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Art Gallery of Ontario

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Archives & Special Collections

The AGO Archives document the history of the Gallery since 1900, and of The Grange house since 1820. Popular series include exhibition files, publicity scrapbooks (documenting Gallery exhibitions and all other activity), architectural plans, photographs, records of the Gallery School, and correspondence (with art dealers, artists, collectors, and scholars). Because of the regularity with which several artists’ groups held exhibitions at the Gallery, the archives are a rich resource for research into the activities of the Group of Seven, the Canadian Group of Painters, the Ontario Society of Artists, and others.

The Special Collections are one of the most important concentrations of archival material on the visual arts in Canada. There are over 120 individual collections, ranging in date from the early 19th century to the present day, and documenting major artists, art dealers and collectors, artist-run galleries, and other people and organizations who have shaped the Canadian art world.

Finding aids

Detailed finding aids are available at the Library & Archives for most of the AGO Archives.

Special Collections holdings may be browsed using the alphabetical list. This includes links to detailed online finding aids where available. Descriptions of the Special Collections are also contributed to the ARCHEION and Archives Canada networks. Please be aware that many finding aids remain in hard copy only, and may be consulted onsite. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.


Access to Archives and Special Collections is open to the public, but you need to reserve a time slot so we can help you find the material you need and have it ready for you in advance. Appointments can be made at mutually convenient times with in regular business hours by emailing our archives staff. For more information, please call 416-979-6642

All Archives and Special Collections researchers need to register, which involves supplying your contact information and agreeing to abide by the reading room rules.

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