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Online Exhibits

These collections were collected and digitized by the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections on special topics of significance to the university.

There is additional online content from the archives holding available through York University's institutional repository YorkSpace. This includes material drawn from the extensive photographic archives of the Toronto Telegram, material highlighting Portuguese and Finnish communities in Canada, historical sheet music and historical photographs celebrating the 50th Anniversary of York University.

Children's Literature Collection Scholarly Resource at York University Libraries

York University Libraries acquired the Children’s Literature Collection from David Mason Books in 2016 to support research and teaching in Children’s Studies and other disciplines that seek to understand the impact of these texts upon the lives and imagination of young people. This site offers visitors a scholarly resource to explore aspects of the collection, capturing academic insight derived from community-based knowledge and scholarship.
Online Resource Team : Mona Elayyan, Digital Project Lead and Online Resource Creator (English and Environmental Studies Liaision Librarian), Scott McLaren, Academic content: Book History and Print Culture (Humanities & Religious Studies Librarian), Cheryl Cowdy, Academic Content: Critical Commentary (Associate Professor, Department of Humanities, Children, Childhood & Youth Program), Anna St. Onge, Digital and Technical Support (Archivist, Digital Projects and Outreach), Thanks also to: Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections (CTASC) staff for making the Children's Literature Collection available to the Online Research Team, and particularly to student assistant Joanna Chojnacka for digitization, Library Computing Services: Tuan Nuguyen and his staff for technical troubleshoot and for creation of the exhibit template, Content Creators (Author Bios): Anica Bakalic-Radic, Victoria Ho, Tanya Prince, Bronfman Library Sophie Bury for allocating staff to assist in content creation, University Librarian's Office: Tom Scott and Andrea Kosavic for allocating staff to assist in content creation.

Danny Grossman Dance Company

The Danny Grossman Dance Company fonds (F0301) contains 5.64m of textual records, 36cm of graphic material and 108 moving image records. This material has been classified into eight different series: Clipping files, Grant application files, Performance files, Minutes, Administration and fundraising 1975-1986, Programs and reviews, Graphic materials and Moving image records.

[Developed in 2000 by graduate student Sion Irwin-Childs and Archivist Suzanne Dubeau.]

Greek Canadian History Project

The Greek Canadian History Project (GCHP) is an initiative designed and committed to identifying, acquiring, digitizing, preserving, and providing access to primary source materials that reflect the experiences of Canada’s Greek immigrants and their descendants. The collected sources, currently in the hands of private individuals and organizations in the Greek-Canadian community, will be placed in the care of the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections of York University Libraries. The Project’s stewards are Dr. Athanasios (Sakis) Gekas, HHF Chair in Modern Greek History at York University, and Christopher Grafos, Ph.D. Candidate in History, York University.

Herman Voaden — Canadian Playwright and Director

The Herman Arthur Voaden fonds (F0440) contains 33 m of textual records and other material. This material has been classified in thirteen different series: personal; education; teaching; playwriting; acting, directing and producing; publications; research; critical reception; associations; political; playbills; inscribed books; and Violet Kilpatrick Voaden. Fonds and series level descriptions of these series are available through the finding aid. This link provides access to the file list (contents listing) for each series. A photo gallery including personal and production photographs, as well as sketches and writing by Voaden, provides a sample of the range of materials contained in the fonds.

[Developed in 2000 by theatre historian and executor of the Herman Voaden Estate, Anton Wagner and graduate student Sharon Brady.]

I heard a story about Yorkville

This exhibit was created using images from the Toronto Telegram fonds preserved at the Clara Thomas Archives, York University and in cooperation with author Nicholas Jennings who provided insight from his ongoing work on the cultural history of Yorkville in the 1960s.

John Warkentin Teaching Slides Collection

Developed in 2012 through a Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations grant and the contributions of metadata and digitization assistant Craig Butosi. Featuring the work of renowned Canadian historical geographer John H. Warkentin (b.1928-), this exhibit is a sample of his aerial, topographical, architectural, and cultural photography of select urban and rural regions in Manitoba between 1957 and 2000. The images were originally captured on 35 mm slides, which have since been digitized.

Letters Home: A selection of wartime correspondence

Based on a 2009 exhibit of wartime correspondence held by the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, "Letters Home" highlights some correspondence exchanged by soldiers with their parents, siblings and friends during the First and Second World Wars.

This online exhibit would not have been possible without the generosity of family members who, over the years have donated their family records for the benefit of students and scholars of York University. In particular, archival staff would like to thank Dorothy Stepler, John Lennox, the late Bettie Lennox Locke, and Nick Aplin. A special thanks must be made to Vicki Ryckman. She found the letters of Charles Shore in an old barn in Prince Edward County where she grew up and donated the letters to the archives in 2008.

Lou Wise Oblique Aerial Photograph Collection

The Lou Wise Oblique Airphoto Collection is a large collection of oblique airphotos held at the York University Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections. The photographs were taken in the 1980s and 1990s and cover conservation lands, wetlands, the Oak Ridges Moraine, and geographical areas that were considered to be “at risk” for redevelopment. Our collection consists of over 5000 airphotos covering a large swath of Southern Ontario.

Mariposa: celebrating Canadian folk music

An 2010 online exhibit funded through the Archives Community Development Program (ACDP) and executed by Anna St.Onge, Andrea Kosavic, Taras Danylak and Ali Sadaqain, with assistance by Alison Black, Kyle Brenders, Andrea Brent, Ryan Bruce, Marie-Pascale D'Aoust-Messier, Julia Holland, Alison Lapp, Alana Lebkovich, Rachel Lebkovich,  Prathna Lor, the Mariposa Folk Foundation, Jessica Silverman, Kelly Smith, Sija Tsai, Adriana Vesna, and Tina Witham.

Portuguese Canadian History Project

The Portuguese Canadian History Project | Projeto de História Luso Canadiana (PCHP | PHLC) is a community outreach initiative that started in 2008, and is directed by Gilberto Fernandes, Susana Miranda, Raphael Costa, and Emanuel da Silva. We are committed to locating historical sources in the hands of private individuals and organizations in the Portuguese-Canadian community and placing them in the care of the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, York University Libraries. Our goals are to preserve, democratize and disseminate the history of immigrants in Canada, particularly those of Portuguese descent.

Pushing Buttons, Pushing Stories: The Jean Augustine Political Button Collection

What we collect tells a story. The objects we collect tell stories and the collector of the artifacts can tell a story. Political buttons are ephemeral artifacts created for a specific purpose and usually for a short-time period. Their function may include commemorating an event or conveying one’s support of a cause, movement or political candidate.

This exhibit explores some of the narratives behind selected political buttons from the Jean Augustine collection housed in the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University. The Honourable Jean Augustine, originally from Grenada, was the first African-Canadian woman elected as a Member of Parliament in Canada. There are over 500 political and social activism buttons collected by Jean Augustine from the 1960s to the early 2000s.  These political buttons are great tools to understand the socio-political history of Canadian society.  Jean Augustine was interviewed about selected political and activism buttons found in her collection on April 24, 2014.

Ruth Dworin Collection

The collection consists of over 800 items acquired from Ruth Dworin, a Toronto women’s activist and owner of women’s music production company Womanly Way Productions. An associate of York University’s Canadian Women’s Studies journal office, Dworin began collecting in the early 1970s. The collection was acquired by the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections in 2005.

[Developed in 2011 by graduate student Renée Jackson with technical assistance by Taras Danylak, Ali Sadaqain and Anna St.Onge.]

Robbie Robertson

While York University prepares to honour Mr. Robertson with an honorary degree for his work as a musician, composer and music executive as well as for his contributions to Canadian society through his activism on prison reform and matters of aboriginal prisoner rights, the Clara Thomas Archives would like to take a moment to remember Robertson's formative years in Toronto with a selection of images from the Toronto Telegram photograph collection.

[Developed in 2005 by Sean Smith]

Seeking that acre and a cow: The 3,000 Family Scheme settlement experience

This exhibit explores immigration and farming in Canada through the experiences of Herbert William Hunt, a British World War I veteran who settled in Saskatchewan for ten years during the Great Depression. Hunt’s migration was facilitated by the 3,000 Family Scheme. This exhibit was created in July 2016 as part of a practicum placement by Natalia Pietrzykowski, Master of Information student at the University of Toronto.

Sheila Thibaudeau Lambrinos Collection

Literature for children, most often written to educate and indoctrinate, as well as entertain, has longed served as a useful means to examine the ideological concerns of an age. The Lambrinos Collection, which houses over 650 children’s textbooks, teacher’s manuals and novels (published between 1843 to 1992), is a rich source of insight into a distinctly Canadian, colonial and post-colonial, understanding of the world.
[This site was made possible through the contributions of M.A. student Renée Jackson in the Faculty of English at York University.]

The TTC Subway at 50

In honour of the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Yonge Line, York University Archives and Special Collections is pleased to present this photo gallery, which high lights some of the day's activities. These photos were part of a special 22-page souvenir section of the Toronto Telegram in 1954 and can now be found from the Toronto Telegram photograph collection housed here at York.