Know How

The blog of the Great Library


Leave a comment

“If Jarvis had not shot him, he might have shot Jarvis”: The Duel at Yonge & College

When you systematically go through a large collection such as our rare book collection, occasionally book titles will catch our eye and leave us wanting to know more. One such title that caught our attention was the Jarvis-Ridout Duel. Upon further inspection, it turns out this “book” is actually a collection of pamphlets, three of which deal with the aftermath of a fatal duel.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

The Great Library’s Oldest Book

Every once in a while we get tired of writing posts about legal research, new books and websites, and other serious stuff, so we look for something fun to write about. This involves a different kind of research and, even more fun, getting to go down a rabbit hole. Each fact that is uncovered raises a potential new research path and rabbit hole until finally the brain shouts “Enough, stop!” This week’s rabbit hole is about the library’s oldest book.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Airing Out the Rare Books

As a library, we often highlight the shiny new books we acquire and neglect those books that have been here for years, perhaps even over a hundred years.

Established in 1826, the Great Library has quite a collection of older books and documents. What might come as a surprise to some frequent users of the library is that there is a small room only accessible to library staff that contains our rare book collection. While the room is staff only, avid bibliophiles and researchers may request items to be retrieved from this collection for study in the library.

Continue reading