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Special & Historical Collections at the CAMH Library: Donations of Historical Significance

From left to right: Rev. Ben H. Spence, Dr. E. M. Jellinek, both of whom donated their collections to   the ARF LIbrary, present token volumes to ARF Chairman Isaac P. McNabb and ARF founder David Archibald. 

About the Donations

The Farrar Library of the Clarke Institute and the ARF Library of the Addiction Research Foundation received a number of donations which had a significant impact on the development of the CAMH Historical Collections. These books provide insight into the history and development of thought on the topics of alcoholism, addiction and human psychology. Moreover, they capture a picture of the social organization which was central to movements such as the prohibition movement and alcoholics anonymous. Some of the books feature unique inscriptions and dedications to the donors.

Two of the largest donations came from Rev. John A. Linton and Rev. Benjamin H. Spence, both of whom were active in the prohibition movement.These collections, known as the Linton Collection and the Spence Collection, form the basis of the Temperance Collection. Additional temperance materials were donated and have helped to expand the collection. Several of the original papers and manuscripts were transferred to the Archives of Ontario and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto. 



Other donors who have contributed materials of historical significance to the collection include E.M. Jellinek, an alcohol researcher who joined the ARF as a research consultant in 1958 and H. David Archibald, the founding director of the ARF. The Legislative Library of Ontario also donated several books. The library is working at incorporating the donor source information into the catalogue records. 


The Temperance Collection

The ARF Library combined the donations from Linton and Spence into a single collection which was referred to as the "Temperance Collection." The Collection includes published monographs, pamphlets, government reports, educational materials and temperance sheet music dating from the mid-19th century to mid-20th century. The majority of the materials are in English and were published in North America but the collection also has an international dimension. Materials in various languages including French, Spanish and Danish can be found in the collection. Also included are materials published in other English speaking countries such as Australia and New Zealand.


Searching the Temperance Collection

The Temperance Collection can be viewed by searching “Temperance” in the subject field in the CAMH library catalogue. Search results can be further narrowed down by date (pre-1950) since the CAMH Library also holds more recent publications on the topic of temperance.