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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.

Conduct Research

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Can I access Archives and Special Collections During the COVID-19 pandemic?

We are providing access to Archives and Special Collections by appointment only during the summer of 2021. We will be open for appointments up to 3 hours, on Monday to Thursday from 10am to 4pm. Please submit your appointment requests at least 2 days in advance.

To make an appointment to access material in the Ryerson University Archives and Special Collections, please complete and submit the Mediated Collections Access Appointment form, being sure to include the Call Numbers of the books or the Reference Codes of the material you would like to access, you can also include the URL to Library Books or Archives and Special Collections Materials. Please also provide contact information so we can confirm your appointment and provide you with information on protocols to access the library, all visitors will need to complete an online health screening before arriving on campus.

Research appointments are designed to meet the needs of researchers who require access to specific equipment, collections, software or space, and for whom this need cannot be met through online resources and services.

If a request is made that the Library can meet through virtual services, researchers will be directed appropriately.

Who can access Archives & Special Collections?

The Ryerson University Archives & Special Collections (A&SC) is open to all of Ryerson’s constituents including students, staff, faculty and alumni. It is also available to external researchers and scholars as well as to members of the general public.

If you require accommodations to access material at A&SC, please email or phone 416-979-5000 ext. 7027.

How can you help me with my research?

A&SC staff are here to facilitate research and access to collections for the broader Ryerson community.  Researchers are strongly encouraged to fill out this FORM in advance of their first visit to the archives in order to schedule an appointment.

When making an appointment, please include the reference number of the item, or collection or call number of the books you would like to consult.  Books and periodicals can be searched in advance of your visit through the Ryerson Library catalogue. Any of the books or periodicals from the catalogue that are located in the Archives & Special Collections reading room will be noted as such in the ‘Location’ area in the record. All other A&SC materials can be searched in advance of your visit through the A&SC database.

What if I need more help?

Due to COVID-19 closures our research hours are limited and by appointment only. Please feel free to make an appointment for more in-depth research assistance tailored to your specific research interests by filling out this FORM. The A&SC staff will contact you to confirm your appointment. A&SC staff will enable you to engage in efficient and productive research by orienting you to the available materials and search tools that are relevant to your research interests.

Is there anything you can’t do?

Unfortunately, we can’t conduct your research for you.  We’re happy to help you locate and access records; navigate our database, catalogue, and paper-based finding aids; digitize material for educational use; access existing digitized material; and refer you to other collections items that are related to your topic.

We can’t do things like conduct preliminary searches; research, locate, and digitize the results of subject-based search requests sent in remotely; read through large files in search of items relevant to your research; or clear image reproduction rights with third-party permissions holders.

Can I use images from the collection?

You can request high quality digital images of collections objects and we are happy to make these available for uses that fall under Ryerson University’s Fair Dealing guidelines. You may be asked to sign an Image Use Agreement prior to the images being released and images must be accompanied by a credit line citing the appropriate repository in any case where material is reproduced. 

The records held by the Ryerson University Archives are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Access to certain records may be restricted for specified periods of time or be subject to donor agreements. Please inquire about specific collections by emailing

Please note that unauthorized reproduction of images (including those contained on the Ryerson University Archives & Special Collections website), is prohibited.

Is there a cost for reproductions?

Ryerson Faculty, Staff, and Students are not charged for reproductions.

For external requests there is a $25 fee for a photograph that is already digitized and $50 fee for an item that requires digitization. The cost for textual records digitization is $5 for the first page of a document and $1 for each additional page.

What can I bring to A&SC?

Food and drinks, including water, are not permitted in the reading room and
we request that only pencils or digital devices be used for note-taking.

How should I cite A&SC materials? 

The citation will depend on the style requirement for the course or assignment. At Ryerson the two most common citation styles used are APA and MLA. Please check with your instructor if you are uncertain about the style that you should be using.

For more information on citing archival material, please see these resources:

Citing Archival Material – University of British Columbia

Citing Archival Sources (Purdue University Libraries)

A&SC images must be accompanied by a credit line citing the appropriate repository in any case where material is reproduced.

Where are you located?

We are located on the 4th floor of the Ryerson University Library building (LIB), across from the elevators.

The LIB building (350 Victoria Street) is on the north side of Gould street, between O’Keefe Lane and Victoria Street. Enter the Library on the 2nd floor of the building and take the elevator or the stairs to the 4th floor.