Primary resources for the study of book history and print culture are to be found throughout the varied collections of the Fisher Library.
The general collections of the Fisher Library contain first editions of many of the most significant English literary works as well as important and extensive holdings for several individual authors. Late seventeenth-century drama, with particular emphasis on the plays of John Dryden, as well as the editions of the major eighteenth century playwrights are collected.
The Library's Canadian holdings are extensive and include many special collections. Canadian literary and historical collections are especially comprehensive and wide-ranging, including much manuscript as well as printed material.
The Fisher Library has a growing collection of cookbooks, culinary manuscripts, menus, and other culinary ephemera
We have an extensive collection of European writers through the ages.
The Fisher Library has several significant collections of Hebraica and Judaica, including some unique manuscript and archival resources.
The Fisher has large and comprehensive holdings in several key areas in the history of medicine, from the earliest anatomical works to the archival material related to the discovery of insulin.
The Fisher has large and comprehensive collections in the history of science, in several key areas. The general Science Collection, which contains approximately 8,000 items, covers many branches of theoretical and applied science. One of the principal focuses of the collection is the science of the Renaissance, prior to Galileo, whose work, and that of his contemporaries, form a separate special collection.
The general collections of the Fisher Library contain numerous works in many special subject groups, such as the Popish Plot, 1678, the Rye House Plot, 1683, the trial of Dr. Henry Sacheverell, 1710, and the Brabant uprising against Joseph II, 1789-1790.
The Fisher's philosophy holdings are strong in the works of early philosophers - including Aristotle, Bacon, Locke and Hobbes - as well as the writings of nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers, which are included in the Bertrand Russell Collection, John G. Slater Collection of British and American Philosophy, Einstein Collection and the Michael Polayni Collection. The Michael Walsh Philosophy Collection further strengthens the holdings in all areas of Western philosophical thought.
The library's theological holdings are large and diverse, ranging from early bibles - including a 15th century Vulgate, the Geneva Bible from 1560, and a 1611 Kings James Bible - through to entire collections that focus largely on theology, including the Knox College and Forbes Collections.