Access and use of records

While we aim to support research by providing access to records, please note that some archival material is restricted.

University records: Most University records (‘A’ Accessions) are restricted and subject to review under the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). However, the Act does not apply to published information such as reports, newsletters, handbooks, and calendars. Additionally, unpublished theses, most photographs, moving image records, architectural drawings, and works of art are also open. For requesting material that is restricted under FIPPA, please visit the Requesting access page

Private records: Access is open to most private records (‘B’ Accessions). However, there may be restrictions according to the wishes of the donor. Further, personal health information (i.e. patient files) in medical practitioners’ B accessions are now subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Details of these restrictions are detailed in the Finding Aids.

Special media: Most special media records (ie. photographs, slides, architectural drawings and sound recordings) are open but some may be restricted for conservation reasons. Access to film and video is by appointment only. Please contact Special Media Archivist, Marnee Gamble.

Use of records

Archival records are unique and irreplaceable and therefore must be handled with care.

  • Gloves are provided for when handling photographs, drawings, and other fragile records.
  • Only pencils can be used for note taking. These are made readily available at the reference desk.
  • Food and drinks are not permitted in the Reading Room.
  • Laptops and other portable computers are permitted provided they are not placed in physical contact with archival materials.
  • The use of a digital camera or camera enabled device (e.g., tablet or smart phone) is allowed at the discretion of Archives staff and in accordance with the following guidelines:
    • Photographs must be for the purpose of research or private study only.
    • Researchers must complete a Request for Reproduction form.
    • The use of flash or personal scanners is prohibited.
    • Material must be handled properly and with care.
    • Photographing staff or other researchers is prohibited.
    • Researchers are responsible for keeping complete citations for all material photographed.
      Archives staff reserve the right to deny or revoke permission to use digital cameras at any time.