New Year's Resolutions in the Special Collections Department

January 5, 2018 | Peggy

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With the shelves of every branch stocked with books to fuel a desire for learning and self-improvement, the library is your go-to location for New Year's resolutions. In addition to the things you can check out at a branch or online, you can find inspiration for the new year in the rare and vintage materials of the Special Collections Department.

What follows is a selection of items from the library's rare books and archives matched to a generic "Top 10" list of New Year's resolutions:

Resolution #1: Get healthy.

Moore's Lightning Wizard Oil
Advertisement for a patent medicine from the ephemera collection

Resolution #2: Lose weight.

Seventeen Steps to Slimness
A whimsical treatment of the subject of weight loss from the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection

Resolution #3: Live life to the fullest.

Do you love rare books and unique publications? Join us for our Discover Special Collections presentations held on Wednesday afternoons at 2 p.m. in the the Marilyn & Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre on the 5th floor of the Toronto Reference Library. Every week is a different topic. See the library's website for the upcoming schedule.

Resolution #4: Spend less, save more.

National War Savings Committee, 1914
WWI poster from the ephemera collection. National War Savings Committee, 1914

Resolution #5: Spend more time with family.

Phoebe and Maria Baldwin
Portrait of Phoebe and Maria Baldwin, mother and daughter of Robert Baldwin, 1st Prime Minister of the Provice of Canada. Unknown Artist, 1833. Canadian Documentary Art Collection 

Resolution #6: Get organized.

Sammy Davis Jr.
Toronto Star Photo Archive. Dick Darrell photo of Sammy Davis Jr, 1966. The caption: "It's about time for all decent people to get organized because, believe me, the nuts are organized."

Resolution #7: Don't make a resolution.

Biffy is not worried about self improvement because he knows he is perfect already.

Resolution #8: Start a hobby.

Comet model airplane kits catalogue

Resolution #9: Travel more.

Map of Palma Italy, 1593
Map of Palma, Italy, 1593. From the Map Collection

Resolution #10: Read more.

A Reading Diary
Argentinian-Canadian anthologist Alberto Manguel suggests The Sign of Four for October in his year of suggested reading. From the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection

You can read A Reading Diary in the Arthur Conan Doyle Room, or find a copy to check out and read at home. Happy reading, and Happy New Year!