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.
The station was officially opened on November 22, 1949 by Ontario Premier Leslie Frost and Ontario Minister of Education Dana Porter
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.
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.
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”
The new Archives and Special Collections reading room is now open for business. We are now located on the 4th floor of the Library in LIB 404, adjacent to the new quiet study and teaching room, LIB405. The Archives and Special Collections reading room is open from Monday – Friday form 9-5. Artifacts and exhibits are still being installed, but we are open for visitors and researchers. Here are a few photographs of our new digs.
For Instructors and Faculty: Teaching With Archival and Special Collections Material
If you are a teaching a class that might benefit from including primary source material, the quiet study/teaching space can be booked for classes. The archives and special collections staff can work with you to select books, photographs, documents, artifacts or other primary source materials from our collections. More information on our collection can be found on our website, and you can search for material on our online database. For more information, or to book a class, please email the Archives and Special Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Quiet Study Area:
A large quiet study area outside of Archives and Special Collections (LIB405) is now open as well and is available during library opening hours, but will occasionally be closed for booked classes. Signage will be posted indicating scheduled bookings.
The A&SC staff encourage you to stop by and visit if you get the chance.
It’s Preservation Week, an initiative headed up by the American Library Association to raise awareness around the millions of artifacts in public collections that require special preservation attention. Photographs, films, videos, manuscripts, artworks and digital material can be invaluable cultural objects, containing unique information not found elsewhere. Many of these objects are in danger of becoming damaged or obsolete over time, and require more care than institutions can offer.
What we’re doing
Ryerson Library is doing its part by digitizing photographic and film materials that are degrading, including producing digital scans of the Canadian Architect photograph collection to make them accessible, and freezing the negatives to stop further damage to the original objects. Propaganda and documentary films from the Leniniana collectionhave also been digitized and are now accessible without having to run the fragile films through aging projectors.
What you can do
Closer to home, what happens to all those selfies you take? The likelihood is you’re not printing them (Some estimate that over 80% of all photographs taken now remain digital and are never printed out). The speed at which technology changes makes this is a cause for concern. Vint Cerf, Vice President of Google, noted at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that the loss of our primarily digital culture due to obsolescence may create a “forgotten generation, or even a forgotten century”.
There are some simple steps you can take at home to protect your personal digital photos, videos and file:
Don’t keep everything: every once in awhile, go through your images and select the most important memories to keep. Do you really need all those photos of your cat?
Organize your stuff: use a file organization and file naming system that makes sense to you. This could be chronologically, by subject or a combination of those (ex. by year and then by event).
Make several copies: store your important files in a few different places (on your desktop, on a portable hard-drive, DVD, or on cloud storage), and make sure at least one copy is physically in a different place. Be careful relying solely on third party providers, if a company goes out of business you might be out of luck!
Save files in common formats: proprietary files such as raw image or specialized software formats are at a higher risk of becoming obsolete. Save important files in high-quality formats like PDF or TIFF.
For more information on preserving different file formats, see the Library of Congress Personal Archiving site for helpful tips.
Feeling old school?
Still taking polaroids? Do you have boxes of old family photographs in your closet? Or worse, one of these:
The Photography Studies program at Ryerson University together with Ryerson Archives & Special Collections is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients:
THE 2016 FIRST EDITION PHOTOBOOK AWARD
Book Award Recipients
Andrea Chartrand Kaya Kelley Mina Markovic Terence Reeves Gabriel Steele Alia Youssef
Jeffrey Christenson Kelsey Danahy Alexandra Demelo Sophie Trecroce
As part of MPS507, a 3rd year Ryerson University Image Arts class in The Photographic Book, students are expected to conceive of and create their own photobook. This is, in part, related to work that has been completed in the co-requisite class, MPS506 – Photographic Production. These are both required courses for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Image Arts) Photography Studies Option. Each year, the Library purchases the top photobooks in the class, as judged by the professor, Christopher Manson, and the Special Collections Curatorial Specialist, Alison Skyrme. The library pays fair market value for each book, and commits to spending a maximum of $1000 per semester. The books are judged at the First Edition Photobook Show – an exhibition of the photobooks at the end of the semester. For evaluation, particular attention is paid to design, sequencing, and integration of images and text. The library catalogues each book, including a note about the award, and houses the books in Special Collections. Occasional exhibits are created to showcase the works.
The First Edition Photobook Award was established in 2015 to honour 3rd year photography students who have made exceptional achievements in photobook production. It provides incentive for them to achieve early recognition that will have a lasting legacy in our collection.
Previous Award Recipients
The following 2015 award winners were presented with a certificate during the Image Arts Awards Night, November 19th, 2015: Lodoe-Laura Haines-Wangda, Emily Pleasance, Evan Hutchinson, Imogen Walis-Mayer, Rebecca Zynomirski, Kristina Smith, Lucy Lu.
As the Holiday season approachs, Ryerson students are making their final mighty push to get assignments done and exams written before the winter break.
Featured from our collections are some Holiday and Winter scenes from around campus and beyond for a little light viewing during this busy time of year.
A reminder that the Library, and the University as a whole, will be closed from Thursday December 24th, until Wednesday January 6th, reopening on Thursday January 7th. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season and look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
In 2011 the Ryerson Archives received the Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association Archives. Among the boxes and files was a scrapbook kept by Alumnae President Grace Bolton. In the scrapbook were letters home from the front during World War II. The Association had been sending Christmas boxes and care packages to their Nurses and Doctors serving in Europe and South Africa.
Perhaps the most poignant letter was sent from a Nursing Sister enlisted with the R.C.A.M.C (Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps) from an undisclosed hospital in an undisclosed place in Europe. The letter was written 3 days after D-Day, when Allied forces stormed the Beaches of Normandy.
“This is a bit disjointed, but the mess is crowded and noisy, radio blaring, and so difficult for me to concentrate. The censors will not allow me to tell you what I am doing or where I am, but at a later date I will write you about what has taken place when it’s no longer any secret.” (RG 946.01.03.01.15)
She continues talking about staying overseas instead of going home (she was injured by shrapnel) and discusses the horrors of war on the land and the people.
“It is a great privilege to be in the thick of things in these days. I often think I was foolish not to come home, when I could have done so quite easily, but I know I should never be quite satisfied to be back, before it is finished at least over here. Life in the country is peaceful and very beautiful this time of year. It is most strange to know that the invasion has begun with all its horrors, heartaches and destruction of humanity and cities and buildings, whilst living here. Soon however we will begin to see the results in some of our grand boys who will be coming back to be patched up by us. They are simply magnificent in the way in which they accept the loss of legs and arms.” (RG 946.01.03.01.15)
Take a moment to pause and remember. Ryerson has a ceremony every November 11 in the Howard Kerr Hall quad by the flag pole.
This Saturday October 3rd, Ryerson is hosting is annual alumni weekend activities. This year the feature years are the classes of 1950, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1975, 1990, and 2005. In celebration of this the Archives decided to look back at those years and see what was happening on campus.
In the school year 1949-1950 Bud Evans and “Honest” John Vail were the SAC presidents, and Ted Toogood was appointed as the Athletic Director. There were 390 day school and 1355 evening school student were enrolled. The first “At Home” dance was held.
RIOT was held for the first time on March 3.
CJRT began broadcasting on November 1st, and the first live T.V. show in Canada was broadcast from Ryerson on November 14th.
Most significantly Ryerson graduated its first class of 212 graduates on Friday May 12. Click here for Principal Howard Kerr’s commencement address.
In the school year 1954-1955 the Blue and Gold Ball was held on February 16th at the Royal York Hotel, and RIOT ’55 was titled “Ghouls and Dolls”. The Ryerson Opera Workshop (ROW) staged Mademoiselle Angot in the Bloor Collegiate auditorium.
“The Ryerson Story” – a CBC TV film presentation directed by Rollo Gamble of the NFB and commentated by Lloyd Bochner – was filmed at Ryerson. It featured many Ryerson students and highlighted Ryerson’s various programs. It aired on February 20th.
And on May 6th, 1955 Ryerson graduated 365 students from the following programs: Architectural Technology; Business Administration; Secretarial Science; Electrical Technology; Electronic Technology; Radio and Television Arts; Fashion; Furniture and Interior Design; Journalism; Printing Management; Instrument Technology; Research Technology; Public Health Laboratory Technology; Laboratory Technology; Hotel, Resort, and Restaurant Administration; Home Economics; Childhood Management; Mechanical Technology; Metallurgical Technology; Tool Design and Technology; and Photographic Arts.
To round out the month looking back at the creation of the Archives, We have discovered the first Archives report dated June 29, 1971.
It was interesting reading for Archives staff as it answered questions about the collection and how it was filed and stored. It also delves into the beginning of the retention of objects as a way to preserve Ryerson’s history along side the textual and published materials.
To view the report click on the picture below:
We encourage you to stop by Archives and Special Collections and take a walk through Ryerson’s history.