120 St. George St.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A5
University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services
The University of Toronto Archives was established in 1965 as a unit within the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Its antecedents, however, date back much further to the Art Room in what is now the Science and Medicine Library. It has been located on the fourth floor of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library since 1972. Along with the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, it forms part of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto Libraries.
The University of Toronto Archives is responsible for the appraisal, acquisition, preservation and use of University records of permanent value and the private records of individuals and organizations associated with the University. The University Archives works co-operatively with other permanent campus archives programmes devoted to preserving their sponsors' documentary heritage. As well as providing a research service, the University Archives provides an administrative service through the development and implementation of the University's records management programme. The objectives of this programme are detailed in the Terms of Reference of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Archives and Records Management. Please note: The University of Toronto Archives' mandate does not include the records of the federated universities of St. Michael's, Trinity and Victoria or of the theological colleges, Knox, Wycliffe, and Emmanuel.
The University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services’ (UTARMS) Records Management Program seeks to promote systematic control of University records in accordance with legal statutes and University policy. It provides guidance to administrative and academic units on management of their records.
Most University records (‘A’ Accessions) are subject to review under the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). The access statement in the records accession record will state “subject to review under the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act”. For further information about these restricted records, please contact the University Archivist, Tys Klumpenhouwer.
The Act does not apply to all records at the University Archives. FIPPA does not apply to published information such as reports, newsletters, handbooks, and calendars. Also, unpublished theses, most photographs, moving image records, architectural drawings, and works of art are also open.
Access is open to most private records (‘B’ Accessions). However, there may be restrictions according to the wishes of the donor. Further, personal health information (i.e. patient files) in medical practitioners’ B accessions are now subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Details of these restrictions will be provided by the Reading Room staff at 416-978-5344 or by email.
Most special media records (ie. photographs, slides, architectural drawings and sound recordings) are open but some may be restricted for conservation reasons. Access to film and video is by appointment only. Please contact Special Media Archivist, Marnee Gamble.
Copies are provided for research purposes only and all records in the Archives are subject to copyright legislation. The University Archives is not always the copyright holder of its records and researchers are responsible for observing copyright law and securing clearances for use when required.
Where not prohibited by copyright or donor restrictions, the University Archives will usually give permission to publish from records in its custody. For photographs, please contact the Special Media Archivist. For all other records, please contact the University Archivist.
Please cite with accuracy as follows:
An archivist is always available to discuss your research and help you locate and make suggestions on sources. It is good to know as much about your topic from secondary sources before coming to the Archives. If you have references such as footnoted sources, be sure to bring them along to help in your search.
If you cannot visit us in person, we are happy to assist you with your inquiry by whatever means you prefer to contact us. While we can undertake limited research for specific information, we encourage you to plan a visit if your inquiry requires lengthy research. There are no fees for the research we do on your behalf.
Researchers using the Reading Room are required to complete a registration form. Personal identification, preferably with a photograph, will be necessary for registration. A reader's card will then be issued. This card will be valid for a year and is required on the daily sign-in sheet and to request records.
Records are non-circulating and must be consulted in our reading room. An attendant is always on duty to assist you in finding sources and requesting materials. Retrievals are on demand and the last retrieval is at 4:15 p.m. Some records are stored off-site and may take 1-2 days to retrieve. Listening to sound recordings or viewing film or video requires specialized equipment. An appointment may be needed to consult these records.
Because archival records are unique and irreplaceable, they must be handled with care. Gloves are provided for using photographs, drawings, and other fragile records. Only pencils are used for note taking. These are made readily available at the reference desk. For obvious reasons, food and drinks are not permitted in the Reading Room.
We offer a variety of copying services including photocopying, digital scanning, digital photography, as well as sound, film and video transfers.
All copying is done by staff or a designated service provider except for copies from microfilm and microfiche which researchers can produce on our self-serve reader printer. Personal scanning of records is not generally permitted.
On occasion, the physical condition of a record and/or terms set out by a donor will not allow a record to be copied. As well, records subject to access restrictions will have copying restrictions.
Payment for copying is on receipt (for orders over $25.00 a valid credit card must be presented).
The University of Toronto Libraries no longer accepts cash transactions. All payment must be made using debit or credit cards.
Payment for standard copying is on receipt (for orders over $25.00 a valid credit card must be presented).