Donating to the Archives
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:
- Toronto’s built environment (buildings, streets, bridges, reservoirs, etc.)
- Toronto’s natural environment (parks, rivers and lakes, ravines, waterfront, etc.)
- 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.