Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

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Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is a library in the University of Toronto, constituting the largest repository of publicly accessible rare books and manuscripts in Canada. The library is also home to the university archives which, in addition to institutional records, also contains the papers of many important Canadian literary figures including Margaret Atwood and Robertson Davies. Richard Landon, the director, organizes two or three exhibitions of rare books and other materials annually.

Among the collection's items are the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493), Shakespeare's First Folio (1623), Newton's Principia (1687), and Darwin's proof copy (with annotations) of On the Origin of Species (1859). Other collections include Babylonian cuneiform tablet from Ur (1789 BC), 36 Egyptian papyrus manuscript fragments (245 BC), and Catholicon (1460). The Robert S. Kenny Collection resides in the library. This immense collection of books, documents, and other materials pertaining to the radical and labour movements, particularly in Canada, contains approximately 25,000 items collected by Robert S. Kenny, who was a member of the Communist Party of Canada. The Canadian section, which has 382 books and 768 pamphlets, was acquired by the library from Kenny in 1977. The international section of the collection was donated by Kenny in 1993. In addition, there is an outstanding collection of etchings by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607”“1677) from the collection of Sidney Thomson Fisher. The collection has been digitized and is a remarkable historical resource.

Building Activity

  • removed a media and updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via
  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator