Inventory of the
York University historical collection

Inventory #F0450

The digitization of this finding aid was made possible - in part or entirely - through the Canadian Culture Online Program of Canadian Heritage, the National Archives of Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives.


Fonds/Collection Number:F0450
Title:York University historical collection
Dates:1885-2006, predominant 1970-2006
Extent:ca. 0.7 m of textual records
8 photographs : b&w and col. ; 27 x 35 cm or smaller
1 drawing
9 audio cassettes
2 micro cassettes
4 video cassettes
1 plan
3 prints : col. ; 100 x 69 cm and smaller
Biographical Sketch/
Administrative History:
The York University historical collection is an assembly of documents in a number of formats accumulated by York University Archives to document the ongoing history of the university. The early part of the collection is made up of material acquired from the Stong Historical Society and from John Becker who joined the staff of York University in 1966 as assistant to the dean of Atkinson College. Becker later served as assistant vice president (Student affairs) and assistant vice-president (business operations). The collection has since expanded to include other sources such as artwork, oral histories and audio-visual recordings of special events. Much of the material received from the Stong Historical Society concerns the history of the land and community on which the main campus of the university is located in Toronto (formerly North York) Ontario. The original community, Kaiserville (later Elia), established circa 1800, was home to German loyalist settlers who had left Pennsylvania following the American Revolutionary War. The first settler in the area was Peter Erlin Kaiser who is buried on what is now the grounds of York University. When the University purchased its Keele Street land, there were extant buildings on the site. Among these, the principal buildings were the Jacob Stong house and the Abraham Hoover house. The Stong house was built on a parcel of land sold to Jacob by his father Daniel (d. 1868) and was constructed in the 1850s. Descendants of Jacob Stong sold the house in 1951. The Stong lands now form the central part of Black Creek Pioneer Village as well as forming the northern portion of the University property. The Hoover residence, built on a plot purchased by Christian Hoover in 1826, was constructed in 1848 by Christian and his son Abraham (1821-1905). The land (buildings and farm) was held by the Hoover family until the 1930s when it was purchased by a Mrs. Hart. In 1958 the house was purchased by Claude Passy, who resided in it for a period of time before selling it to York University ca. 1964. The Stong Historical Society was established in 1979 at Stong College, York University. Its purpose was to discover the history of the area on which the university was built, and it proposed that the houses of the Stong College residence bear the names of the pioneer families of the area. The society was begun by Olga Cirak, the college's administrative assistant. It is currently inactive.
Scope and Content:

The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, genealogical charts, family histories, newspaper clippings, publications and related material detailing the history of the site on which the Keele Street campus of York University now stands; correspondence and newspaper clippings relating to the search for the grave site of Peter Erlin Kaiser and a photocopy of his Last Will and Testament; a genealogy and a history of the Kaiser family of Ontario (1933); copies of articles on the Palatine settlements in York County and Upper Canada; a publication, 'An account of the Boynton family and the family seat of Burton Agnes,' (1914); material on the Smith family (Hoover relations), correspondence seeking information from descendants of the Hoover family with responses, Hoover genealogies and material on the Troyer family genealogy (Hoover descendants); biographical material on York pioneers, correspondence, archaeological reports, copies of campus and survey maps and of architectural renderings of the Hart, Hoover, and Stong buildings on the University campus; obituary notices for the last surviving member of the Stong family who lived on the property, a copy of a genealogy of the family and a photocopy of a history of the church that was located on the property (by T.E. Kaiser);a newspaper article concerning Hart House, a building on the York campus which was relocated there in the 1930s from King Township, material related to the 40th anniversary celebrations of York University in 1999 and the York University Faculty Association strike of 1997, as well as other material details of which are available in the finding aid.

S00323Minutes of the Inter-College Curriculum Committee
Restrictions on
Access and Use:
No restrictions apply.
Finding Aid: Containers list available.
Accruals: The collection comprises the following accessions: 1961-002, 1972-009, 1976-020, 1978-012, 1979-004, 1979-037, 1980-027, 1991-005, 1998-022, 1999-004, 1999-005, 1999-019, 1999-024, 1999-028, 1999-051, 1999-071, 2000-011, 2000-019, 2000-020, 2000-021, 2000-022, 2000-031, 2000-033, 2000-060, 2000-062, 2000-080, 2006-004, 2007-038, 2007-045. Further accruals are expected.
Related Records: Related records may be found in the William Greer fonds (F0185), Murray George Ross fonds (F0398), Louis Applebaum fonds (F0254), York University photo collection (F0091) and Organizing Committee of York University fonds (F0074).
Other Notes: Title based on contents of collection.
Provenance Access Points:York University (Toronto, Ont.). Archives and Special Collections

Date of creation: 2002/04/09
Date of last revision: 2007/11/01
Please select the above links to explore the complete finding aid.
Links to printer and downloading friendly PDF versions of each section of the finding aid appear at the bottom of each page.

Printer friendly version: .pdf
Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader