Pens, Pencils, and Markers: Drawing Canada with Allan Robb Fleming (1929-1977)

Post by Christopher Long, Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections Co-Op Student

What makes a logo iconic? What is it about a particular shape or image which instantly makes you think of a time or a place, an experience, or even an entire country?

A man with glasses and a tie leaning over a table covered in papers with a lamp

Allan Robb Fleming sitting at a drafting table holding some papers. ASC04740

Allan Robb Fleming seemed to have known the answer. Within a few decades of working at the mail order catalogue illustration department of the T. Eaton Company, he built a career on creating some of the most memorable designs in Canadian history including logos for the Canadian National Railway, CBC, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

As we begin to celebrate Canada’s 150th, let’s take a moment to look at the life and work of one of its great graphic designers – Allan Fleming – an artist who undoubtedly left his mark on Canada. Continue reading

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Going for Gold: The records of Arnold Hoffman

Post by Christopher Long, Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections Co-Op Student
Picture of Arnold Hoffman from ankles up, wearing a hate and jacket, stnading infront of a metal building and sign above him.

File 2014-021/004(1)

Arnold Hoffman was a geologist, prospector, and New York stockholder who became associated with gold mining in Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

Reports, maps, correspondence, geological studies, and photographs from his fonds provide an opportunity to dig into the history of Canadian gold and natural resource development in the first half of the twentieth century, particularly its development before and after World War II. Continue reading

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Passing of Lois Lilienstein (1936-2015)

Guest post by Stacy Allison-Cassin, W.P. Scott Chair in E-Librarianship

Photograph of Lois Lilienstein performing at Mariposa Folk Festival, surrounded by children.

Lois Lilienstein performing at the Mariposa Folk Festival, 1975.
Mariposa Folk Foundation F0511, ASC05869.

It was with great sadness I heard of the passing of Lois Lilienstein yesterday. Like so many Canadian children growing up in the 1980s the music of Sharon, Lois and Bram were in heavy rotation. My sister and I had a record player, as did several of our friends and we were quite proficient at changing the records. We always played their records and later watched “The Elephant Show”. I owe my knowledge of a number of folk and children’s songs to Sharon, Lois and Bram. I have now had the pleasure of sharing their music with my own children and have enjoyed singing and dancing to their music as an adult. Their music is just as engaging as it was over thirty years ago.

Continue reading

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Exhibit: Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Advertisement for exhibit "Canadian Soldiers of the First World WarExhibit: Canadian Soldiers of the First World War
Author and curator: Ryan Targa
Location: Scott Library, Second Floor Atrium
13 April 2015 – 1 May 2015

The years between 2014 and 2018 mark the 100th year anniversary of the First World War. During this conflict the Great Powers of Europe contested one another for total supremacy, bringing with them people from the corners of the world. As a dominion of the British Empire, Canada was politically tied to the fate of Europe, thereby compelling the young country of 47 years to muster its forces and jump into the fray. By the end of the First World War, the Canadian Expeditionary Force had grown to approximately 620,000 personnel from an estimated population of 8,000,000 (though not all those who joined did so voluntarily). Continue reading

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Archives Awareness Week : a week in the life of the archives

One of the most reliable aspects of working in a university archives is that no two days are the same.  Every day one can expect surprises, an unexpected challenge or a serendipitous connection that can send an archivist (or a researcher) down a rabbit hole of discovery.

Page 14 and print from Alice’s adventures in Wonderland / by Lewis Carroll, with illustrations by Salvador Dali. – New York : Maecenas Press, 1969.

Page 14 and print from Alice’s adventures in Wonderland / by Lewis Carroll, with illustrations by Salvador Dali. – New York : Maecenas Press, 1969.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that one of the most popular items in the Special Collections is our edition of Alice in Wonderland! 

To mark Archives Awareness Week, here’s a summary of some of our department’s activities over the course of a work week. Typically, archival institutions like the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections perform several key activities: we acquire and accession donations or transfers of records; we appraise such donations for permanent retention (or facilitate such activities at arms-length); we arrange and describe our holdings; we preserve and ensure the security of our holdings and we facilitate access and use of our holdings through our public reading room, teaching, curriculum integration and promotional activities. Continue reading

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Remembrance Day exhibit

In honour of Remembrance Day, the archives has installed an exhibit of letters written by servicemen and women during the First and Second World Wars.  A complement to the online exhibit Letters Home, patrons can browse the physical exhibit material now on display on the second and third floors of the Scott Library. Continue reading

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