The AGO’s Library & Archives UNSHELVED, by Katelyn Gallucci

illustration of a Common American Brown Bear by Henry Buckton Laurence

Attention, all book lovers! On the last Wednesday of every month, the EP Taylor Library & Archives at the Art Gallery of Ontario hosts Library & Archives Unshelved, a series of drop-in events which gives visitors a first-hand glimpse of highlights in their extensive collection.

January’s event, hosted by the AGO’s Rare Book Librarian, Larry Pfaff, focused on winter in 19th century Canada. On display were a series of books with original engravings illustrating winter life, leisure, and travel. I joined a small group of attendees to carefully flip through works by artists such as Henry Buckton Laurence, George N Morang, and WH Bennett which transported us to another era. In viewing the original historical works, I developed an appreciation for the complex bond between Canada’s art and its landscape. Undoubtedly an hour well spent.

The next the Library & Archives Unshelved event will be Wednesday, February 24th — drop in any time between 5 and 7 pm. AGO Special Collections Archivist, Amy Furness, will present a display of artists’ sketchbooks and preparatory drawings inspired by the current exhibition, Drawing: Je t’aime.

This series conveniently coincides with the AGO’s free access hours, which are every Wednesday from 6–9 pm. If you cannot attend the drop-ins, the EP Taylor Library & Archives are open to the public by reservation. More information on the archives can be found here.

Image: Henry Buckton Laurence, Common American Brown Bear, 1870, from Sketches of Canadian Sports and Pastimes, Early Canada Online

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