Ryerson University Archives

Identity area


Authorized form of name

Ryerson University Archives

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Ryerson Archives

Other form(s) of name


  • University

Contact area


Ryerson University Archives Primary contact



Street address



Country name

Postal code


(416) 979-5000 ext. 7027



Description area


Founded in 1971 on a recommendation by the Smyth Commission on Ryerson Polytechnic University’s governance and organization. The Ryerson Archives serves as the institutional memory of the Ryerson community. The Archives acquires, preserves, and makes accessible a broad range of primary source materials which provide an administrative, academic, fiscal, legal, social, and cultural record of Ryerson University

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

The Ryerson Archives mandate is to acquire, preserve and make available through a comprehensive archival collection, records essential to the understanding of the University’s purposes and operation or having other historical or archival value. Within its mandate, the Ryerson Archives acts as a resource facility which documents the history of Ryerson University (1948 to the present) and its antecedent institutions at St. James Square - The Toronto Normal School, RCAF Initial Training Centre #6, and the Training and Re-establishment Institute.

These institutions include primarily the Toronto Normal School (1852-1941), the R.C.A.F. No. 6 Initial Training Centre and Dominion-Provincial War Emergency Training Program (1941-1945) and the Toronto Training and Re-establishment Institute (1945-1948).

The Archives also maintains a collection of records and information on Egerton Ryerson (1803-1882), the University’s namesake and founder of Ontario’s educational system, at St. James Square.

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies

Issues related to records management at Ryerson University are managed by the Office of the General Counsel & Board Secretariat. For advice on records management best practices or for information on changes to the Records Management policy at Ryerson, please contact: recordsmanagement@ryerson.ca


The Archives is located in the Ryerson University Library.


The Ryerson Archives serves as the institutional memory of the Ryerson community. The Archives acquires, preserves, and makes accessible a broad range of primary source materials which provide an administrative, academic, fiscal, legal, social, and cultural record of Ryerson University. The records in the Ryerson University Archives collection date from 1783, with the majority of records dating from 1948 to the present. As a reflection of the Archives mandate and collecting policy, the primary documentary focus of the records in the collection is on the University and its predecessor institutions. The collection also includes materials relating to Egerton Ryerson and the Ryerson Family. The archives’ holdings include (but are not limited to):
Records of senior-level, administrative and academic departments
Minutes and agenda of various university committees, including the Board of Governors and Academic Council
Financial records, including statements and budget and audit records
Human resources records
Records of student, faculty, staff and alumni organizations
Annual reports
Contracts, agreements and other legal documents
Policy and procedure manuals
Student, staff and faculty newspapers and newsletters
Manuals and handbooks
Course calendars
Photographs, including prints, negatives, transparencies and digital images
Motion picture films and video tapes
Sound recordings
Cartographic and architectural records
Paintings, drawings and prints
Electronic records
Speeches and addresses
Subject files, including primarily secondary source material on Ryerson-related topics
Private papers and manuscripts
Published books and articles by members of the Ryerson community (The Ryerson Authors Collection)

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

The Archives is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm and is closed on weekends and holidays.

Access conditions and requirements

The Ryerson University Archives collection 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. Students may consult the collection for course-related projects, assignments and papers and the collection is also also extensively used by Ryerson staff, faculty and administrators in the course of carrying out the University’s academic and administrative business. As an educational resource, the Archives offers considerable opportunities for more advanced scholarly research. Many individuals have studied the significant educational and cultural developments of Ryerson’s historic past at St. James Square while others have examined more contemporary aspects of Ryerson’s unique academic and physical evolution from an institute of technology to a university.

Please note that unauthorized reproduction of images contained on the Ryerson University Archives Web site, is prohibited. If permission is granted (please email the Archives for more information), credit shall be given to the Ryerson University Archives in any case where material is reproduced.


Services area

Research services

The Archives staff are here to facilitate research and access to collections for the broader Ryerson community. Researchers are strongly encouraged to phone or email 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 reading rooms 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.
The Ryerson Archives will not conduct research for patrons. 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.

Reproduction services

There is a photocopier and a scanner onsite for making reproductions of approved materials.

Public areas

Control area

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Institution identifier

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Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Clipboard

Primary contact