Cameras on display in Special Collections

Taking a vacation this summer or just dreaming of one? Either way you can fantasize about the lovely pictures you’d take with one of the cameras on display in Special Collections. Visit us on the 4th floor of the Ryerson Library this summer to see a rotating display of cameras from the past.

First up: Kodak through the years, featuring still and motion-picture cameras from the company’s early years right up to the Advantix point and shoot system popular in the 1990s. Film projectors like the Kodascope (see below), are also on display.

The Kodak No.1 Brownie camera, ca. 1900-1916 Kodak Canada Corporate Archives & Heritage Collection 2005.001.7.005

Kodascope Model B 16mm film projector, 1927-1929 Kodak Canada Corporate Archives & Heritage Collection 2005.001.7.166

Kodak Retinette 1B, ca. 1959-1963 Kodak Canada Corporate Archives & Heritage Collection 2005.001.7.055

Kodak Vigilant Junior Six-20 camera, 1940-1949 Kodak Canada Corporate Archives & Heritage Collection 2005.001.7.043

Instamatic 154, ca. 1965-1968 Kodak Canada Corporate Archives & Heritage Collection 2005.001.7.125

Butterflies in Special Collections

Photographs from Flora and Flutterbyes: Nature as Inspiration and Decoration currently on display in Special Collections, April 21 – June 8, 2011. Specimens courtesy the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.

The Ulysses Butterfly on green turf in the display case.

The idea for the springtime butterfly theme emerged from the same cocoon as another great exhibit idea: the Ryerson student-curated “With Us at Every Age: Selected Animal Photographs from the Mira Godard Research Centre” (runs April 13 – May 7, 2011 at the IMA Gallery as part of the CONTACT Photography Festival). The student exhibit explores human-animal relationships through photography, and it includes the traditional and heart-warming portraits we expect to see of people and pets (cats and dogs included), but also draws attention to some of our more irrational relationships. The exhibit invites us to consider our creation of rare to absurd animalia: a toy stork in a children’s window display or a bear rug on a wall, and shows us images of aging with pets (and pet-themed ceramics). The use of photography as the medium works to both invite the viewer into these intimate worlds, yet provides a safe distance from which to consider the animals we have not treated so well.

For all the birds, reptiles and mammals that are showcased, we couldn’t help but notice a distinct avoidance of that other class of animals we see daily: insects. Though hardly the type of creature to develop a lasting bond with, these misunderstood and sometimes repellant animals also inhabit our homes and inform our relationships with each other. In some cases, as with the butterfly, the insect is seen as a source of inspiration and enjoyment. The butterfly’s colours are copied for our clothes, its pattern in flight informs our social graces, its taste for the most vibrant and delicate flowers expresses a certain model of femininity, and its ability to withdraw from the world and transform helps us describe our desire for second chances. The butterfly is so familiar, but unlike the subjects in “With Us at Every Age,” how many have we ever seen? Using both photography and preserved specimens, we invite you to browse the 4th floor display and be inspired by nature.


The butterfly specimens were borrowed from the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, where at least 2000 free-flying tropical butterflies and moths are on exhibit throughout the year. Bred in Costa Rica or the Philippines, these vibrantly-coloured species metamorphose on arrival in Canada inside equally colourful chrysalides (also know as pupae), and flit about their business in an indoor rainforest as part of an effort to preserve butterfly populations through a sustainable form of agriculture. Here they offer us a fascinating look at the incredible variety of species in the wild.

The Ulysses Butterfly (left) and Blue Morpho see from both angles (dorsal – purplish colouring / ventral – spotted brown)

The Monarch Butterfly, the most familiar butterfly in Canada.

A Clipper Butterfly on green turf in the display.

Raw Materials: Inuit sculpture from the Sylvia A. Morley Collection

On display in Special Collections March 10-April 17, 2011

In the early 1950s, the first large scale north-south cultural exchanges in Canada established the market for what we now refer to as Inuit Art. The first communities to begin selling their work to a southern market in any organized way were Inukjuak and Puvirnituq (Quebec) and Cape Dorset/Kinngait (Baffin Island).  The sculptures from this early period tend to be small, easily transportable works created by what was still a nomadic people. In the late 1950s and early 60s, carving became a significant source of income within newly formed Inuit-owned co-operatives, and for many today it continues to provide a living while also supplying the means to express pride in their culture and their craft.

Special Collections received a donation of Inuit sculpture from a former Ryerson student who actively collected, both through galleries in the Toronto area and in person at northern co-ops. The small display on the Library’s 4th floor offers us an opportunity to discuss the use of materials from different regions, as she collected examples from across the Arctic (perhaps favouring Baffin Island and Labrador), and the growing art production within the Inuit communities over the latter half of the 20th century. The display also precedes the opening of a much larger exhibition of contemporary Inuit art scheduled to open at the Art Gallery of Ontario on April 2nd: Inuit Modern: The Samuel and Ester Sarick Collection. To learn more about these items and their creators, visit Special Collections and the AGO this spring.

Palliser, William, 1947-
Hunter in kayak
1996
soapstone and bone
North West River area, Labrador

Miki, Andy, 1918-1983
Bird figure, abstract
[date unknown]
stone, dark to light grey
Arviat, Kivalliq region of Nunavut

Pisuktie, Josie, 1901-
Bird figure, black
[date unknown]
stone
Iqaluit, Baffin Island region of Nunavut

Sannertannu, Annie Anaronar, 1913-
Standing figure
[date unknown]
soapstone
Repulse Bay/ Naujaat in Nunavut

What’s on the Table: The Designer’s Response

For those of you who were not able to visit the Library during the meet-and-greet with student designers last week, you still have two more weeks to view the products of their labour in the Special Collections display cases on the 4th floor. Students in a first year Interior Design course at Ryerson partnered with The Stop Community Food Centre to design a fund-raising item for their annual gala, which helps raise money for The Stop’s critical anti-hunger programs and services.

The exhibit was curated by Professor Lorella Di Cintio. Items will be on display from Feb 22nd to March 7th.

A bowl that can also be used as a cup, by student Iona Ionescu

A natural spoon, by student Kristalee Berger

Salad fork and spoon, by student Dorota Lemierzwicz

Feature of the week : Making an Exhibition, Finding the Library’s Next Top Model

This week’s feature is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the FACES exhibition in Special Collections, which ran from December 1, 2010 – January 21, 2011. (You can still see the display through to January 31st when the next scheduled change happens, but the contest is over and the names of all the Famous Faces have been revealed!)

Setting the stage
Take one Image Arts student working in Special Collections as an Exhibitions Assistant through the Summer Work Study program and ask her to re-imagine a contest timed for the winter break…

2009/10 Holiday Photo Contest announcement

2009/10 Holiday Photo Contest announcement : Past winter contests have asked for users to contribute holiday-themed photos

This student decides that a guessing game would be fun, but how do we personalize it for Ryerson? A call goes out to our staff for help!

Library staff recruitment ad : not what you’d typically see

Following through
We had 4 volunteer models from our happy group: a Librarian, two Library Technicians and an Administrative Assistant. We couldn’t have asked for a better mix!

Now that we had our volunteers, we looked for some inspiration (think you can guess the staff members we were picturing?):

Our Exhibitions Assistant narrows down the results to two options and edits the photos:

Making it Happen
Working with another student in the Library employed by the Work Study program, our Exhibitions Assistant and Graphic Design Assistant come up with a look for the contest form online using the final poster girl:

Final poster for the contest

Voilà, a successful competition was born! Thanks to Exhibitions Assistant Elaine Chan-Dow and Graphic Designer Alicia Russano (who also came up with the look for our new website). And thanks to our volunteer models!

FACES contest closes, winners will be notified by email

Thanks to all who participated in our holiday quiz for 2010/11! Two lucky winners will receive emails notifying them of their prizes: Grand Prize $50 bookstore gift certificate for correctly identifying the famous faces OR a Second Prize $25 Starbucks gift card for guessing the Bonus Face correctly.

Want to see how you did on the quiz? Check out the answers below or on the 4th floor of the Library, in the Special Collections display cases (to see the accompanying portraits).

Faces exhibition advertisement, contest closed and answers revealed

1. Marian Anderson, 1897-1993 Singer, performer, diplomat, trailblazer

“Marian Anderson Award: Marian Anderson Bio,” 2005. http://www.marianandersonaward.org/default.aspx?page=bio

 

2. Eugène Atget, 1857-1927 Actor, Photographer, Documentarian

“Eugene Atget / Biography & Images.” http://www.atgetphotography.com/The-Photographers/Eugene-Atget.html

3. Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865 President, Orator, Egalitarian

“Abraham Lincoln | The White House.” 

4. Audrey Hepburn, 1929-1993 Actress, Dancer, Humanitarian

“Audrey Hepburn’s Children’s Fund – The Real Audrey.” 

5. Winston Spencer Churchill, 1874-1965 Prime Minister, Soldier, Strategist

“Why study Winston Churchill?” 

6. Vladimir Ilʹich Lenin, 1870-1924 Rebel, Communist, Exigent Leader

Ryerson Library Catalogue resources

7. Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain, 1926-  Queen, Patron, Animal lover

“Her Majesty the Queen,” 2010/11. 

 

8. Georgia O’Keeffe, 1887-1986 Painter, Model, Modernist

“O’Keeffe Museum > Her Life,” 2008.

9. Mahátma Gándhí,  1869-1948 Spiritual Leader, Reformer, Pacifist

“National Gandhi Museum,” 2011.

10. St. Nicholas, ?- 343 Bishop, Saint, Icon

“St. Nicholas Centre: Discovering the Truth about Santa Claus,” 2002-2010. 

BONUS: Cecile Farnum, Communications Librarian
Subject Liaison: Gerontology, Occupational and Public Health, Philosophy

Welcome to the new Archives & Special Collections site!

Allow us to introduce ourselves…

You are looking at the new blog space for the Ryerson University Archives, located on the 3rd floor of the Ryerson Library building, and the Library’s Special Collections, located one floor up on the 4th – now happily combined online as Archives & Special Collections. This is your one-stop shop for browsing the history of the university and campus, including past student newspapers, speeches, manuscripts, correspondence and many, many photographs, as well as the cultural artifacts collected to support courses at Ryerson, including the Kodak Canada Archives, Canadian Architect Image Collection, Leniniana and Historical Photography Collections. Each month, we’ll feature an item or two from one of these collections, post information about displays and contests, and keep you updated on our progress launching a new database on this website. (We’ll work on that whole on-different-floors-thing next.)

Check back here regularly for updates on exhibits on the Library’s 4th floor, movie night and special lecture announcements, contests and more! Welcome again to your Archives & Special Collections.