January 2015

Les oeuvres spirituelles de Monsieur de Bernieres Louvigni

Today's blog post features a rather interesting item that we've been including in displays for years.


Golf's Steak House opened in 1976, at 598 Lancaster St. W. in Kitchener. The building was designed by W.H. Breithaupt in 1903, and was originally occupied by the Bridgeport Casino. Special Collections & Archives also holds the blueprints for the casino.

Journal of a party of pleasure to Paris in the month of August, 1802

Sir John Dean Paul (1775-1852) was an English Neo-Classical artist, specializing in bucolic scenes and horses. He became the first Baronet of Rodborough in 1821.

Gas masks for military and civilian use

In 1854, William Brown, Ashley Hibbard and George Bourn met in Montreal to start Brown, Hubbard, Bourn & Co., the first manufacturer of Caoutchouc (Indian rubber) footwear in Canada. Several mergers and acquisitions later, they became the Dominion Rubber Company in 1910, and in 1912 built the Dominion Tire factory in Berlin (now Kitchener) to meet the new demand for automobile tires.

New exhibit : 16 days of activism against gender violence

This year the Library is participating for the first time in 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, from November 25th (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to December 10th (International Human Rights Day).

Kitchener-Waterloo Survey 1944

In 1943, with the Second World War raging, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce began (rather optimistically) to plan for the coming peace, and they invited the Waterloo and Kitchener Boards of Trade to participate in an experimental fact-finding survey of Waterloo County (now Waterloo Region), to determine "economic facts about the past and present and the expectations of the future in their district".1

Anti-suffrage bud vase

Special Collections & Archives holds many items relating to the women's suffrage movement, many pro-suffrage, but also some anti-suffrage. Complementing our documentary collections, we also have a handful of artifacts, including this bud vase, currently in the Alice Riggs Hunt fonds.

Ontario College of Pharmacy junior examinations

In 1871, the Ontario Pharmacy Act was passed, establishing the Ontario College of Pharmacy.

Ghosts in Special Collections & Archives

Guest post by Heather MacDonald. Heather is currently on contract in Special Collections & Archives, transcribing material from the Maines Pincock family fonds.

Just in time for Hallowe'en, we bring you a post about the ghosts hiding in our Spiritualism and Theosophy collection! These spirits lurk in the séance transcripts and can be heard through the spirit trumpet, which make up part of the Maines Pincock family fonds.

Alexander McNeill

Special Collections & Archives is currently under way with a bold new plan to barcode all of our materials (as the main library did in 1977). This project will ultimately give us greater control over our holdings both in terms of space available for new collections and also in terms of allowing us to better track the use of our collections.

While this is exciting enough on its own, co-op student Eva Lau discovered some material in an archival box that had been uncatalogued.

H. Spencer Clark, first aid certificates

Herbert Spencer Clark, born and educated in Toronto, graduated from the University of Toronto School of Applied Sciences in 1924, and pursued an engineering career for several years, most notably with the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission in building the Queenston-Chippewa Power Station.

The mandibles of Sinanthropus pekinensis (Peking Man)

In 1923, the first specimen (a molar) of a new human ancestor was found in Zhoukoudian, near Beijing, China. Many more fossils were found in the area, and Canadian paleontologist Davidson Black named this new ancestor Sinanthropus pekinensis, "Peking Man" (after the city of Beijing, spelled Peking before the Pinyin romanization system was adopted. The city was also known as Beiping or Peiping from 1928 to 1949). Today Sinanthropus is considered to be an example of Homo erectus.

WS101, meet Alice Riggs Hunt

This week and last, our reading room has been a busy place, as 150 Women's Studies 101 students have flocked to the Archives to help transcribe Alice Riggs Hunt's notebooks and cards.

Walter Crane

Walter Crane (1845-1915) was an English artist and book illustrator, one of the most influential and prolific children's book creators of his generation. He was part of the Arts and Crafts movement, and produced a wide variety of materials, including a number of iconic images for the  Socialist League.

Co-op at Special Collections & Archives

Throughout the years, Special Collections and Archives has seen a large number of co-op students. This semester, it's me!

Women's Studies collections

For the past year Special Collections & Archives has been working to provide better access to our women’s studies collections through redescribing and digitizing the materials, as well as making our finding aids for these collections available online.

Dorothy White examinations

This week, we have a "back to school" theme with Dorothy White's exam papers from the 1910s.

Flow Through the Library

Special Collections & Archives also holds the University Archives. This gem is a library publication from 1982, showing the many steps involved in doing research before the Internet changed everything.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

150 years ago this year Lewis Carroll (the pen name of Charles Dodgson) published “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Having originally told the story to Alice Liddell and her sisters Lorina and Edith on a boat trip up the Isis, Carroll later wrote it down for Alice. Initially titled “Alice’s Adventures Underground,” the book has never been out of print since 1865 and is cherished as a beloved children’s story.

Welcome to the Special Collections & Archives blog!

Life's Garden, by Beatrice Post Candler

Astute readers will already know that Special Collections & Archives has been posting interesting images from the archives every week for #tbt (or sometimes #FlashbackFriday, if we forget) on the Library's Instagram page.

As we go about our work, we frequently come across interesting items that we would like to share with the community, but that are not so well suited to Instagram. And so we have created this blog!

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