto Metropolitan University

“Pride, Prejudice and Politics: Jack Layton and the Lessons of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II”

Layton bookplate image

The Jack Layton Book Club is an initiative of the Jack Layton Chair, co-sponsored by the Toronto Metropolitan University Library and Archives.

The Wilhelm E. Nassau Camera Collection at Toronto Metropolitan University

The Heritage Camera Collection more than doubled in size this past January thanks to the generous donation of approximately 500 cameras and pieces of camera equipment from Wilfrid Laurier University. The collection improves the holdings in European and Japanese manufacturers, and provides a greater selection for research in early camera designs.

1920s studio camera from the Wilhelm E. Nassau Camera Collection
“Mouse trap” camera developed by William Henry Fox Talbot, ca. 1834 (replica made 2006) from the Wilhelm E. Nassau Camera Collection (2005.006.01.01)
Watch Camera from the Wilhelm E. Nassau Camera Collection (2005.006.06.02)
Polaroid Land camera, Automatic 110A from the Wilhelm E. Nassau Camera Collection (2005.003.2.17.03)
Crystar camera (2005.006.08.64) next to Pony 135 for size comparison. The Crystar measures only 3.5 x 5.5 x 3 cm. From the Wilhelm E. Nassau Camera Collection.

A Model Practice : Photographs from the Canadian Architect magazine archive

Architectural models breath life into otherwise straightforward ideas on paper; they easily and quickly communicate complex design schemes, embellishments, finishes and details, and they facilitate an easier dialogue between architect and client. Well-crafted architectural models even win competitions. While these models are very rarely preserved once building is begun, the realized design in miniature form represents the very essence of the architectural practice.

From January 4th- February 13th, 2012, photographs of models taken for Canadian Architect magazine will be on display in Special Collections on the Library’s 4th floor. These images were originally captured for project announcements, and today they give us as much to discuss as the finished buildings themselves. See the process that the architect goes through when bringing his or her idea to the public, and consider some of the challenges the architect faces in communicating with that audience. Is it useful to see the detailed model superimposed onto a photograph of the existing landscape, as with the Toronto Eaton Centre image? Why do some architects choose to put contextual detail in the model itself, making tiny trees and cars on the adjacent streets? Every model has a purpose and an audience, which is perhaps even more apparent in the scenic model taken from the set design for a CBC television special [borrowed from the Robert Hackborn collection for comparison’s sake]. With this model, the purpose is to show the interior to the cameras – not the exterior to a client.

Whatever the goal with these miniature worlds, either to emulate a real three-dimensional building as closely as possible or three walls that merely suggest one, the model serves as a stepping stone to the final idea. Here the idea of architecture is on display – judge for yourselves whether the real lives up to the imagined.

Feature from the Collections: Who is this man in the Archives?

 

Peter. It’s his name. An interesting fellow, don’t you think?

The Dream That Fagged Out” is Peter’s official title. The word fagged in its historical usage means completely exhausted, and there certainly seems to be a weight on Peter’s shoulders. “The work is so successful in its depiction of human despair and misery that no one at Ryerson has been able to keep it for long.” [The Lectern, October 1975, Works of Art docfl.]

He was created by artist Julius Damasdy, (1937/38 –  ) in the mid 1960s and was donated to Ryerson in 1967 by a founding member of the Board of Governors, Franc Joubin, who acquired him at an art show of the Ontario Society of Artists at the Toronto Art Gallery (now AGO).  Mr. Joubin stated he would purchase whatever statue won in its class at the art show.  As it turned out it was Peter who won and who became part of the university’s art collection.

He resided in the reception area of President Fred Jorgenson’s office (in Kerr Hall South).  After two years of dismally greeting staff and visitors alike, Peter was moved to where he could cheer up the students. What better place than the Library (located, then, in the former Business Building, now the Victoria Building).

General feelings were:

  • “[I] couldn’t stand the sight of Peter staring at [me] every day.” – 1969, executive staff
  • “I can’t stand him staring at my face whenever I come out of the elevator.” – 1969 library staff

When the Library moved to its current location in the Library Building in 1974, Peter insisted he come along. His new home was in a semi-dark area (they tried to hide him) near the 2nd floor elevators.  He later moved to the 6th floor stacks.

Peter got a medical diagnosis in the mid 1970s by a few Ryerson nursing students.  They posted their diagnosis from his neck, stating, for example, he suffered from: Malnutrition, Scoliosis, Stove Pipe Legs, Middle Age Spread, Facial Paralysis, and other interesting ailments.

Finally, in an attempt at banishment, Peter was offered to the Archives in the mid 1970s. He was cheerfully accepted and has been in safekeeping  there since, still creeping-out researchers and Archives staff.

Canadian Fashion from the 60s, 70s and 80s on display

Style changed forever in the 1960s (and we’re not just referring to the hemlines). Space-age design met space-age fabrics, many of which are still in use today: polyamide, polyester, acrylic, polyvinyl, and spandex to name a few. These are laboratory-brewed fibres, extruded through spinnerettes in liquid or molten petro-chemical streams. These were cheaper and more versatile than many of the natural fibres used in clothing up to this point.

The dresses currently on display in Special Collections each use an unexpected fabric to achieve their look, whether it is the plasticized cloth of this shiny-copper mini-dress, the silver lurex suit with multicolored threads from the disco-influenced 70s, or the 100% silk power suit from the 80s. Visit Special Collections today to see these fashionable fabrics produced by Canadian designers.

The dresses in this exhibit were taken from the Fashion Research Collection at Toronto Metropolitan University, a collection of costume items, accessories, flat textiles and paper patterns donated to the School of Fashion for use in teaching and research. The collection consists of about 4,500 items of mid-twentieth century men’s, women’s and children’s clothes and accessories and illustrates many of the social, cultural, technological and economic influcences on style made or worn in Canada. It contains designs by leading Canadian figures such as Beate Ziegert, Ira Berg and Pat McDonagh, as well as internationally famous names such as Sonia Rykiel, Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, Givenchy, Diane von Furstenberg, Perry Ellis, Laura Ashley, Thierry Mugler and Valentino.  There are also pattern and reference books, magazines and articles which are not duplicated in the Ryerson Library catalogue, making this a rich and valuable resource for fashion education.

Cameras on display in Special Collections

Taking a vacation this summer or just dreaming of one? Either way you can fantasize about the lovely pictures you’d take with one of the cameras on display in Special Collections. Visit us on the 4th floor of the Ryerson Library this summer to see a rotating display of cameras from the past.

First up: Kodak through the years, featuring still and motion-picture cameras from the company’s early years right up to the Advantix point and shoot system popular in the 1990s. Film projectors like the Kodascope (see below), are also on display.

The Kodak No.1 Brownie camera, ca. 1900-1916 Kodak Canada Corporate Archives & Heritage Collection (2005.001.7.005)
Kodascope Model B 16mm film projector, 1927-1929 Kodak Canada Corporate Archives & Heritage Collection (2005.001.7.166)
Kodak Retinette 1B, ca. 1959-1963 Kodak Canada Corporate Archives & Heritage Collection (2005.001.7.055)
Kodak Vigilant Junior Six-20 camera, 1940-1949 Kodak Canada Corporate Archives & Heritage Collection (2005.001.7.043)
Instamatic 154, ca. 1965-1968 Kodak Canada Corporate Archives & Heritage Collection (2005.001.7.125)

Butterflies in Special Collections

Photographs from Flora and Flutterbyes: Nature as Inspiration and Decoration currently on display in Special Collections, April 21 – June 8, 2011. Specimens courtesy the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.

The Ulysses Butterfly on green turf in the display case.

The idea for the springtime butterfly theme emerged from the same cocoon as another great exhibit idea: the Ryerson student-curated “With Us at Every Age: Selected Animal Photographs from the Mira Godard Research Centre” (runs April 13 – May 7, 2011 at the IMA Gallery as part of the CONTACT Photography Festival). The student exhibit explores human-animal relationships through photography, and it includes the traditional and heart-warming portraits we expect to see of people and pets (cats and dogs included), but also draws attention to some of our more irrational relationships. The exhibit invites us to consider our creation of rare to absurd animalia: a toy stork in a children’s window display or a bear rug on a wall, and shows us images of aging with pets (and pet-themed ceramics). The use of photography as the medium works to both invite the viewer into these intimate worlds, yet provides a safe distance from which to consider the animals we have not treated so well.

For all the birds, reptiles and mammals that are showcased, we couldn’t help but notice a distinct avoidance of that other class of animals we see daily: insects. Though hardly the type of creature to develop a lasting bond with, these misunderstood and sometimes repellant animals also inhabit our homes and inform our relationships with each other. In some cases, as with the butterfly, the insect is seen as a source of inspiration and enjoyment. The butterfly’s colours are copied for our clothes, its pattern in flight informs our social graces, its taste for the most vibrant and delicate flowers expresses a certain model of femininity, and its ability to withdraw from the world and transform helps us describe our desire for second chances. The butterfly is so familiar, but unlike the subjects in “With Us at Every Age,” how many have we ever seen? Using both photography and preserved specimens, we invite you to browse the 4th floor display and be inspired by nature.


The butterfly specimens were borrowed from the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, where at least 2000 free-flying tropical butterflies and moths are on exhibit throughout the year. Bred in Costa Rica or the Philippines, these vibrantly-coloured species metamorphose on arrival in Canada inside equally colourful chrysalides (also know as pupae), and flit about their business in an indoor rainforest as part of an effort to preserve butterfly populations through a sustainable form of agriculture. Here they offer us a fascinating look at the incredible variety of species in the wild.

The Ulysses Butterfly (left) and Blue Morpho see from both angles (dorsal – purplish colouring / ventral – spotted brown)
The Monarch Butterfly, the most familiar butterfly in Canada.
A Clipper Butterfly on green turf in the display.