Research tools

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Discover Archives is a shared search portal for exploring descriptions of archival holdings at the University of Toronto and its federated colleges. The project is currently in its early phases, and participating libraries and archives will be uploading their archival descriptions throughout 2018. Discover Archives contains descriptions of material related to the University of Toronto's history, records from private individuals, families, businesses, and organizations.


Collections listing

These are alphabetical listings of all the collections held in the University Archives, sorted alphabetically by the name of the creator or the creating offices.

  • University records - materials that documents the day-to-day operations of the University of Toronto and the work of administrators, staff, and students in the various academic divisions of the university.
  • Private Records - records of individuals and groups affiliated with the U of T, including faculty, alumni and student organizations. These papers document teaching, research, learning and extracurricular activities of the university’s prominent members and groups.

Digitized Publications and Archival Records

A number of our most commonly used university publications and some archival collections have been digitized and can be accessed online.

  • Calendars
    • Useful for course information, lists of professors, and some early calendars also include lists of enrolled students
  • Newspapers
    • Useful for campus events, student life, and gathering broader contextual information on a topic
  • Yearbooks
    • Useful for photographs of graduates and student activities
  • Annual Reports
    • Useful for Departmental reports documenting the academic activities of professors
  • Board of Governors collection
    • Useful for early university governance reports and records

How to read and search digitized items on the Internet Archive
Image showing instructions on how to read and search digitized items available on the Internet Archive


University of Toronto Libraries catalogue

The Archives holds an extensive collection of university publications such as yearbooks, calendars, annual reports, newsletters, departmental handbooks and student newspapers.

The Archives also holds Masters theses from 1897 to 1989 and Doctoral theses from 1900 to 1985.
NOTE: Most theses are held off-site and require 2-3 business days to retrieve.
Please contact us ahead of your visit to arrange for the theses' retrieval.

Advanced Search example


Reading Room Finding Aids

When you visit, we will be happy to give you an overview of various types of finding aids available in our reading room from card indexes and file lists to accession and fonds level inventories. There are also guides to some of our media records including oral histories, architectural drawings and maps, photographic images and sound and moving image records. While some of these are not up to date, they provide a good overview of the types of records found in these collections.


In–House databases

We have several in-house searchable databases that can help in your research. These tools are available to reference staff only but are often searched on your behalf. They can be more specifically searched for university and private records, photographs, university serials and newspapers as well as film and video.