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Collection & Mission

Our Mission

The John D. Burns Archives, of Trinity College School,

  • Preserves the holdings of Trinity College School for use by present students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents, administrators, volunteers, the Board of Governors and public researchers
  • Acquires records of Trinity College School and other records related to its history and historiography
  • Promotes an understanding and use of records through description, automation, researcher service and classroom initiatives
  • Works to ensure adequate facilities are available for the retention, preservation, servicing and research use of such records

Our Mandate

The John D. Burns Archives, a department of Trinity College School, is the official repository for the records of Trinity College School from 1865 to present. The archives selects, describes and preserves the records of historical value for the School.

Archives Fonds

Scope and content of the collection

The records consist of the history of Trinity College School. The collection consists of school publications; newspapers and articles written about the School’s history regarding buildings, headmasters, faculty and students; photographs; student files and academic records; correspondence; diaries; financial ledgers; pamphlets and programmes; student admission cards and ledgers; artwork; films; albums; compact discs and cassettes; and ephemera. All records were produced since the School’s inception in 1865.

Date of creation


Administrative history

The School has been collecting records pertaining to its history since 1865. Trinity College School was opened in 1865 as a preparatory school for the University of Toronto’s Trinity College. The School was founded by Reverend W.A. Johnson and began as an Anglican school in Weston, Ontario with nine students. The School is now a non-denominational school with Anglican roots, located in Port Hope, Ontario. The School’s student population is approximately 600. The School has both a Senior and a Junior School with education beginning in Grade 5. The School’s archives reveal the rich history of this academic institution and serve as an excellent source of history for alumni, academic researchers, faculty, students and support staff. The sphere of functional responsibility of the archives is to preserve the history of the institution and the people involved.

Custodial history

The records are currently stored in the W.A. Johnson Classroom Block, the main building for the School’s social sciences department. There is also an overflow storage area located on the fourth floor of the School’s Fessenden Wing.

The John D. Burns Archives is staffed by two archivists: a staff member with a Master of Library and Information Science degree and a faculty member with a Master of Arts in history and archival studies. All positions are part-time.

The John D. Burns Archives is not open on a regular basis. However, our archivists are willing to meet with visitors by appointment. Donations of items of interest to the archives that fall within the scope of our acquisitions policy are gratefully received.

Records held by the John D. Burns Archives are historical in nature and contain language and images representative of their time. In order to preserve the cultural context in which they were created, historical records have been maintained in their original form. This may include terminology and cultural references which do not reflect the present-day interpretations, conclusions and values of Trinity College School.