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, Toronto Public Library's virtual exhibition that celebrates 10,000 years of the city's history. It recreates the exhibition on display at the TD Gallery, Toronto Reference Library, June 29 - September 22, 2002 and May 17 - August 2, 2003. Images are from the Library's Special Collections and private collections. The virtual exhibition is divided into five eras, beginning with the first human presence in the city 8000 BC and ending with modern city of 2003. You can explore the city's past by clicking one of the images on the map or a time period on the navigation bar. Each era begins with an Overview History , which summarizes the major trends and developments that shaped that time period.

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Introduction From the time of Columbus, the American continent was seen by Europeans as a barrier between Europe and the Orient. A passage through it was the prime object of many voyages of exploration. Magellan had sailed around South America in 1520, but the icy northern shores were mysterious and seemed unassailable. The search for a sea route across the top of North America began in the 16th century as a commercial venture sponsored by London merchants. By the 19th century it was obvious that a Northwest Passage would not be a useful seaway, but finding it became an obsession, as did the attainment of the North Pole late in the century.

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The collection contains 101 of the Champlain Society's volumes (almost 50,000 printed pages) dealing with exploration and discovery over three centuries. It includes first-hand accounts of Samuel de Champlain's voyages in New France as well as the diary from Sir John Franklin's first land expedition to the Arctic, 1819-22.

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This site documents two exploratory surveys of the Barren Lands region west of Hudson Bay, in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan and the area now known as Nunavut. Drawing on materials from the J.B. Tyrrell, James Tyrrell and related collections at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, it includes over 5,000 images from original field notebooks, correspondence, photographs, maps and published reports.

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