Through the Revolving Door: The Fisher Library Blog

Our Daily Bread - Scarcity and Ingenuity in Culinary Manuscripts
Date posted: Fri April 24, 2020

Have you found yourself doing more cooking and baking during the Coronavirus pandemic? You’re not alone! Orders to work from home have led to a surge in home baking, and many consumers are finding their local stores unable to keep up with the demand for items like sugar, flour and yeast. 

Homemakers throughout history have dealt with shortages and isolation, and some of the recipes and stories in our culinary collection reflect their... Read more

Curating the Qur’anic Page at the Fisher
Date posted: Tue April 21, 2020

Deep in the belly of the Fisher Library, there is an entire wall of shelves dedicated to Arabic manuscript materials. While many of these are uncatalogued, those that are can be found by searching for “arab mss” call numbers in the University of Toronto Libraries... Read more

“At Home with Books”: A Librarian’s View of Working away from Books 
Date posted: Thu April 16, 2020

The antiquarian booksellers Simon Beattie, Justin Croft, Ben Kinmont, and Heather O’Donnell recently issued a joint catalogue, At Home with Books (9 April 2020), in an effort to share their favourite books with members of the rare book community. As I read the descriptions of the forty items, I think how this catalogue is the product of a... Read more

Luther, the Plague, and the Printing Press
Date posted: Tue April 14, 2020

At first glance, one might think it highly unlikely that the sixteenth and the twenty-first centuries would have much in common. The pandemic of 2020, however, has aligned our two eras in a way unimaginable, even as recently as a few months ago. An unknown virus to which no one is naturally immune? Meet the bubonic plague. Beginning in the middle of the fourteenth century somewhere in the Far East, the disease which came to be known as the ‘... Read more

Cleaning up our records
Date posted: Thu April 9, 2020

As we adjust to working from home, one of the projects that we have been working on is cleaning up older catalogue records, which is leading to some interesting discoveries as well as opportunities to make these items easier for researchers to find.

Many of our earliest catalogue records actually have their origins in the physical card catalogue, which were made into digital records in the early 1990s. As a result many of these records... Read more

Bringing the Sarajevo Haggadah home to my Passover Seder
Date posted: Fri April 3, 2020

Around this time last year, I was looking back on a semester in which I developed some new research interests in Judaica materials, from exploring Hebrew letterforms at the Massey College Bibliography and Print Room to becoming totally captivated by the story of the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst,... Read more

Censorship and the Fisher
Date posted: Tue March 31, 2020

The issues of book censorship and book banning are always paramount among librarians. The head of our department, PJ Carefoote, is one of the foremost experts on this important topic. Back in 2005, his exhibition Nihil Obstat asked visitors to imagine what their world would look like if various banned, censored and challenged books had been successfully suppressed by legitimate authorities. It is a subject he lectures on frequently. 

... Read more

Welcome to the Fisher Library Blog!
Date posted: Mon March 30, 2020

Hello to our Fisher Library community!

We know these are difficult days for everybody. Moreover, it is tough to be closed and not providing access to our materials and our exhibition space. But we will all get through this and we will re-open as soon as it is safe to do so. We thank everybody for their patience and understanding.

In the meantime, to keep in touch with our community, we are creating this blog space. It is our... Read more