Toronto Public Library Homepage

Printed ephemera are documents created for a specific purpose and usually discarded once that initial purpose has been accomplished. This large and remarkably varied collection contains over 28,000 items. The range includes:

The images and slogans on these pieces are particularly valuable because they provide snapshots of the events, ideas and attitudes of their era.

Many posters and printed ephemera (single-page items) may be viewed on the Digital Archive.

Staff have also prepared specialized finding aids to help you access the materials in this collection.

Strengths of the Collection


War Posters

The federal government and private business issued these typically large and colourful illustrated posters to encourage participation in the war effort. The Collection holds approximately 120 posters from World War I, and 250 from World War II.

Provincial and Federal Elections

The library keeps a collection of campaign literature from the metropolitan Toronto area for elections dating from the 1960s to the present.

For Your Research

A Century of Ontario Broadsides, 1793-1893, is available to view online or in the library, or to purchase and borrow.

Digital Reproduction Services are available. Some restrictions may apply.

1891. Election Cartoons #6 1891. Election Cartoons #6