Donating to the Archives
Frequently asked questions about what the Archives collects.
The history and heritage of our City is made up of millions of individual bits of information that add up to an amazing story. Be a part of adding to this story
We collect records about Toronto
More specifically, we are interested in
1. Toronto’s built environment (buildings, streets, bridges, reservoirs, etc.)
2. Toronto’s natural environment (parks, rivers and lakes, ravines, waterfront, etc.)
3. Toronto’s people and culture (family records, business records, neighbourhoods, arts organization records, etc.)
Original documents, photographs, maps, architectural drawings, sound recordings and moving images (such as films and videos), pamphlets and reports, postcards, and many other kinds of two-dimensional records
Newspapers, magazines, most books, three-dimensional objects, paintings, photocopies. We also try not to get duplicates of things that we already have
Currently we are collecting digital photographs, digital sound recordings, and digital moving images (films and videos). Other digital records would have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis
After a period of time (depending on our backlog), your donation will be described in our database and available for people to look at in our Research Hall, or possibly online through our database
Sometimes the Archives cannot keep everything that is offered. In those cases, we first try to return the items to the donor, or to give them to another archival institution if the donor does not want the items back
We prefer that there not be any access restrictions, but this is something that we can discuss if the records contain sensitive personal information
It is possible, but we receive many more items than we could possibly ever display
If you are the creator of the records that are being donated, you have the option to keep your copyright, or transfer copyright ownership to the City of Toronto. We can discuss these options
It is a legal agreement between the City of Toronto and the legal owner of the records being donated. It deals with the transfer of ownership, copyright, access, and tax receipts
This depends on the size and complexity of the donation. Small donations can be completed on the same day that you bring the items to Archives. Large and complex donations can sometimes take up to a year to complete
No. We do not have an acquisition budget.
It is possible, depending on what the donation is.
Yes! Please contact Michele.email@example.com if you would like to make a financial donation