Last week I received a guided tour of the Merril collection of science fiction, speculation and fantasy, part of the Toronto public library. This involved patting a first edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula! My husband and I met an Australian fantasy artist there (Kathleen Jennings, 2012 world fantasy award nominee) and after the collection closed we all went out for dinner and to visit an art exhibition. The next day we went to the Jo Walton reading at the collection and then out for dinner with her and the SFContario organising committee. Unfortunately we couldn’t attend the con itself but everyone was very friendly.
This week I visited the Osborne collection of early children’s books (one floor up from Merril) and read a copy of Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dali (and another signed by Lewis Carroll himself). I also got to read a handwritten and illustrated children’s story by H.G. Wells (I believe he wrote it for a friend’s child). Also discovered the wonderful Bakka Phoenix bookstore down the street that specialises in SFF! Definitely need them back in Australia!
PS just found out I’m going to get to visit the Museum of science fiction, utopia and extraordinary journeys in Switzerland next year!!
It sounds like Toronto has an amazing public library!