Archival Collections Finding Aids

The Library houses over 750 manuscript collections covering a wide range of subject areas. Holdings range from a collection of about 40 third-century B.C. Egyptian papyri to papers of the co-discoverers of insulin: Banting, Best, Collip and Macleod; and finally to drafts, research notes, and correspondence of Canadian authors such as Margaret Atwood, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Leonard Cohen, Mazo de la Roche and Josef Skvorecky. The majority of our manuscript collections date from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries and pertain to Canadian historical, literary, artistic or scientific fields. Collections of personal papers are listed by the surname of the creator or collector, e.g. Birney, Earle. Institutional records are listed under the name of the institution, e.g. Royal Canadian Institute. Collection level records for many of the manuscript collections appear in the on-line catalogue, along with links to finding aids in pdf format.
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  • Two unpublished manuscripts of the history of the Richelieu Valley.

    Papers, [date unknown]. 2 boxes.

  • Drafts with notes, revisions, instructions to the printer, drawings.

    Collection of Exile records, 1972-2015. 133 boxes.

  • Correspondence, poems, drawings and translations.

    Papers, 1866-1895. 2 boxes.

  • Material pertaining to Peculiar Practices (2009) and co-authored book with Leon Rooke: How God Talks in His Sleep And Other Fabulous Fictions (2009).

    Papers, [200-]. 12 boxes. 

  • Notes, research materials, correspondence, draft manuscripts relating to her biographies of Hugh MacLennan, Irving Layton, Earle Birney, her other books, and her journal articles; class notes and administrative correspondence.

    Papers, 1970-2017. 201 boxes. 

  • Research materials and notes for published and unpublished writings, correspondence, family papers, photographs.

    Papers, 1923-1983. 35 boxes.

  • Business records, correspondence, membership lists.

    Records, 1921-1954. 3 boxes.

  • Collection of photographs and photographs of drawings of 62 Canadian authors. 1 box.

  • Mainly printed forms, completed in manuscript; some in manuscript only, relating to the civil and military government of Upper and Lower Canada.

    171 items in 2 boxes and mapcase

  • Administrative and financial, primarily the organization of annual and executive meetings, financial reports, day-to-day accounts, bank and investment statements, and grant applications to government funding agencies.

    Records, 1967-2004. 27 boxes and 4 filing cabinets.

  • Correspondence, business records, minute books.

    Records, 1889-1921. 7 boxes.

  • Collection of vintage photograph cards of various 19th and early 20th century female writers, most signed.

    Photographs, [ca. 1890-1920].

  • Printed works with extensive holograph and other manuscript revisions; 1928 diary and photographs.

    Collection, ca. 1904-1928. 8 items and boxes.

  • Typescript of unpublished reminiscences of pioneers and pioneering in Alberta and Manitoba.

    Papers, [1920]. 1 box.

  • Consists of manuscripts, correspondence and papers relating to Margaret Atwood and the book Margaret Atwood: Vision and Forms.

    Papers, 1975-2004. 8 boxes.

  • Watercolours of Canadian flora and mushrooms; subscription books for Canadian Wildflowers, 1868 and 1869 editions; paintings and photographs of Canadian flora and other subjects by Geraldine Moodie, Chamberlin's daughter, 1902-1934.

    Papers, ca 1863-1934. 21 boxes.

  • Correspondence with poets, copies of draft manuscripts of various writers, and books, pamphlets, print and ephemera pertaining to West Indian and Caribbean Literature, history and culture.

    Papers, 1970-2012. 27 boxes and items.

  • A collection of correspondence, manuscripts (holograph, typescript, and photocopied), research materials (mostly photocopies), notes, and background materials relating to various works by Douglas Chambers on the British poet Thom Gunn (1929 - ). 

    Papers, 1952-2004. 15 boxes.

  • Administrative records and correspondence, typescripts of some publications, and works not published.

    Records, 1905-ongoing. 126+ boxes.

  • Manuscript drafts, research notes, correspondence and photos relating to Dr. Peter Charlebois’ The Life of Louis Riel. Collection also includes several albums of riverboat photographs for his Sternwheelers & Sidewheelers: The Romance of Steamdriven Paddleboats in Canada.

    Papers, [1960-197?]. 10 boxes.

  • Microfilm. Diaries and autobiography.

    Papers, 1881-1905. 17 boxes and items.

  • Correspondence, manuscripts, artwork, material related to the United States Vietnam War draft and anti-war movement.

    Papers, 1953-2017. 75 boxes.

  • Anatomical drawings in graphite and coloured pencil, signed.

    Collection of 44 drawings, 1930. 1 oversize box.

  • Primarily photographs of life in China at the turn of the 20th century taken by Robert John Davidson, a Quaker missionary.

    Photographs and papers, 1890-1997 (bulk 1890-1926). 4 boxes.

  • Correspondence; drafts of published and unpublished reports and conference papers; articles; reprints; diaries; negatives and photographs related to his scholarly studies and life work in wildlife conservation and management.

    Papers, 1925-1980. 59 boxes and items + 2 mapcase folders.

  • Correspondence, manuscript drafts, teaching materials.

    Papers, 1975-2017. 676 boxes.

  • Collection contains files accumulated and maintained by Stan Bevington, founder of the Coach House Press. The papers include accounting materials, correspondence, ephemera, SoftQuad files, information related to programs and other miscellaneous items.

    Papers, 1960-2012. 208 boxes.

  • Drafts and typescripts of writings, correspondence.

    Papers, 1953-ongoing. 23 boxes.

  • Includes research, notes and other background material for Joan Coldwell’s The Tightrope Walker: autobiographical writings of Anne Wilkinson (1992). 

    Papers, 1988-1992. 2 boxes. 

  • Collection in Greek and Latin illustrating the history and development of handwriting from the 4th century until the end of the Middle Ages. [Electronic version]

    2 boxes & oversize.

  • Autographs from the registrar’s office, University of Toronto. Many are circa 1800s, chiefly Canadian.

    [ca. 18--?]. 1 box.

  • Collection of early telegraphic material. Contains material related to the construction of telegraphic infrastructure, such as the log of S.S. Great Eastern and fundraising materials.

    1847-[1990?]. 5 boxes.

  • Collection includes six leaves from four different mediaeval manuscripts.

    1 box.

  • 12 medals, including medals from Cenenario de la Universidad de Buenos Aires (1821-1921), Twentieth International American Congress (Rio de Janeiro, 1875-1922), University of Poitiers (1432-1932).

  • Consists of photocopies of documents from the former Communist Party of L’viv (now: Department of Public Associations at the State Archive of L’viv Oblast, Viddilhromads’kykh ob’iednan’ Derzhavnoho arkhivu L’vivs’koi oblasti). Also contains source materials for Jeffrey Burds’ “The Early Cold War in Soviet West Ukraine, 1944-1948” in The Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 2001).

    Papers, 1944-1956. 12 boxes. 

  • Includes letters by Hardy, his two wives, and members of their extended families; also includes correspondence collected by Richard Purdy and Michael Millgate in the course of their research on Hardy.

    Papers, 1840-1928. 6 boxes. 

  • Contains correspondence, photographs and manuscript material related to the life and work of Collignon, including his Martha's Clinic Letters series. 

    Papers, 1972-1987. 1 box.

  • Scrapbooks containing research notes, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, offprints of his work in biochemistry and endocrinology, and biographical material about Collip as a biochemist, teacher, and co-discoverer of insulin. 

    Papers, 1892-14 scrapbooks; 20 books; 3 boxes. 

  • Contains editorial correspondence, typescripts, translations and galley proofs for a variety of Contact Press publications. 

    Papers, 1960-1966. 1 box. 

  • Contains office files of correspondence, interoffice memos and financial records for Cooper & Beatty designs, as well as proof copies of work completed, copies of work and mounted samples for exhibits, posters, photographs and organizations connected with the firm.

    Papers, 1921-1987. 196 boxes. 

  • Includes personal and professional correspondence; manuscripts; academic papers, lectures, and course materials for the University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University and other institutions; personal photographs; cultural and political pursuits; community events; extensive work related to the history of slavery, and the history of African Canadians, and other material related to her life and work.


    Papers, 1974-2015. 19 boxes. 

  • Transcriptions and translations by Cornyn of Aztec literature. In some cases, there are parallel texts. The collection also includes Cornyn's translation of Song of Quetzalcoatl.

    Papers, [1930-1932]. 1 box.

  • Contains the only known records of Captain Fritz Hauch Eden Crowe. The collection consists of two leaves from a scrapbook, which has pasted-in watercolours and clippings, as well as three singular watercolours and one pencil drawing.

    Papers, 1863-1908. 1 box.