New Trinity College Archives

Posted: March 23, 2017

Archives Hallway Before and After Renovations

We’re Building a Future for Trinity’s Past

Starting March 21, staff began the mammoth task of moving 3,000 boxes (weighing more than 13,000 kilograms) from storage to the new archives vault in the new Trinity College Archives. It will be a slow process as only about 100 boxes can be moved at a time as the materials need to acclimatize to the target room temperature (20 degrees Celcuis) and humidity (40%) before the next batch can be transferred into the space.

New Archives vaultHoused in the old Library quarters on the lower level, the new Trinity College Archives will provide much-needed archival storage space, a designated reading room for researchers (The Virginia and Peter McLaughlin Room for Archival Study), and a new exhibit space to showcase Trinity’s treasures. The new archives, including the compact storage area, features proper temperature and humidity controls in order to better preserve Trinity’s historical objects (see below for details and Trinity’s commitment to sustainability). A public hallway (gallery area) features four beautiful, large cases that will display a variety of exhibits of pieces from Trinity’s archives. The space, which boasts high ceilings despite its lower-level location, feels wonderfully open.

Trinity has been fortunate to receive support for the new archives from generous donors, the students of Trinity College and the Friends of the Library. Click here if you would like to make a gift to support the new archives project.

We hope the new archives will encourage student use, facilitate scholarship and provide a focal point to inform visitors, students and alumni about the people, buildings and events that shaped Trinity College.

Details about the opening of the new Trinity College Archives will be shared with the community in the coming months.

View photos of the transformation of the lower level to the new Trinity College Archives (February 2015 to now)
Read about the benefits of packing for a move | By Sylvia Lassam, Rolph-Bell Archivist


New Elevator

Transforming accessibility for the building, the installation of the new elevator is near completion (date will be shared with the community once the elevator is operational and in service). It is located at the west end of the main building beside the Chapel doors. The new elevator will provide accessible access to the three floors of the building, including the new archives (lower level) and Seeley Hall (upper level).

Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

As part of the renewal project, earlier this year, Trinity installed a new geothermal system under the front lawn to provide environmentally-friendly heating and cooling to the new archives. This new system will also provide stable temperature and humidity needed for the proper preservation of artifacts in the new archives. Also in the interest of resource preservation, there is also a 1,200 gallon cistern now buried in the lawn for storm water reclamation. Rainwater from the roof will be captured and used to irrigate the front lawn, reducing Trinity’s demand for city water. In addition, the concrete blocks used in the new archives are also environmentally sustainable (using repurposed waste carbon dioxide during the concrete manufacturing process). We will also be installing a machine roomless elevator (MRL), which uses significantly less energy – 60% more energy efficient than an hydraulic elevator— and requires no oil, therefore no environmental risk and no oil odour. Trinity strives to be the “greenest” college on the University of Toronto campus and beyond, and a leader in sustainable practices. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we build a future for Trinity’s past.

View photos of the “outside” work as part of the renewal project (November 2014 to September 2015)