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Research Guides

In the Loop: News for UTL Staff

Current Exhibits

The Jane Austen Book Collection

Through November 25, 2018 | E. J. Pratt Library foyer

promotional image for Jane Austen collectionCollection by 2018 F. David Hoeniger Book Collection Prize winner Fatma Shahin.

"I collect Austen because I love her stories; however, I also collect Austen because her books boast so many diverse and stunning designs. Some appeal to academics and as such advertise their multiple editors and introductions (e.g. the Penguin Classics editions). Others appeal to Austen fanatics, competing for the most collection-worthy book designs (e.g. special 200th anniversary editions).

Altogether, my collection stands as a physical manifestation of my love for Jane Austen, a way to carve out a physical space for my appreciation and celebration of her. My love of Austen is what prompted this book collection and I hope that in the future, that remains the core of this collection."

Canada and the First World War - 100 Years

Through November 30  | Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

We commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice of the First World War as an acknowledgement of the great sacrifices this generation of Canadians made, especially those who never returned and lie in foreign fields far from home.

November 11, 2018 marks exactly one hundred years since an armistice between the combatant nations went into effect and the First World War ended. After more than four years of horrific fighting, a conflict that encompassed the globe and included all of the major powers - Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Italy, Japan and the United States – and resulted in the deaths of over sixteen million people, had finally drawn to a close. Canada as part of the British Empire, played a significant role, with more than 600,000 men enlisting in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, of whom close to 61,000 were killed on the battlefields of France and Belgium. Newfoundland, not yet a part of this country, also suffered grievous losses. This contribution is all the more remarkable when one considers that the population of Canada when the war began in 1914 was just over 8 million. Our soldiers earned a well-deserved reputation as superb fighting troops, a reputation forged in the battles at Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele and Amiens. Canadian men and women from all walks of life answered the call, including thousands from the Indigenous communities. For those who remained at home the war brought government-imposed restrictions, hardships, and personal tragedy, but it also offered opportunities to engage in war-related public service activities and to begin the process of breaking down sexual stereotypes. Canadian society was never the same.  The unveiling last year of a monument in France dedicated to those Canadians who fought and died during the battle of Hill 70 in 1917, and the recent discovery and identification of the bodies of four Canadian soldiers killed in that fighting and who were subsequently buried with full military honours, illustrate the continuing presence of the First World War in our collective consciousness. We commemorate this important date in our nation’s history as an acknowledgement of the great sacrifices this generation of Canadians made, especially those who never returned and lie in foreign fields far from home. It is to them we pay special tribute.

Highlights from the Toronto Film Society

Through December 2018 | Media Commons

display at the media commons libraryThe Media Commons is highlighting some of the impressive materials held within the Toronto Film Society fonds, which were donated to Media Commons in 2017.




Churchill’s Champion: Highlights from the Collection of P. Michael Wilson

Through December 2018 | Saunderson Rare Books Room, John W. Graham Library

poster for Churchill's ChampionThis exhibit showcases a selection of books, prints, and realia donated to the John W. Graham Library in 2016 by P. Michael Wilson. Wilson, a retired banker and Toronto resident, is an enthusiast and collector of all things related to the life and work of Sir Winston Churchill, and this vast collection built up over his lifetime is proof of this admiration. This particular set of items is remarkable in its volume, breadth, and quality of material, so much so that it has been designated as Certified Cultural Property by the Department of Canadian Heritage.


The items on display include Churchill publications from every era of his life, with early works like the The River War to his later reflective histories such as The World Crisis (the six volume copy on display formerly owned by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King). The exhibit also includes donated prints from periodicals depicting Churchill and a small collection of Churchilliana.




The 100th Anniversary of Poland’s Regained Independence

Through December 20, 2018 | Robarts Library, 1st floor viewing area

This exhibit showcases Polish history and culture through the UTL collection of books, pamphlets, and films, as well as posters from the Thomas Fisher Rare Book library.

In addition to the exhibit, PSA has partnered with ERKAN Festival to provide the free screening of the following films:

  1. Wrota Europy (The Gateway of Europe) – Screening at 6:00 pm -9:00 pm on October 18th
  2. Miasto 44 (Warsaw 44) – Screening at 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm on November 1st
  3. Ida (Ida) – Screening at 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm on November 22nd

The films will be screened in Room 400, Alumni Hall (121 St. Joseph St, Toronto) and are open to the public.

Please join us for any of these events or take a few moments to view the exhibit over the next few months!

De monstris: An Exhibition of Monsters and the Wonders of Human Imagination

Through December 21 | Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Aristotle, Pliny the Elder, Christopher Columbus, Ulisse Aldrovandi, and Mary Shelley are united by their writings on the subjects of monsters. Each of these authors crafted distinct visions of monstrosity in their own fields, inspiring the imagination of readers over the course of centuries. Together, the corpus of their texts also holds the answers to which other writers have turned in their quests to the lands of monsters.

This exhibition explores the textual and visual sources at the centre of the stories of monsters recounted in the pages of medieval encyclopedias, wonder books, cosmographies, compilations of travels, natural history volumes, medical texts, and other popular books unfettered by the wonders of the human imagination. Beyond showcasing the Fisher Library’s remarkable collections in the areas of history, medicine, science, and literature, one of the chief concerns of this exhibition is to follow the main themes in the history of monsters in the West. Among the highlights of these themes will be the monstrous peoples of the medieval tradition, the messages of prodigies of the Renaissance period, the invention of monsters in the Age of Exploration, the nature of monsters in light of Humanism, the complexity of human monstrosity in the scientific thought, and the conception of monsters as creative bodies.

This exhibition is curated by Fisher Librarian David Fernandez.

There will be free curator-led tours of the exhibition the first Thursday of every month. Tour dates and times are:

October 4 - 6 pm

November 1 - 6 pm

December 6 - 12 pm

There is a free audio guide for the exhibition, available on SoundCloud.


“Line & Verse: A Visual Exploration of Poetry between Canada and Taiwan”

November 7, 2018 through January 15, 2019

exhibition posterWith the aim to further the cultivation of cultural exchange between Canadian artists and Taiwanese artists, the Line & Verse: A Visual Exploration of Poetry between Canada and Taiwan exhibition, presented by the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library showcases the great works of poetry, printmaking, as well as performance art by amalgamating the artistic visions of a total of 43 artists coming from opposite sides of the world into one coherent curatorial vision.

In fact, the Line & Verse: A Visual Exploration of Poetry between Canada and Taiwan exhibition will feature first and foremost a performance art segment by artist Bojana Videkanic during its initial vernissage, and subsequently the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library invites its guests to witness the works of 21 Canadian artists and 21 Taiwanese artists who were given the tasks to create a diptych based on one of three selected Canadian poems written by Anne Carson, Patrick Lane, and Claire Caldwell as well as one of three contemporary Taiwanese poems.

A diptych is an artwork that is binary in nature, relating two separate illustrations into a single unified narrative. In this particular case, each artist has employed the techniques of printmaking to depict not merely the verbal relationships between a contemporary Canadian poem and its Taiwanese counterpart, but each diptych also produces a physical interpretation that directly links two cultures into one physical format.

Therefore, through the Line & Verse: A Visual Exploration of Poetry between Canada and Taiwan exhibition, the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library hopes to invite East Asian studies and English literature scholars, members of Torontonian Taiwanese community, aficionados of art and poetry as well as the overall University of Toronto community to come together to celebrate the rich rapport between Canada and Taiwan through this artistic exchange presented in the exhibition.

  • Opening Ceremony RSVP: November 14, 2018, 4:00-6:30 pm | Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, 8th FL., Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1A5
  • Closing Ceremony: January 15, 2019 (Time TBD)
  • Enquiries:

The Changing Face of Work

Woodsworth College, new wing | 119 St. George Street | Outside Room 126

CIRHR promotion poster


How has work changed over the past half century?
How have these changes affected us?
What does the future of work have in store?

The Changing Face of Work poses these questions.

Built around four topical areas of working life—the Office, Technology, Unions, and Diversity—this public exhibit aims to introduce students and the broader University of Toronto community to the ‘world of work’.

Take a look at how the physical world of work has evolved in the Office and the dramatic effects Technology continues to have on workers and jobs. Find out how Unions provide employees with voice and bring dignity and fairness to the workplace and how the Diversity of Canada’s workforce is pushing workplaces to be both equitable and inclusive.

The exhibit reflects developments over the past fifty years and notable research conducted by CIRHR faculty and other industrial relations scholars in each of the four areas.


The exhibition, The Changing Face of Work, was created by the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources (CIRHR) in collaboration with the Industrial Relations and Human Resources Library. The project was conceived by Professor Rafael Gomez as incoming Director in 2015 to celebrate 50 years of teaching and research at CIRHR. Its aim is to introduce students and the University of Toronto community more broadly to the ‘world of work’. Framed as a public exhibit, four topical areas of working life were chosen and titled accordingly: The Office, Technology, Unions, and Diversity. The banners reflect notable research conducted by industrial relations scholars and Centre faculty.

The CIRHR Library staff, Victoria Skelton, Head Librarian CIRHR and Caitlin MacLeod, Library Assistant, conducted background research, wrote copy and obtained the ‘right’ visual images for the displays. Our design team at Projektor, Sarah Longwill and John Furneaux, created the innovative designs and graphic images that both transformed the content and kept the text compact and informative. Caitlin MacLeod deserves much of the credit for both the prose and image choices. Woodsworth College Students and Employment Relations majors, Vince Park and Kathy Chen, assisted with the research as did Monica Hypher, CIRHR library staff. Finally, we wish to thank Woodsworth College itself for agreeing to mount the exhibit.

University of Toronto Libraries at 125 

Now online

The opening of the first University of Toronto library building on King’s College Circle in October 1892 marked the beginning of the modern library system as we know it.

In February 1890 a great fire devastated the University of Toronto and its library, which was housed in the University College building at the time. From the ashes of this tragic event a new library was built and a new collection of books assembled from donations spanning all corners of the globe.

Today, the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) - one of the largest academic library systems in North America - has an international reputation for excellence in collections, services, scholarship, professional and academic expertise, and digital leadership. This exhibition explores its history from 1892 to the present day.

Items on display include photographs, library equipment, journals and books published under the auspices of the library system, catalogues of notable exhibitions curated by librarians, and books authored by librarians.

U of T Engineering Buildings (1878 – 2018)

The Engineering and Computer Science Library is pleased to announce the launch of its exhibit, U of T Engineering Buildings (1878 – 2018): 140 Years of Stories. Spanning 140 years, this interactive exhibit explores the history of the buildings and spaces used by the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto. Photographs, historical tidbits, and news articles capture the stories of their construction, additions, namesakes, and the students and faculty who have used them. Find out more about the unique histories of these engineering spaces.

Behind The Scenes:

This exhibit was curated and created by staff at the Engineering and Computer Science Library, including:

Project Leads: Mindy Thuna, Head, and Colleen McDonald, TALint student, Engineering and Computer Science Library (ECSL)

Working Group Members: Tracy Zahradnik, Engineering Librarian, Engineering & Computer Science Library; Tys Klumpenhouwer, Records Archivist, U of T Archives and Records Management Services (UTARMS); and Muskan Sethi, Archivist, U of T Engineering Society.

Special thanks is given to Leslie Barnes, Digital Scholarship Librarian, UTL, Marnee Gamble, Special Media Archivist, U of T Archives and Records Management Services, Amanda Hacio, Communications Assistant, Engineering Strategic Communications and all those who assisted in locating the photographs and stories that have made this exhibit possible.

Dentistry Library 120th Anniversary


2017 marked the 120th anniversary of the Dentistry Library at the University of Toronto. To honour this milestone, we have prepared an online exhibit of the faculty members who were in charge of managing the library prior to 1954, when the first librarian was hired.

Enjoy the exhibit and please contact us with any feedback or comments.






Canadian Music Publishing & the War Effort

Virtual Exhibition can be viewed here.

we'reFromCanada.jpgThe University of Toronto Music Library's Canadian Sheet Music Collection highlights the Toronto music publishers’ responses to the Great War. The sheet music included in this exhibit comes from straight from our archival vault and was published between 1914 and 1918.  

The incredible cover art and inset photos of military personnel aside, the intense and frequently heartfelt lyric of these pieces speak to the ways in which everyday people on the home front responded to the war, whether through wholehearted support, or recognition of longing, loss and death. The outpouring of human emotion imbued in these texts provides a direct window into the mindset of people from 100 years ago, when considerable anxiety gripped the public at large as everyday people struggled with the personal costs brought about through the wholescale devastation and slaughter.

Congratulations to Tim Neufeldt and James Mason for highlighting this important part of our collection so beautifully.


Crime & Punishment at 150: Global Contexts

Virtual Exhibition based on exhibition of the same title, held at Robarts in Fall 2016

"The year 2016 marked the 150th anniversary of the publication of Fyodor M. Dostoevsky’s seminal novel, Crime and Punishment (1866). A revelation when it first appeared in Moscow on the pages of the journal Russian Messenger, it continues to provide readers unparalleled insight into the individual’s role and moral responsibility in society. Following the murderous aspirations of the novel’s protagonist, former student Raskolnikov, we are confronted with the struggle of reconciling rationalist action with the human conscience, and witness one of Russia’s greatest artists at the peak of his success.

To commemorate Crime and Punishment’s resounding triumph and influence, a two month exhibition was held at John P. Robarts Research Library, University of Toronto, from October 3 - November 30, 2016. Through the theme of 'Global Contexts' it sought to celebrate the novel’s international reception and propagation, highlighting the rich variety of the collection held by the University of Toronto Libraries and the relevance of the holdings to interdisciplinary research and teaching.

This online exhibition offers an interactive platform through which to engage with the materials showcased, and support the continuing study of the novel across the boundaries of nation, language, and media. Over twenty countries are represented, and each category of materials offers a different genre in which to appreciate the novel: translation; art and illustration; belles-lettres and popular fiction; film, stage, and music; and literary criticism. Each item symbolizes the interminable relevance of Dostoevsky’s work, and emphasizes key threads of his thought that hold special significance for the development of culture world-wide.

The Robarts Library exhibition formed part of a SSHRC funded outreach project, Crime and Punishment at 150. Sponsors include the Petro Jacyk Central & East European Resource Centre, and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. The original exhibition was curated by Professor Kate Holland and Ph.D. candidate Barnabas Kirk. This online platform was developed by Barnabas Kirk in conjunction with University of Toronto Libraries."

[Visit online exhibition to read more]

Finding Myself in the Archive

Virtual Exhibition can be viewed here

"Finding Myself in the Archive" was developed in partnership with the Master of Museum Studies (MMSt) at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto and six University of Toronto libraries and archives.

Fifty-four graduate students enrolled in “Exhibitions, Interpretation and Communication” (a course developed by Prof. Irina D. Mihalache) were paired with objects at each of the archives and libraries.

They were asked to write reflections on these objects, all of which had some connection with themes of migration, movement and travel, to research their history, and try to link them to the present.

View the exhibition here.