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.
A note about the language and content of our collections
Within the collections of the University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services (UTARMS), users may encounter offensive and harmful terminology, depictions, and perspectives in the language that describes our material and the content of the material itself. This can include expressions of prejudice based on race, ethnicity, religion, class, sexuality, ability, appearance, and gender. Whether these values were historically commonplace or not, we recognize how they contribute to legacies that continue to cause harm. Full statement on UTARMS website.
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.
You can use your own digital camera, phone or iPad to copy records in the reading room such as photographs and documents. There is also a book scanner available to make digital copies that you can save to your own USB flash drive. You cannot bring in and use your own scanning equipment. There are terms of conditions to copying records and there are limitations to how much you can scan. The archivist on reference will walk you through the steps. Please read the terms and conditions under which you are allowed to scan before you visit the archives. You’ll be asked to sign a form that says that you agree to these terms.
Upon request, we provide copying service in the form of hard copy photocopies and scans as PDF files. Photocopies can be picked up in the reading room or mailed. Scanned documents will be e-mailed or placed on a file hosting site for download from a link we will provide. The fee structure is below and you will need a valid credit card (Visa or MC) to prepay for scans.
New scans: We provide a scanning/digital photography service for photographs and documents that have not already been scanned. The standard specifications for these scans are TIFF files at 600 ppi RGB, 8x10 print size but can be adjusted as needed. Please contact us for further information.
Payment and fees: Cost is $25.00+HST/image and orders are prepaid with a valid credit card. We currently have no on-line payment method however, so once we receive your order, an archivist will be in contact for your payment information.