Our Collections

The OJA’s records span all segments of Ontario’s Jewish community. We have records from businesses, families, labour unions, organizations, and synagogues. These records date from the community’s earliest days to its present. What’s more, they come from all over Ontario and in every format you can think of. If you were to lay out all of our boxes, they would stretch from the foot of Yonge Street to Dundas Square!

Below you can find highlights from our newest acquisitions as well as collections that have recently been processed and added to our website search.

Do you have records to donate to the OJA? Click here to learn how.

Acquisition of the Month

April 2024

Self-portrait by Shelly GrimsonIn April, the OJA was honoured to receive the first in what it hopes to be several donations of Toronto photographer Shelly Grimson's prints.

This first donation consists of ninety-seven black-and-white prints documenting outstanding figures of Canadian literature. Among those documented in the series are Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen, Victor Coleman, and and Michael Ondaatje. The series originated in 1970 when Oxford University Press hired Shelly to take portraits for a book that would be titled 15 Canadian Poets. In 1980, Anansi Press hired Shelly to take additional portraits.  In 2003,twenty-five of Shelly's prints were shown in galleries, with a number of those photographed in attendance. Also in 2003, the prints were presented at the Griffin Prize Gala.

In the future, the OJA intends to acquire other series of prints from Shelly, including one documenting Camp Fundale, a day camp for children between the ages of eight and thirteen that was overseen by the Jewish Camp Council.