Previous Exhibitions

This is a chronological list of the exhibitions that have been held at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library from its inception in 1973. Many of these have accompanying catalogues which are still available for sale. Please click on the exhibition title for additional information on the catalogues, including ordering.


Aviators and the Academy: Early Aeronautics in Canada (23 May-4 September) - Video of exhibition highlights
"As it Is Written:" Judaic Treasures from the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (26 January-1 May) - Video of exhibition highlights


"Fierce Imaginings: The First World War in Text and Image (22 September–19 December) - Video of exhibition highlights
"Vesalius at 500 (23 May-29 August) - Video of exhibition highlights
'We Will Do Our Share': The University of Toronto and the Great War (27 January-2 May) - Video of exhibition highlights


'Chevalier du bracelet': George Barbier and his illustrated works (30 September-20 December) - Video of exhibition highlights
A Death Greatly Exaggerated: Canada's Thriving Small and Fine Press (22 May-7 September) -   Video of exhibition highlights
From Nowhere: Utopian and Dystopian Visions of our Past, Present, and Future (28 January-3 May) - Video of exhibition highlights


The John H. Meier, Jr. Governor General’s Literary Award Fiction Collection (8 October-21 December 2012) - Video of exhibition highlights
How Does My Garden Grow: The Education of a Gardener (30 April-14 September) - Video of exhibition highlights
How Beautiful My Brethren and Sistren: Derek Walcott, Life and Work (11 Oct. 2011-6 April) - Video of exhibition highlights


In Memoriam: Ralph Stanton (11 July-16 September) - Video of exhibition highlights
Great and Manifold: A Celebration of the Bible in English (7 February-3 June) - Online Exhibit,  Video of exhibition highlights


Through Foreign Latitudes and Unknown Tomorrows: 300 Years of Ukrainian Émigré Political Culture (12 October-14 January 2011)
Leaves of Enchantment, Bones of Inspiration: The dawn of Chinese Studies in Canada (25 May-17 September) - Video of exhibition highlights
Caterpillars and Cathedrals: The Art of Wenceslaus Hollar (25 January-30 April)


Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The Natural History of Charles Darwin (28 September-18 December)
Calvin by the Book: A Literary Commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Birth of John Calvin (22 May-4 September 2009)
Werner Pfeiffer (censor, villain, provocateur, experimenter): Book-Objects & Artist Books (29 January-1 May 2009)


Where Duty Leads: Canada in the First World War (22 September-16 January 2009) - Online Exhibit
Queer CanLit: Canadian, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Literature in English (9 June-29 August 2008)
A Hundred Years of Philosophy from the Slater and Walsh Collections (28 January-28 April 2008)


Humane Letters: Bruce Rogers – Designer of Books and Artist (24 September-21 December)
‘The age of guessing is passed away’: An Exhibition to Mark the David Thompson Bicentennial (22 May-31 August) - Online Exhibit
Hopeful Travellers - Italian Explorers, Missionaries, Merchants, and Adventurers from the Middle Ages to Modern Times (30 January-27 April)


Extra muros/Intra muros: A Collaborative Exhibition of Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Toronto (25 September-21 December)
Pungent Personalities: Arts & Letters Club Drawings by Arthur Lismer, 1922-1943 (23 May -1 September)
Ars medica: medical illustration through the ages (25 January-29 April)


Bibliophilia scholastica floreat: Fifty Years of Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Toronto (26 September-21 December)
Canlit without Covers : Recent Acquisitions of Canadian Literary Manuscripts (16 May-2 September)
Nihil obstat: an exhibition of banned, censored & challenged books in the west, 1491-2000 (24 January-29 April)


NOW and the '80s : A Photographic Exhibition (4 October-21 December)
Commentary: an exhibition of work by Sylvia Ptak (25 May-3 September)
Philosophy & Bibliophily (26 January-30 April)


From Aquinas to Atwood (29 September-19 December 2003)
Literary Forgeries & Mystifications (18 June-29 August)
Vizetelly & Compan(ies): A Complex Tale of Victorian Printing and Publishing (3 February-2 May)


The University of Toronto: Snapshots of its History (7 October-20 December)
Expectations and Experience: The World of the Medieval and Renaissance Traveller (21 May-30 August 2002)
Mirabilia Urbis Romae: Five centuries of Guidebooks and Views (28 January-26 April 2002)


Printed Ephemera : Memories from a Vanished Past (9 July -17 August; 12 November-21 December)
Designer Bookbinders in North America (11 September-26 October)
Book History and Print Culture: an Exhibition Celebrating the Collaborative Program at the University of Toronto (1 March-25 May)


The Culture of the Book in the Scottish Enlightenment (28 September-22 December)
Plotting the Oceans: Dutch Sea Atlases of the Seventeenth Century (26 June-1 September)
As the Centuries Turn: Manuscripts and Books from 1000 to 2000 (24 February-2 June)


All in the Golden Afternoon: the Inventions of Lewis Carroll (20 September-28 January 2000)
In Honour of our Friends (13 May-3 September)
Art on the Wing: British, American and Canadian Illustrated Bird Books from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century (25 January-9 April)


In Retrospect: Designer Bookbindings by Michael Wilcox (19 October-22 December)
Toronto in Print: A Celebration of 200 Years of the Printing Press in Toronto 1798-1998 (3 August -2 October)
Radicals and Revolutionaries: The History of Canadian Communism from the Robert S. Kenny Collection (27 April-10 July)
Experiencing India: European Descriptions and Impressions, 1498-1898 (19 January-21 March)


'so precious a foundation' the Library of Leander Van Ess at the Burke Library of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (10 September-19 December)
Tending the Young: From the T.G.H. Drake Collection on the History of Pædiatrics April-15 August)
The Stuff dreams are made of: the Art and Design of Frederick and Louise Coates (16 January-27 March)


The Discovery of Insulin at the University of Toronto: an exhibition celebrating the 75th anniversary (23 September-20 December) - Online exhibit
From Cavalcanti to Calvino: 500 years of Italian editions and English translations (12 May-30 August)
Cooper & Beatty: Designers with Type (15 January-26 April)


David Jones, Artist and Writer (1895-1974): A Centennial Exhibition (5 October-2 January 1996)
A Pride of Gifts: Donations from Our Friends 1990-1994 (3 July-15 September)
Fine Printing: The Private Press in Canada (18 April-16 June)
Elegant Editions: Aspects of Victorian Book Design (19 January-31 March)



A Pride of Gifts: Donations from Our Friends 1990-1994 (22 November-22 December; repeated July-September 1995)
Ownership of Books: An Investigation into Provenance (18 July-28 October)
The Telling Line: Image and Text in Twentieth Century Britain (18 April-30 June)
Fiat Lux: An Exhibition of Mediaeval Manuscripts and Early Printed Books (31 January-1 April)


The Atlas as a Book, 1490 to 1900 (18 October-14 January 1994)
Women Artists and Botanical Illustration in the Nineteenth Century (16 August-1 October)
J.B. Tyrrell: Explorer and Adventurer: the Geological Survey years, 1881-1898 (5 April-30 July)


Please, Sir, I want Some More (9 November-12 February 1993)
Evolution of the Heart: The University Library: The First Century, 1827-1923 (24 June-17 October)
Dramatis personae: an exhibition of amateur theatre at the University of Toronto, 1879-1939 (17 February-29 May)


From Boards to Cloth: The Development of Publishers' Bindings in the Nineteenth Century (July-September)
Eric Gill: His Life and Art (19 April-30 June)
An Architect's Library of 1890 (23 January-29 March)


The Juvenile Drama, or, Penny Plain, Twopence Coloured (15 November-4 January 1991)
Sterner Years: An Exhibition on the Life and Works of Sir Winston Churchill from the John G. Edison Collection (20 September-31 October)
Asia in Books. Books in Asia (16 July-31 August)
Fine Bookbinding: The Art of Jacques Blanchet (April-June)
Gifts From Our Friends: An Exhibition to Celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of the Friends of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (January)


From Manuscript to Printed Book in the Islamic World (13 November-15 December)
Fifteenth Century Italian Woodcuts From the Biblioteca Classense, Ravenna (18 September-27 October)
1789: année de la liberté: An Exhibition of Books, Pamphlets, Plays and Other Materials Relating to the First Year of the French Revolution (May-August)
Portugal in Chronicle & Epic (January-March)


Padlocked! An Exhibition of Czech and Slovak Independent Writings (24 October-6 January 1989)
Terra Australis Incognita: An Exhibition about Australia to 1900 (15 June-16 September)
The Italian Connection: 25 Years of Canadian Literature in Italian Translation, 1963-1988 (15 April-20 May)
The Aliquando Press: 25 Years of Private Printing (20 January-31 March)


Ex Bibliotheca Vogriana Gilberti Bagnani (October-December)
The Ingenious Hogarth': An Exhibition of Prints by William Hogarth (22 June-18 September 18)
Medieval Manuscripts in Toronto Collections (16 April-29 May)
The Curwen Press 1863-1984 (February-March)


Dramatis Personae: An Exhibition of Amateur Theatre at the University of Toronto, 1879-1939 (6 October-5 January 1987)
De Zee-Atlas ofte Water-Waereld (1666) by Hendrik Doncker (July-August)
Dental Roots: A History of Dentistry from Early Times to the Nineteenth Century (21 April-13 June)
Journey from the East: The Life and Times of Mark Gayn (20 January-31 March)


Cambridge University Press: Four Hundred Years of Printing, 1584-1984 (21 October-3 January 1986)
Botanical Illustration (29 July-4 October)
Che bellissimi!: Italian Illustrated Books (15th-18th Centuries) (6 May-5 July)
Thomas Reid and the Scottish Enlightenment (25 February-24 April 24)


The Pen is Mightier: An Exhibition of Calligraphy (17 December-15 February 1985)
Men Who March Away:An Exhibition Marking the Seventieth Anniversary of the First World War (15 October-30 November 30)
Cambridge University Press: Four Centuries of Printing and Publishing, 1524-1984 (October)
An Honest Trade: An Exhibition of Canadian Small Press Books Printed and Bound at The Porcupine's Quill in Erin, Ontario (1974-1983) (???) Dance (An Ephemeral Art) in Print (1 June-20 July)
David G. Esplin, 1925-1983: A Commemorative Exhibition (28 March-11 May)
Treasures and Trash: Art and its Literature Through the Ages (23 January-23 March)


John Maynard Keynes, 1883-1946 (November-December)
The Black Art: An Exhibition of British Private Press Books (September-October)
Canada in Maps: From Early Times to the Present (11 July-2 September)
The Revival of Wood Engraving: English Illustrated Books 1915-1950 (6 May-20 June)
1883: Echoes of the Year. An Exhibition on the Occasion of the Conference of 1883, University College (14 March-30 April)
Blake and the Ancients (25 January-28 February)


Bertrand Russell, Polymath: an Exhibition of Books, Pamphlets, and Ephemera from the Collection of Professor John G. Slater (November-22 January 1983)
Grand Man: Norman Douglas, 1868-1952 (27 September-30 October)
William Arthur Deacon, 1890-1977 (26 July-17 September)
Charles Darwin: A Centenary Exhibition in Commemoration of the Life and Work of Charles Robert Darwin, 1809-1882 (May-June )
Victorian Periodicals (March 19-May 7)
Re Joyce: An Exhibition Celebrating the Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of James Joyce (January-February 1982)


Galileo and Scientific Controversy (November-December)
Highlights from the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (September-October)
Reader, Lover of Books: The Book Arts in Ontario (6 July-28 August)
The Byrth of Mankynd. An Exhibition of Books Illustrating the History of Obstetrics Selected from the Jason A. Hannah Collection in the History of Medical and Related Sciences (May-June)
Some Canadian Ornithologists (March-April)
Conservation in the Fisher Library (January-February)


Twenty-Five Years. An Exhibition in Celebration of the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Founding of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections (November)
Biblical Texts and Studies (25 August-10 October)
"Saved from the Dustbin": An Exhibition of Canadian Ephemeral Material (11 June-15 August)
Engravers & Lithographers in 19th Century Canada (April-May)
Fabulous Beasts (February-March)


The Art of Illustration: A Selection of Books from 1490-1850 (October-November)
El Mundo hispánico: desarrollo e influencia. The Hispanic World: Growth and Influence (August)
The New Play Society (20 June-3 August 3; September-9 October)The Binder's Art (March-April)
In Pursuit of Natural Knowledge": Natural History Exploration in the 18th and 19th Centuries (January-February)


Letters as Literature: An Exhibition on the Occasion of the Fourteenth Annual Conference on Editorial Problems (November-December)
The Fur Trade in Canada (12 September-17 October)
The Horrid Popish Plot, 1678-1681: An Exhibition Held 300 Years After its Advent (July-August)
William Morris: Aspects of His Life and Work (June-July)
Hollar's England: An Exhibition of the Etchings of Wenceslaus Hollar ( April-May)
An Exhibition of Poetry and Fine Printing (January-March)


To Be Continued Monthly": Publishing Fiction in the Nineteenth Century (November-December)
The Legacy of Jacob Bronowski (October)
The Hispanic World: Growth and Influence (August-September)
The Nineteenth Century: a Miscellany (June-July)
The Art of W. Heath Robinson (1 April-14 May)
An Exhibition of Illustrated Books (February-March)


"A Penny Plain, Twopence Coloured" or, The Drama in Pasteboard (December-January 1977)
Mediaeval English Texts (October-November)
Canada and American Independence (August-October)
Agnes Chamberlin: An Exhibition of Water Colours (July-August)
Published in Paris (May-June)
The Scotland of Adam Smith (March-April)


Renaissance Dramatic Texts (October-November)
Victorian Periodicals (September-October)
"A Sort of Bravery of the Mind and Soul" (August-September)
James Mavor and His World (June-July)
The Word in Many Languages: An Exhibition of Bibles (April-May)
Scotland, 1750-1810: The Enlightenment (February-March)


"A Penny Plain, Twopence Coloured" or, The Drama in Pasteboard (16 December-January 1975)
D.H. Lawrence and Some Friends (November-December)
Text in Manuscript and Print (October)
Contemporary Canadian Printmakers (12 August-13 September)
Sir Edmund Walker: A Notable Canadian (2 July-9 August)
Francesco Petrarca: An Exhibition of his Work and Influence (April-May)
The Early History of MedicineBook Illustration in the Natural Sciences (February)


Fables & Fairytales Illustrated for Children (December-January 1974)
The Unknown Land: Early Exploration in Canada (October-November)
Botany and Early Medicine (3 September-13 October)
Thoreau MacDonald: Artist and Illustrator (July-August)
William Shakespeare: The Man and his Works (April)