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Librarians play a critical role in the research lifecycle at UBC.

See how at the article: Unique skillset makes librarians vital to medical research at UBC.

The Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection contains 1,483 paintings, illustrations, engravings, advertisements, photographs and other ephemera depicting the game of croquet, dating from the 1760s to the 1950s. Tremaine Arkley, formerly a U.S. National Croquet Team player, donated the collection to UBC Library in 2011, with a second accrual in 2013. Funding for digitization was provided by Tremaine and Gail Arkley. The collection went online in early 2014, and a second phase of digitization was completed in August 2014.

Here are some of our favourite images from the collection. And if you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter @DigitizeUBC, where we frequently feature images from the Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection on Fridays!

The collection contains many advertisements illustrating croquet – including these ads for croquet equipment, lawnmowers, and self-adjusting buckles:

Fuller, Edmond. Jacques croquet mallets and requisites, 1915.

Excelsior lawn mower, [between 1890 and 1899?].

Self adjusting buckles, 1876.


One strength of the collection is its depiction of 19th and early 20th century gender roles, because croquet was one of the first sports men and women played together.

Seidman Photo Service. [Photograph depicting a man and a woman playing croquet], 1896.

The momentous question, 1872.

E.H.S. Adversaries, 1929.


There are nearly 500 postcards in the collection, mainly showing games of croquet at various locations – from croquet grounds to beaches to hotels:

The croquet grounds, [between 1910 and 1919?].

Sur la plage, [between 1910 and 1919?].

Avondene Private Hotel, 1913.


The collection also contains 41 stereographs. If you’re curious about why there are two nearly-identical images side by side, you can check out our previous blog post about how stereographs work here.

[Stereograph depicts two women playing croquet], 1906.


Finally, we love these depictions of animals playing croquet:

[Illustration depicting bears playing croquet], 1912.

[Painting depicting cats playing croquet], 1919.

Do you have any favourite images from the Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection? Let us know in the comments!



Librarian Ursula Ellis and researcher Kirsten Marchand.

UBC librarians are expert searchers, organizers and analyzers — and this unique set of skills is making them indispensable to medical research at UBC.

In the spring of 2018, The Canadian Institute of Health Research funded twenty-two grants through the Opioid Crisis Knowledge Synthesis Operating grant. This $1.85 million dollar grant aimed to address the pressing evidence needs of knowledge users within the context of the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy and help tackle the most urgent elements of the opioid crisis, including opioid-related mortality rates.

Librarians make grant applications more successful

UBC researchers received six of the twenty-two grants awarded nationally. Of those, five received some kind of librarian support. “The literature tells us that librarians’ involvement makes grant applications more successful, particularly in the area of systematic reviews,” says Aleteia Greenwood, Head of Woodward Library. “It is gratifying to see that this held true in this particular competition.”   

A systematic review, and similar review types such as scoping reviews, provide a complete, exhaustive summary of current evidence relevant to a research question. Systematic reviews help researchers identify inconsistencies and gaps in diverse evidence to define future research needs. Surfacing the relevant literature can be a challenge and it is in this area that librarians are able to make a significant impact.

Researcher Kirsten Marchand consulted the expertise of librarian Ursula Ellis to conduct a scoping review exploring how principles of patient-centered care can be applied to the treatment of people with opioid use disorder as a complement to pharmacological treatment. “Our team of health care providers, advocates and researchers was already doing work in this area of patient-centered care, but we had never done a systematic review on the topic,” she says, “Ursula was extremely helpful to us at the proposal stage, walking us through the mechanics of building a search strategy to demonstrate feasibility. She was instrumental in the refining and framing of our research question and identifying key search terms.” Once the project was funded, Ellis continued to provide support on the project, helping to tweak and refine the search strategy. “We are so immensely grateful to Ursula,” says Marchand, “I feel that her work with me went beyond providing education and support, she was really making scientific contributions in helping to think through our study design and research question.”


Dr. Jan Klimas and his team at the BC Centre for Substance Use turned to librarian Dean Giustini for his expertise in search strategy when putting together a systematic review looking at patient characteristics that are predictive of whether someone will go into prescription opioid addiction when they are prescribed opioids for pain for the first time. “Dean’s contributions were essential in moving our project forward,” he says, “He helped us refine which search terms would best pick up studies about predictive factors. This is a very tricky thing – these are not clinical trials. The types of studies we were looking for are not well-indexed and can be difficult to surface.”

UBC librarians offer customized workshops and training for researchers

When putting together a realist review that explores how online solutions might help improve the system of care and decrease opioid-related mortality, Dr. Mohammadali Nikoo on behalf of Addictions and Concurrent Disorders (ACD) Research Group led by Michael Krausz reached out to librarians Helen Brown and Vanessa Kitchin for support. “Helen helped us in the proposal stage in creating a search strategy and once the project was underway, Vanessa demonstrated a mock literature review for our team, helping us get an idea of what we needed to do. She’s been available for consultation throughout the project— it has been a very positive experience for us.”

“UBC librarians are helping to surface knowledge that might remain hidden or require significant resources on the part of the researcher,” says Lea Starr, UBC Associate University Librarian in charge of Research. “This allows researchers to demonstrate that the research undertaken will have an impact, and will directly correspond to the need.”

As for future research, Marchand, Klimas and Nikoo all consider librarian consultation an integral part of the research lifecycle and plan to build librarian consultation into future research. “In this new era of fast-paced information that is emerging, I think the librarian’s role is becoming more and more important,” says Nikoo, “We are looking forward to more collaboration in the future.”

To arrange for a systematic review consultation, please complete this form and send it to your subject librarian.

Attend one of UBC Library’s monthly Systematic Review workshops.

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