Special Collections

Identity area


Authorized form of name

Special Collections

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name


Contact area


Alison Skyrme Primary contact



Street address

4th Floor, Ryerson University Library
350 Victoria Street





Country name


Postal code

M5B 2K3


416-979-5000 ext. 4996



Description area


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.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies


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.

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Special Collections is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00 pm.

Access conditions and requirements


Services area

Research services

The Special Collections staff is 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 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: atom.rula.info.

Special Collections cannot 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

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Clipboard

Primary contact

4th Floor, Ryerson University Library 350 Victoria Street
Toronto, Ontario
CA M5B 2K3