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Research Guides

CIN201: Film Cultures 1: Art & Industry

A comprehensive guide to for finding the best primary source materials (1895-1968) for your Cinema Studies assignment.

Discover Primary Source Collections at UofT and in Toronto

Primary Resources are key for this assignment!

Primary Research Support at UofT

There are amazing resources available to you across the UofT Libraries and online. but it is a huge amount of information to navigate, but there is always help for you to draw upon: 

Explore Film Collections and Research Support in Toronto

TIFF Film Reference Library 

MZTV Museum of Television

  • Located close to Liberty Village (64 Jefferson Avenue Toronto)
  • The Museum’s mandate is to exhibit the world’s most comprehensive collection of North American Television Receivers for the formative fifty-year period from the 1920s to the 1970s. 

Visit Archives 

Toronto Public Library Collections


Toronto Public Library (TPL)  

Please note that Toronto Public Library underwent technical challenges in 2023/2024 and there still may be access issues.

Toronto Public Library - Digital Archive 


TPL Special Collections at various Library Branch Locations
Toronto Reference Library (close to Bloor / Yonge Subway)
  • This library branch holds historical collections of fan Magazines, Newspapers and Arthur Conan Doyle Collection and the Performing Arts Archives on the 5th Floor in the Marilyn and Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre.
  • The following PDFs are accessible and provide an overview of the some of the physical materials in these archival "collections of theatre and performing arts manuscripts, photographs and ephemera with an emphasis on Canadian content".
    • Grace Cunard Collection (1914-1967) (PDF)

      • A collection of items relating to the careers of Grace Cunard (born Harriet Mildred Jeffries) (1894-1967) and Francis Ford (1882-1953) popular silent film actors and directors. Ford was an older brother of director John Ford. This collection consists of photographs, letters, and a scrapbook compiled by fan Miss Cara Hartwell of Toronto. 

    • Film Advertising Cards and Programs Collection (PDF)

      • 1 box; 6 envelopes; 252 items

    • Film Pressbooks Collection (PDF)

      • Public relations information on 175 films, including 32 pressbooks for films produced by the J.A. Rank organization between 1940 and 1952.

    • Greta Garbo Collection (1924-1941) (PDF)

      • Portraits and film stills of Greta Garbo, including many original photographs from a scrapbook compiled and donated by Estelle Patterson Fox, together with the scrapbook pages. The scrapbook includes newspaper and magazine articles on the life and career of Garbo, together with magazine and newsprint photos, and a number of coloured covers of Garbo from the film magazines of the 1920’s and 1930’s. While many of the sources and dates are not noted, and articles are not always arranged in chronological order, the scrapbook is a wealth of material from the fan magazines of the period. 2 boxes (23 envelopes and 14 file folders); .26 linear metres.

    • Cara Hartwell Collection (1914-1983)

      • Correspondence, autographs collected by Miss Cara Hartwell of Toronto. Includes letters from many famous personalities in the arts world, actors, playwrights, authors, opera singers, dancers and film directors. Also includes photographs, many autographed, of music personalities, a series of autograph books, and a collection of autographed cards."Especially informative is correspondence from other film fans describing visits to retired movie stars and giving biographical details and “what ever happened to” information on stars of the silent film era."

    • Jack Karr Collection (1938-1979) (PDF)

      • Scrapbooks and papers of Toronto columnist and public relations man Jack Karr, film and drama critic for the Toronto Star (1938-1959), publicity head for the Stratford Festival (1959-1965) and later the O’Keefe Centre (1965-1976). 7 boxes

    • Cosette Lee Collection (1911; 1920-1976) (PDF)

      • Programs, press clippings, photographs, correspondence, scripts, elocution materials, business papers, documents from professional organizations, and miscellaneous memorabilia of the well known Canadian character actress (Toronto, 1910-1976) whose career on the stage, radio, television, and film extended over more than 50 years.3 boxes.; 812 items.

    • Toronto Cinema: Crest Theatre Collection (1953-1966) (PDF)

      • One of Toronto's and Canada's first homegrown commercial theatre companies. Founded in the early 1950s and located in a renovated cinema on Mount Pleasant Road in Toronto. Active for 13 seasons with a sophisticated repertoire including many original Canadian plays. 33 boxes and 13 scrapbooks.

Lilian H. Smith Branch (near College and Spadina)
  •  Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation & Fantasy