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Ryerson Archives and Special Collections is open for appointments Monday to Thursday from 10-4. See our Hours page for more information or make an appointment .

2021 Archives and Special Collections Virtual Alumni Open House

With our doors closed to visitors for a second COVID year, let’s go back and visit anniversary years close to 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 25, and 10 years ago.

 

We are located within the Library (Library Building), 4th floor, opposite the elevators :

 

First, a peek into the Reading Room with tables and chairs spaced out for physical distancing :

 

Student newspapers are available to peruse on-site.  However, there are no digitized copies. 
Bound copies of The Ryersonian and The Eyeopener are seen here :

 

Fortunately, we have this Victorian stained glass window from a Church Street residence Ryerson briefly used for offices in the early to mid 1970s.  The house, with other buildings, was demolished for the Architecture Building in the late 1970s :

 

A behind-the-scenes look into the vault – storage for some of our collections :

 

Many of the collections are held in archival boxes, such as these grey Hollingers :

 

Our extensive clipping files are an excellent source of information, including subjects on campus, faculties and programmes, sports, students, faculty members, events, and many more :

 

Inside an artifact box :

 

A sample of what might be displayed for Alumni Weekend.  Did you use one of these calendars :

…or maybe you wore one of these…

 

However, it’s been 70 plus years since these adding machines were used in Business courses :

 

Students started the year in September 1961 with a campus still in transition from the old (Ryerson Hall, now demolished, behind the magnificent tree and its out buildings), to the new with Kerr Hall, here under construction.  KHE  is in the background…

The photograph above shows the south and west facades of Ryerson Hall, while the photo below (October 1961) you can see the north and west facades of Ryerson Hall.  KHE and its radio tower are visible behind and in the foreground, the trench for KHW :

 

Shot glasses were student union graduating gifts.  Clearly visible is 1971 :

 

For those of you who started your final year in 1971, you might be in this 1972 graduating class :

 

Did you skate on the rink in 1981 :

 

A 1995 procession of graduands reflects all graduates’ experience whose ceremonies were in the Ryerson Theatre :

 

If you graduated in 2001, you might have been at this ceremony when Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel received Honorary Degrees :

 

And, finally, what was the tuition in each of the feature years?
Annual tuition includes ancillary fees (not course fees) :

1951/1952 = $62

1961/1962 = $246 – $256

1971/1972 = $318 – $328

1981/1982 = $756

1991/1992 = $2,042

1996/1997 = $3,365

2011/2012 = not available

and currently (2021/2022) = $7,053 – $11,140

 

Thank you for joining us for our second virtual alumni event.

We hope we see in you person in 2022!

Re-visit the 2020 Virtual Alumni Open House blog

 

COVID-19 Community Archive Contest Winners

Thank you all for participating in our COVID-19 Community Archive submission contest!

The COVID-19 Community Archive seeks to preserve and make accessible content that was captured and created by students, faculty, staff and alumni about their lived experiences during the pandemic. Our goal in developing this digital portal is to serve as a repository for those of us who may be documenting this historic moment.

We received incredible submissions throughout the summer contest. Here are the three randomly selected winning submissions:

Although the contest is closed, you can still submit your work to the University’s COVID-19 Digital Community Archive Project by using our online submission form. We accept all types of works: photographs, audiovisual recordings, artworks and written content reflecting your experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in this collaborative project to document these unprecedent times!

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

The New Archives and Special Collections Reading Room is Open for Business!

Now open to all students, staff, faculty!

Window into A&SC reading room

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.

At the front desk, Daisy and RISIS are waiting to welcome you.
One of our “new” reading room tables, actually used by in a Ryerson Board Room in the 1970’s.
The reading room research materials are now all handily in one spot.
One of the most exciting changes for A&SC staff is the new mobile shelving for the collections. Not only did it double our storage capacity, it is also totally separate from the reading room and offices.

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 asc@ryerson.ca.

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.

Integrated Pest Management 2.0 in A&SC

Pokémon Go pests infesting your reading room? Who you gonna call? Student intern! Problem: your once peaceful reading room has been overrun with strange colourful pests.

Drowzees were found all over the place, whether it be hiding with our reel collection…

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…or sitting by the Archives entrance waiting for archival research assistance.

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Speaking of sitting, a Jynx was spotted on top of the Normal School desk. It seemed to be enjoying itself hanging out with Egerton Ryerson and our resident Kodak Kolorkin genealogist.

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A Pidgey was discovered lounging on the architectural model of the Toronto Normal School and St. James Square.

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Toronto Normal School and St. James Square architectural model.

Pokémon seem to really enjoy our architectural models as a Bellsprout was found listening in on a meeting.

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Jorgenson-Learning Resources Complex architectural model (RG 8.17)

A Rattata was seen keeping one of the reading room tables all to itself.

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Even the books from Special Collections were infested with Zubats flying around the shelves.

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However, our biggest problem seems to be in the stacks. In the span of a few minutes a Gastly, a Rattata, and a Spearow had to be caught in order to keep everything in order!

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We’ve resorted to hanging these pheromone traps around the archives and tracking them down…

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…but if anybody can think of a better way to capture and remove these critters, we’d love to hear from you. We’d hate to have to resort to letting these hard workers out of their box…

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Doozer figurines (2012.005.05.07)

…but if we need to, our contingency plan involves setting up intricate sugary lattice traps in the hopes of attracting and capturing these pests.

For now we’re hard at work catching Pokémon when we find them! Or you might say we’re hardly working…

It’s Preservation Week, do you know where your photos are?

ALA’s Preservation Week.

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 collection have 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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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).
  3. 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!
  4. 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: 

Self-adhesive photo album
Self-adhesive photo album

For information on how to preserve them, see this Archives and Special Collections blog post from last summer about caring for your family photos.

Celebrate Preservation Week with us, back up your photos and videos!

Alison Skyrme
Special Collections Librarian

First Edition Book Award 2016 Award Winners

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

Honourable Mentions

Jeffrey Christenson
Kelsey Danahy
Alexandra Demelo
Sophie Trecroce


"Save As" by Andrea Chartrand
“Save As” by Andrea Chartrand
"Dear Dad" by Kaya Kelley
“Dear Dad” by Kaya Kelley
"Komplikovani Identiteti" by Mina Markovic
“Komplikovani Identiteti” by Mina Markovic
"Looking Outside Looking In" by Terence Reeves
“Looking Outside Looking In” by Terence Reeves
Gabriel Steele
“Jackson” by Gabriel Steele
"Self-Portraits of my Family in our Backyard" by Alia Youssef
“Self-Portraits of my Family in our Backyard” by Alia Youssef

Award Statement

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.

History

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.

For more information contact: Christopher Manson or Alison Skyrme.

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Happy Holidays from Ryerson Library Archives and Special Collections

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.

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Quadrangle in the Snow (RG 395.121.01.216)
Black and white photograph of young men and women playing a hockey style game with brooms on an ice rink
Howard Kerr Hall, ca. 1965, decorated for the holidays. (RG 95.1.41.53.01)
3 storey academic building at night with red, green and white twinkle lights decorating the outside
Ryerson Students participating in a massive broomball tournament in the Quad. Tournament was part of Ryerson’s Winter Carnival held in January 1969. Part of the Quad was turned into the ice rink. (RG 95.1.41.53.01)
(2009.002.2883.004)
Canadian Architect photograph file “Country Homes in Winter” (2009.002.2883.004)
1950s
Holiday Card from the 1950s.
Ryerson Snoball advertisement (RG 95.1.21.34.01)

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!

“It is most strange to know that the invasion has begun…” Remembrance Day 2015

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.

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“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.”

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.

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“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.”

Take a moment to pause and remember. Ryerson has a ceremony every November 11 in the Howard Kerr Hall quad by the flag pole.