Category Archives: Libraries

UC’s Laidlaw Wing turns 50!

The Laidlaw Wing of University College was officially opened 50 years ago, on October 5, 1964. A Globe and Mail article the next day (“LePan installed as Principal of College”) includes a photo with the caption “Officially opened yesterday, Laidlaw Library, which closes quadrangle of University College.”

The 1965 issue of the University College Bulletin features a description of “The New Wing,” with some nice photos of the Library and the Refectory (in the basement). Here’s an excerpt about the Library (which at that time occupied two floors) — note the mention of the latest 1960s library technology!

“The main and upper floors house the Laidlaw Library, planned to meet the needs of First and Second Year undergraduates in the College. A controlled-access book collection, which will ultimately comprise 40,000 volumes, and a reference room with a capacity of 4,000 volumes cover the main floor. The upper floor is designed as reading room space.  The central area contains both large tables and individual desks. There are also  a number of small reading-rooms for informal group study; these will accommodate typewriters, record-players, and microfilm readers. […]”  Here is a link to the whole article, scanned from the UC Bulletin, 1965, pages, 33 to 37:


Richard Landon

Such sad news that Richard Landon, the amazing Director of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, passed away yesterday.  To quote Larry Alford (Chief Librarian of UofT), “his work to build in Fisher one of the world’s greatest rare book libraries is a legacy that will endure for generations to come.”  I also have fond memories of taking his course on rare book librarianship, many years ago.

New ways to search the catalogue

The library catalogue now allows you to search in more ways, e.g. by journal title or by publisher.  E.g., I just did a search for  books published by Key Porter, the Canadian publisher which, sadly, shut down last week:

Queer CanLit

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library has an exhibition running until August 29th which I highly recommend: “Queer CanLit: Canadian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Literature in English.” At yesterday’s reception to celebrate the exhibition, three of the featured authors read from their work: Shyam Selvadurai, Shani Mootoo, and Wayson Choy. The exhibition is co-sponsored by U.C.’s Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies and curated by Maureen FitzGerald, Don McLeod, and Scott Rayter.

Renovations coming at Robarts

Robarts Library is going to get a much needed renovation, including a lot more study space. It was announced today that the Ontario government will be contributing $15 million for this project.