Consulting Our Rare Book Collections

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Locating Titles from Our Rare Book Collections

The titles in our rare book collections are described in the library catalogue. Once you have identified the item you would like to request, navigate to “Special Collections Access—Victoria” in the catalogue listing. 

You will be redirected to Special Collections Accessa library account designated for this purpose, where you can request the material(s) and request an appointment to consult them in-person.

Please consult our detailed guide if you need assistance with creating an account and booking an appointment.

Booking an Appointment

Rare books do not circulate and can only be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room on the main floor of the Library. The opening hours are 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

Researchers are required to submit their requests for the titles from our rare book collections and book their appointments in advance through Special Collections Access, a library account designated for this purpose.

Each request is limited to one title. If you would like to consult more than one book (or titles from more than one collection) during your appointment, you will need to submit a separate request for each book.

Materials are available for consultation only after you receive an email confirming your appointment. Researchers are provided with one book at a time during their visit.

Same-Day Appointments

If you are in need of same-day access to a rare book, please first call the library at 416-585-4470 or visit us in-person to determine if an appointment is available.

If an appointment is available, our staff will direct you to submit a request for a title and book an appointment through Special Collections Access by either 10:30 am or 2:30 pm on the day of your visit

Once you have submitted your request and booked your appointment, please call the library at 416-585-4470 or visit us in-person to modify your appointment time to the same day.

Retrievals of the titles from the rare book collections occur twice a day, at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, from Monday to Friday only. The materials will only be ready for you once you have received an email confirming your appointment.

Preparing for Your Visit
& Wireless Access for Visiting Researchers

Prior to your appointment, please review the procedures and policies associated with registering as a researcher, handling rare books, and conducting your research, which are outlined in Planning Your Visit.

External researchers who are not affiliated with the University of Toronto can access the Internet by connecting to eduroam, a roaming wi-fi service for users in research and higher education. It provides secure network access when visiting a university other than your own, using your login from your home institution.

Researchers are required to set up their credentials at their home institution prior to visiting the Library to access eduroam at the University of Toronto. Alternatively, visiting researchers can request temporary access to eduroam by using their mobile device.

Other Bibliographic Tools

Researchers may find it useful to consult the various guides available for exploring our collections. These guides offer descriptive and analytical catalogues, checklists, and other bibliographic tools that aid in identifying pertinent materials in the collections associated with William BlakeSamuel T. ColeridgeCanadiana, and John Maclean.

Last updated: April 18, 2024