Toronto Libraries

The University of Toronto has unparalleled library resources relating to all aspects of the history and cultural expression of the Middle Ages; no other North American university matches Toronto for its concentration and depth of resources in this area. The university houses over fifty libraries, the most significant of which for Medieval Studies students are listed below.

Pontifical Institute of Mediæval Studies

Chief among the resources to which the CMS has access is the Library of the Pontifical Institute of Mediæval Studies, one of the world’s richest and most renowned collections (non-circulating) of texts, monographs, cartularies, papal and royal documents, court rolls, periodicals, reference works, slides, microfilms and microfiches, photographs, and facsimiles, as well as original manuscripts and incunabula pertaining not only to the Middle Ages but to Late Antiquity and the Renaissance and Reformation. At present, the Institute library is the repository of approximately 120,000 books, 10,000 microfilms of medieval and ancient manuscripts, and a large number of Latin manuscripts and rare early printed editions. The PIMS Library is located on the top floor of the Kelly Library at St Michael’s College.

John P. Robarts Research Library

Canada’s largest university library, Robarts Library is the University of Toronto’s primary humanities and social sciences library. The library contains more than 4.8 million books, with a circulating and reference collection. Many guides are issued in both paper and electronic forms, e.g., the searchable guide to microform materials. Tours of the library are given.

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

The Fisher Library, attached to Robarts, houses the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections with approximately 700,000 books, manuscripts, and other materials; and the University of Toronto Archives, which holds the official records of the University. The collections of the Fisher Library are non-circulating. Chronologically, the range of the collections is from a 1789 B.C. Babylonian cuneiform tablet from Ur to original drafts and printed works of contemporary Canadian writers. The special collections and subject areas are Art and Architecture; Canadiana; English Literature; European Literature; History and Arts of the Book; History of Medicine; History of Science; History, Politics and Economics; Maps; Manuscripts; Philosophy; Theatre History; Theology and Religion.

Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies

The CRRS Library, on the top floor of the E.J. Pratt Library at Victoria University, is a special collection (non-circulating) on Erasmus and Humanism, the Reformation, and history and literature of the period from 1350 to 1650.

Gerstein Science Information Centre

Gerstein houses circulating and reference collections in the fields of medicine and science.