Fisher Digital Collections

In addition to the local digital projects described below the Library is contributing content through the Internet Archive, and other large scale collaborative projects such as APIS and the Friedberg Genizah project. We also have a small but growing collection of images on Flickr

Special Collections

The Fisher local digital collections were developed here at the University of Toronto in collaboration with the staff of Collection Digitization and Information Technology Services Department. All of our local digital collections provide page images, enhanced indexing features, and the capability to conduct full text searching on the contents of the documents themselves. Our work has been made possible through the generous support of funding agencies and individual donations. Please see the Sponsors section of each project's homepage for fuller details.

Anatomia image - Dissection of the headAnatomia
 Connect to the Anatomia Digital Collection
This collection features approximately 4500 full page plates and other significant illustrations of human anatomy selected from the Jason A. Hannah and Academy of Medicine collections in the history of medicine at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto. Each illustration has been fully indexed using medical subject headings (MeSH), and the plates can also be searched or browsed by artist, engraver, lithographer and printer. There are 92 individual titles represented, ranging in date from 1522 to 1867.

Barren Lands image - Hudson's Bay Expedition 1885 The Barren Lands
Connect to The Barren Lands Digital Collection

This site documents two exploratory surveys of the Barren Lands region west of Hudson Bay, in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan and the area now known as Nunavut. Drawing on materials from the J.B. Tyrrell, James Tyrrell and related collections at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, it includes over 5,000 images from original field notebooks, correspondence, photographs, maps and published reports.


Canadian pamphlets and broadsheets image - Lion Canadian Pamphlets and Broadsides
Connect to Canadian Pamphlets and Broadsides Digital Collection

When complete, this site will present all the pre-1930 Canadian pamphlet and broadside holdings of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. As of November 2002 it includes a preliminary selection of approximately 500 titles, mostly broadsides (single sheets, printed on one or both sides). Pamphlets are being added in regular installments. The collection includes items printed in Canada, by Canadian authors, or about Canadian subjects, mainly of a non-literary nature.

Canadian printer and publisher image, 1907 Canadian Printer & Publisher
Connect to Canadian Printer & Publisher Digital Collection

The initial phase of a larger project to digitize Canadian periodicals, this site will present the first 20 years of the most significant Canadian trade journal documenting the history of the printing and publishing industry.

Chamberlin image - liver leaf Agnes Chamberlin Digital Collection
Connect to the Agnes Chamberlin Digital Collection

The Agnes Chamberlin collection consists of original paintings of Canadian flora and mushrooms by Agnes Chamberlin (1833–1913), dating from the period 1863 to the 1900s. In addition to the original paintings, the Chamberlin digital collection also includes early editions of Canadian Wild Flowers and two editions of Studies of Plant Life. Most of these original paintings have not previously been reproduced.

Wenceslaus Hollar Digital Collection
Connect to Hollar Digital Collection

This digital collection features over 2500 of the prints of Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677), a great master of the art of etching. Although the lion's share of Hollar's work was produced in and about his adopted England, his artistic interest was broad ranging and the site also includes religious and historical prints, maps, portraits, costumes, and natural history. As well as the individual etchings, the Fisher Library boasts some one hundred published works containing original prints made from Hollar's plates. In an effort to provide the original context for at least some of Hollar's book illustration, the full text of several of these works has also been included.

Insulin image - dog The Discovery and Early Development of Insulin
Connect to The Discovery and Early Development of Insulin Digital Collection

This site documents the initial period of the discovery and development of insulin, 1921-1925, by presenting over six thousand page images reproducing original documents ranging from laboratory notebooks and charts, correspondence, writings, and published papers to photographs, awards, clippings, scrapbooks, printed ephemera and realia. Drawing mainly on the Banting, Best and related collections housed at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and the University Archives at the University of Toronto, it also includes significant holdings from the Aventis Pasteur (formerly Connaught) Archives.

Papyrus image Papyri
Connect to the UofT Papyri Digital Collection at APIS
Connect to images of the fragments transferred from the Classics Dept.

The Library's small, but interesting, collection of papyrus fragments has been scanned and the images and full descriptive data have been contributed to the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS) an international collaborative project, where they form a part of a comprehensive database documenting papyrus fragments housed at institutions throughout the world. A small collection of fragments transferred from the Classics Department has also been digitized locally. The online finding aid may be viewed here.

Digital Exhibitions 

Thompson exhibit image - mountains David Thompson Bicentennial Exhibition
Connect to "The age of guessing is passed away": an exhibition to mark the David Thompson Bicentennial.

This celebration of the remarkable achievements of Canadian explorer, trader and cartographer David Thompson (1770-1857) forms part of the North American David Thompson Bicentennials initiative. As the institution that holds one of the primary source documents of the life of Thompson, the narrative of his 'Travels', the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library has undertaken this exhibition to commemorate not only his life, writings and works, but also the long and rich tradition from which he came - the explorers and fur traders who mapped Canada..

WWI exhibit image - soliders Where Duty Leads: Canada in the First World War
Connect to Where Duty Leads: Canada in the First World War Exhibit

This is an exhibition about the men and women who answered their country's call when war was declared in August 1914. It brings together a range of material - photographs, histories, poetry, memoirs, letters, government-issued posters, official documents, literature of the training camps and of the trenches - that highlight different aspects of this response. These printed items and artifacts are poignant reminders of a period when the sacrifice, courage and determination of Canadians so strongly shaped our nation's history.

Bible exhibit image Great and Manifold: A Celebration of the Bible in English
Connect to Great and Manifold: A Celebration of the Bible in English Exhibit

The title of this exhibition, ‘Great and Manifold’, is drawn from the opening words of the dedicatory preface of the King James Bible of 1611, which offer hearty thanks for the succession of the Stuart King to the throne of England. As important as that event was to the life of the nation, the main concern of the translators was to remind the King that the Word was still living and active, an ‘inestimable treasure which excelleth all the riches of earth’. ‘Great and manifold’ have been the ways in which the English Scriptures have appeared for almost half a millennium now – and not only the Church, but the home, law courts, theatre, and literature are the beneficiaries. The exhibition was curated by Pearce Carefoote of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.