Toronto Life | A look inside U of T’s massive archive of Leonard Cohen poems, letters and pictures

The world is still reeling from the death of Leonard Cohen, the latest loss in a year that also claimed David Bowie, Prince and Muhammad Ali. Grieving fans can find solace at the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, home to 140 banker’s boxes worth of Cohen’s archives. Throughout his career, Cohen donated scores of remnants to the library: handwritten notes and letters, portraits, CDs, paintings, novel manuscripts, books, early drafts of his poetry and lyrics, and even art he made when he lived as a Buddhist monk. Jennifer Toews, Fisher’s modern manuscripts librarian, keeps watch over the collection. “His passing makes this material all that more important,” she says. “He’s a big part of us—and a lovely person.” Here, the stories behind 13 pieces of Cohen memorabilia. Read more.

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