Primary contact120 St. George St.
CA M5S 1A5
The Library houses over 750 manuscript collections (4000 linear metres) covering a wide range of subject areas. It includes collections of literary, historical and personal papers for individuals and organizations, with a focus on Canadiana.
Holdings range from a collection of about 40 third-century B.C. Egyptian papyri; to papers of the co-discoverers of insulin: Banting, Best, Collip and Macleod; and finally to drafts, research notes, and correspondence of Canadian authors such as Margaret Atwood, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Leonard Cohen, Mazo de la Roche and Josef Skvorecky. The majority of our manuscript collections date from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries and pertain to Canadian historical, literary, artistic or scientific fields.
Thursdays during the academic year: 9:00AM-8:00PM
Closed on statutory and University holidays.
The Reading Room closes 15 minutes before the building closes.
The resources of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library may be used by all scholars and researchers, whether or not they are members of the University of Toronto community. A University of Toronto Library card is not necessary to access the collections, but onsite registration is required. A Fisher reader's card must be completed and identification with name and current address (e.g. driver's license, photo health card, etc.) will be requested.
Researchers wishing to consult manuscript material must complete a Manuscript Use Form for each manuscript collection or individual manuscript they wish to consult, briefly outlining the purpose of their research or reason for their request. Please note that some collections have access restrictions in accordance with the wishes of donors or creators.
Readers may submit retrieval requests in person at the Library, or in advance by using our online Stack Retrieval Request Form: https://fisher.library.utoronto.ca/stack-retrieval-request
In order to provide assistance to readers, the Reference Desk and Reading Room are staffed whenever the Library is open. The Reference Desk staff offer assistance in locating material in subjects and areas of interest. Although the majority of the collection is represented by records in the University of Toronto Library catalogue some material is described only in onsite finding aids or card files. The Reference Desk staff are able to assist readers in locating uncatalogued material and in recommending search strategies in the online catalogue to help in locating relevant material at the Fisher Library. The Reading Room staff supervise the operations of the Reading Room, and can assist with queries about reproduction, holds, and the physical use of the material.