W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections Update

Post Date:
Dec 19, 2016

This year was incredibly busy and exciting for us in W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections. We have renovated our space, acquired wonderful works for our collections, and recently unveiled the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection. Our latest exhibit aims to introduce you to the highlights and breadth of this collection. You can see it person until February 28th or view the collection online. But equally exciting for us has been our collaboration with faculty and interactions with students.

In 2016, we held 23 instruction sessions; more than half of those sessions occurred in the fall term. We had 573 undergraduate and graduate students visit us from eight different departments: Art Conservation, Art History, English, French, History, Medicine, Music, Urban and Regional Planning. Thank you to our faculty partners from across these departments—your courses and students inspire us to learn more about our collections with each visit.

From early Canadiana to Renaissance magic, the courses made full use of the breadth of our collections. Materials from Chinese Cultural Revolution posters, prison newsletters, Romantic British novels, and Dickens collection were used by students to complete follow up assignments. Additionally, students viewed items from our map collection, dated collection, and the Robertson Davies collection. Students in the Art Conservation program are working especially with the tinsel prints from the Robertson Davies collection. You may view this collection online thanks to our Art History intern, Ally Zmijowskj.

We have a tie for most popular item in special collections this year: our 1555 edition of Andreas Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica and our recently acquired collection of 10 medieval manuscript leaves. Vesalius’s work appeared in Jackie Duffin’s history of medicine class for new medical students and in Stephanie Dickey’s Art History course, Print Making in Early Modern Europe. Students in Margaret Walker’s Methods of Musicology, Gwynn Dujardin’s Renaissance Prose and Poetry, and Leslie Richie’s graduate English Professional Skills and Pedagogy courses were the first to make use of our medieval manuscript leaves.

Collaborating with our faculty to introduce students to primary research is one of our favourite parts of working at W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections. Thank you to all who brought your students in this year and we are thrilled that several people have begun to book sessions for next year. We already have four classes scheduled for the first two weeks of the New Year!

If you would like to bring your class to Rare Books and Special Collections, contact us through our online form! For more on our instruction program review our Teaching with Special Collections page! We hope to work with you soon!


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