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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.

Posts relating to both Archives and Special Collections

“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

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.

A Window in Time – 1899

What is that date on the window?

The Archives and Special Collections (A&SC) windows feature a series of seemingly random numbers worked into the window’s graphic pattern. The numbers are actually dates, chosen by A&SC staff, that are significant to the City of Toronto, Ryerson University, and Archives and Special Collections. Over the course of the next year our blog will feature some of the window dates and explain their significance.

1899

Canadian Kodak Co., Ltd. Headquarters (1899-1901), 41 Colborne Street, Toronto (2005.001.3.259)

In 1899, after successfully operating on the American market for over a decade, George Eastman dispatched Kodak employee John G. Palmer to Toronto to determine the viability of establishing a subsidiary in Canada. Palmer discovered a robust market for photographic products and, on November 8, 1899, Canadian Kodak Co., Limited was incorporated under the Ontario Company’s act. The nascent company established headquarters in downtown Toronto, embarking on a relationship with the city that would last more than a century and would constitute the heart of the company’s manufacturing operations in Canada.

For more information on Kodak Canada, please read our earlier blog – “Kodak in Toronto

Practical Nursing – nursing notes from The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association fonds

The Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association fonds came to the Ryerson Archives and Special Collections in 2011. In it are several notebooks filled with course notes, and practical knowledge for the student nurse.

One of the notebooks dates to the 1920’s and belonged to Wellesley School of Nursing class of 1925 graduate Elsie Kathleen Jones. Elsie K. returned to The Wellesley in 1928 and became the Director of Nursing in 1937, the role she held until her retirement in 1964.

Elsie K. Jones student notebook (RG 946.03.12.02)

In the notebook there are notations regarding everything from making a proper hospital bed and caring for the sheets, to recognizing and treating a hemorrhage in a patient. The following are some excerpts from the notebook.

To Make a Closed Bed

  • Loosen all the covers, removing one article at a time. Fold and place on a chair
  • Brush mattress well and turn from end to end
  • Place mattress protector on mattress
  • Put on lower sheet, wide hem at top, tucking in nine (9”) at top of mattress drawing tightly and turning straight corners.
  • Place the draw rubber, pulling on tightly, so there are no wrinkles
  • Place draw sheet, folding about 1/3 under at the top and tucking in tightly on each side
  • Place top sheet with the hem wrong side up, first coming to top of bed. Tuck in at the foot and make straight corners
  • Place blanket about 9” from top of the bed. Tuck in at the foot and make straight corners.
  • Then fold top sheet over the blanket and tuck in on both sides
  • Place the spread, reaching to the top of the bed, making straight corner at the bottom.
  • Place two pillows in bed. See that the pillows are well on the corners of the slips. Fold and place with closed end toward the door

The notebook also included instructions on how to make an “Ether” or surgical bed. The following are instructions for making up a surgical tray:

Surgical dressing tray

  1. Six packages of absorbent wipes
  2. Two large and two small dressings
  3. One package of sterile towels
  4. Set of instruments (forceps, scissors, probe)
  5. Adhesive straps
  6. Adhesive tape
  7. Antiseptic powder (Borace or Bismuth Formic Iodide)
  8. Bandages 2” x 3”
  9. Bandage scissors
  10. Curved basin
  11. Sterile doctor’s gloves
  12. Sterile bowl or basin of warm boracic solution
  13. Packing

The nurses were also responsible to pre-treating the bedding if stained before sending them out to be washed:

  • Blood stains are soaked in cold water, then washed with soap and tepid water. For tea, coffee, and fruit stains use boiling water. If stains are still very persistent, use a solution of oxalic acid and rinse well afterwards in cold water.
  • Cocoa or anything containing milk use cold water
  • Grease stains, use hot water and soap or benzene
  • Iron Rust – spread over boiling water cover with salt and lemon juice, place in sun, if possible, and rinse thoroughly before sending to laundry
  • Ink stains – cover with salt and lemon juice and rinse thoroughly
  • Iodine – use ammonia or alcohol
  • When it came to treating their patients there were basic instructions such as recognizing sings of and type of fevers and proper care of thermometers:

Care of thermometer

Keep thermometer in bichloride of mercury solution 1-1000. Wash in cold water and dry before giving to patient

Types of Fever

  • Continuous fever which remains high with slight variations
  • Remittent, which remain above normal with considerable variations between highest and lowest temperature
  • Intermittent – alternately rises to high fever and falls to or below normal

Keep thermometer in bichloride of mercury solution 1-1000. Wash in cold water and dry before giving to patient

The notebook also has a number of recipes for poultices, enemas, purgatives, and various medical solutions used by nurses to treat a variety of medical conditions. The Linseed poultice was used for treating chest congestion and pneumonia:

Linseed Poultice

Is made from linseed or ground flax seed meal. It is most effectual because it can be used at higher temperatures with blistering, as the linseed contains considerable oil.

Preparation

For a small poultice, use about 2/3 cup of linseed to 1 cup boiling water. Add the linseed slowly to the boiling water, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula. Turn the gas low and just let come to a boil. Remove from gas and beat vigorously. Spread the linseed about 3/4” thick on poultice gauze leaving a good margin for folding in. Carry to the patient between heated plates. Have ready oiled muslin flannel protector binder and pins

*Note – Linseed poultice must be hot, light and smooth.

To view the notebook in its entirety or look through other items in this fonds – please contact Ryerson Archives and Special Collections at asc@ryerson.ca

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS IS ON THE MOVE!

Doozer construction sign from the Bob Hackborn fonds 2012.005.06.59

Beginning Monday May 16 Special Collections will be rooming with the Ryerson University Archives while renovations happen on the 4th floor. The Archives is located on the 3rd floor in the Library in room LIB387.

The move will take several weeks to complete, but we will continue to offer reference and research appointments while the shifting takes place.

To access Special Collections please email asc@ryerson.ca for an appointment.

Empty shelving in Special Collections
Fitting, Kodak was Special Collections first fonds and it is the first to relocate to the third floor.
Empty shelving in Special Collections.
Clearing and disassembling of shelves has begun.
Fans of shelves against wall.
Shelves waiting for assemble in the Archives
Kodak ledgers on shelving in Archives
Kodak advertising ledgers in their home
Archival boxes on shelves in Archives.
Doesn’t take long to fill up the shelves.

We are looking forward to an exciting Summer and Fall with A&SC finally located in one place! Check back here for move updates and photographs.

Special Collections: Celebrating 10 Years

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2015 marked the 10 year anniversary of Special Collections at the Ryerson University Library and Archives. It seems like a good time time to have a look back at where we came from, and where we are headed.

Kodak Canada Heritage Collection

The Special  Collections department at the Ryerson University Library was founded in 2005, with the acquisition of the Kodak Canada Corporate Archives and Heritage Collection after the Mount Dennis campus shut down. The collection includes the history of the company in Toronto since it’s arrival in 1900, and the contents of Kodak Museum that had recently opened at the Mount Dennis campus.

Small room with shelves of archival boxes, tables of albums and a computer workstation.
7th floor Special Collections

At that time, Special Collections occupied a small storage space on the 7th floor of the library, big enough for the two PPCM students working on the collection, but with no public research space.

By 2006, we’d moved to a larger space, and our collections had grown to include book collections, acquiring the Michael Mitchell collection and the Nicholas and Marilyn Graver collections. Students were able to visit the collection, and internships were created to process the large collections.

Graver
Office with many shelves containing albums, books and archival boxes. People moving boxes on carts.
2006: Moving in, a new space for Special Collections

Though safe and secure, the new space was difficult to access by researchers. This was solved in 2008, when a more permanent, accessible space was completed on the 4th floor of the library. The new space featured more storage, exhibition and display space, as well as a research area and student work station. A modest exhibition program was instituted, and researchers gained an accessible reading room to explore the growing collections. These included the Leniniana propaganda collection, the Lorne Shields Historical Photography Collection. We also integrated the library’s existing rare book collection, and the acquisition of the Canadian Architect Magazine collection was underway.

Lenin
canadianArchitect
Toronto
Research Area in Special Collections at the Ryerson Library
The current research area in Special Collections at the Ryerson Library

The future of Special Collections at Ryerson looks bright and includes an expansion of our space, and integrating with the Archives department, which will allow more accessibility to our researchers and more space for our collections.

We will continue to grow our collection, in line with our revised mandate to support teaching and research at Ryerson University.

Help us celebrate! Drop by to see a small selection of items from our most popular collections, now on display on the 4th floor of the Ryerson Library. For more information or to view the collections call or email to make an appointment.

DesignArchivesSM

Location: 4th Floor, Ryerson Library, LIB404
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Phone: 416-979-5000 ext. 7027
Email: asc@ryerson.ca