In January we were visited twice by students in ARST 550: Management of audio-visual and non-textual archives from the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. This class focuses on the management of a variety of types of material, but they came to Rare Books and Special Collections particularly to work with photographic archives.

RBSC collects photographs in a variety of manners: they are often included in fonds or collections with other types of material, or we occasionally acquire them as single items.  As for any type of material, the focus of our photographic archives is mainly British Columbia, but it also spills over into neighbouring provinces or states when the photographs are in the context of a mainly-B.C. collection. We collect photographs in all mediums, from lantern slides to negatives to prints.

The task at hand for the students in ARST550 was to appraise and in some cases accession photographs from our backlog. In all cases, we had very little provenance information or contextualizing data for the students to work with. In short, the photographs were a mystery. They did an excellent job of inspecting the photographs for their physical condition and content, and made recommendations about whether they should be added to our photograph collections.

A couple of interesting discoveries:

  • We located a complete set of negatives from the prints in the B.W.W. MacDougall fonds. Furthermore, we located metadata in the form of index cards which is a match for the negatives. Check out the cool vintage negative envelopes and canisters:
B.W.W. McDougall negatives

B.W.W. McDougall negatives

B.W.W. McDougall negatives

B.W.W. McDougall negatives

  • We found a really charming photograph album originating from a family called the Kidds.  They appear to have been involved with the UBC Players club, and there are also photographs depicting Crescent Beach, mountaineering, and businesses such as Overwaitea Food. The album dates from 1924 to 1926. The photos shown below show a Players Club trip to Britannia Beach.
Kidd family album

Kidd family album

Our thanks to the students for their excellent work, and to Prof. Jessica Bushey for coordinating the visits!

For more information on searching our photograph collections, please consult our Historical Photographs research guide.

Kokushi daijiten is a digitized version of all 15 volumes (17 books) of one of the largest encyclopedias of Japanese history. It encompasses every aspect of Japan’s history and includes entries in related fields such as archaeology, folklore, religion, art, Japanese language, Japanese literature and geography.

Take a look at Kokushi daijiten while it’s on trial, and remember to give us some feedback.

APS has adopted the guiding principle that its journals will embrace open access publishing to the maximum extent possible, consistent with the financial stability of the Society

Is it almost like being there? Check out American History in Video and World History in Video and see for yourself.

American History in Video provides the largest and richest collection of video available online for the study of American history, with 2,000 hours and more than 5,000 titles on completion.

World History in Video is a wide-ranging collection of critically acclaimed documentaries that allow students and researchers to explore human history from the earliest civilizations to the late twentieth century.

NOTE: This product is optimized to operate with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher, and Firefox 3.0 or higher. Audio and video resources are accessible with Adobe Flash Player 9 or higher. There is no mention of Safari on the site.

This week, IBM computer named Watson will play against the two best human Jeopardy players, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Watson is an effort by I.B.M. researchers to advance a set of techniques used to process human language. It provides striking evidence that computing systems will no longer be limited to responding to simple commands. […]

Westlaw Canada & LexisNexis Quicklaw Refresher / Training Sessions (Part of the Law – Commercial Databases Training Sessions) • Registration is required – please click on the appropriate link below to sign up • Please have your IDs and passwords before attending sessions • Location: Faculty of Law Computer Lab (basement of the Law Library) [...]

This month’s presentation is on viewshed analysis, by Forestry Resources Management PhD Candidate and GIS Instructor Brent Chamberlain. This research won Brent the ESRI 2010 Scholarship. Please join us at the UBC GIS Users Group meeting on Wednesday, February 23 at 4:00 PM in Koerner Library Room 216.

D443 .O887 2010 John M. Owen IV, The Clash of Ideas in World Politics: Transnational Networks, States, and Regime Change, 1510-2010 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010). DU124.L35 A88 2009 Bain Attwood & Helen Doyle, Possession: Batman’s Treaty and the Matter of History (Carlton: Miegunyah Press, 2009). E78.C2 C355 2010 Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Standing [...]

In this week’s installment of Rare Books and Special Collection‘s blog series on B.C. place names from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, we’ll take a close look at the Fraser River.

The Fraser River is, not surprisingly, named after the explorer Simon Fraser who fully explored the river in 1808. The longest river in British Columbia (over 2,200 km), it originates in the Rocky Mountains and flows into the Straight of Georgia.

The Frazer River Thermometer

The Frazer River Thermometer

Gold was struck in Fraser River around 1858 which is the origin of our featured document. This broadside entitled The Frazer River Thermometer was published in San Fransisco in 1858 and has humorous  illustrations of miners leaving their lives and families in California to seek gold in British Columbia, describing the area as the “new El Dorado of the North.”  Note the older spelling of “Fraser” with a “z” instead of an “s.” Very few copies of this document are known to exist, but we have one copy on display in the Chung Collection exhibition room, and another which is available upon request in our reading room for closer consultation. Early B.C. history is one of the main focuses of the Chung Collection, along with immigration and settlement, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. The exhibition displays highlights from the collection, but the collection is much larger, numbering approximately 25,000 items.

In the Barber Centre, the Fraser River room is part of the facilities of the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology, on the 2nd floor.

If you missed the Sport and Society Dialogue Series the first time around, now’s your chance to view this exciting piece of Olympic history through cIRcle, UBC’s digital repository.

In February and March of 2010, leading experts and advocates gathered at UBC to participate in five thought provoking discussions on a range of Olympic related topics from ethics and sustainability to inclusivity and social responsibility. Only through cIRcle are the complete recordings of this series available to anyone, anywhere via the web.

Listen to high profile speakers such as former Paralympic athlete Rick Hansen and Stephen Lewis, former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, discuss the power of sport as a vehicle for social change.

Sport and Society Dialogue Series:

Sport, Ethics and Technology: Is High Performance Sport Inconsistent with Ideals and Ethics?

Sport, Peace, and Development: How Can Sport Contribute to Positive Social Change? (Featuring Stephen Lewis)

Sport and Inclusion: Are Major Sporting Events Inclusive of First Nations and Other Groups?

Sport and Challenge: Is Anything Possible? (Featuring Rick Hansen)

Sport, Legacy and Sustainability: Is it Worth It?

Above images are courtesy of the UBC Sport Program (available in PDF) and UBC Public Affairs

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