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April 26, 2001
City of Toronto given major historical collection
  
The City of Toronto is pleased to announce that it has been given the Larry
Becker Collection, one of the largest and most valuable private collections of
material ever assembled to document the history and culture of Canada's largest
city.

"The Larry Becker Collection represents a lifetime of devotion to preserving
Toronto's history," said City Archivist Michael Moir. "Without his diligent
efforts, most of these unique mementos of daily life in Toronto would have been
lost to future generations."

"The Larry Becker Collection tells the larger story of Toronto, often through
personal and private events in the lives of her residents," said Rita Davies,
Managing Director, City of Toronto Culture Division. "The City of Toronto is
most fortunate to have been chosen as recipient of this outstanding collection."

The public will have their first chance to see some of the collection during
Doors Open Toronto, May 26 and 27. The City of Toronto Archives (255 Spadina
Rd.) will display documents on Saturday, May 26; Museum Services will have
artifacts on show at 98 Atlantic Ave. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 27.

Mr. Becker's collecting interests were broad and deep, including, among others,
militaria, education, royalty, sports, agriculture, tourism, transportation,
advertising, and the arts. In fact, virtually anything touching on Toronto was
of interest to him. The donation, therefore, consists of textual records,
photographs, postcards, maps, atlases, prints, engravings and more than 4,000
individual artifacts, mostly medals and memorabilia in each of these areas. The
Larry Becker Collection provides a significant insight into Toronto's history
and the people who lived, worked or had an impact upon the city since the
beginning of the 19th century.

In 1999, Rose Becker decided to donate her late husband's collection to the
City. She said, "The family is delighted to see the fulfillment of Larry's
dream of having his collection made available to the people of Toronto."

This is also the first joint acquisition between the City's Archives and the
City's Culture Division Museum Services, which are responsible for preserving
Toronto's documentary and material history. Since the summer of 1999, a parade
of boxes containing precious documents and artifacts has been making its way to
both the City of Toronto Archives at 255 Spadina Road and the Culture
Division's Collections and Conservation site. Preparations have already begun
for an exhibition next summer at the Market Gallery.

FACTSHEET 1 (PDF file - you will need the FREE acrobat reader to view)][

FACTSHEET 2 (PDF file - you will need the FREE acrobat reader to view)




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