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Browse Exhibits (33 total)

Crime and Punishment at 150: Global Contexts




The year 2016 marked the 150th anniversary of the publication of Fyodor M. Dostoevsky’s seminal novel, Crime and Punishment (1866). A revelation when it first appeared in Moscow on the pages of the journal Russian Messenger, it continues to provide readers unparalleled insight into the individual’s role and moral responsibility in society. Following the murderous aspirations of the novel’s protagonist, former student Raskolnikov, we are confronted with the struggle of reconciling rationalist action with the human conscience, and witness one of Russia’s greatest artists at the peak of his success.

To commemorate Crime and Punishment’s resounding triumph and influence, a two month exhibition was held at John P. Robarts Research Library, University of Toronto, from October 3-November 30, 2016. Through the theme of “Global Contexts” it sought to celebrate the novel’s international reception and propagation, highlighting the rich variety of the collection held by the University of Toronto Libraries and the relevance of the holdings to interdisciplinary research and teaching.

This online exhibition offers an interactive platform through which to engage with the materials showcased, and support the continuing study of the novel across the boundaries of nation, language, and media. Over twenty countries are represented, and each category of materials offers a different genre in which to appreciate the novel: translation; art and illustration; belles-lettres and popular fiction; film, stage, and music; and literary criticism. Each item symbolizes the interminable relevance of Dostoevsky’s work, and emphasizes key threads of his thought that hold special significance for the development of culture world-wide.

The Robarts Library exhibition formed part of a SSHRC funded outreach project, Crime and Punishment at 150. Sponsors include the Petro Jacyk Central & East European Resource Centre, and the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. The original exhibition was curated by Professor Kate Holland and Ph.D. candidate Barnabas Kirk. This online platform was developed by Barnabas Kirk in conjunction with University of Toronto Libraries.


The curators would like to thank the following individuals at the University of Toronto Libraries for their cooperation: Ksenya Kiebuzinski for coordinating the planning, installation, and publicity for the exhibition; Jack Leong and members of the International and Community Outreach Coordinating Group for logistical support; Maureen Morin for creating the exhibition poster; Fabiano Rocha, Hana Kim, Miguel Torrens, Jihae Chun, Helen Tang, and Alex Averbuch for acquiring and/or describing several items on display; Wasyl Sydorenko for editorial and design assistance; Leslie Barnes for her technical assistance with the virtual display; and Megan Campbell and Milena Djokic for organizing the opening reception. Particular thanks is also owed to Dostoevsky scholars from across the globe for their valuable guidance, including Stefano Aloe (University of Verona, Italy), Sharon Lubkemann Allen (State University of New York, USA), and Bruno Barreto Gomide (University of São Paulo, Brazil)

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Dentistry Library 120th Anniversary


The Dentistry Library celebrates its 120th year in 2017.

From rare books, to e-books, to dental artifacts, the Dentistry Library offers a unique look at the profession, past and present. Explore our collections and history here. In this space you will find a brief description of what the library collection was like in 1897 and what it is today. In addition, on the left hand side there are brief biographies of the faculty members in charge of overseeing the library's collections prior to the hiring of the first dental librarian, Ms. Phyllis Smith, in 1954. 

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Disjecta membra: Medieval Manuscript Fragments at Massey College

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This exhibit is an introduction to the collection of medieval manuscript fragments housed at the Robertson Davies Library at Massey College. Please use the menu at left to navigate through the exhibit.

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Dr. Tony Pawson Tribute


Dr. Tony Pawson (1952-2013) revolutionized our understanding of the way our cells work in health and in disease. His discoveries contribute to every aspect of medical research and have relevance for the understanding and treatment of a host of diseases including cancer, diabetes, and disorders of the immune system. In the 25 years he spent studying how cells grow and communicate with each other, he became a world leader and one of the top 25 cited scientists in his field.

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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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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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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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Making History: contributions of faculty members in science and medicine


This exhibit is comprised of 30 photographs drawn from the University of Toronto Archives, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, the Hospital for Sick Children Archives and the grandson of John Gerald FitzGerald.  

Since the fall of 2014 they have hung in the Gerstein Reading Room at 9 King's College Circle on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto.  The photographs represent the varied and significant contributions of faculty members of the University of Toronto in the fields of science and medicine.  It is hoped that these photographs both honour those represented and inspire those who see them.


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