Robertson Davies Library, Massey College

Integral to the goals of Massey College in fostering a congenial intellectual environment and a forum for communication among its members and a broader society, both academic and beyond, the Mission of the Robertson Davies Library is to provide collections, facilities and a welcoming space for study, learning, research and the exchange of knowledge and ideas for members of the Massey College community, students and faculty in the University of Toronto’s Collaborative Program in Book History and Print Culture (BHPC), and interested researchers from both within and outside of the University of Toronto.

The mandate of the Robertson Davies Library is to support this Mission through the following goals:

To advance the discipline of book history by stimulating and encouraging research, collaborating with colleagues in other specialized collections, supporting teaching programs by means of demonstrations and exhibitions and supervising graduate students engaged in practicum projects
To acquire through purchase and donation, develop, preserve, organize and provide access to specialized collections in the art and history of the book, printing, graphic processes of illustration, typography, letterforms, bookbinding, fine printing and graphic elements of design, with a particular focus on unique primary and secondary resources not acquired by the main U.of T. Library system and other campus libraries and those that support research and teaching in the material aspects of a book’s archeology and construction
To provide exhibit space that showcases and fosters interest in the library’s collections, and for Massey Fellows and students in BHPC to mount small exhibitions that allow them to learn more about the library’s collections and gain hands-on experience in handling, describing and exhibiting rare books
To occasionally supervise and mentor second-year graduate students through the Faculty of Information, iSchool’s course “Information Professional Practicum” or “Management of Corporate and Other Special Information Centres” to provide hands-on experience and an opportunity to develop professional competencies in managing rare book collections
To provide short one-on-one training sessions to researchers and members of the Massey community in the use of different computer applications and digital resources within the University of Toronto Library system and the Internet
To maintain, preserve and operate a working collection of nineteenth-century printing presses complemented with a wide range of wood type, metal type, ornaments, and examples of wood blocks, lithographic stones, copper plates, steel plates, stereotype blocks and other printing equipment that serves to illustrate, demonstrate and teach the history of printing technology, typography, book illustration and construction
To keep an open and working room with the presses operated by a skilled printer/craftsman who will create special keepsakes for College events and develop fund raising initiatives in support of the shop’s continuing operation
To apprentice yearly to the College Printer, through application, one student from the Book History and Print Culture Collaborative Program and one from the Massey Junior Fellowship in order to pass on and preserve skills in letterpress printing and the proper operation and care of the presses, to involve BHPC students in teaching with the presses, and to involve the Massey Fellowship in their potential use and preservation
To provide hands-on demonstrations on the printing presses for students in collaborating departments within the BHPC Program and others within the University of Toronto in support of graduate courses such as “Analytical and Historical Bibliography,” “Rare Books and Manuscripts,” “History of Books and Printing,” “Texts, Theories, and Archives,” “Introduction to Book History” and “Book History in Practice”
To provide hands-on demonstrations on the printing presses for students in undergraduate courses in the University of St. Michael’s College Book & Media Studies Program such as “Elements of Material Bibliography and Print Culture”, “The Newspaper in Canadian Society” and “Media Revolutions: Elements of Typography”
To offer fee-based printing demonstrations for programs and groups outside of the University including typography and design programs at colleges within and beyond the Toronto area
To provide quiet space for reading, research, studying or writing with a connection to the University of Toronto campus wireless network to access the Internet and all electronic resources and databases available through U.of T. Libraries and beyond
To provide at least two computer workstations with Internet access only for the use of visiting researchers and Massey Fellows
To provide office space for the administration of the Book History and Print Culture Collaborative Program, for the Director of the program and teaching faculty to meet with students, and as a base for teaching core courses in the program out of the Colin Friesen Room at Massey College
To maintain a collection of general interest newspapers and periodicals in the Junior Common Room and upper library for use of the Massey community
To house, preserve and maintain a small general reference collection in the lower library, a large general interest collection in the upper library and a small collection of religious titles in St. Catherine’s Chapel
To accept, preserve, organize and provide access to donations, when offered, from Pendragon Ink of translations of Robertson Davies’ published works
To act as general consultant in accepting, housing and preserving material in and for the Massey College Archives
To act as liaison in response to requests for access to and permission to publish from the Vincent Massey papers held in the University of Toronto Archives