May 22, 2022

“The Toronto Public Library’s Houses One of the Planet’s Biggest Science-Fiction Archives”

From The Toronto Star:

In the half-century since American-Canadian science-fiction author and editor Judith Merril donated her personal collection of 5,000 items to the TPL, the genre has grown with it, enjoying enormous popularity on TV and in books and movies, such as the much-anticipated “Dune,” based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, which opened in theatres Oct. 22 and has grossed more than $223 million US worldwide.


Located on the third floor of the Lillian H. Smith branch on College Street, the actual collection — which includes fiction, non-fiction, biographies, periodicals, pulp magazines, graphic novels, manuscripts, correspondence, original art and role-playing-game books — was originally called the Spaced Out Library before being officially renamed in 1990.


“The collection is certainly a Toronto treasure,” says Sephora Henderson, senior department head of the Merril Collection, before bemoaning that, as with much of the library’s resources, “there are still a lot of people who have yet to discover this gem.”


The curious can also look at more than 172,000 (and counting) items from home, using the library’s digital archives. Digital access also ensures that these materials will be around for generations. “In a special-collections environment, where there are rare books and archival materials, great care is taken not to handle materials more than absolutely necessary,” says Henderson. “Digital surrogates offer a way to examine and enjoy them without excessive handling.”

Learn More, Read the Complete Article

See Also: Direct to Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation & Fantasy

See Also: Direct to View Digitized Material From the Merril Collection

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.