Media Releases

University of Toronto launches new heritage website

November 26, 2012

Website features rare audio-visual materials

TORONTO, ON — Film footage of the 1939 Roy­al vis­it to Hart House and ear­ly pho­tographs of Mar­shall McLuhan and Mar­garet Atwood are just a hand­ful of the audio-visu­al trea­sures cap­tured in a new Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to web­site that doc­u­ments the rich his­to­ry of the insti­tu­tion.

“A great library is real­ly about pre­serv­ing the record of human achieve­ment, of human research, cul­ture and his­to­ry. We are very pleased to be the stew­ards of the doc­u­men­tary her­itage of one of Canada’s most impor­tant cul­tur­al and sci­en­tif­ic insti­tu­tions, and now to make this mate­r­i­al acces­si­ble to any­one in the world who is inter­est­ed in the Uni­ver­si­ty and the intel­lec­tu­al his­to­ry of Cana­da,” said Lar­ry Alford, Chief Librar­i­an for the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to.

The exten­sive col­lec­tion of archival mate­r­i­al on is acces­si­ble to the pub­lic and intro­duces view­ers to some of the nation’s great­est minds and most con­tro­ver­sial fig­ures.

Archival gems found on the site include: rare footage of the 1939 Roy­al vis­it to Hart House; the build­ing of Robarts Library in the late 1960s; a 1958 pro­mo­tion­al film for the Uni­ver­si­ty fea­tur­ing a foot­ball game; a home­com­ing parade; and a Hart House debate addressed by Lester Pear­son.

In addi­tion, the site con­tains  pho­tos of now-famous Uni­ver­si­ty fig­ures, includ­ing Mar­shall McLuhan as a fac­ul­ty mem­ber and a young Mar­garet Atwood address­ing a crowd as a Writer-in-Res­i­dence at Massey Col­lege in 1972.

Anoth­er part of the site — The Chronol­o­gy Exhib­it — weaves a rich time­line of 214 years of Uni­ver­si­ty his­to­ry – from its con­cep­tion in 1795 to its Cen­te­nary in 1927 and for­ward to 2010.

Fac­ul­ty, staff, stu­dents, alum­ni, Uni­ver­si­ty aca­d­e­m­ic and admin­is­tra­tive offices, and peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions asso­ci­at­ed with the Uni­ver­si­ty are invit­ed to par­tic­i­pate in build­ing the col­lec­tions rep­re­sent­ed on the site. Part­ner with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Libraries to add mate­ri­als to Her­itage U of T.

The Her­itage Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to web­site, called “a splen­did addi­tion to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s col­lec­tive mem­o­ry” by Pro­fes­sor Michael Mar­rus of Massey Col­lege, was devel­oped as a tri-cam­pus ini­tia­tive by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Libraries’ Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy Ser­vices, Thomas Fish­er Rare Book Library, Uni­ver­si­ty Archives, U of T Mis­sis­sauga Library and U of T Scar­bor­ough Library. Much of the mate­r­i­al fea­tured on the site can be viewed in its orig­i­nal form at the Uni­ver­si­ty Archives and the Thomas Fish­er Rare Book Library, both open to the pub­lic as well as the U of T com­mu­ni­ty.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Libraries sys­tem is the largest aca­d­e­m­ic library in Cana­da and is ranked third among peer insti­tu­tions in North Amer­i­ca, behind just Har­vard and Yale. The sys­tem is com­prised of 44 libraries locat­ed on three uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus­es that togeth­er hold more than 12 mil­lion vol­umes in 128 lan­guages; 93,000 ser­i­al titles; and over 28,000 lin­ear metres of archival mate­r­i­al.


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Mar­garet Wall
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Librar­i­an
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Libraries
Tel: (416) 978‑1757 

U of T Media Rela­tions office
Tel: (416) 978‑0100