Alphabet books originated in the fifteenth century as ornate hornbooks that utilized “uppercase and lowercase letters, common syllables, and a few short prayers as a medium to teach reading.” In the seventeenth century, the form shifted… Read the full post.
Through the Revolving Door: Fisher Blog
Were visitors able to enter the Fisher Library during Doors Open Toronto 2021, the very first thing that they would encounter would be the dedication stone on the southwest wall of the foyer (image above). Carved in an elegant script likely… Read the full post.
Though the Fisher is known for its Shakespeare and other special collections, the library and University of Toronto Archives are full of many other treasures not typically seen, some of which are directly related to the building and its history.… Read the full post.
One of the things I’ve never taken for granted since I started working at the Fisher over 15 years ago is having access to our incredible collection. Imagine how fortunate I am to be able to roam among the 750,000 volumes or so in our stacks,… Read the full post.
How do you read a book that has no words?
In 1919, Frans Masereel (1889-1972) invented a new type of book: romans in beeiden, or novels in pictures. His first novel,… Read the full post.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Gothic revival created popular interest in medieval manuscripts, but few ordinary British citizens had the opportunity to see what they looked like until the 1840s. Without duplication technology,… Read the full post.
In 1570, the Flemish cartographer and geographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) printed the first modern atlas titled, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. The word "atlas" became associated with geographic books when the Dutch cartographer Gerard… Read the full post.
The attitude of the French poet and chronicler Jean Molinet (1435–1507) to the religious orders of his day was, at best, ambiguous. One of his more famous poems—a satirical grace in verse—begins:
We pray that the… Read the full post.
Fore-edge paintings – also known as fore-edge illustrations – are images painted on the side of the book opposite to the spine. When a book with this feature is closed, it appears like any book with gilded edges. However when the pages are fanned… Read the full post.
Zines (derived from the term “fanzines” or “fan-magazines) are a fluid literary creature. In a very broad yet clear explanation, Stephen Duncombe notes that “zines are non-commercial, nonprofessional, small-circulation magazines which their… Read the full post.
It was exactly one year ago today, St Patrick’s Day 2020, that the doors to the Fisher Library were closed to the public by order of both civic and university officials. Little did we imagine that one year later we would still be working from… Read the full post.
The simplest definition one can give to describe an artists’ book is that they are works of art in the physical form of a book, but of course it is not so simple. An artists’ book is a form of artistic expression using the book as its medium.… Read the full post.
Each week the Fisher Library highlights an item from one of its many collections digitized online on the Internet Archive. This Monday, in honour of International Women’s Day we will be looking at “Women of Canada: Their Life and Work.”… Read the full post.
In the year 1856,… Read the full post.
It’s long been said that Toronto is, first and foremost, a hockey town. And yes, while it’s true that the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs suck a significant portion of the professional sports oxygen in the city – despite its lack of silverware for the… Read the full post.