MERRIL RESEARCH COLLECTION OF SCIENCE FICTION, 72,000 ITEMS, IS ONE OF THE PLANET’S LARGEST

Housed in the state-of-the-art Lillian H. Smith library at 239 College Street, the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy, is made up of 72,000 items.  A gift to our city from Judith Josephine Grossman (1923-1997), pen-name Judith Merril, this archive is one of the planet’s finest popular culture collections.  Its focus is science fiction fantasy, speculative fiction, magic realism, experimental writing, parapsychology, UFO’s, etc.

“Judith Merril was not only a vital member of the literary community, but a vital person in the largest sense of the word.  She lived her times and places thoroughly and enriched us all.”  <MARGARET ATWOOD>.  A founding resident of TORONTO’s Rochdale College, television broadcaster; magazine, book and short story writer; anthologist, activist – Judith Merril was all of these and much more.

American-born, she became a Canadian citizen in 1976, and spent 40 years writing about and researching science fiction and the paranormal.  A book on the life and times of Judith Merril – “Better To Have Loved . . . ” – is available on Amazon.

A BRITISH LIBRARIAN PLANTED THE SEEDS FOR TORONTO’S PRE-1910 CHILDREN’S BOOK COLLECTIONS

The OSBORNE COLLECTION OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS (BEFORE 1910) began with a visit from British librarian EDGAR OSBORNE. He was greatly impressed by the range and quality of children’s services within the TPL (Toronto Public Library) system.  OSBORNE donated his personal collection of some 2,000 rare books in 1949. The numbers have grown to over 80,000 rare and notable modern children’s books. Now there are several collections within the collection.