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New Exhibition: Projecting Magic

Have you ever wondered what people watched at home and in theaters before Netflix and the invention of cinema? This exhibition hopes to demystify one aspect of pre-cinematic technology: magic lantern projectors. These early optical devices used oil or gas light sources to project glass slide images onto a screen. Some say magic lanterns are the precursors to Powerpoint presentations!

The first report of the construction of a magic lantern is generally considered to be referring to the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens in 1659. It was inspired by precedent optical inventions such as the camera obscura (which was a room containing a pinhole that a scene was projected through onto the opposite wall), and magic shadow shows which used puppets and hands to recount stories.

Lampascope Boule magic lantern, meant to be placed above an oil lamp.

By the eighteenth-century, the magic lantern was “openly displayed” for public events by traveling lanternists in public venues. Several showmen used the lanterns to produce horror shows, popularly known as “Phantasmagoria” shows. These presentations projected ghostly images onto smoke screens to create the effect of conjuring evil spirits.

Initially lanterns were illuminated by candlelight or oil lamps, but this did not produce enough light to project a clear image from afar. Lanternists began to use limestone in the early 1800s, as they could successfully be used for projection in large theaters. Limelight is produced through the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen directed at a piece of lime (calcium oxide). This method was quite complex and potentially hazardous, since at the time putting gas under pressure was achieved by sandwiching rubber bags filled with gas between two pieces of wood.

Magic lantern slides by the German manufacturer Ernest Plank, with the trademark initials E.P.

By the mid 1800s, a huge variety of magic lanterns became available to the professional and home market. On display in the exhibit, we have lanterns with varying functions, from a decorative circular lantern meant to be placed above an oil lamp at home, to a large biunial (or double lens) lantern that could be used in large halls for theatrical presentation or educational lectures.

Slides also varied in their typology, becoming more detailed and elaborate with each new iteration. Initially they were rectangular strips of glass with hand painted imagery and a mahogany wood border. When separate wooden slide carriers were developed, the wooden border attached to the wood slides themselves was removed from the design. Then, the illustrations featured on the glass portion went from being hand-painted to mechanically produced, and by the mid 1800s photographic slides came into production as well.

Astronomical mechanical slides were designed to specifically demonstrate movements of the solar system.

Magic lantern projection also demonstrates the aspiration to present not only static, but moving images to an audience. Lanternists would use panoramic slides, which when passed in front of the projector’s lens would create the illusion of movement. This quickly progressed into animated images which came about with creation of ingenious mechanical slides. This included rack-and-pinion slides where glass discs were rotated using a handle (and which were often astrologically themed), lever slides, or single pulley slides which used a rope pulley system.

Items on display are part of a recent donation of magic lantern projectors and slides from John Tysall. Stop by the Archives and Special Collections Department on the 4th floor of the Ryerson Library to see the new exhibit located in the display case by the 4th floor reading room doors. The exhibition is designed and curated by Jocelyn Oprzedek and Olivia Wong.

 

 

 

 

 

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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/

 

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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.

 

 

 

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New Exhibition: Canada 150, Picturing the Canadian Landscape

Canada 150: Picturing the Canadian Landscape. Ryerson Library Archives and Special Collections

The plains of the prairies, the forests of the interior, and the seascapes of the Atlantic and the Pacific have served as muses for Canadian artists and writers for centuries.

In Canada 150: Picturing the Canadian Landscape, photographs and ephemera of the Lorne Shields Historical Photograph Collection at Ryerson University showcase the ways in which the natural landscape has been an essential part of the identity and history of Canada.

Incorporating extraordinary cameras from the Heritage Camera Collection and the Kodak Canada Corporate Archives and Heritage Collection, and rare books from Ryerson University’s Special Collections, this exhibition reflects on the photographic, recreational, and artistic responses to Canada’s natural landscape by artists, enthusiasts and writers throughout the years.

Drop by the Archives and Special Collections Department, on the  4th floor of the Ryerson Library, to see the exhibition, curated by Image Arts students Bowie Fan, Gabriele Tai, Georgia Love, Justine Marasigan, and Lodoe Laura.

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The 2017 First Edition Book Award Winners

Winners of the 2017 First Edition Book Award

Award Recipients

Adrian Walton-Cordeiro – Contesse De Bertren
Ailene Devries – Two Cities and a River
Fehn Foss – Remembering, Faring
Julia Garnet – Elements
Feline Gerhardt – About Mankind and the Attempt to Increase Significance
Warren Rynkun – The Yard

Honourable Mentions

Grayson Alabiso-Cahil – We’re not the first, and we won’t be the last
Rena Balmain-Matthews – Poems
Jana Beaton – Wallpaper Floorboards
April Beatson – Skate
Rebecca Bentolila and Natasha Serio – Yours and Mine

About the Award

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 Special Collections Librarian, Alison Skyrme, and a special invited guest (this year Robyn York of Anchorless Press). 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 by Image Arts instructor Christopher Manson and the Ryerson Library 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 2016 award winners were presented with a certificate during the Image Arts Awards Night, November 19th, 2016: Andrea Chartrand, Kaya Kelley, Mina Markovic, Terence Reeves, Gabriel Steele, Alia Youssef.

2017 Award Winners

Warren Rynkun – The Yard (inside spread)

Fehn Foss – Remembering, Faring

 

 

Fehn Foss – Remembering, Faring

 

 

Julia Garnet – Elements

Ailene Devries – Two Cities and a River

Adrian Walton-Cordeiro: Contesse De Bertren

Feline Gerhardt – About Mankind and the Attempt to Increase Significance

Feline Gerhardt – About Mankind and the Attempt to Increase Significance (inside spread)

Guest Judge

Robyn York - Anchorless Press

Robyn York – Anchorless Press

Robyn York is a photographer and book artist whose work explores collecting, memory loss, and impermanence of place.She runs Anchorless Press, an independent publishing company that works with emerging artists to publish photo-based artists’ books, and has self-published and assisted in the design and production of over a dozen artists’ books and novels.

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

Now open to all students, staff, faculty!

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.

New Quiet Study Area:

A large quiet study area, 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.

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: archives@ryerson.ca or Special Collections: specialcollections@ryerson.ca.

Window into A&SC reading room

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.

The A&SC staff encourage you to stop by and visit if you get the chance.

 

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Archives & Special Collections Re-Opening Monday January 30th, 2017

We have successfully re-located to the 4th floor!

WE WILL RE-OPEN MONDAY JANUARY 30th, 2017

We ask during this time, if you need to contact the Archives or Special Collections to please use email: archives@ryerson.ca and specialcollections@ryerson.ca.

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CLOSING December 9th – Archives and Special Collections is on the move!

Move time is  almost here and the staff here in Archives and Special Collections could not be more excited.

Please note – Archives and Special Collections will be closing at end of day Friday December 9th, 2016 and re-opening Monday January 16th, 2017.

We ask during this time, if you need to contact the Archives or Special Collections to please use email: archives@ryerson.ca and specialcollections@ryerson.ca as our telephones will be in flux during the move.

See you in the new year in our beautiful new space.

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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 Egerton Ryerson’s desk from when he was Ontario’s Chief Superintendent of Education. It seemed to be enjoying itself hanging out with Egerton Ryerson and our resident Kodak Kolorkin genealogist.

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Egerton Ryerson’s desk (Artifact 162)

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…

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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.

 

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