The Asian Library will close at 5:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday from September 4 to accommodate upcoming upgrades and renovations. The renovations, scheduled to be completed in the Spring of 2019 will allow for improvements to student study areas, seminar space and programming.

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to improve spaces and services for faculty, students and the community.

Any questions about the renovation can be directed to Shirin Eshghi, Head, Asian Library.

Xwi7xwa Library is looking for a Reference Librarian to join our team!

LAW LIBRARY level 3: KPA130 .K56 2017
Kim Paek-ch’ŏl chiŭm, Pŏpch’i kukka Chosŏn ŭi t’ansaeng : Chosŏn chŏn’gi kukpŏp ch’egye hyŏngsŏngsa
법치 국가 조선 의 탄생 : 조선 전기 국법 체계 형성사 / 김 백철 지음.
(Sŏul-si : Ihaksa, 2017).
(서울시 : 이학사, 2017).

LAW LIBRARY level 3: KPA1650 .C4645 2017
Sim Chae-u, Chŏn Kyŏng-mok, Kim Ho, Pak So-hyŏn, Cho Yŏng-jun chiŭm, Chosŏn hugi pŏmnyul munhwa yŏn’gu
조선 후기 법률 문화 연구 / 심 재우, 전 경목, 김 호, 박 소현, 조 영준 지음.
(Kyŏnggi-do Sŏngnam-si : Han’gukhak Chungang Yŏn’guwŏn Ch’ulp’anbu, 2017).
(경기도 성남시 : 한국학 중앙 연구원 출판부, 2017).

On August 16, 2018 David Lam Library and the Cannacord Learning Commons hosted its first ever UBC Sauder “tea in the garden” event. The event was a celebration of our library’s community garden on the third floor patio. We were pleased with the high turnout and our colleagues’ enthusiasm for the garden. Guests were treated to […]

Old manuscripts can be full of surprises. Going through our collection of Western Manuscripts and Early Printed Books Collection can almost feel like a treasure hunt! You can find amazing and delicate details in the drawings, the margins, and even the letters of the page. But do you know why manuscripts were created so intricately?

The decorative elements found in borders, drawings, and initials on manuscripts had a purpose. These details increased the value of the material while enhancing the appearance of the manuscript. They helped readers to interpret the text by offering visual content, which aided literacy, and by delineating passages of text. Decorations could also be used to demonstrate the importance of the manuscript owner or of the represented person.

Book of hours, 1440


Books of hours, 1440


Illuminated manuscripts often used bright colors from natural pigments, gold leaf and even semi-precious stones for decoration. Illuminators were very skilled and specialized workers, and it was common for a single work to take multiple years to complete. Illuminated manuscripts were of high prestige and were often given as diplomatic gifts or to celebrate dynastic marriages. Although the increasing popularity of the printing press in the 16th century meant that books no longer had to be hand-written, many aristocrats and rulers continued to order these manuscripts for private devotion and viewing.

In addition to illuminations, manuscripts could also incorporate decoration in other ways. Common decorative embellishments were:

  • Initials: decorations varied from a simple rubrication (inking the initial letter in red) to drawings inside the initial letter, which were color painted and represented a scene from the text.
  • Borders: these varied from a simple pen-work with red or blue ink to borders using gold leaf and pigments. Expensive books sometimes had borders on every page, while others would have borders only on the first page, or to introduce new parts of the text.
  • Miniatures: these were smaller works of art that could fulfill a range of purposes, such as providing commentary, deepening the reader’s understanding of the text, or by providing aesthetic and meditative value.


Spanish chant manuscript, 1625


[Quaestiones super tres libros De anima Aristotelis], 1480

[Quaestiones super tres libros De anima Aristotelis], 1480

Explore our Western Manuscripts and Early Printed Books Collection to check out these and other items!



An introduction to illuminated manuscripts (British Library)

Illuminated manuscripts (National Gallery of Art)

Manuscripts and special collections (University of Nottingham)

Manuscript illumination in Northern Europe (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

LAW LIBRARY level 3: JL186 .C88 2018
Allan S. Cutler, A Practical Guide to Public Procurement (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2018).

LAW LIBRARY learning commons (level 2) & LAW LIBRARY reference room (level 2): KE259 .C35 2018
McGill Law Journal, Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 9th ed. (Toronto: Thomson Reuters Canada, 2018).

LAW LIBRARY level 3: KE1065 .N53 2018
Christopher C. Nicholls, Securities Law, 2d ed. (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2018).
Online access:

LAW LIBRARY level 3: KE1639 .L58 2018
Nikiforos Iatrou ed., Litigating Competition Law in Canada (Toronto: LexisNexis Canada Inc., 2018).

LAW LIBRARY level 3: KE1790 .N49 2018
Dwight Newman, Mining Law of Canada (Toronto: LexisNexis Canada Inc., 2018).

LAW LIBRARY level 3: KE8585 .K37 2018
Moiz Karimjee, Issues in Criminal Trials and Summary Appeal Law, 2d ed. (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2018).

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