Research before your researchReference texts and guidesArchives & Special Collections fonds registerYork University RecordsSpecial Collections at York University
Background ResearchShould you be at an archive?Differences between archives and libraries
How to read a finding aidFinding an archivesVisiting York University's ASCArchives in TorontoArchives in OntarioArchives in CanadaArchives in other countriesHow to request material from the ArchivesRequesting photocopies, scanned images and reproductions
Citing archival materialCompiling a Bibliography
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Archival Research Tutorial  

Archival materials give you direct access to the time or event you are studying. The goal of this guide is to help you conduct research at the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections at York University Libraries.
Last Updated: May 31, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Subject Guide

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Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections
Contact Info
Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections
305 Scott Library
York University Libraries
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3J 1P3
Monday - Friday - 10:00am-4:30pm
Saturday & Sunday - closed
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Subject Guide

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Julia Holland


This research guide was originally developed in 2005 by Carolyn Caseñas, Adjunct Archivist, Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, Scott Library, York University and Katherine Kalsbeek, Librarian, Rare Books and Special Collections, University of British Columbia. It has subsequently been revised and developed by Anna St.Onge and other archives staff.



Welcome to York University's guide on conducting archival research. This guide will introduce you to the archival resources held by the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections (ASC) and methodologies needed to successfully complete your papers and assignments. 

Getting Started 

Research Before Your Research |  Reference texts and guides  |  ASC fonds register  |  ASC university records register


Choosing Your Topic

Background Research  |  Should I be in an archive?


Basics Facts About Archives

How to Read a Finding Aid  |  Finding an Archives  |  Visiting York University's ASC  |  Other Archives in the GTA | Other Archives in the Province Other Archives in the country | Other Archives in the world


Check List


Writing Your Paper

Citing archival sources |



Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections blog

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Who's Who of The Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections

The Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections is managed by a small team of dedicated archivists, an archives technician and York University undergraduate students.

Portrait of Michael Moir

Michael Moir is University Archivist and Head of The Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections

Michael Moir began his career as an archivist in 1982, and served as Records Manager/Archivist for the Toronto Harbour Commissioners from 1984 to 1995.  He was appointed Manager of Archival Services by the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, and became the Director, Corporate Records Systems and City Archivist for the new City of Toronto in 1998.  Michael joined York University in July 2004, and taught a course on “Specialized Archives” at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information in 2005 and 2006. His research interests include the history of Canadian shipbuilding, and port and harbour management in Canada during the 19th and 20th centuries.

He served as President of The Champlain Society from 2004 to 2010.  When not attending meetings or filing old paper or electronic files, Michael serves as Pipe Major of the Scarborough Pipes and Drums and the Pipes and Drums of 32 Service Battalion, a Canadian Army Reserve Unit.

For more information regarding Moir's research interests and teaching see his faculty profile here.

Portrait of Suzanne Dubeau

Suzanne Dubeau is Assistant Head of the archives.  A graduate of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information Studies, Suzanne has chaired the Archeion Standing Committee for the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) is currently Managing Editor of the Association of Canadian Archivists' scholarly journal Archivaria.

Portrait of Anna St.Onge

Anna St.Onge is archivist in charge of Digital Projects and Outreach.  She holds a B.A. in History and Celtic Studies from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Information Studies degree from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Archival Studies and Book History & Print Culture.  Currently chair Archeion, her research interests focus on censorship, popular culture, issues of privacy, silence, trauma and disclosure in the archival papers of individuals. (Anna is currently on secondment to Bibliographic Services).

Katrina Cohen-Palacios, Adjunct Archivist

Katrina Cohen-Palacios joined the team as an Adjunct Archivist having previously gained experience at the University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services, Library and Archives Canada, and the National Ballet of Canada Archives. She has a B.A. History (specialization public history) from Concordia University, a Masters of Information, and a Masters of Museum Studies form the University of Toronto.

Jennifer Grant, Part-time Archivist

Jennifer Grant is our part-time archivist.

Portrait of Julia Holland, archives assistant

Julia Holland previously worked almost eight years with the United Church of Canada / Victoria University Archives in Toronto. A graduate of the University of Toronto's iSchool and the Archives Technician Program at Algonquin College, she draws her extensive experience gained through previous positions in community, municipal, health, religious and academic archives in Ontario. She volunteers with the Toronto Area Archivists Group (taag) and was the Program Chair for the 2017 Archives Association of Ontario conference.

Heather Pitka

Heather Pitka Heather Pitka first joined York University Libraries in 1983 after completing Graduate School. She began in Frost Library and moved to the Government and Business Library (Reference Assistant), Archives and Special Collections (Archives Assistant/Ephemera Cataloguer), Bibliographic Services (Cataloguer), and currently is assigned to the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections as the Rare Books Cataloguer. She has gained extensive knowledge of York University Libraries through her many years of experience.

Support staff

The Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections works in collaboration with other departments in York University Libraries to ensure the preservation, description and cataloguing of our holdings.  We are also assisted by a part-time archivist who assists in the processing of back-logged accessions.  In addition our reading room is staffed by York University undergraduate students.  Job opportunities for students will be posted at the main library job site here.


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