The Institute Library, which opened in 1929 with a mere 3,000 titles donated by St Michael’s College, today has holdings of about 150,000 volumes whose lustre is enhanced and complemented by specialized collections of 9,000 reels of microfilm and 60,000 slides.
Location and Access
The Institute Council alone exercises control and authority over Library policies and use. Access to the library is normally granted to those professors and graduate students of the University of Toronto who need to consult unique copies or materials not otherwise accessible. Every reasonable opportunity to use the library is also given to visiting scholars, particularly Guests of the Institute.
Please note the following schedule. While every effort is made to keep information current, patrons are requested to confirm opening hours and any other matters relating to access or to the collections directly with the library staff (see below).
- Summer hours (28 April 2018 – 9 September 2018):
- Mon–Thursday: 9:30–4:45
- Friday: 9:30–4:30
- Sat–Sun: closed
- Annual Summer Closure: Monday August 13 – Friday August 17, 2018
- Winter hours (10 September 2018 – 28 April 2019):
- Mon–Thurs: 9:30–7:00
- Friday: 9:30–5:00
- Saturday: 12:00–5:00
- Sunday: closed
- Holiday closings:
- Thanksgiving Day: Monday, October 8, 2018
- Christmas/New Year: Saturday, December 22, 2018 to Sunday, January 6, 2019 inclusive
- Family Day: Monday, February 18, 2019
- Good Friday: Friday, April 19, 2019
- Victoria Day: Monday, May 20, 2019
- Canada Day: Monday, July 1, 2019
- Civic Holiday: Monday, August 5, 2019
- Labour Day: Monday, September 2, 2019
For questions regarding policy and acquisitions, please contact the Librarian, Dr Greti Dinkova-Bruun. To consult rare books and manuscripts, please contact James K. Farge, CSB, Curator of the Rare Book Room, at 416 926 7283. To consult the collections, and for general information, please write to Michael Sloan or telephone 416 926 7146. Reference questions should be directed to William Edwards at 416 926 1300, ext 3423.
Policies and Regulations
The Library is owned and operated by the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, which alone exercises authority over its policies and use. It functions as a research library.
Admission to the Library is by a PIMS Library pass, valid for one year, signed by the Librarian. An up-to-date Registration Form must be on file for every pass holder and occasional user. The user's signature on the pass signifies agreement to abide by the regulations. PIMS Library Passes are normally limited to the following:
- Fellows, Associates, Guests, and Staff of the Pontifical Institute.
- Professors and Graduate Students in the Centre for Medieval Studies or other Departments of the University of Toronto who are working in medieval studies.
- Undergraduate Students Majoring in Medieval Studies at St Michael's College.
- Visiting Professors and Graduate Students from other universities working in medieval studies. Please provide reference on university letterhead.
- Private scholars working in medieval studies.
- Others needing materials held uniquely in this library may be given access for the day.
The Library Pass must be shown to the door monitor upon entry. Please sign the register. Although access is gratis, salaried card holders are urged to help support the Library by becoming members of the Friends of the Library.
- Library materials do not circulate.
- Only materials for research (notes, paper, laptops or writing materials) may be brought into the Library. All other materials (such as briefcases, large purses, bags, and books from St Michael's College Library that have not been checked out) are to be consigned to the lockers provided.
- Sixty personal lockers inside the library are available for an annual fee ($5.00) and a key-return fee ($15.00). They are suitable for purses, laptops, notes, and microfilms.
- When photocopying, please avoid pressing on the book spine. Books likely to be photocopied by multiple users in a course should be copied one time only, and that master copied provided for re-copying by others.
- For reasons of conservation, Folio and Oversize books MAY NOT BE PHOTOCOPIED. The latter should be consulted on the reading stands.
- Bound journals and books in the Reference and Palaeography Rooms should be returned to the shelves daily by the user. All other books should be returned daily to the re-shelving trolley at the entrance to the stacks.
- Please exit the Library for conversations. Please do not engage the door monitor in conversation.
- No food, drink, or use of cell phones is permitted in the Library.
- Notices posted on the bulletin boards are subject to the approval of the Librarian.
- Refusal or failure to observe these regulations may result in loss of library access.
Catalogues and Facilities
The entire collection is non-circulating. For a description of its resources, see A Conspectus of the Collections. The library maintains separate catalogues for its holdings of printed books, microfilms, and many of its slides. Its catalogue of printed books is now searchable through the University of Toronto's computerized Library Catalogue but the shelf-list of manuscripts on microfilm, the microfiches of the Vatican Palatine Collection of early printed books, and journal holdings have not been entered into the on-line catalogue.
In addition to the principal collections of sources indispensable to any research on the Middle Ages (such as the Patrologia Graeca, Patrologia Latina, the Corpus Christianorum in its various series, the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, the volumes of the Acta Sanctorum) and major reference works (such as the Pauly-Wissowa and Der neue Pauly, the Italia Sacra, and the Gallia Christiana), patrons also have access to CD–ROM databases of the Corpus Christianorum series (CETEDOC), the Catalogue of Latin Incipits, and Thomas Aquinas’ Opera omnia (for further details, see A Conspectus of the Collections). The Institute library contains seminar rooms, six individual offices (wired for network access), open study carrels, microfilm readers, a microfilm digital reader-printer with greyscale capabilities for enhancing images, as well as computing and photocopying facilities.
The Library now provides full-colour scanning service of most of its collection. This requires that scans be sent to the patron’s email address as an electronic copy (JPG/TIFF/PDF). We aim to have the electronic copy sent within 24 hours of request (with the exception of weekends and holidays). The cost for this service is $0.25/page. Requests must be made in person as payment is required prior to the scanning. Further details and the scanning request form are available.
Report from the Librarian, 2012–2014
During the period July 2012–June 2014, the Library has acquired about 6,500 new volumes (3,000 purchased by the library and 3,500 donated). Among these new arrivals 145 were volumes of new periodicals which were added to the collection: Sciamus, Crusades, Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies, Studia Graeco-Arabica, Medieval Low Countries, Textile History, Agricultural Historical Review, and Centre Européen d’Études Bourguignonnes. In addition, the Library purchased a facsimile of the Macclesfield Psalter prepared in 2008 by Dr. Stella Panayotova who was our Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the winter term of 2013. Other notable purchases include: a facsimile of Ms. Lat. II, 60 from Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice, written in 1482 and known as Sant’ Agostino Estense; 30 new fascicles of Patrologia Orientalis which were missing from our holdings; 37 volumes of the nature and science series Micrologus Library; and 50 volumes of the very valuable publication Notices et Extraits des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque nationale et autres bibliothèques.
We estimate that we have about 155,500 items (not counting about 60,000 colour slides). Printed books amount to about 105,500 titles; books on microfiche or microfilm 20,000; rare books ca. 2,400 (39 incunabula); 25 manuscripts; 50 single manuscript pages; ca. 200 parchment documents; 9,300 manuscripts on microfilm; and about 1,500 CD-ROMs and DVDs. The Library collection comprises as many as 440 scholarly journals in 10 different languages. We currently subscribe to 180 journals, of which 90 represent the only Toronto holdings. We also hold over 6,700 offprints of scholarly articles and pamphlets and contribute to the Central Library’s purchases of on-line resources that are made available to everyone in the U of T system.
During the past two years (until the end of April 2014) we had 1109 registered readers, a slight decrease of 6% from the last report period. Most of them (947) were Canadians from 6 different provinces and 34 different academic institutions. From the USA 63 users came from at least 22 different states and 25 different universities. Eighty-eight patrons from overseas used the Library, of which 27 were from England. On the average we serve 20-25 patrons each day. We provided access to 250 microfilms / microfiches and CD-ROMS; and around 200 items from the Joseph Pope Rare Book Room were given to consultation. We received 385 requests for Inter-Library Loans; of them 86 could be filled by providing photocopies of the requested materials. The revenue generated from this activity was used for new acquisitions. Father Farge and the Librarian gave many tours of the Library to individuals, classes, and other academic and professional organizations. Finally, a number of the PIMS facsimiles were displayed on the first floor of the Kelly Library in the spring of 2013.
We are grateful to the Janet E. Hutchison Foundation, James Estes, Maruja Jackman, Father Edward Jackman, and George Rigg for their generous contributions to our acquisitions funds and special projects. As always we are very grateful to the Friends of the Library (FOTL) for their numerous initiatives and continuous support. We would like to express our thanks to everybody who have donated money for the Library through FOTL.
The value of the gifts in kind (i.e. books, microfilms and drawings) to the Library amounted to nearly $360,000 over the years covered by this report. We received particularly large numbers of books from the libraries of Vladimir Purghast, Gerald Guest, James Carley and Ann Hutchison. The books of the late John Munro and the microfilms of the late Andrew Hughes enriched significantly our holdings in the fields of medieval economic history and medieval musicology. Smaller donations of books were received from Mary Baldwin, Sheila Campbell, Natalie Zemon Davis, Father Martin Dimnik, Penelope Doob, Tina Marshall, Patricia Vicari, and the ITER project at the Robarts Library. Microfilms of medieval manuscripts were received from the collections of Christopher M. Crowder (50 reels) and Brian Merrilees (25 reels).
Other gifts in kind (primarily books) or donations for journal adoptions came from Alexander André, Elma Brenner, Jacqueline Brown, Sheila Campbell, James Carley, Rose Chaplan, Ainoa Castro-Correa, Marc Cels, Christine Christ-von Wedel, Adele Crowder, Eugenijus and Judita Cuplinskas, Indré Cuplinskas, Greti Dinkova-Bruun, Andrew Dunning, William Edwards, Claude Evans, Father James Farge, Joe Goering, Edgar Graves, James Hankins, Michael Herren, Stephan Herzberg, Françoise Hildesheimer, Doug Hutchinson, Ann Hutchison, Maruja Jackman, Edouard Jeauneau, Peter Konieczny, Christine Kralik, Eva-Marie Letzter, John Magee, Father James McConica, Christopher McDonough, Linda Marshall, Rasa Mazeika, Brian Merrilees, Michèle Mulchahey, E. M. Orsten, Stella Panayotova, Mary Martha Parrott, Martin Pickavé, Heather Darling Pigat, Olga Pugliese, Erika Rummel, Arthur Smith, Alain Stoclet, Brain Stock, William Stoneman, Ron Thomson, John Turner, Terry Wade, and Jill Webster. Our apologies to any donors whose names we have failed to record.
We wish to acknowledge the work of our staff, Michael Sloan and William Edwards, and to Michael Bramah of the Kelly library for his assistance.
GRETI DINKOVA-BRUUN, Librarian (2012–)
JAMES K. FARGE, CSB, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections (2012–)