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The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Ojibwe-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the National Homeland of the Red River M├ętis. More

Archives Research Tutorials: Video Tutorials

How to Access Research Material from the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

This video tutorial is intended to instruct students on how to properly access material from the University of Manitoba Archives and use archival records in research papers. It was produced with the financial assistance of the Strategic Program Development Fund.

The film was directed, co-written (with Brett Lougheed), and edited by Rob Ross. It stars Kerri Woloszyn as the student and several Archives staff members in assorted roles.

How to do Primary Research with Rare Documents

This video identifies the correct procedures involved in using rare documents as primary research tools. The film explains how to properly request and handle rare books from the holdings of the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections. It then identifies a few of the curious and unique features found in one of the items of the rare book collection, a 1684 diploma from Padua University, and explains how an archivist might assist the researcher in answering questions about rare books.

The video was filmed and edited by Rob Ross and written by Betty Braaksma. It stars Kerri Woloszyn and Brett Lougheed. Financial assistance was provided by the University of Manitoba's Strategic Program Development Fund.

Rare Book Collection, Elizabeth Dafoe Library


Rare books and various other printed or manuscript materials covering a wide variety of areas are held in Archives & Special Collections. The collection numbers approximately 30,000 volumes and is constantly expanding.

The most remarkable assembly of rare materials is in The Dysart Memorial Collection of Rare Books & Manuscripts.  This collection includes nine manuscripts, sixteen incunabula, twenty-six 16th century imprints, and some outstanding examples of 19th and 20th century fine press printing. The majority of the incunabula are in Latin, the only two vernacular text are in Early Modern German. Until 1500, the country of Gutenberg's revolutionary invention held a monopoly of the young industry: the sixteen Dysart examples stem from Augsburg, Basel, Köln, Mainz, Nürnberg, and Straßburg presses, and even of the four from Venice, two are by German printers. The twenty-five 16th century imprints demonstrate the rapid geographic expansion of printing, as well as the advance of vernacular languages. London, Paris, Lyon, Florence & Como have joined the 15th century towns, with Frankfurt, Oppenheim & Hagenau being new German locations.

The St. John's College Rare Book Collection is housed in the Rare Book Vault and contains, among many fine bibles including a 1478 Koberger Biblia Latina, religious and missionary texts, one of only five known copies of Tudeschi's ca. 1438 manuscript Lectura in Decretales.

Within the Slavic Rare Book Collection are two unique Slavic manuscripts, the early 15th century Pomianyk of Horodyshche and the 18th century Psalterium Winnipegense Cyrillicum, were donated by Professor J.B. Rudnyckyj.

Further subject strengths of the Rare Book Collection are in Canadiana, particularly in Canadian Prairie literature, with, among others, the Ralph Connor, Frederick Philip Grove, and Dorothy Livesay collections. Works on the social history, immigration, and agricultural development of western Canada,early Arctic exploration, and the search for the North-West Passage, including first editions of John Palliser, Alexander Mackenzie, Henry Youle Hind, John Franklin, James Cook, John J. Bigsby, George Heriot and scores of other explorers, pioneers, and settlers, are also well represented in the collections.

Other major holdings include early native language syllabics, church history and philosophy, bibles (including the 1611 King James Bible), English literature (including a number of works by Victorian English authors) with extensive Jonathan Swift, Rudyard Kipling, and Ernest Hemingway clusters, and some early 20th century children's literature.

Several private libraries of outstanding research value have been donated to the University of Manitoba Libraries in recent years and have been largely incorporated into the rare book collection. These include:

"The Bell Manuscript"

Richard Johnson Collection of Hardyana

Talwin Morris Rare Book Exhibition

Selected Illustrations from Rare Book Collections

Instructional video: Rare Research - How to do Primary Research with Rare Documents