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Archives and Special Collections


2024 Spring/Summer Hours: We are open by appointment only from Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm.

To make an appointment to access material in the University Archives & Special Collections, please email or submit an appointment form, being sure to include the Call Numbers of the books or the Reference Codes of the material you would like to access, you can also include the URL to Library Books or Archives and Special Collections Materials.

You will receive an email confirming your appointment and providing access information.

Please submit your appointment requests at least 2 days in advance.

Archives & Special Collections

About the Archives

The Archives serves as the institutional memory of the TMU community. The Archives acquires, preserves, and makes accessible a broad range of primary source materials which provide an administrative, academic, fiscal, legal, social, and cultural record of Toronto Metropolitan University.

Founded in 1971 on a recommendation by the Smyth Commission on Ryerson Polytechnic University’s governance and organization, the mandate is to acquire, preserve and make available through a comprehensive archival collection, 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 Toronto Metropolitan University (1948 to the present) and its antecedent institutions at St. James Square, known as the cradle of education in the province of Ontario.

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

The Archives also maintains a collection of records and information on Egerton Ryerson (1803-1882), the University’s namesake and founder of Ontario’s educational system, at St. James Square.

About Special Collections

Special Collections was established to help support the learning and teaching needs and facilitate the scholarly, research and creative activities of the TMU community by acquiring and preserving primary source research material and cultural history objects. We have a particular responsibility to help students and staff gain access to objects in niche subject areas and aid them in the interpretation of those objects. Come in and see what we have to offer!

Our subjects of focus include:

  • Photography and film history, format and technology
  • Canadian publishing history
  • Theatre studies
  • Architecture in Canada
  • Soviet propaganda
  • Canadian television production
  • Children's literature
  • 1890's Magazines

Special Collections has many rare, fragile, and unique books, photographic and audiovisual items, as well as artifacts and textual records that relate to specific research fields.

Creative Commons License

This guide has been created by the Toronto Metropolitan University Library and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 License unless otherwise marked.

Creative Commons Attribution License