Library Acquires Architectural Library of William Dendy

Tuesday, March 1, 1994

Library Newsletter, Vol. 25, No. 1, March 1994

Library Acquires Architectural Library of William Dendy

William DendyA 1991 photo of William Dendy with books from his library. Photo: Roger Hallett, Globe and Mail

The University of Waterloo is pleased to announce the gift of the papers and private library of architectural historian William Dendy (1948-1993). Dendy is perhaps best known for his award-winning works Lost Toronto, 1976 and more recently Toronto Observed, 1986. In addition to writing and publishing, Dendy taught at both the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo and was for some years the architectural historian for the Toronto Historical Board.

Dendy was described as "one of Canada's most knowledgeable and committed architectural scholars," and the recently bequeathed collection represents all facets of his career of research and writing. Included in the gift are over 3,500 books, 2,500 issues of architectural and related periodicals, as well as framed prints, photographs, and posters reflecting Dendy's interests. Among the original and archival materials are over 38,000 slides taken by Dendy representing architecturally important structures and features. Perhaps the most important for scholars are the over 17,000 images of Canadian architecture, urban space, and landscapes. Documenting communities and locales ranging from small communities to a detailed series depicting Toronto structures both past and present the collection represents virtually a complete document of architecture in this country.

Among the most valuable of the original materials are computer disks representing the meticulous and detailed research files which Dendy was preparing prior to his death early in 1993. Focusing in part on the Forest Hill area of Toronto, Dendy's research plan was to prepare a detailed study of domestic architecture in this long established and varied Toronto neighbourhood.

The Library has prepared a detailed census of the slide collection and during 1994 will catalogue the remaining books, periodicals, and other archival materials.

For additional details contact Special Collections & Archives.

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