University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library: Discovery and Early Development of Insulin collection

In Pictures: the Amazing Collection of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

A slideshow of rare and intriguing items from the library’s digital treasure trove.

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library’s extraordinary holdings include many items from world and Canadian literature, including a first edition of Newton’s Principia Mathematica (1687), the literary papers of Leonard Cohen and Sir Frederick Banting’s original experiment notes. Here is a peek at some rare and intriguing items from the library’s digitized treasure trove:

40x40
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library: Discovery and Early Development of Insulin collection
This letter, addressed simply to “the Dr. who cures diabetes,” made it to Frederick Banting at U of T all the way from Saskatchewan in 1922. From the Discovery and Early Development of Insulin collection.
40x40
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library: Papyri fragment collection
A scrap of 2,000-year-old Egyptian writing from the Papyri fragment collection. U of T acquired five boxes of fragments, dating from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD, in 1904. The pieces include marriage contracts, letters and tax receipts.
40x40
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library: Anatomia collection
This early (1854) example of a coloured print, by Nicolas Henri Jacob, shows the nerves in the head and neck. From the Anatomia collection: history of medicine illustrations from 1522 to 1867.
40x40
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library: Canadian Pamphlets and Broadside collection
Toronto’s official 1901 programme for a royal visit from the Duke of Cornwall and York, later George V. From the Canadian Pamphlets and Broadsides collection.
40x40
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library: Agnes Chamberlin collection
Asarum canadense l. (wild ginger) from the Agnes Chamberlin (1833–1913) collection of botanical paintings. The paintings are linked to Canadian literary tradition: they were published in Catharine Parr Trail’s book Canadian Wildflowers and Chamberlin herself was Susannah Moodie’s daughter.
40x40
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library: Wenceslaus Hollar collection
Born in 1607 and blind in one eye, Czech native Wencelaus Hollar grew up to become one of the most skilled etchers of 17th-century England, most famous for his depictions of London after the fire of 1666. This image from the library’s Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) collection shows a peasants’ dance.
40x40

All images courtesy Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Recent Posts

Photo of front campus field and Convocation Hall with flower emoji illustrations floating above

Clearing the Air

U of T wants to drastically cut carbon emissions by 2050. It’s enlisting on-campus ingenuity for help

Abstract illustration showing a red-coloured body and face, with small black and white pieces flowing from inside body out of the mouth, and the U.S. Capitol Building dangling on puppet strings from one hand

The Extremism Machine

Online disinformation poses a danger to society. Researchers at U of T’s Citizen Lab are tracking it – and trying to figure out how to stop it

Prof. Mark V. Campbell with a beige background and red lighting

Charting Hip Hop’s Course

Professor Mark V. Campbell grew up during the early years of rap music. Now, he is helping preserve Canadian hip-hop culture for future generations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *