New Records at Toronto Reference Library!

June 15, 2017 | Beau

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Earlier this year the Toronto Reference Library ordered 100 new records – for the first time since records were still the most popular way to listen to music – to add to the Arts Department's vinyl collection. About 90 of them have landed on our shelves, and I've got photos of the new arrivals!

The records are all up on the fifth floor of the Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge St.). It's not a lending collection, so you can't sign them out, but we do have two turntables (with headphones, although you can bring and use your own if you like) that you can use to listen to any record we have.

NOTE: If you're eager to listen to any of this music at home, click on the links below to find out what we have in the way of CDs and music to stream via the library website.

The new records were chosen from four categories, the first of which was rock and pop. I personally own 14 of these 25 albums and have heard all of them but one (sorry, R.E.M., I'll get around to Murmur one of these days). 

some new vinyl rock and pop at Toronto Reference Library
Next up is hip-hop and r&b, both of which were sadly under-represented before these arrived. And really, what kind of record collection doesn't have any Stevie Wonder, Prince, Aretha Franklin or James Brown, or any hip-hop at all? Wu-Tang Clan, Run-D.M.C., Missy Elliott and A Tribe Called Quest in the house library!

some new vinyl r & b and hip hop at Toronto Reference Library

The library already had a large number of jazz albums on vinyl, but was somehow lacking classics like Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis, A Love Supreme by John Coltrane, and Time Out by The Dave Brubeck Quartet.

some new jazz vinyl at Toronto Reference Library

The final category was Canadian albums, including Light In The Attic's fantastic Native North America: Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985 compilation and several Polaris Music Prize winners: Caribou - Andorra (2008), Fucked Up - The Chemistry Of Common Life (2009), Feist - Metals (2012), Buffy Sainte-Marie - Power In The Blood (2015) and Kaytranada - 99.9% (2016). Also ordered but not pictured because it hasn't arrived yet; Tanya Tagaq - Animism, which won the Prize in 2014. 

some new Canadian vinyl at Toronto Reference Library

For a closer look at some of our records you can also search the hashtag #tplvinyl on Instagram, or visit our account (which currently lists about 2,500 of the 15,000+ records in the collection).

Below is a complete list of the 100 albums being added. To search the collection on the TPL website,  you can add the word "vinyl" to any title, artist or album search (or type "vinyl" into the search box to see the entire list!).


  1. Rubber Soul – The Beatles

  2. Let It Bleed – The Rolling Stones

  3. Highway 61 Revisited – Bob Dylan

  4. Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys

  5. London Calling – The Clash

  6. The Velvet Underground and Nico

  7. Electric Ladyland – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

  8. Nevermind – Nirvana

  9. Horses – Patti Smith

  10. Pearl – Janis Joplin

  11. Murmur – REM

  12. Like A Prayer – Madonna

  13. Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen

  14. To Bring You My Love – PJ Harvey

  15. Dummy – Portishead

  16. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie

  17. Ten – Pearl Jam

  18. Parallel Lines – Blondie

  19. Tapestry – Carole King

  20. Who’s Next – The Who

  21. Dusty In Memphis – Dusty Springfield

  22. The Hot Rock – Sleater-Kinney

  23. Burnin’ – Bob Marley & The Wailers

  24. IV – Led Zeppelin

  25. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac


  1. Illmatic – Nas

  2. It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back – Public Enemy

  3. Criminal Minded – Boogie Down Productions

  4. Aquemini – OutKast

  5. People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths Of Rhythm – A Tribe Called Quest

  6. Mecca and The Soul Brother – Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth

  7. Paul’s Boutique – The Beastie Boys

  8. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

  9. Under Construction – Missy Elliot

  10. Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde – The Pharcyde

  11. Raising Hell – Run DMC

  12. The Chronic – Dr. Dre

  13. All Eyez On Me – 2Pac

  14. Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) – The Wu-Tang Clan

  15. Doggystyle – Snoop Dogg

  16. Curtis – Curtis Mayfield

  17. I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You – Aretha Franklin

  18. Sings The Blues – Nina Simone

  19. Live At The Apollo – James Brown

  20. Songs In The Key Of Life – Stevie Wonder

  21. Tell Mama – Etta James

  22. Stand! – Sly and The Family Stone

  23. Purple Rain – Prince

  24. The Dictionary Of Soul – Otis Redding

  25. Betty Davis – Betty Davis


  1. Kind Of Blue – Miles Davis

  2. A Love Supreme – John Coltrane

  3. The Shape Of Jazz To Come – Ornette Coleman

  4. Ella and Louis – Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

  5. Time Out – The Dave Brubeck Quartet

  6. Mingus Ah Um – Charles Mingus

  7. Saxophone Colossus – Sonny Rollins

  8. Somethin’ Else – Cannonball Adderley

  9. Soul Station – Hank Mobley

  10. Song For My Father – Horace Silver

  11. Speak No Evil – Wayne Shorter

  12. Out To Lunch – Eric Dolphy

  13. Midnight Blue – Kenny Burrell

  14. Lady In Satin – Billie Holiday

  15. Genius Of Modern Music, Vol. 1 – Thelonious Monk

  16. Genius Of Modern Music, Vol. 2 – Thelonious Monk

  17. Smokin’ At The Half Note – Wes Montgomery

  18. Back At The Chicken Shack – Jimmy Smith

  19. Head Hunters – Herbie Hancock

  20. Idle Moments – Grant Green

  21. Meets The Rhythm Section – Art Pepper

  22. Our Man In Paris – Dexter Gordon

  23. Waltz For Debbie – Bill Evans

  24. Thelonious Monk With John Coltrane

  25. Birth Of The Cool – Miles Davis


  1. Blue – Joni Mitchell

  2. Music From Big Pink – The Band

  3. Up To Here – The Tragically Hip

  4. Twice Removed - Sloan

  5. Funeral – Arcade Fire

  6. Moving Pictures – Rush

  7. ‘F# A# Infinity – Godspeed You Black Emperor

  8. Metals – Feist

  9. Reconstruction Site – The Weakerthans

  10. Surfacing – Sarah McLachlan

  11. Native North America, Vol. 1: Aboriginal Folk, Rock and Country 1966 – 1985 – Various Artists

  12. You Forgot It In People – Broken Social Scene

  13. Absolute Torch and Twang – k.d. lang

  14. The Chemistry Of Common Life – Fucked Up

  15. Animism – Tanya Tagaq

  16. Andorra – Caribou

  17. Power In The Blood – Buffy Sainte-Marie

  18. 99.9% - Kaytranada

  19. Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot

  20. Shine A Light – Constantines

  21. Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morrissette

  22. Afterparty Babies – Cadence Weapon

  23. New Seasons – The Sadies

  24. Rufus Wainwright – Rufus Wainwright

  25. Take Care – Drake