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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  • Business and personal correspondence, papers and photographs documenting his work and exhibitions, and family papers and photographs.

    Papers, 1944-ongoing. 86 boxes.

  • Includes drafts, notes and research for novels; short stories; journals; correspondence and other material. 

    Papers, 1970s-2016. 42 boxes.

  • Holograph manuscript of 29 poems.

    Papers, [1840's?]. 1 box.

  • Consists of papyri from the Fayûm, Hibeh, and Oxyrhynchus, Egypt. Includes fragments from classical authors, legal documents, personal letters, and other miscellaneous items. 

    36 pieces in 5 boxes. Photographs.

  • Letters and notes written by Gilbert Parker to various recipients between 1892 and 1926. Also includes promotional pamphlet for Parker’s novel The World for Sale and a press photograph.

    Papers, 1892-1937. 1 box.

  • Collection of Spanish and Italian documents.

    Papers, 1608-1818. 3 items.

  • Diverse collection of papers - including 19th-century seafaring material (ship logs, diaries and British Naval documents), photos, correspondence and other materials up to and including the first World War - from members of various prominent British and Canadian families.

    Papers, [17- ]-2004. 23 boxes.

  • Research files for Pathy's book Waterfront Blue: Labour Strife at the Port of Montreal, 1960-1978.

    Papers, [193-]-2003. 53 boxes and 4 binders.

  • This collection contains letters received by William Robert (W.R.) Patterson from his first wife, Fannie Harris, and brothers, Thomas Patterson and Nathaniel Oscar Patterson, primarily pertaining to personal matters and their careers as singers and vocalists in both Canada and the United States. The largest collection of letters, numbering 22, are from N.O. Patterson to W.R. Patterson which includes a description of his travels throughout the United States and Canada with both the Famous Canadian Jubilee Singers and his own group, the Patterson’s Jubilee Quartet and Concert Company. Also contains ephemera from the Old Southland Sextette and the Patterson’s Jubilee Singers. 

    Papers, 1880-1930. 1 box.

  • Draft manuscripts of poems and prose, including unpublished work; also contains papers that document his involvement with The Writers' Union of Canada and correspondence.

    Papers, 1968-2000. 54 boxes.

  • Correspondence, tapes with transcripts for his Twelve Voices.

    Papers, 1964-1987. 6 boxes.

  • Correspondence and research about etchings of Wenceslaus Hollar with drafts of his published book; drafts of other writings and correspondence.

    Papers, 1930-ongoing. 32+boxes and items.

  • Includes German, Polish, Ukrainian, KGB and other documents related to the Ukrainian underground movement. Also includes extensive correspondence, clippings and other documents pertaining to the Ukrainian underground.

    Papers, 264 boxes (Downsview Offsite Storage).

  • See: Burkett, Mary

  • Material relating to Carter’s genealogical research into the various branches of his family, namely the Carter, Boggis, and Wincoll families. Includes notes, documents, research, reproductions of heraldic ornaments, artwork, and wax seals.

    Papers, 1662-[195-]. 1 box.

  • Contains the personal archives of Lester Douglas of four artists: Earl Horter, Hans Foy, David Karfunkle and Barbara Shermund.

    Papers, 1916-1958. 6 boxes. 

  • Soldier's journal, pay books, photographs from the First World War.

    Papers, 1910-1920. 1 box.

  • Manuscript drafts, production scripts and other materials of radio plays (by Timothy Findley, Carol Shields, Michael Ondaatje, among others) and other CBC projects.

    Papers, 1980-2005. 17 boxes.

  • Minutes, correspondence, scrapbooks.

    Records, 1902-1918. 6 items and boxes.

  • Documents donated by Dr. Eva Pip from the Korigen Ukrainian Displaced Persons camp, some of which pertain to her parents, Nadija Jaremenko and Ivan Pip. Includes personal documents, photographs, a few DP camp periodicals, scripts for plays, and poems.

    Papers, 1943-1948. 1 box.

  • Materials generated and collected in the course of business by the Toronto Anti-Draft Programme (TADP).

    Records, 1964-1977. 29 Boxes.

  • Materials relating to Pocock and the Legion of the Frontiersmen.

    Papers, 1932-1941. 1 box.

  • Manuscripts, correspondence, research and other material related to Polanyi's life and work.

  • Correspondence, notes, contracts, royalty statements and reviews pertaining to authors and other clients represented by Pomer and her agency.

    Papers, 1970-2005. 52 boxes.

  • Documents, correspondence, drawings and photographs, commonplace books.

    Papers, 1750-1850. 1 box.

  • Manuscript and typescript poems in chapbooks.

    Papers, 1939-51. 1 box.

  • Drafts of published and unpublished poems, lyrics, short stories and novels, and correspondence.

    Papers, 1964-2010. 121 boxes.

  • Consists of 34 promissory freight notes for merchandise and peltries shipped aboard the King’s Armed Vessels between British Garrisons on Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Huron (1778-1787). Also contains 12 manuscript documents on the hardships experienced by fur traders and merchants in their attempts to conduct business in the Great Lakes region (1783-1793); these primarily illustrate the experiences of Philippe-Francois de Rastel de Rocheblave, James Ellice and Toussaint Pothier.

    Papers, 1788-1792. 3 boxes. 

  • Drafts of stories, plays, poems, articles, page proofs, audio tapes of readings.

    Papers, 1959-1967. 5 boxes.

  • Account of Atlantic crossing from Portsmouth to Quebec.

    Diary, 1844. 1 box (1 volume).