The weather outside might be frightful, but inside Rare Books and Special Collections is so delightful. To warm your heart and ward off any winter blues, we have put together a selection of winter-themed items from our archival and library collections. The display features photographs and postcards from the Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs, original drawings from the H. Bullock-Webster fonds, and a variety of books and pamphlets, including a number of items from the Arkley Collection of Early and Historical Children’s Literature.

The display is free and open to the public at Rare Books and Special Collections through the end of January 2019. The RBSC reading room is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or

And if you need more holiday cheer in your life, our colleagues at David Lam Library and the Canaccord Learning Commons will be hosting a Winter Celebration Event on Friday, November 30, from 1-3 p.m. Join them for an afternoon of wonder with singing, hot apple cider, and maple cookies. You will also have a chance to take pictures with Santa and craft personalized cards and gift tags that you can bring home! Oh what fun!

After the event, you can begin your countdown to Christmas with the Canaccord Learning Commons’ advent calendar.

A herbal is part of a genre of books that features lists of plants with accompanying descriptions of their properties. John Gerard’s The herball, or, Generall historie of plants (1597) is a quintessential 16th century example. The text drew from earlier herbals: it was commissioned as an English translation of a Dutch herbal, Rembert Dodoens’ Stirpium historiae pemptades sex (1583). In fact, there is some controversy surrounding the work’s origin: Gerard was accused of plagiarism for borrowing portions of an unfinished translation without citation. Even so, it is one of the most famous English herbals.

UBC Library’s copy of The herball, or, Generall historie of plantes (1597) was digitized as part of the Western Manuscripts and Early Printed Books collection. Most plants discussed in the text feature accompanying illustrations – here are some of our favorites.

These full-page spreads of daffodils and marigolds include beautiful detail of the bulbs and roots:

John Gerard made some additions to The herball that were not in the original. Because of his contributions, The herball featured the first illustrations of a potato plant to appear in any herbal:

But, you don’t want to eat these “stinking and deadly carrots”:

Have you ever seen a saffron plant? The book features several different varieties:

Beer enthusiasts may be interested in this description and illustrations of hops:

Finally, here is the book’s illustration of an almond tree:


a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Library





Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia

Spam prevention powered by Akismet