Don’t fuhgeddaboudit: The Mob and the York University Archives

Curious about who else makes use of the resources of York University Archives, other than the dedicated students and scholars of the York community? Read the article submitted to YFile by Sean Smith, York Archives & Special Collections assistant.

Tune into History Television tonight at 9pm for the first of a four-part series called “Mob Stories”, which looks at the lives of a select four of Canada’s mafia dons: Rocco Perri, John “Pops” Papalia, Paolo Violi and Frank Cotroni. These men created and ran the mob in Canada. Intertwined with the stories of these four men is an exploration of the history of Canadian organized crime through the 20th century.

What’s the connection with York? You might have already noticed the ads for the series in Toronto’s major newspapers showing a picture of a police officer standing with his arms crossed in front of the chalked outline of a body. What you might not have noticed was the credit line for the image, tracing it back to the Toronto Telegram archival collection at York.

That is just one of many images used in the series that were found in York’s Toronto Telegram collection. The collection comprises over one million photographs and newspaper negatives and is arranged primarily by subject.

For more information on “Mob Stories”, check out