3 Devonshire Place (physical address)
6 Hoskin Avenue (mailing address)
CA M5S 1H8
Trinity College (John W. Graham) Library
In 1827 John Strachan, the first Anglican Bishop of Toronto, secured 400 books from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) to be the foundation of library of King’s College, of which he was the first president. In 1849, the government of the Province of Canada elected to rename the college as the University of Toronto and sever all ties to the Anglican church. In response, Bishop Strachan founded the University of Trinity College in 1851 and took the SPCK collection with him. The new university and its library were located in what is today known as Trinity Bellwoods Park, on Queen Street West in Toronto. Trinity College would eventually federate with the University of Toronto in 1904 and move to the main St. George campus in 1925, where the new library was to be located on the second floor in what is now Seeley Hall. Due to space constraints, however, the library was placed and remained in the basement level of Trinity College, beneath the main corridor and chapel, until 2000 when the John W. Graham Library opened in the renovated then Munk School of Global Affairs building. The year 2000 also marked the official merger of Trinity College and Wycliffe College’s theological collections.
The John W. Graham Library serves Trinity College’s undergraduate Arts & Science students, the graduate theology students and faculty of Trinity College and Wycliffe College, Trinity and Wycliffe alumni, and the greater University of Toronto and Anglican Church communities who seek our resources. Its collection of over 200,000 volumes is strongest: in the humanities, theology, and in the social sciences relevant to Trinity’s interdisciplinary undergraduate programs: International Relations; Ethics, Society and Law; and Immunology. As part of the large and diverse University of Toronto library system, the Graham Library augments resources in direct support of the missions of Trinity and Wycliffe Colleges.
The John W. Graham Library is located on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto.
According to section 4.10 of the Statutes and Certain Regulations of Trinity College: "A College Librarian shall be appointed by the Board, on the recommendation of the Provost, upon such terms and conditions as the Board may determine, to be responsible for the administration of the libraries of Trinity College and St. Hilda’s College."
The Nicholls Librarian & Director of the John W. Graham Library reports to the Provost of Trinity College.
The John W. Graham Library is physically located in the East House of the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at Trinity College. The shared building opened in 2000 after a major renovation designed by Tom Payne of Kuwabara, Payne, McKenna, Blumberg Architects (KPMB). The entire interior of the building was renovated and modernized, with the exception of the central fireplaces.
Prior to the renovation, the collection of three buildings was known as the Devonshire House Residences for students. They were opened in 1907 and designed by renowned Toronto-based architect Eden Smith in the Arts & Crafts style.
The John W. Graham Library’s main collection of rare books relates to theological history, with a particular emphasis on the development of Anglicanism. As well, the Graham Library holds bibliographic material relevant to Trinity College’s history, such as the SPCK and Strachan Collections. With respect to archival material, the library is the repository for the G7/G8/G20 Research Collection and holds the records for the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy.
Updated library hours and notice of closures can be found on the website: https://www.trinity.utoronto.ca/library/hours
Rare books and special collections material are available for consultation between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Please contact the library to arrange an appointment.
All rare books and special collections material is non-circulating. To ensure the material is available when you require it, please submit a request at minimum one day in advance with the following information:
Everyone submitting a request to view rare or special materials must provide photo identification, such as your TCard or equivalent student/faculty card from another educational institution. For individuals not affiliated with an educational institute, a driver’s license or other photo ID will be accepted.
When viewing rare books or special collections material, you may use a soft pencil or laptop in the reading room. Pens, water bottles, jackets, and bags are not permitted and will be stored in the library office. You may request to view multiple items, but you may only view one at a time. If you have a special requirement to examine items simultaneously this may be arranged on a case-by-case basis.
At the west entrance, there is a power-assisted door with a push-plate to enter the library and three steps up to the main level of the library. There is an elevator available from this level to the main floor, but it does not stop on this level during regular service. When access to the elevator from the west entrance is required, press the call button next to the elevator to notify library staff at the Circulation Desk who will call the elevator to stop on this floor. If you wish to exit via the west door, please notify staff at the Circulation Desk to enable the elevator to stop at this floor.
When entering the library from the east side, there is a ramp from the north and two power-assisted doors with push-plates to enter the building. When leaving from the east doors only the exterior door has a push-plate; the interior door has a motion sensor. If you need assistance opening the interior door to the east exit, please notify our staff at the Circulation Desk.
There is one elevator that services the basement, ground, second, and third floors. No elevator button is higher than 120 cm above the floor. There are no braille characters, no audio announcements, and no audible floor indicators within the elevator.
There is one accessible single-user washroom at the south end of the basement level of the library. The door can be opened with a push button. The locking mechanism is a twist lever. The water tap is operated by motion sensor. There are grab bars behind and to the left of the toilet. There is an emergency call feature, which is operated by pulling a string.
Researchers consulting rare books or special collections material are required to use one of two carrels located on the main floor near the library offices. Librarians are available to consult with about the material.
Reproduction of the Graham Library’s rare books and special collections holdings will be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the physical condition of the requested item, the copyright status, and any restrictions placed on items by donors. Final decisions on digital reproduction will be made by the librarian. Please see our Reproduction Policy for more information: https://www.trinity.utoronto.ca/library/library-collections/rare-books-special-collections/rare-book-special-collections-reproduction-policy
The John W. Graham Library is open to the public. However, borrowing privileges and access to electronic resources are reserved for members of the University of Toronto community. Please consult our website for more information on library services: https://www.trinity.utoronto.ca/library/library-services
There are two exhibition cases in the library: a case next to the circulation desk for thematic exhibits from our collection, and exhibition cases on the lower level used for rare books and special collections material.
Description created 2023-03-06 by Christopher Hogendoorn