The Great Water Tower Caper

In 1958, 3 students at the then-called Waterloo College Associate Faculties (now the University of Waterloo) climbed the water tower on Lester Street, and painted the word BEER on the side of the tank.

History 250 class visit to Special Collections & Archives

Special Collections & Archives is committed to student success and we support faculties and departments in class or in library instruction using our collections.  One example of this recently took place when we welcomed Professor Ian Milligan’s class (HIST 250) from the department of history to Special Collections & Archives.  The class was divided into 2 groups; one group visited us while the second attended a session led by the library’s history librarian Jane Forgay, about research strategies, tools, and library services.

Fore-edge paintings

A fore-edge painting is one done on the edges of a book's pages, so that the painting is only visible when the pages of the book are fanned.

Red Riding Hood

I hope everyone had lovely holidays! Down in Special Collections & Archives, we are all rested up, and are welcoming in 2016 by featuring a lovely shape book of stories and nursery rhymes, published by Ernest Nister in the 1890s.

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).


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Special Collections & Archives is pleased to offer limited in-person appointments for current Waterloo students, faculty, and post-doctoral fellows.

Although we remain closed to the public, staff have limited access to the archival and rare book collections. Please continue to contact us with your research requests but note that there will be a delay in resolving your inquiry.

We also invite you to visit the Waterloo Digital Library to view select items from our collections online.

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8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
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