The Fisher Library is actively involved in digitization in order to increase access to our print and manuscript collections. All of our projects provide both page images, enhanced indexing features, and the capability to conduct full text searching on the contents of the documents themselves. The Fisher digital collections were developed here at the University of Toronto in collaboration with the staff of Collection Digitization and Information Technology Services Department. Our work has been made possible through the generous support of funding agencies and individual donations. Please see the Sponsors section of each project's homepage for fuller details.
This collection features approximately 4500 full page plates and other significant illustrations of human anatomy selected from the Jason A. Hannah and Academy of Medicine collections in the history of medicine at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto. Each illustration has been fully indexed using medical subject headings (MeSH), and the plates can also be searched or browsed by artist, engraver, lithographer and printer. There are 92 individual titles represented, ranging in date from 1522 to 1867.
The Barren Lands
This site documents two exploratory surveys of the Barren Lands region west of Hudson Bay, in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan and the area now known as Nunavut. Drawing on materials from the J.B. Tyrrell, James Tyrrell and related collections at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, it includes over 5,000 images from original field notebooks, correspondence, photographs, maps and published reports.
Canadian Pamphlets and Broadsides
When complete, this site will present all the pre-1930 Canadian pamphlet and broadside holdings of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. As of November 2002 it includes a preliminary selection of approximately 500 titles, mostly broadsides (single sheets, printed on one or both sides). Pamphlets are being added in regular installments. The collection includes items printed in Canada, by Canadian authors, or about Canadian subjects, mainly of a non-literary nature.
Canadian Printer & Publisher
The initial phase of a larger project to digitize Canadian periodicals, this site will present the first 20 years of the most significant Canadian trade journal documenting the history of the printing and publishing industry.
Agnes Chamberlin Digital Collection
The Agnes Chamberlin collection consists of original paintings of Canadian flora and mushrooms by Agnes Chamberlin (1833–1913), dating from the period 1863 to the 1900s. In addition to the original paintings, the Chamberlin digital collection also includes early editions of Canadian Wild Flowers and two editions of Studies of Plant Life. Most of these original paintings have not previously been reproduced.
Wenceslaus Hollar Digital Collection
This digital collection features over 2500 of the prints of Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677), a great master of the art of etching. Although the lion's share of Hollar's work was produced in and about his adopted England, his artistic interest was broad ranging and the site also includes religious and historical prints, maps, portraits, costumes, and natural history. As well as the individual etchings, the Fisher Library boasts some one hundred published works containing original prints made from Hollar's plates. In an effort to provide the original context for at least some of Hollar's book illustration, the full text of several of these works has also been included.
The Discovery and Early Development of Insulin
This site documents the initial period of the discovery and development of insulin, 1921-1925, by presenting over six thousand page images reproducing original documents ranging from laboratory notebooks and charts, correspondence, writings, and published papers to photographs, awards, clippings, scrapbooks, printed ephemera and realia. Drawing mainly on the Banting, Best and related collections housed at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and the University Archives at the University of Toronto, it also includes significant holdings from the Aventis Pasteur (formerly Connaught) Archives.
The Library's small, but interesting, collection of papyrus fragments has been scanned and the images and full descriptive data have been contributed to the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS) an international collaborative project, where they form a part of a comprehensive database documenting papyrus fragments housed at institutions throughout the world. A small collection of fragments transferred from the Classics Department has also been digitized locally. The online finding aid may be viewed here.
David Thompson Bicentennial Exhibition
This celebration of the remarkable achievements of Canadian explorer, trader and cartographer David Thompson (1770-1857) forms part of the North American David Thompson Bicentennials initiative. As the institution that holds one of the primary source documents of the life of Thompson, the narrative of his 'Travels', the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library has undertaken this exhibition to commemorate not only his life, writings and works, but also the long and rich tradition from which he came - the explorers and fur traders who mapped Canada..
Where Duty Leads: Canada in the First World War
This is an exhibition about the men and women who answered their country's call when war was declared in August 1914. It brings together a range of material - photographs, histories, poetry, memoirs, letters, government-issued posters, official documents, literature of the training camps and of the trenches - that highlight different aspects of this response. These printed items and artifacts are poignant reminders of a period when the sacrifice, courage and determination of Canadians so strongly shaped our nation's history.
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