Singing the Toronto Subway Song

Compliation of sheet music with the cover image of subway construction on top with the title "the toronto subway song" and the lyrics "in a little while, weèll be riding the new subway"

Mel Hamill composed The Toronto Subway Song in 1950 during the construction of the city’s first subway.

In less than a week, travel to the university will reach rocket speeds with the opening of two subway stations on campus.

While the commute nowadays may be described as rough, try and think back to the opening of Keele Campus in 1965 when the Bloor-Danforth line was still under construction. In fact, back then, the subway climbed no further north than St. George and Eglinton stations!

The commute to York University sure has changed over the years.

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Our Top 5 Responses from #AskAnArchivist Day

Ranging from silly in nature to serious, hundreds of questions descended upon archival professionals during #AskAnArchivist Day on 4 October 2017. By participating through Twitter, our responses went beyond campus boundaries to engage with fellow archivists and the broader community.

Image shows highlights text "# Ask An Archivist Day October 4" with speech bubbles surrounding it asking questions such as "what do archivists do?"

These five tweets were our favourites that helped reach an audience fourteen times the size of our followers with a total of nearly 7,000 impressions!

1. If you could express your work as an archivist in a GIF, what would the GIF be?

Most people think archivists are always alone with the archives, but the reality is that I’ve spent the majority of my time juggling reference requests with arrangement and description. Learn more about what we do in the “Archives Awareness Week: a week in the life of the archives” post. Continue reading

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World Ballet Day : Behind-the-scenes photographs of the National Ballet of Canada

Lawson documented 25 years of CBC production

With World Ballet Day falling on a Thursday, it’s the perfect opportunity to highlight “Throwback Thursday” photographs of the National Ballet of Canada. The fonds of Robert Lawson, a Canadian Broadcasting Company production designer in the 1950s and 1960s, is an invaluable collection of over 11,000 photographs documenting the early days of Canadian arts on television.

Image of a box with the label Robert Lawson surrounded by slides in plastic sheets.

Slides from CBC filming of the National Ballet of Canada’s Giselle in 1975.

His passion for photography and habit of photographing productions led to many candid shots of artists on set. Lawson first designed for variety shows, but attracted particular recognition for his work in opera, ballet, operetta and plays, working closely with Norman Campbell during the heydey of live television performances at the CBC. Continue reading

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Celebrating Jean Augustine, Education, Community & Diaspora

On Sunday, 9 September 2017, Hundreds of guests came to celebrate Augustine’s eight decades of accomplishments (many of which are recorded in her fonds!). During her birthday speech, Jean Augustine shared her pride in preserving her records at York University Libraries.

We could hardly contain our excitement when she listed the full extent of her fonds: 13.4 m of textual records; ca. 16,000 photographs; ca. 10,000 negatives; ca. 60 compact disks; ca. 15 computer disks; ca. 400 paintings and prints; ca. 670 objects : buttons, flags, cups, etc.; 238 videocassettes; and 41 audio cassettes.

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Caribana’s Golden Anniversary: An archival research guide

Image of an opened file folder with three documents, two yellow, on Caribana.

Caribana records from 1984 in the Jean Augustine fonds. 2007-022/005(6)

Fifty years of celebrating Caribbean culture, playing mas, and dancing to the beat of the steel pan are preserved in archival records across Ontario. Over the years, the cultural event has grown from a community’s centenary gift to Canada to North America’s largest cultural event!

As gifting gold is a tradition for fiftieth-anniversaries, our gift to celebrate five decades of festivities is an archival guide on the nuggets of information preserved in Caribana’s documentary evidence. Insights within these records hold a wealth of information that provides an opportunity to interpret and analyse Caribana’s historical, sociopolitical, and cultural narrative. Continue reading

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Out of the Box : Summer 2017 : Mariposa Folk Festival, Joyce Wieland & Destination Canada

The Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections (CTASC) escape the reading room and reach out to the wider public through the work of its researchers and partnerships. Over the summer, archival holdings play a starring role in a book on the Mariposa Folk Festival, in addition to an installation featuring Joyce Wieland and an exhibition titled Destination Canada. Continue reading

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