The Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation, and Fantasy

Merril Collection banner, 2005

What is the Merril Collection?

Toronto Public Library's Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation, and Fantasy is a non-circulating research collection of science fiction, fantasy, and magic realism used by researchers, educators and the general public.

The collection itself includes over 75,000 items: fiction, non-fiction about science fiction and fantasy.It also includes graphic novels and fantasy/roleplaying games. Non-fiction areas of collection include ‘fringe’ areas such as parapsychology and UFOs. 

This is one of the major popular culture collections in the world.


The original collection was donated to the Toronto Public Library in 1970 by well-known author and editor Judith Merril.

Originally known as the Spaced Out Library, it has grown from 5,000 items to over 75,000 items over the last 28 years.

In its early days, it was housed in the Palmerston branch. Later, it moved to 40 St. George Street. When the Lillian H. Smith branch was opened in 1995, it was designed to provide optimal conditions for the Merril Collection.


Friends of the Merril Collection

The Friends of the Merril Collection support the goals of the Collection and hold regular programs for the membership.

For the past 27 years, they have published a bi-annual 'zine, entitled Sol Rising, the Newsletter of the Friends of the Merril Collection, about the colleciton, its events and the people who care deeply about it.