Two years ago, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto hosted a number of small and fine presses as they exhibited and sold their publications. The inspiration for this was an exhibition of fine printing drawn from the Library’s holdings that was on at that time.
After that day proved to be a success, the Library decided then to invite the presses back every other year. Saturday September 9, 2017 is the date of the next one. Among the fine printers you can meet George A. Walker, Thee Hellbox Press, Shanty Bay Press, and Greyweathers Press. Among the small presses Bookthug, Coach House Press, and Porcupines Quill will be there. I know about these and others who are coming and about their work. An exciting thing about this kind of event is the presence of the presses that I know nothing about. This is my opportunity to meet and get to know them. In this category are presses Anstruther Press, knife/ fork / book and Imago Press / Nietzsche’s Brolly. This is also your opportunity to get to know all of them and buy their publications.
If that is not a sufficient reason to come, there is an additional reason. The Fisher Library is usually closed on Saturdays. On this Saturday because it is open for the fair, visitors will also have an opportunity to see the current Exhibition, “Struggle and Story Canada in Print”. That day, in fact, is your last chance to see this exhibition. This is the Library’s contribution to the celebration of the 150th year since Confederation.
Drawn from the holdings of the University of Toronto Library and also its archives, this is an extensive exhibition that ranges from Champlain’s Les voyages de la Nouvelle France occidentale, dicte Canada (Paris, 1632) to one of Stan Bevington’s Pearson Pennant’s from the flag wars of the early 1960’s with stops along the way for many books and documents relevant to different aspects of Canadian life and history.
Among them is General James Wolfe’s copy of Thomas Gray’s An Elegy written in a Country Church Yard with his hand written notes. This is poem that on the eve of the battle for Quebec Wolfe is reputed to have declared, “Gentlemen, I would rather have written that piece than take Quebec tomorrow.” This was also the one millionth book when it was acquired by the University of Toronto’s Libraries a number of years ago. As usual, there is an excellent catalogue that accompanies this exhibition.
The Fair is on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, 120 St George Street, Toronto. Admission to the fair and the exhibition is free.
What follows is the official invitation from the Fisher Library: