History

THE HISTORY OF THE JOHN W. GRAHAM LIBRARY

Key Facts

  • In 1827 John Strachan, the first Bishop of Toronto, secured 400 books from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, now held in Graham Library’s Special Collections. The collection was to be the foundation for the future library of King’s College.
  • Bishop John Strachan went on to found the University of Trinity College in 1851, after King’s College became the University of Toronto. The University of Trinity College was located in what is today known as Trinity Bellwoods Park, on Queen Street West in Toronto and included a library.
  • Trinity College moved to the main University of Toronto campus in 1925, where the new library was to be located in Seeley Hall. However, the library remained in the basement level of Trinity College until 2000 when the Graham Library opened in the renovated then Munk School of Global Affairs building.
  • The year 2000 also marked the official merger of Trinity College and Wycliffe College’s theological collections. Graham Library continues to provide library services and theological study resources to both Trinity and Wycliffe College theology students today.

The Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy Building

  • The Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy building houses both Graham Library, and also the Munk School at Trinity College.
  • Architect Eden Smith, 1906-7 designed the building in Arts & Crafts tradition, and it was a student residence, Devonshire House, until 1997.
  • The shared building opened in 2000 after a major renovation designed by Tom Payne of Kuwabara, Payne, McKenna, Blumberg Architects. The entire interior of the building was gutted and modernized, with the exception of the central fireplace

John Webb Graham

  • Graham Library’s namesake is John Webb Graham.
  • John W. Graham married Velma Rogers in 1941 and became stepfather to Edward S. (Ted) Rogers.
  • In 1997, Ted Rogers (Class of 5T7) donated $2.5 million to Trinity College for a new library named in honour of his stepfather.

Education & Career

  • Had a distinguished law career, becoming a partner with the law firm Payton, Biggs & Graham, and later with Cassels, Brock & Blackwell where he continued to provide legal counsel until the time of his death.

Community Contributions

  • Active member of the Anglican Church and was presented with the Anglican Award of Merit (1990) and appointed lay Canon of St. James Cathedral by the Bishop of Toronto (1994).
  • At Trinity College, he was a long-time member of Corporation and Chairman of the Executive Committee for many years.
  • It was John Graham’s foresight that led to the acquisition of the Devonshire House property, now the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy building and site of the John W. Graham Library.
  • John W. Graham died on January 9, 1998 in Toronto, Ontario.
  • The bronze bas-relief in the entrance of Graham Library was made by Dora de P├ędery-Hunt.