Local digital special collections

These fulltext digital collections were developed here at the University of Toronto Libraries, in collaboration with university faculty and external partners. This work has often been made possible through the generous support of funding agencies.

Agnes Chamberlin Digital Collection

This collection consists of over three hundred original paintings of Canadian flora and mushrooms by Agnes Chamberlin (1833-1913), dating from the period 1863 to the 1900s, as well as Chamberlin's published works, in all editions, and the original subscription books for the first two editions of Canadian wild flowers.

This collection features approximately 4500 full page plates and other significant illustrations of human anatomy. Each illustration has been fully indexed using medical subject headings (MeSH), and techniques of illustration, artists, and engravers have been identified whenever possible. There are ninety-five individual titles represented, ranging in date from 1522 to 1867.

This site documents two exploratory surveys of the Barren Lands region west of Hudson Bay, in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan and the area now known as Nunavut. Drawing on materials from the J.B. Tyrrell, James Tyrrell and related collections at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, it includes over 5,000 images from original field notebooks, correspondence, photographs, maps and published reports.

Books Online

More than 200,000 books have been digitized, from the University of Toronto Libraries. They are freely available online and out-of-copyright. The full text of these books can be searched, and they are also listed in our catalogue.

This collection is currently available through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. In addition, all objects can be viewed at the University of Toronto Robarts Collection on the Internet Archive. Please contact us (https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/its/get-help) if you need support finding an item within the collection.

British Armorial Bindings

British Armorial Binding is a comprehensive catalogue of all the coats of arms, crests, and other heraldic devices that have been stamped by British owners on the outer covers of their books, together with the bibliographical sources of the stamps. The database reproduces over 3,300 stamps used between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries, associated with nearly two thousand individual owners.

This project begins the process of creating a comprehensive on-line database of popular performance culture in Canada West (now 'southern Ontario') from its formative years prior to Confederation until just after World War One.

The Canadian Government Information collection contains over 600 archived federal, provincial (Ontario), & municipal (Toronto) government websites. Coverage for select federal sites begins as early as 2007. Special emphasis is placed on capturing official publications & content of local significance. 

A collection of the documents published on the websites of Canada's public sector unions, private sector unions, and labour federations. The collection is national in scope. Most websites include administrative and organizational information, press releases and newsletters, and collective bargaining information (including some collective agreements).

Canadian Local History

The Canadian Local Histories Collection is a compilation of local historical materials held at the University of Toronto. This collection consolidates pamphlets, books and periodicals into a collection of over 65,000 full-text searchable pages of historical material.

The collection is current available on the Internet Archive and the site is available through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Please contact us (https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/its/get-help) if you need support finding an item within the collection.

Canadian Necrology

The Canadian Necrology database is a unique source of obituary and death information for both prominent and lesser-known Canadians, covering a time span from the late 18th century to 1977. It contains over 20,000 records; the majority come from newspapers such as the Globe and Mail, Toronto Daily Star, Gazette, and Mail and Empire; an additional 4,000 records were compiled by William Henry Pearson (1831-1920), a Toronto resident with a lifetime passion for necrology.

Canadian Pamphlets and Broadsides

Pre-1930 Canadian pamphlets and broadsides from the collections of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. To date the site contains of 596 broadsides (single sheets, printed on one or both sides) and 594 pamphlet titles which amounts to 21638 page images. Additional titles will be added on a regular basis. The collection includes items printed in Canada, by Canadian authors, or about Canadian subjects, mainly of a non-literary nature. Searching, browsing, full text and images are provided for each document.

Canadian Poetry and Poets:

Poetry, biographies, and bibliographies of more than seventy Canadian poets. Also provides information about literary events and awards, Canadian poetry journals and magazines, other poetry sites, and other related resources. Edited by Sophia Kaszuba, University of Toronto Libraries.

Canadian House of Commons floor on March 10, 2938

Canadian Political Parties and Political Interest Groups archives the websites of all of the national Canadian political parties, and a number of special interest groups across the political spectrum.

Canadian Printer and Publisher, which began in 1892 and is still being published today by Rogers Media under the title Canadian Printer Magazine, is the national organ of the printing industry in Canada. It documents the growth and evolution of the trade, during a period of continuous technological and commercial innovation, beginning in the period when machine composition was taking over from hand composition in the 1890s.

The collection contains 101 of the Champlain Society's volumes (almost 50,000 printed pages) dealing with exploration and discovery over three centuries. It includes first-hand accounts of Samuel de Champlain's voyages in New France as well as the diary from Sir John Franklin's first land expedition to the Arctic, 1819-22.

The Dictionary of Old English (DOE) defines the vocabulary of the first six centuries (C.E. 600-1150) of the English language, using twenty-first century technology. The DOE complements the Middle English Dictionary (which covers the period C.E. 1100-1500) and the Oxford English Dictionary, the three together providing a full description of the vocabulary of English. 

Discover Archives

Discover Archives is a shared portal for exploring archival holdings at the University of Toronto and its federated colleges. Visit the site today to search and browse descriptions of archival material related to the University of Toronto's history, as well as records from private individuals, families, businesses, and organizations.

The site includes a broad range of archival descriptions. You can browse the finding aids and search across the many archival descriptions that provide access to the documentary heritage of the University of Toronto and its community.

This site documents the initial period of the discovery and development of insulin, 1920-1925, here at the University of Toronto. It presents over seven thousand page images reproducing original documents ranging from laboratory notebooks and charts, correspondence, writings, and published papers to photographs, awards, clippings, scrapbooks, printed ephemera and artifacts.

Drawing from newspapers and periodicals, local histories, and archival documents, this site will begin the process of creating a comprehensive database of American film in Canada during the 20th Century.

FADIS (Fine Art Digital Imaging System) is a fine art and architecture repository and teaching tool of 30,000 digital images, videos and audio files with accompanying meta data for private study and research. Courseware tools include the creation of lecture carousels with image notes, multiple image display options for in class teaching, syllabus information, file sharing and online quizzes. Students can also create study and presentation "virtual" carousels, download lecture carousels as PDF, search and browse from the growing collection of art history. Faculty and students can create an account using Web Login. Departments interested in using FADIS to manage digital images should contact fadis@library.utoronto.ca

G8 Information Centre

G7/8 summit and ministerial meeting documents from 1975 to present; G7-related news articles; G7/8-related scholarly articles. Developed together with the University of Toronto G8 Research Group, under the direction of Prof. John Kirton.

Heritage U of T: Our Ongoing History in Images, Text, and Rich Media

Heritage U of T is a digital repository of archival records, photographs, books, maps, drawings, and sound and moving image files chronicling the University of Toronto's rich history from its founding, through both world wars, to the present. This site is a tri-campus initiativeby the University of Toronto Libraries' Information Technology Services, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University Archives and Records Management Services, U of T Mississauga Library, and U of T Scarborough Library. 

Iter, meaning a journey or a path in Latin, is a not-for-profit partnership dedicated to the advancement of learning in the study and teaching of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700) through the development and distribution of online resources.

Jackson Bibliography of Romantic Poetry

This bibliography is a work in progress that aims eventually to provide descriptions of all the volumes of verse in English that were published from 1770 to 1835. Phase I presents the years from 1798 to 1835 and includes 17,160 entries. Phase II will add the years from 1770 to 1797. The bibliography includes books that appeared for the first time in 1770 or later, with a minimum size of ten pages. The inclusion of books that mix prose and verse depends on their containing at least ten pages of verse that was not published before 1770.

THE JUBA PROJECT's Early Blackface Minstrelsy in Britain Website draws together a range of documentation into a database that allows the visitor to access information on the individuals and troupes who toured in Britain during these years, on the venues in which they appeared, and on individual events--to trace the movements of performers, and to locate documentary information on these touring, itinerant professionals. 

Labrador Inuit Through Moravian Eyes

This site provides information on the 250-year relationship between Moravian missionaries and the Inuit of Labrador. This interaction led to the establishment of settlements for a formerly nomadic people, their conversion to Christianity and exposure to aspects of North American culture. The information has been gathered from a variety of sources that shed light upon this unique adventure.

This collection is currently available through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Please contact us (https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/its/get-help) if you need support finding an item within the collection.

Lexicons of Early Modern English

LEME searches and displays word-entries from monolingual English dictionaries, bilingual lexicons, technical vocabularies, and other encyclopedic-lexical works, 1480-1702. Texts of word-entries whose headword (source) or explanation (target) language is English tell us what speakers of English thought about their tongue in the period. Edited by Prof. Ian Lancashire, this publication contains over half a million word entries in 150 searchable lexicons, supported by extensive primary and secondary bibliographies.

Manuscript Fragments

Collection of 190 pieces of vellum in Greek and Latin illustrating the history and development of handwriting from the 4th century until the end of the Middle Ages. Items 1-21 (which are Coptic in origin) illustrate the development of uncial writing from the beginning up to its decline in Egypt in the 9th century. A detailed finding aid is available in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

The Mayors and Sheriffs  of London 1190–1558

This database currently includes the mayors, sheriffs, and wardens of the City of London 1190–1558: their names, terms of office, and company (in the early years, craft/trade guild) membership or occupation. The database will gradually be expanded to include the years from 1559 to the present. Still later additions may include short biographies of the better-known mayors and sheriffs, and/or references or links to existing biographical sources.

Mexican Political Pamphlets, 1808-1832

One of the most important research collections pertaining to the independence movement in Mexico, 1789-1828, compiled by the late Prof. James McKegney. The collection contains a bibliographic database of more than 11,000 citations and over 1,150 digital copies of pamphlets listed in the database. This database and the accompanying documents are one of the most important archival sources in the world for the study of the political, social and cultural aspects of the independence movement in Mexico.

This collection is currently available through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Please contact us (https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/its/get-help) if you need support finding an item within the collection.

Patent Medicine Collection

The Patent Medicine collection consists of a wide range of materials documenting the patent medicine industry from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1960s and 1970s.

Professional performers of all kinds in England and Wales toured to provincial towns, monasteries and private residences before 1642. The REED Patrons and Performances Web Site is a searchable database about professional performers on tour in the provinces – their patrons, the performance venues they used and the routes they took across the kingdom.

Representative Poetry Online

Representative Poetry Online includes 4,079 English poems by 618 poets from Caedmon, in the Old English period, to the work of living poets today. It is based on Representative Poetry, established by Professor W. J. Alexander of University College, University of Toronto, in 1912 and used in the English Department at the University until the late 1960s. Its electronic founder and editor since 1994 is Ian Lancashire, who is a member of the Department of English, University of Toronto.

Soviet Samizdat Periodicals: Uncensored Texts of the Late Soviet Era

Soviet Samizdat Periodicals is a database of information about editions of classic Soviet samizdat, 1956-1986. The Database includes approximately 300 titles, representing all known types of samizdat periodical editions from this late Soviet era, including human rights bulletins, poetry anthologies, rock zines, religious and national editions.

Toronto Korean Language Newspapers

This page contains two significant Toronto Korean-language newspapers: The Minjoong Shinmoon (Jan. 1982; Jan. 1989 - Mar. 1993) and The New Korea Times (May 1982 - May 2003). The collection features approximately 7,420 pages. This digitization project was an international collaborative project funded by the National Institute of Korean History.


TSpace is a groundbreaking digital system to capture, store, index, preserve and distribute the intellectual digital products of U of T faculty. In essence the Library provides free long term managed storage and a web based search interface for digital materials submitted by faculty.

Exterior of University College

The University of Toronto Web Archives collection is an extension of the holdings of the University Archives which is responsible for the appraisal, acquisition, preservation and use of University records of permanent value and the private records of individuals and organizations associated with Canada's largest university. The Archive includes sites created by the University community in the .utoronto domain.

Wenceslaus Hollar Digital Collection

This digital collection features over 2500 of the prints of Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677), a great master of the art of etching. The lion’s share of Hollar’s work was produced in and about his adopted England, but his artistic interest was broad ranging and the site also includes religious and historical prints, maps, portraits, costumes, and natural history.