They’re opening the vault.

Some of the most valuable works of art owned by the Toronto school board could soon be loaned out to classrooms for students to see and learn from, trustee Gary Crawford told the Toronto Star in an exclusive interview in advance of an announcement today about the collection’s future.

“We want to make it accessible to students and accessible to teachers as a learning tool,” he said. “It’s amazing that students could have a Tom Thomson or an Emily Carr on the wall ... they’d have an opportunity to see it in a different environment,” he said, adding proper security would be in place.

The board has a collection of one million historical artifacts and archival items including photos, maps, decorative arts, pictures and paintings, some by the famed Canadian Group of Seven.

One plan is to have an online catalogue so teachers can see what is available, said Crawford, who noted the board would first have to approve such a move.

“We could have a loan program and bring those objects into a school,” said Crawford, himself a Scarborough-based artist. “These are huge tools for teachers and for learn­ing.”