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

“These are a few of our favourite things…” – The Expo Watch Camera

The staff in Archives and Special Collections bring you some of our favourite things. Objects and photographs from the collections that hold a special place in our hearts. Each week will highlight a different item, along with an explanation of why it stands out.

With such an amazing collection of materials – sometimes it is hard to pick just one…

This week’s post is Curatorial Specialist Olivia Wong’s choice:

Expo Watch Camera (2005.006.06.02)

Some of my favourite objects in the collection are specialized film and photography equipment. The Expo Watch Camera is part of our selection of detective or disguise cameras. As the name suggests, this novelty camera is the shape and size of a pocket watch. It uses a miniature daylight film cartridge that can hold up to twenty-five 16 x 22 mm exposures. The camera has a detachable external viewfinder, and the exposures are captured through the watch’s winding stem (the knob serves as a lens cap!)

This nifty gadget was manufactured by the Expo Camera Company in New York City between the early 1900s until 1939. An advertisement for the camera in a 1917 Photoplay Magazine stated: “Photography made a pleasure instead of a burden. You can carry the EXPO about in your pocket, and take a picture without any one being the wiser.” To see the full ad, click here

To learn more about the Expo Watch Camera, click here

To see what else is in the Heritage Camera Collection, click here

“These are a few of our favourite things…” – Jack Layton Library

The staff in Archives and Special Collections brings you some of our favourite things. Objects and photographs from the collections that hold a special place in our hearts. Each post will highlight a different item, along with an explanation of why it stands out.

With such an amazing collection of materials – sometimes it is hard to pick just one…

This post is Archival Technician Cathy McMaster’s choice:

“The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan, a religious allegory, first published in 1678. This edition was published ca. 1900 (F 404.2.733)

I chose this wonderful little book, the story of which is the oldest religious allegory in English literature still in print. This edition is over 100 years old, in good condition, and with a personal inscription to “Lily” from her teacher, “N.M. Robb” (no date). But, it is what I discovered between pages 144 and 145 that makes this book much more special – a pressed four-leaf clover. Who found this rare plant? Jack Layton perhaps? Or, if it was Lily (or even N.M. Robb) who placed it in the book, that little plant is old. Not only a wondrous find back in the day, but also amazing it is still in this book, possibly for 120 years.  Good luck or no, it was a special find for that person and for me.

An elusive four leaf clover
  • To see other book titles in the Jack Layton library – click here
  • To see what else is in the Jack Layton fonds – click here

“These are a few of our favourite things…” – Motion Slides

The staff in Archives and Special Collections brings you some of our favourite things. Objects and photographs from the collections that hold a special place in our hearts. Each post will highlight a different item, along with an explanation of why it stands out.

With such an amazing collection of materials – sometimes it is hard to pick just one…

This post is Special Collections Librarian Alison Skyrme’s choice:

In 2017, Special Collections received a generous donation of magic lantern slide projectors and slides from collector John Tysall. Magic Lantern Slides were projected in private homes, educational institutions, and public forums, and covered topics from amusing anecdotes, moral tales, world tours, and scientific or other educational topics. In addition to foretelling later 35mm slides and, eventually, digital presentation tools such as PowerPoint and Google Slides, the format of 19th century magic lantern slides were also a precursor to motion pictures. Motion was incorporated into magic lantern presentations in a variety of ways, including multiple lens projectors, movable hand-held projectors, and individual slides with moveable, hand painted scenes. A variety of techniques were used to create movement, including a glass overlay with selective blackout that was moved to conceal and reveal portions of the drawing to give the impression of movement (these were called slip slides). Other mechanical techniques included levers, pulleys, and rackwork. These motion slides are some of my favorite items in the collection because of their ingenuity and whimsy.

To learn more about the John Tysall collection – click here

“These are a few of our favourite things…” – Fraggle Rock

The staff in Archives and Special Collections brings you some of our favourite things. Objects and photographs from the collections that hold a special place in our hearts. Each post will highlight a different item, along with an explanation of why it stands out.

With such an amazing collection of materials – sometimes it is hard to pick just one…

This post is Archivist Curtis Sassur’s choice:

Photograph taken on set during the filming of the television series “Fraggle Rock” (2012.005.02.86)

I love this photo because I was a big fan of the show Fraggle Rock as a kid, but also because this image, like many others within the Hackborn Fonds, highlights Robert Hackborn’s casually keen photographic eye. At first glance, it seems like the shot could be a still from the show, but then the subtle production elements at the bottom of the image tease a little notion of the creative process entailed in producing a principally puppet-powered program such as this.

  • To see what other photographs are in this series – click here
  • To see what else is in the Robert Hackborn fonds – click here

“These are a few of our favourite things…” – Birth of a Campus

The staff in Archives and Special Collections brings you some of our favourite things. Objects and photographs from the collections that hold a special place in our hearts. Each post will highlight a different item, along with an explanation of why it stands out.

With such an amazing collection of materials – sometimes it is hard to pick just one…

This post is Archival Technician Rosalynn MacKenzie’s choice:

Excavation of the north end of the property, ca.1961

This is one of hundreds of photographs taken by late Ryerson Professor Charles Roy Horney. They are especially poignant as they document the “birth” of Ryerson’s campus with the construction of Kerr Hall and the demolition of the old Normal School buildings. Ryerson started out essentially as an experiment, but by the 1960’s it was really coming into its own and the construction of Kerr Hall represents this to me.

I picked this specific photograph because it shows how Kerr Hall was constructed. This shows the end of Unit I (which runs along Church Street from the corner of Gould to the corner of Gerrard) and the excavation for the Unit II.

  • To see a listing of the other photographs in this file – click here
  • To see what else is in the C. Roy Horney fonds – click here

Celebrating the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Author’s note: The planning for this blog started in November 2019, to tie into exhibits and other events to celebrate the World Health Organization’s declaration that 2020 would be The International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. At that time COVID-19 was not a known entity and now 5 months later we are in the midst of an international health crisis. We would like to take this moment to recognize Nurses and Midwives for all of their hard work and dedication. The Nurses who care for us and our loved ones on a day to day basis, and those who are working on the front line of this pandemic – Thank you. The Midwives who support and care for their patients and are doing so now during these unprecedented times – Thank you.

The World Health Organization declares 2020 to be the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

The World Health Organization, in partnership with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), International Council of Nurses (ICN), Nursing Now and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), declared 2020 the year of the Nurse and the Midwife – “A year-long effort to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives, highlight the challenging conditions they often face, and advocate for increased investments in the nursing and midwifery workforce” [WHO] . The year was chosen because 2020 also marks the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

To find out more about the campaign please consult the following web pages:

Celebrating the birthday of Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale letter and portrait (RG 946.02.01)

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is considered to be the founder of modern Nursing. Florence Nightingale was born in the city of Florence, Italy on May 12, 1820. She began her nursing training in 1850 in Germany, and in 1853 she became superintendent at a women’s hospital on Harley Street in London, England. She is best known for her work during the Crimean War and her resulting work towards improving sanitary conditions in hospitals and beyond. For more information about Florence Nightingale:

International Nurses Day and National Nursing Week declared

In 1971 The International Council of Nurses declared May 12 (Nightingale’s birthday) as International Nurses Day. In 1985 the Canadian Nurses Association advocated that the second week of May every year be National Nursing Week. This year marks her 200th birthday. To find out more about National Nursing Week and International Nurses Day, please visit the following websites:

International Day of the Midwife

First celebrated in 1992, May 5th marks the International Day of the Midwife. The idea of the International Day of the Midwife was proposed at the 1987 International Congress of Midwives by the delegation from Australia. The initiative took some time to go through the UN System, but was formally launched in 1992. For more information on the International Day of the Midwife, please visit the following websites:

Midwifery at Ryerson

Ryerson’s program was founded in 1993 in collaboration with McMaster and Laurentian Universities. The program is offered as both full-time or part-time, as well as having an accelerated post-baccalaureate program for people with a previous degree in a health related field and labour and delivery experience. Ryerson’s first class of Midwives graduated in 1996.

Student Midwives Emily Stewart-Wilson (Class of 2018) and Teresa Cheng (Class of 2020) practice neonatal resuscitation with midwife preceptor Nicole Waithe (middle) [Photograph courtesy of the Midwifery Education Program, Faculty of Community Services]

To learn more about the program and to see what we have in Archives and Special Collections, please visit:

Nursing at Ryerson

Nursing students in the hospital, 1975 (RG 122.10.039)

The Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing was founded in 1964. The 3-year Diploma course was endorsed by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario and was the first diploma Nursing Course in Canada to be offered outside of the Hospital nursing schools. It would add other diplomas and certificates during the next decade including post-graduate Nursing programs in Adult Intensive Care (certificate), Pediatric Nursing Program (certificate), and Psychiatric Nursing Program (certificate).

On September 1, 1973, the responsibility for the administration of all Diploma Nursing Programs within the Province of Ontario was transferred from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. Diploma Nursing Programs formerly operated by hospitals and/or by separately constituted boards in the city of Toronto were transferred to George Brown College and Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. Under this directive, Ryerson’s Diploma Nursing Program was joined by the Schools formerly operated by the Hospital for Sick Children, Women’s College Hospital and Wellesley Hospital.

In 1980, Ryerson first offered a post-diploma degree, followed in 1983 by a part-time degree option. In 2001 they began offering a collaborative nursing degree program with George Brown and Centennial Colleges. Now the school also offers graduate programs – a Masters of Nursing and a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate. To learn more about the Nursing at Ryerson and to see what we have in Archives and Special Collections, please visit:

The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing

The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing opened in 1912, with its first class of 10 graduating in 1915.

Upon Graduation, each nurse was given their Wellesley pin. The same style pin was awarded to every Wellesley graduate between 1915 and 1974. What made each pin unique was the Nurses name and date of graduation engraved on the back.

The Wellesley’s first graduates did so in the time of World War I, and not surprisingly 8 out of the 10 graduates enlisted with the Canadian Army Medical Corps. They all served in Field Hospitals and medical units in Europe.

From the beginning, the Wellesley Hospital depended upon its student nurses – they provided the majority of nursing care for the patients in the early years of the hospital. Because of the small size on the Hospital (72 beds), the Nursing students did training at a variety of different hospitals to augment their training. One such relationship was with the Manhatten Maternity Hospital where they were sent for obstetrical training. This relationship lasted from 1915 to 1919 when Wellesley’s obstetrical unit was large enough for adequate training of its own nurses. In 1923 the Ontario government registered the Wellesley school, along with other larger schools in Toronto. This meant the Wellesley Nurses could apply for qualification of Registered Nurse.

The school’s curriculum changed over the years, with 3 major changes occuring. The first occurred in 1942, when nursing theory and nursing practice were correlated. The second change occurred in 1956 when the 2 year course changed to a 2 year academic program plus one year internship on the wards. The final change occurred in 1970 when the course was made 2 years with the third year interns were paid for their work and able to live outside of the Nursing residence.

Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing open house poster, 1972 (RG 946.03.13.02)

The Nursing school remained in operation until 1973 when it amalgameted with Ryerson Polytechnical Institute School of Nursing. The Wellesley satellite site remained open until 1975, when the last class of Wellesley nurses graduated.

To learn more about Nursing during World War I, and to see what else we have in the Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing sous-fonds visit:

The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association and World War II

During World War II The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association were active in supporting their Nursing sisters, as well as the Wellesley Hospital doctors, that were serving overseas.

They were also active in supporting other charities that supplied goods to those serving in the Canadian Forces.

In 2005, with the closure of the Wellesley Hospital, the Alumnae Association donated their Archival collection to Ryerson’s School of Nursing. It was transferred to the Ryerson University Archives in 2011, along with an endowment to support the collection. The alumnae association established an endowment fund in 2006 that supports an award for Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing graduate students. The Alumnae Association is still active today and can be reached by email at thewellesleyschoolnsgtoronto@gmail.com

To learn more about the Alumnae Association and to see what else we have in The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association sous-fonds visit:

We hope you have enjoyed looking through our celebration of Nursing and Midwifery. Here are some additional websites that might be of interest:

Ryerson University in the time of Covid-19

You can find updated information on Ryerson University and its response to the Covid-19 pandemic by clicking on the button below

For information on the Ryerson Library’s resources and service updates click the button below

To find out more about The Ryerson Library’s COVID-19 Digital Archive click the button below

First Edition Photobook Award, 2019 Award Winners

The Photography Studies program at Ryerson University together with Ryerson University Library is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the First Edition Photobook Awards

Book Award Recipients

About the Award

The Ryerson Library First Edition Photobook Award was instituted in 2015 by Library Special Collections Curatorial Specialist Alison Skyrme and Image Arts Instructor Christopher Manson to honor 3rd-year photography students who have made exceptional achievements in photobook production. It provides an incentive for them to achieve early recognition that will have a lasting legacy in our collection. As part of MPS507 – The Photographic Book, a 3rd-year Image Arts course that teaches students design and composition principles, students conceive of and produce their own photobook based on their own photography.

Each year, the Library purchases the top books in the class. This  years judges were Image Arts Instructor Ryan Walker, Image Arts Associate Professor Alex Alter and Special Collections Librarian Alison Skyrme. They were judged at the annual exhibition of the books at the end of the fall semester, and the winners announced at the exhibition opening. For evaluation, particular attention was paid to design, sequencing, and integration of images and text. The award will be officially given at the next awards night, the following fall semester.

Previous Award Recipients

The following 2018 award winners were presented with a certificate during the Image Arts Awards Night in November 2019: Clea Christakos-Gee, Raelene Giffin, Rafaela Conde, Lisa McElroy, Heather Rattray, Kalen Huxhan, and Hayley Wilsdon

Click here to see a complete list of Book Award Winners in the Library’s catalogue.

For more information contact Special Collections Librarian Alison Skyrme.

 

Canadian Radio and Television History at Ryerson – November 1949

This month marks the 70th anniversary of two important Ryerson and Canadian milestones – The opening of CJRT – Canada’s first educational radio station on the FM band, and the broadcast of “This is the Fashion – marking Canada’s first live television show produced for a general audience.

CJRT FM is on Air

On November 1, 1949 Canada’s first educational radio station on the FM band went on the air. The station was licensed as a completely non-commercial enterprise and operated in conjunction with Ryerson’s Schools of Broadcasting and Electronics. The University of Toronto, the Ontario Department of Education and other Boards of Education in and around Toronto would also take part in programming. The first night of broadcasting was 3 hours in length and included a half hour of recorded music, followed by “CJRT Testing” a documentary on FM broadcasting and CJRT, and finally a concerto of works by a variety of composers.

  • Ryerson Radio Club

The station was officially opened on November 22, 1949 by Ontario Premier Leslie Frost and Ontario Minister of Education Dana Porter

“CJRT Finest in the World – Frost” Ryerson Institute of Technology The Little Daily

This is the Fashion

On November 14, 1949 Staff and students from Ryerson’s Schools of Fashion Design, Electronics, and Broadcasting combined their talents for “This is the Fashion”, a 20 minute live fashion/comedy broadcast. Using equipment loaned from Famous Players, the show was performed in the School’s boardroom and broadcast to an audience of 200 Radio Industry professionals in the school’s auditorium. The purpose of the night was to promote FM radio and FM radio tuners.

Thinking inside the box: Photography

On a weekly basis Archives and Special Collections gets asked the question “What do you have stored in all those boxes”. In answer to this query, we introduce our “Thinking Inside the Box” exhibit and blog series. The series aims to showcase what we have stored away on shelves and in boxes out of the public eye. “Thinking Inside the Box – Photography” is the first in this series.

Ryerson Library’s Special Collections was founded in 2005 with the donation of the Kodak Canada Corporate Archive and Heritage Collection. Since this time, donations of photography and film-related materials have grown Special Collections exponentially, making up a major part of its holdings. Books, periodicals, photography and developing equipment are just some of the items we house. The camera collection boasts almost 800 cameras ranging in dates from the late 1860s to the early 2000s and include examples of miniature, instamatic, panoramic, and enlarging models.

The exhibit in the Archives and Special Collections reading room features some of this large collection of materials. The exhibits showcase a variety of cameras including: miniature; novelty; movie; flash; Polaroid; twin lens; and varied format. The exhibit also features other camera and developing equipment. The following images showcase a few of the artifacts on display

The exhibit runs until October 31, 2019.