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 ASC 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

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

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 visit https://library.ryerson.ca/asc/2015/01/kodak-in-toronto-1899-2005-a-century-of-traces/

 

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”

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”

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:

“Removing stains from bedding”

Removing Stains

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:

“Types of Fever and care of thermometer”

 

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

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”

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 the Ryerson Archives at archives@ryerson.ca.

 

 

 

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS IS ON THE MOVE!

Doozer construction

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 specialcollections@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

Untitled-22015 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.

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.Kodak Canada Heritage Collection

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.

LenincanadianArchitectToronto

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.

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

Phone: 416-979-5000 ext. 7027
Email: specialcollections@ryerson.caDesignArchivesSM

Points of Interest from the Collections – The Creation of the Archives

For the month of August, Archives and Special Collections will blog bi-weekly with points of interest from our collections.

This week we look at documents connected to the birth of the Archives at Ryerson.

In 1970 Ryerson Polytechnical Institute invited Professor D. McCormack Smyth to conduct a study of the structure of government at Ryerson.  The Smyth Commission Report was published and its 7th recommendation was the creation of an institutional Archives.

Page from report stating that an Archives be established to preserve historical documents.

Recommendation No. 7 – Smyth Commission report

On November 11, 1970 Ryerson President Donald Mordell sent out the following memo to all Deans, Chairmen, and Department heads.

Page 1 of the memo from Donald Mordell. Outlines what materials should be kept and asking people not to throw anything away until a system was in place to sort through the items to determine whether or not they were Archival.

Page 1 – November 11, 1970 memorandum

Page 2 of Mordell memo - Library will be storing the potential Archival material until a proper system is in place. He asks people to properly mark the materials.

Page 2 – November 11, 1970 memorandum

 

On November 17, 1970 Mordell sent the following memo to Jim Peters, a professor in the Department of English:

Donald Mordell memo to Jim Peters - thanking him for his suggestions and asking him if he would be interested in taking the position of Archivist.

Memo from Donald Mordell to Jim Peters

The Archives was officially established in 1971 as a special new department associated with the Library. Jim Peters was appointed Ryerson’s first Archivist.

Technikos magazine article announcing the establishment of Ryerson's Archives within the Library with Jim Peters as the Archivist.

Technikos magazine, Spring 1971

To learn more about the Archives and see what we have in our collections drop by. The Archives are open Monday – Friday from 9:00am t0 4:00pm.