Collection Highlights

Rare Books

Philip Miller's 18th century masterpiece The Gardeners Dictionary reached an enormous audience. It was said to have laid the foundation of horticultural taste and knowledge in Europe.

One of the scarcest books by philosopher Rene Descartes is his Renatus Descartes excellent compendium of musick. It's among the earliest attempts to define the relationship between the physical and psychological in music.

The Sidney Thomson Fisher collection contains some of the Thomas Fisher Library’s most prized possessions, including the first four folios of Shakespeare’s Works (1623, 1632, 1664 and 1685) and a rich collection of Wenceslaus Hollar’s famous engravings.

This superb collection of books and pamphlets on South Africa is unrivalled in Canada and will enhance the Fisher Library’s rapidly expanding holdings of travel literature.

The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer published by William Morris's Kelmscott Press in 1896 is one of the most stunning books ever produced in the 19th century. Consisting of eighty-seven woodcut illustrations by celebrated Victorian painter Edward Burne-Jones, with title, borders and initials designed by Morris, the book is a triumph of book art design.

Compromised of more than 6,000 volumes, the library was used heavily by McLuhan in the writing of his most famous works, including Understanding Media, The Gutenberg Galaxy and The Medium is the Massage. A majority of the books bear McLuhan’s annotations and more than half of them contained material - including notes, manuscripts, and correspondence - laid into the books by McLuhan.

Small & Fine Press

The Fisher has one of the most extensive collections of Canadian small and fine press materials in the country.

The Fisher has a virtually complete collection of limited, signed works by British poet Ted Hughes, published in the 1970s and early 1980s by two presses he established: the Rainbow Press and the Morrigu Press.