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Special Collections was established in 2005 to help support the learning and teaching needs and facilitate the scholarly, research and creative activities of the Ryerson community by acquiring and preserving photography, film and cultural history objects. We have a particular responsibility to help students and staff gain access to objects in niche subject areas and aid them in the interpretation of those objects.
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The Archives is located in the Ryerson University Library.
Special Collections holdings comprise archival materials, cultural artifacts and rare book collections. These include approximately 4,000 books on photography, 1,000 original audiovisual recordings documenting shipwrecks in Canadian waters such as the Titanic, Edmund Fitzgerald and H.M.S. Breadalbane, extensive photographic archives from Kodak Canada Inc. and Canadian Architect magazine. Collections of cultural artifacts or realia also form part of the archives and include historical photographic materials, Inuit sculpture and a significant collection of objects depicting former Soviet leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Photographic technology collections include antique cameras and darkroom equipment.
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Special Collections is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. during the academic year (September - April) and 9:00 am - 4:00 pm during the summer (May - August).
Access conditions and requirements
The Ryerson Library Special Collections is open to the Ryerson community, students, researchers and the public. Appointments are recommended to access special collections objects or large amounts of books. 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.
To make an appointment to access special collections material please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 416-979-5000 ext. 7027. If you require and accommodations to access material in the Special Collections, please let us know.
The Special Collections staff is here to facilitate research and access to collections for the broader Ryerson community. Researchers are encouraged to phone or email in advance of their first visit 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: library.ryerson.ca . Material from the catalogue located in Special Collections is indicated in the ‘Location’ field in the record. All other material can be searched A&SC database: archives.library.ryerson.ca
Special Collections cannot conduct research for patrons. We are happy to help you locate and access records; navigate our database, catalogue, and paper-based finding aids; digitize material for use as copyright permits; access existing digitized material; and refer you to other collections items that are related to your topic. We are unable to 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.
There is a photocopier onsite for making reproductions of approved materials. High quality reproductions of images may be made, copyright permitting, for a fee of $25.00 for already digitized material and $50.00 for items that require digitization.
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