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Browse Exhibits (50 total)

Draft History of US-UK-Canadian Atomic Energy Cooperation, 1953-1954

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In 1953, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill requested the creation of a historical record of Anglo-American cooperation in the field of atomic energy. Churchill's aim was to rectify what he perceived to be a lack of "awareness in Washington" of Britain's contribution to atomic energy. Canada's Secretary of State for External Affairs, Lester B. Pearson, pressed for Canadian involvement in editing the history prior to its publication. The Canadians had a stake in securing recognition of their participation in the wartime Anglo-American atomic program and continued atomic cooperation. As Pearson states in his letter of 13 January 1954, it was "important to protect Canada’s continuing interest in the fostering of cooperation with the United States and United Kingdom in the development of atomic energy” by ensuring that Canada’s contributions were recognized.1 As a result, there was a clear push from the Department of External Affairs for Canadian sponsorship of the history, to which the United States and United Kingdom agreed.

Now a tripartite history, the Canadians were afforded acknowledgement of their prolonged commitment to and participation in the allied nuclear programme. However, it was never made clear during discussions in 1954 and 1955 if the history would be made public. The Canadians favoured publication but were not in a position to insist on its publication. There were extensive Canadian revisions to the draft history, consulting various departments and authorities in atomic energy and foreign relations in order to get the story straight. Rumours of atomic sharing eventually leaked to the media and the House of Commons, putting greater pressure on the Canadian government to consider the ramifications of its involvement in atomic cooperation on its image as a nation, the future of its defence planning, and its alliances going forward. It was evident that Canada was determined to have a singular voice and defend its own interests with respect to the draft history, especially in considering a fair and honest representation of its contributions. However, the Canadian government had to balance these interests with considerations of its power relative to that of the United Kingdom and United States. Ultimately, the draft history was never published and was quietly declassified by the United States in 1961.


1 Secretary of State for External Affairs to Minister of Defence, 13 Jan. 1954, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), RG 25, vol. 5957, file no. 50219-AF-40, part 1.

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Fashion Plates from the Collections of the Library & Archives, Royal Ontario Museum

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A descriptive finding aid of historical fashion plates included in the collections of the Library & Archives, Royal Ontario Museum

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Global Summitry Archive: A Searchable Memory of Global Governance


The Global Summitry Archive, created by the Global Summitry Project (GSP) at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, aims to collect and preserve publicly accessible information and websites related to global summits, including leader and other officials’ meetings and conferences.

Governments and international institutions are increasingly using websites as their primary means for disseminating information about meetings, conferences, and summits. On the other hand, there is a lack of a centralized effort to capture and preserve content that has been published online.

The Global Summitry Archive has been created to serve as an unofficial secretariat for all digital content related to global governance with a two-pronged focus on preservation and accessibility. In terms of preservation, the Archive aims to collect – as completely as possible – all online information related to global governance. In terms of accessibility, the Archive will remain publicly accessible and is designed to accommodate keyword searches to allow users to quickly find the information they are looking for.

Using Archive-It, a web-archiving service provided by The Internet Archive, the Global Summitry Project has successfully preserved 125 websites containing over 3 million documents. The collection will continue to grow as more websites and content is published online.

The Global Summitry Project welcomes feedback and suggestions. If there is a website we haven’t captured that you think we should – let us know.

Click here to access the Global Summitry Archive.

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Godiva Week

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Godiva Week appears to have first started around 1979. This series of events takes place during the first full week back to classes in January. Celebrating the spirit of Lady Godiva, Godiva Week is a chance for Engineering students to celebrate before diving back into classes.

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History of Dentures from beginning to early 19th century

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The purpose of this exhibit is to showcase University of Toronto Libraries’ collection* on dental prostheses while outlining periods of progression in dental prostheses science, and especially during the 19th century.

The narrative below is divided into two main parts: Firstly, a summary of historical developments in dental prosthesis during antiquity and in the modern era. The second piece in this exhibition is a description of the types of dentures, the obtaining of impressions, and the kinds of denture materials used specifically in the 19th century. The 19th century marked a turning point for the advancements of dentures that rendered mass availability and use, in addition to sowing the seeds for modern advancements in denture technology.

This narrative is unique from other works because it sources primary resources from then-contemporary dentists of the 19th century. These resources constitute dentistry library collection items and describe aspects of denture construction at that time and during past ages as well. This exhibition is by no means an exhaustive history of dental prostheses development.

*Please click this link to see digitized versions of all of the rare books in the Dentistry Library's collection. 

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In All Of Us Command: Story of an Anthem


Intended to instill a sense of communal national pride, “O Canada” occupies a significant place in the Canadian public’s imagination. Played in schools and sung at sporting events nationwide, many Canadians know the melody and lyrics by heart. However, few are aware of the national anthem’s colourful history.



In the following exhibit, you will discover the compositional context of “O Canada” and examine different versions of the piece from our library’s extensive Canadian Sheet Music Collection. A historical narrative of the anthem will be traced, delving into the nineteenth century French Canadian origins of the piece and the struggle for English lyrical uniformity. The exhibit concludes by scrutinizing the issues facing us as twenty-first century Canadians, as we strive to establish a version of our national anthem that better reflects the rich diversity of our country, its people, and environment.


Please stop by the University of Toronto Faculty of Music to see the physical exhibit, which begins in the lobby and continues downstairs in the displays outside the library.


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Kathleen Parlow and Norway


The archival collections of the University of Toronto Music Library document the rich musical life of Toronto in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A particularly fine example from the archive is the Kathleen Parlow collection. Parlow (1890-1963) was a Canadian violin prodigy and the first foreign student to enroll in the St. Petersburg Conservatory where she studied with Leopold Auer along with other prodigies such as Mischa Elman and Efrem Zimbalist.

Her early professional success took her to prestigious concert venues in Europe, North America, and Asia. This exhibit offers a glimpse into Parlow's unique relationship with Norway, from being the recipient of the 1735 Viotti Guarneri del Gesù violin given to her by Einar Bjørnson, to her performances all over Norway, including those for the Norwegian royal family. Featured are reproductions of some pages of the manuscript of the Johan Halvorsen violin concerto, which was dedicated to Parlow and premiered by her on August 14, 1909 in Scheveningen, Holland. Also included are letters from Halvorsen to Parlow giving her corrections to the score as well as suggestions for performance, photographs, entries from her daybooks, and examples of programmes of her Norwegian concerts, many under the baton of Johan Halvorsen.

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Korea, "Canopy," and Consultation: Canadian Attempts to Influence US Nuclear Policy in the Early 1950s

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On 30 November 1950, President Harry S. Truman delivered a speech affirming that the United States was considering the use of the atomic bomb in Korea. This proposition to unilaterally deploy the “ultimate weapon” concerned US allies, especially given the joint nature of the UN forces operating in Korea.2 Particularly concerned was British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, who wanted to ensure that the British would be consulted on any decisions to deploy the atomic bomb in the Far East. Attlee met with Truman on 4 December to discuss Britain’s role in atomic cooperation, and after their meeting the president released a statement promising to keep the British prime minister informed, a promise which was also extended to the Canadian prime minister. Through public statements and negotiations, the Canadian government aimed to exert influence over American nuclear policy.

Truman’s speech encouraged Canadian officials to consider their position toward a first strike by the United States in Korea. While Canada had no legal right to be consulted on this decision, they decided to focus on their role as a “member of the inner circle on atomic matters”  to exert their influence.3 Canada made its position known to the US State Department, distinguishing the atomic bomb from other military weapons and stating that the advantages of its use would be “outweighed by the reactions in the free world and […] the grave peril in which it would place Western Europe.”4 While they respected US authority over the bomb, they used their position as an atomic ally to voice their concerns and attempt to influence US decision-making.

Truman’s speech also caused the Canadians to be more careful in their negotiations with the United States on the establishment of a US base in Goose Bay, Newfoundland. The US proposed a “canopy” agreement, first drafted as a “Pentagon Paper,” to allow them to use part of a Royal Canadian Air Force base in Goose Bay. Newfoundland held strategic importance for the defence of North America against a Soviet attack, and the United States wanted a military base to launch a counter-offensive if needed. While the Canadian government supported a US strike launched from Canadian soil in the event of a Soviet attack on North America, it was wary of other operations that might infringe upon Canadian sovereignty and go against Canadian policy. The Canadian government used its position and concerns surrounding sovereignty to exert influence over US atomic policy, attempting to reduce the likelihood of a nuclear strike. Canada’s insistence on specific terms for the canopy agreement led the United States to abandon the proposal in favour of informal diplomatic talks held at regular intervals.

Canadian officials’ actions regarding both the potential use of the bomb in Korea and the agreement at Goose Bay illustrate concerns about the possible unilateral launch of a nuclear weapon by the United States. While the Canadians accepted that the United States would not ask Canada for permission before launching a nuclear weapon, they maintained a position of advocating for maximum consultation. Canada reinforced its role as an atomic partner, and, in the case of Goose Bay, a sovereign state, to attempt to influence American nuclear policy.


1 Visit of Prime Minister St. Laurent to HQ 25 Canadian Infantry Brigade Officers's Mess in Korea," March 1954, Photograph, Library and Archives Canada, MIKAN no. 4929227, (accessed May 30, 2018).

2 "Korea and the Atomic Bomb," 3 Dec. 1950, LAC, RG 25, vol. 4758, file no. 50069-C-40, part 1.

3 Memorandum for the Minister, "The Bomb," 1 Dec. 1950, LAC, RG 25, vol. 4758, file 50069-C-40, part 1.

4 "Korea and the Atomic Bomb," 3 Dec. 1950, LAC, RG 25, vol. 4758, file no. 50069-C-40, part 1.

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Ontario Dental Association: 150th anniversary


In Toronto, on January 3-5, 1867, the first meeting of dentists occurred at the Queen's Hotel with the goal to establish the Ontario Dental Association (ODA). The efforts of the first members of the ODA resulted in the passing of the ‘Act Respecting Dentistry’ in 1868. This legislation permitted dentists to regulate their profession and create a dental school to ensure proper training of dental practitioners. After a few attempts, the first dental school in Ontario was opened in 1875. It is currently known as the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto. This space provides a brief biography of the nine dentists in attendance at the first meeting in 1867. In addition, you will find a summary of some popular dental topics in the late nineteenth century. 

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Peter MacCallum, Photographer


We are delighted to present this virtual exhibit highlighting the photographer Peter MacCallum's Massey Hall Project.

The project features stunning interior and exterior images of Toronto’s most cherished concert hall. The photographs in this series are primarily dated from 2008 to 2013, while a small but important group dates from 1987. The Peter MacCallum fonds is cared for by the University of Toronto Media Commons Archives, in both digital and physical formats.

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Pierson v. Post Judgment Roll



Pierson v. Post has been made famous by its use in American property law classrooms since the 1950s. It is often the first case law students study in property as it provides an introduction to the concept of first possession and how one acquires possession in a wild animal, the fox, owned by no one. 

The case report reproduced in law school casebooks was created by New York’s first official law reporter George Caines after the case was argued by eminent counsel and reversed in Pierson’s favor at the New York Supreme Court. What law students generally read is a brief statement of the facts, followed the majority decision by Justice Daniel Tompkins and a dissent by Justice Brockholst Livingston. 

The Judgment Roll is a copy — probably made by the clerk of Pierson’s lawyer Nathan Sanford — of the documents Sanford filed in his writ of certiorari to the New York Supreme Court. This was a process in which the loser before a Justice of the Peace could appeal the decision by asking for the New York Supreme Court to command that the Justice of the Peace explain what had been done before him in the magistrate’s court, in this case a jury trial held at Post’s request on December 30, 1802, for their review. It was the job of the New York Supreme Court to check, yes, all the ‘i’s were dotted and ‘t’s were crossed in the magistrate’s proceedings and if they were not, Pierson (the “now plaintiff” before the New York Supreme Court) was justified in winning a reversal of the jury’s 75¢ award for Post and his $5 in costs. The Judgment Roll also includes the command to Justice of the Peace John N. Fordham to return the documentation, Sanford’s six specific grounds of appeal, as well as the words the New York Supreme Court used in order to hold the case over from year to year until it was ultimately decided in Pierson’s favor on September 10, 1805. Sanford then filed this copy of all of the documents (those provided by Fordham, his own, and the New York Supreme Court) as the “Record” in the case on the same day.

This judgment roll was found by University of Toronto law professor and legal historian Angela Fernandez at the Division of Old Records, New York County Clerk’s Office in New York City in May 2007.

Each page of the judgment roll is reproduced with an accompanying transcript prepared by Professor Fernandez.

It has subsequently disappeared but a dataset was created to preserve the images and make them publicly available. You can find it here. A transcript of the Judgment Roll is also available as an appendix in Angela Fernandez, Pierson v. Post, the Hunt for the Fox: Law and Professionalization in American Legal Culture (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Running Fox by Paul de Vos, courtesy of Museo Nacional del Prado.

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Pinning Down the Union: The Button Project

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The Button Project is an online exhibition by the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources Library that will explore labour history through pinback buttons. We will focus on Canadian examples in order to examine protests, boycotts, unions, and movements through material culture.

The IRHR Library is grateful to Rahna Moreau for her donation of pins and buttons.

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Polyphony: Diversity in Music


Polyphony is a musical style in which many parts combine, each part having its own individual melody while simultaneously harmonizing with each other. Each part is independent and equal, while working together to form a masterpiece.

Polyphony: Diversity in Music fosters dialogue with BIPOC musicians through interviews with Faculty of Music students and faculty, as well as musicians from across Canada. It is our privilege to highlight these individuals' voices alongside the works of diverse musicians from within the Music Library collections.

This exhibit provides a safe space for U of T students and faculty to equally engage with issues of diversity in music in a North American context.   

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Preparing for the Warm War: Implications of a Defeat in Korea, 1950-1951

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In December 1950, the prospects of a UN victory in Korea were slim. Chinese forces had entered the war in October 1950, and their successful campaigns forced the UN coalition to retreat past the 38th parallel. While UN military commanders scrambled to regain control, allied governments reassessed the political implications of a potential defeat. The Canadian government was seriously concerned. On 2 December 1950, a memo was sent out to the Secretary of State for External Affairs, the Chiefs of Staff Committee, and the Joint Planning Committee to prepare an immediate assessment of the situation and recommend possible options going forward.

One of the civil servants who responded was Escott Reid, then Deputy Under-Secretary for External Affairs. By this point, Reid was known within the government as an idealist with a commitment to collective security, having played an influential role in the signing of the UN Charter and the North Atlantic Treaty. At the same time, Reid was also known for the divisive and provocative opinions he circulated in departmental memoranda. The situation on the Korean peninsula brought out both of these sides of Reid. In December 1950, he drafted two memoranda outlining the current international situation, the major failures of the Western treatment of the Cold War thus far, and the possible consequences of another failure in Korea. Reid’s main argument was that Western response has always been too slow and “inadequate,” and that all of the Western responses to communist aggression have “proved to be either too little or to have come too late.” As a solution, Reid proposed a global strategy in order to attain a balance of power with the Communist bloc and establish peaceful coexistence.

Reid circulated this memo to officials in Ottawa as well as Canadian representatives overseas. What ensued was a fascinating back-and-forth, the subject of this briefing book, which speaks to the divergent opinions present in 1950 and 1951. Canadian-American relations, economics, and race were among the many issues at hand. Over all of these discussions hung the spectre of a Third World War, this time involving atomic weapons.  These discussions were much more than an intellectual exercise for those involved—for them, the very survival of human civilization hung in the balance.

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Queer Romania in Late Communism and in the Nineties


Through queer magazines, legal documentation, media reports, art works and ephemera, this exhibition reveals the understanding of homosexuality and the treatment of sexual minorities in Romania that commonly shared two different political goals at two different periods: the establishment of a new communist society between the mid-1940s and the early 1990s and the transition towards a democratic society in the following years.

As such, the exhibition offers insights into the history of the social and cultural forms of understanding nonheteronormative identity in Romania, as being shaped by two political projects: the furthering of the communist revolution and the democratization of the respective societies.

The exhibition presents the specificities of the understanding of homosexuality, the treatment of sexual minorities and gay and lesbian self-organization in communist and post-communist Romania.

In the context of rising populist governments in the region that have continuously re-enforced the idea that LGBTQAI+ movements are “foreign imports” to Central and Southeastern Europe that threaten the political, social and cultural traditions of the respective countries, this exhibition seeks to consciously inform and oppose the view that nonheteronormative homosexuality appeared after the fall of Communism in 1989 in Romania. The formulation of an exclusive national, religious, and heterosexual majority has legitimized itself to such an extent that nonconforming bodies have repeatedly seen their rights curtailed. This type of justification has roots in the communist formulation of identity, which excluded all “alien” bodies from the citizenry. Nevertheless, the LGBTQAI+ community managed both in times of repressive Communism and chaotic decade of the 1990s, when Romania still criminalized homosexuality, to carve a space for themselves and to foster the root of a queer identity.

This exhibit seeks to move away from the trend to dehistoricize homosexuality in Central and Eastern Europe. This latter issue in the field has led to the potrayal of queer experience in the region as homogenous, largely homophobic, and in need of transition and 'catching up' since 1989. 

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Regent Park Community Resource Library

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Welcome to the Regent Park Community Resource Library.  

This resource library was created by Lena Sanz Tovar and Keisha St. Louis-McBurnie while they were Master of Science in Planning students at the University of Toronto's Department of Geography and Planning.   

In 2020 and 2021, Lena and Keisha worked as researchers with the University of Toronto and Spacing Magazine's Regent Park Indicators Project funded by the Metcalf Foundation and led by Professor Shauna Brail and John Lorinc. This project seeks to create a replicable study that captures and measures neighbourhood change in Regent Park throughout the revitalization process and is supported with additional funding from Mitacs and the University of Toronto's School of Cities.    

The project includes a report, published in  Spacing, with this accompanying online database of previous research and publications about Regent Park.

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Robert R. Reid Digital Ephemera Collection

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Expanding on Robert R. Reid’s purposeful/pioneering role as an initiator (designer/printer) of artisanal (typographically individuated) books — produced (since 1949) in limited, connoisseurial editions — a fluent (ongoing) assemblage of self-contained Digital Ephemera (recognizably realized by Reid, in his ninety-first year) now functions to connect an academic library’s traditional Collection/Conservation process to an experimental programme of Curation/Revivification.

At the Robertson Davies Library, a continuously collaborative CAUSA curatorial commitment — and its self-defining aesthetic of forward motion — links the conceptive/regenerative development of certain closely read writings to their timely (digitally dispersed) transgenerational capacity for Communicative Contemporaneity.

CAUSA Research Curators

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Speculating Pandemic

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“How might speculative fiction become not only a resource for imagining alternative worlds, but also a medium for remaking our presence in this world?”

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