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Effective March 17th, the Ryerson Archives and Special Collections will be closed until further notice. See our update for more information.

2020 Alumni Weekend – Welcome to Archives & Special Collections Virtual Open House

This year we open our doors for a virtual visit.  We sincerely miss seeing all you alumni and your guests during this COVID-19 crisis.  We miss hearing your stories about your days at Ryerson and sharing with you, in person, what we have in our collections.  We sincerely hope you are keeping well.

Let’s begin with walking through the doors of the not-so-distant past, into the former Ryerson Archives Reading Room on the 3rd floor of Ryerson University Library…

The Archives Reading Room as it looked in 2011 on the 3rd floor, Library.
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2013 Alumni Weekend, as arranged by my colleague, 3rd floor Archives.
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Peter working at the 2013 Alumni Weekend dressed as a 1993 grad, greeting visitors.
And on the right, Peter, undressed.
For more insight into Peter‘s life, see the Feature blog,  Who is this man in the Archives?
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The Library stacks, 1970s, on display for 2013 Alumni Weekend.
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2013 Alumni Weekend.  Sports featured here (L-R)
Intramural sports, Judo, Soccer, Men’s Basketball, Golf, Downhill Skiing, Football, Women’s Basketball
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Perhaps some of you were taught Politics by Jack Layton in the 1970s.
This 2014 display honours him.
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In 2017, after having merged with Special Collections, the 4th floor became our new home…

Our presence is boldly announced. We’re located directly across from the elevators.
You can also see our three-section display case.
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Upon walking through the doors, you’ll enter our Reading Room.
Check out this short blog about The Oakham House Dogs, seen in the foreground.
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Looking to the left as you walk in.  The blond wood cabinet is the last
card catalogue shelving unit remaining in the Library.
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A comfy reading area where you can peruse the shelves,
enjoy the few yearbooks and every issue of The Ryersonian and The Eyeopener.
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2019 Alumni Weekend
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Eggy made an appearance at the 2019 Open House, at least as his former self (2004-2011) – except
for the 1990s sports jersey.  Celebrating Eggy blog post takes a look at Eggy’s past.
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1950s and ’60 apparel.
Woman’s blazer. And, a tam, a variety of beanies, a top hat, and a recent rams hat for those emulating Eggy.
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A sampling of our button collection.
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Model of the original Ryerson building, Ryerson Hall, showing the building as it was in 1852
when it was built as Canada’s first Normal School (teachers’ college).
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Look!  A miniature Ryerson student!
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It’s time now for a few artefacts from Special Collections…

A 19th C Magic Lantern, a kind of early slide show with glass images projected through a lens.
The source of light for projection was an oil lamp inside the lantern “belly”, thus, the
chimney at the top.  All said, a dangerous proposition. 
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These wonderful 19th C tintypes are examples of a photographic process creating a positive image directly on a small lacquered-covered piece of metal.  They were inexpensive and very popular.  Often mounted in small cases, as seen on the left, which opens to a velvet interior with a tiny, elaborate frame.  The image inside has been meticulously hand painted.
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3D imagery is sampled here : A late 19th C / early 20th C stereoscope (left)…to this 1970s Talking View-Master!
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And finally, WWII Canadian comic books featuring Canadian heroes…

Called Canadian Whites due to the white paper within the very colourful covers.
Here, under Triumph Comics, is Nelvana of the Northern Lights.
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And Crash Carson, under the WOW banner, shoots down a Nazi plane.
See more information in our online database.

We hope you enjoyed your first Archives & Special Collections Virtual Open House!  “Stay Safe.”

Remembrance Day and Ryerson University

Remembrance Day from Archives and Special Collections

Veterans marching past Ryerson Hall during Remembrance Day ceremony in 1953.

In 1948, three years after the end of World War II, Ryerson was created as the Ryerson Institute of Technology. During this post war period, memories of the conflict were still vivid for many students and staff members, and Remembrance Day therefore held a marked significance for the community.  The observations included a march past of veterans and a service held in front of Ryerson Hall officiated by Principal Howard Kerr, as seen in the photograph above. Today, what remains of Ryerson Hall is the façade and entry to the RAC (the “facade”).

During the war years, in both the U.S. and Canada, Kodak often incorporated typical scenes from the soldier’s life and the “home front”, to advertise the innovative products Kodak made as part of the war effort. The photographic images below are from Special Collections’ Kodak Canada collection.

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“Home folks – home things – are always uppermost in his mind. Natural, isn’t it, that he should want snapshots…that bring [home] to him as true as life!” Canadian Kodak Co., Limited, Toronto, Ontario.
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Canadian Kodak Co., Limited, Toronto, Ontario. The Monetary Times, January,1944
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U.S. Navy Photographs using Kodacolor Aero Reversal Films. The Monetary Times, August, 1944

Feature from the Collections: Who is this man in the Archives?

 

Peter. It’s his name. An interesting fellow, don’t you think?

The Dream That Fagged Out” is Peter’s official title. The word fagged in its historical usage means completely exhausted, and there certainly seems to be a weight on Peter’s shoulders. “The work is so successful in its depiction of human despair and misery that no one at Ryerson has been able to keep it for long.” [The Lectern, October 1975, Works of Art docfl.]

He was created by artist Julius Damasdy, (1937/38 –  ) in the mid 1960s and was donated to Ryerson in 1967 by a founding member of the Board of Governors, Franc Joubin, who acquired him at an art show of the Ontario Society of Artists at the Toronto Art Gallery (now AGO).  Mr. Joubin stated he would purchase whatever statue won in its class at the art show.  As it turned out it was Peter who won and who became part of the university’s art collection.

He resided in the reception area of President Fred Jorgenson’s office (in Kerr Hall South).  After two years of dismally greeting staff and visitors alike, Peter was moved to where he could cheer up the students. What better place than the Library (located, then, in the former Business Building, now the Victoria Building).

General feelings were:

  • “[I] couldn’t stand the sight of Peter staring at [me] every day.” – 1969, executive staff
  • “I can’t stand him staring at my face whenever I come out of the elevator.” – 1969 library staff

When the Library moved to its current location in the Library Building in 1974, Peter insisted he come along. His new home was in a semi-dark area (they tried to hide him) near the 2nd floor elevators.  He later moved to the 6th floor stacks.

Peter got a medical diagnosis in the mid 1970s by a few Ryerson nursing students.  They posted their diagnosis from his neck, stating, for example, he suffered from: Malnutrition, Scoliosis, Stove Pipe Legs, Middle Age Spread, Facial Paralysis, and other interesting ailments.

Finally, in an attempt at banishment, Peter was offered to the Archives in the mid 1970s. He was cheerfully accepted and has been in safekeeping  there since, still creeping-out researchers and Archives staff.

Celebrating Eggy

Sixty years ago Ryerson’s men’s varsity teams were called the Ryerson Rams. Why the ram? One theory is the school’s namesake, Egerton Ryerson, was born on March 24, 1803 – the ram in the zodiac.  Aries the ram is described as an extrovert with energy, assertiveness, a competitive nature and while courageous, impulsive and stubborn.

We all know our beloved Eggy.  We see him at school events. Not so long ago, in the near-distant past of 1961, Eggy had a, shall we say, realistic look.  Four students from the Student Administrative Council, wanting to boost school morale, acquired a ram for a reported $25 from the Toronto Stockyards.  The little ram, decorated with Ryerson pendants and ribbons made his grand debut at a Varsity Arena hockey game with Waterloo University.  Ryerson subsequently won the game, the little ram became a hero, and the rest is history.

Eggy I‘s debut at hockey game with University of Waterloo, Varsity Arena / Ryersonian, RG 95-1, Hockey, 1960/61

Then, as today, Eggy attended celebrations, sporting, and parade and picnic events.

Eggy I in his finery / Ryersonian, RG 95-1, Eggy, 1960/61
Eggy I oversees the band at a football game / Ryersonian, RG 95-1, Football, 1961/62
Eggy II attends Convocation, ca. 1962-1968 / Photographer: Roy Nichols, Cliipping file Eggy
Eggy III helping with 1970 Shinerama fund raising / Ryersonian, RG 95.6.24.45

There were a total of five real ram mascots between 1961 and 1991.  Eggy I lived on campus during the school year in a pen and shelter behind Oakham House (then called Kerr Hall) and spent the summer on a farm outside the city.  Eggy II did the same until the mid 1960s.  From that time, Eggy II through V lived on a farm year long and was transported to campus for events.

Living on campus, Eggy II with his caretaker “Poppa” Wycik and his companion dog Lucky / Toronto Telegram, 24 April 1964 / with permission from York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC07139
Eggy II’s chariot / Ryersonian, February 22, 1963, Clipping file Eggy

Eggy III was known to be a little ornery, charging bales of hay, fence posts, his handler, and just about anything in front of him.

Eggy III, 1975 / Ryersonian, November 13, 1974
Eggy III reviewing frosh contestants / Photo: Brenda Lee Allan, Ryersonian, October 17, 1970, Clipping File Eggy

Eggy IV is reported to have been gentle and willing to pose for photos.

Eggy IV debuts on campus in luxury / Photo: Fred Lum, Eyeopener, February 4, 1982
Eggy IV had very curly horns / Ryersonian, September 11, 1987

Eggy V was the last live mascot.  He died in 1991.  The Human Society pressured universities using live animals as mascots to stop the practice due to cruelty.

While the real Eggy was still making appearances, Athletics and Recreation had a costumed Eggy from about the 1980s.  Possibly the first costumed Eggy – we’ll call him Costumed Eggy 1 – had a triangular nose and had developed floppy horns.

Eggy with his floppy horns gets his send off, as seen in this strange double image / Photographer: Bogdan Hoshowsky, Ryersonian, March 1, 1989
This variety of Eggy is a little frightful / Eyeopener, September 10, 1997

1989 – 1997 : An Eggy to be proud of – Costumed Eggy 2 – Note his heart-shaped nose with hoofed hands and feet.

Eggy pumps hand weights in front of the RAC entrance, 1989 (RG 76.14.564)

1997 – 2004 : Costumed Eggy 3 had an upward sweeping, sharp-cornered nose with hoof hands and running shoes.

Eggy helps at the Community Barbecue with then Chancellor, John-Craig Eaton, 1999 / Forum, October 1999 (RG 395.38.126)

2004 – 2011 : Costumed Eggy 4 had a distinctive nose outlined in grey/silver and flatter sitting horns.

At the basketball court / Photographer: Don McHoull, Eyeopener, February 11, 2004

2011 – present : Costumed Eggy 5 – This academic year started with a new look – a trimmer, fitter Eggy with two faces:
his mean face and his party face.

He’s muscular and mean / Courtesy of Athletics and Sports, RAM 4879 (cropped)
Party-face Eggy shows off his dexterity by holding a cup of coffee. / Courtesy of Athletics & Recreation, RAM 4378-1

To learn more about Eggy and other Ryerson history facts visit Archives and Special Collections on the 4th floor of the Library.