Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition: Across Enchanted Lands: Universal Motifs in Illustrated Fairy Tales.

Many thanks to guest bloggers Renée Gaudet, Karen Ng, and Ashlynn Prasad for contributing the below post! Renée, Karen, and Ashlynn are graduate students at UBC’s iSchool (School of Library, Archival and Information Studies) and curated this delightful new exhibition under the supervision of Professor Kathie Shoemaker.

Our exhibition, Across Enchanted Lands: Universal Motifs in Illustrated Fairy Tales, showcases various themes and archetypes common in fairy tales, with particular attention to the ways in which those themes appear in stories from a variety of cultures. While many of the archetypes highlighted – including peril, romance, and fairies and little folk – may be familiar to consumers of modern-day fairy tales, the exhibition also features characteristics common to early fairy tales that have since changed and evolved.

Student curators Renée Gaudet, Karen Ng, and Ashlynn Prasad

Across Enchanted Lands comprises just a small portion of the vast collection of children’s literature housed at UBC’s Rare Books and Special Collections, and also includes some items from the Education Library. Part of the strength of these materials is the fact that they span the course of hundreds of years, which allows for the exploration of illustration styles from different eras of fairy tales and the ways in which certain fairy tales have evolved over time. The illustrations highlighted here showcase both the beauty and light side of fairy tales as well as some of the darker and sinister undertones that often creep up in these narratives. In this way, Across Enchanted Lands offers a well-rounded perspective on the history of the modern fairy tale and the various roles the fairy tale genre has played in different cultures.

Across Enchanted Lands is located partly in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room and partly on level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. On level 2, the cases cover the following themes: Global Fairy Tales; Cinderella and Red Riding Hood Across Cultures; Not for Children; Powerful Women; Pop-Up and Interactive Books; Illustration Styles; and Abodes. On the first floor in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room are Beautiful Books; Canonical Writers; Global Fairy Tales; Cinderella Across Cultures; Fairies and Little Folk; Animals; Mythological Creatures; Peril; and Romance. The cases work together and inform one another in order to provide a well-rounded picture of the many essential archetypes and motifs that have made fairy tales so iconic.

Across Enchanted Lands: Universal Motifs in Illustrated Fairy Tales is on display from March 1 through May 30, 2019. The exhibition is free and open to the public, and people of all ages are encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

Many thanks to guest blogger Claire Williams for contributing the below post! Claire is a graduate student at UBC’s iSchool (School of Library, Archival and Information Studies) and the processed the Lilian Bland fonds as part of her role as an archives and reference assistant at Rare Books and Special Collections.

Lilian Bland is widely recognized as the first women to design, construct, and fly her own aircraft. She was also an avid photographer, journalist, marks-woman, equestrian, motorist, and an early settler of Northern Vancouver Island.

Rare Books and Special Collections acquired a collection of her photographs, many of which are glass negatives and glass lantern slides, documenting her life from Europe to her home-stead in Quatsino, to California, and back again.

In addition, a copy of her autobiography was donated to RBSC providing a rare account of Bland’s experiences in her own words, documenting the course of her eventful life. Below are a few selections from the fonds, showcasing a selection of Lilian’s many feats and adventures.

Lilian the Equestrian

“As I got a name for being able to ride anything, farmers would bring me horses to try out hunting, and I applied for a license to the Jockey Club in the hope of being able to ride in races, but was refused. I think I was the first lady to apply.”

In addition to ‘riding anything’ Lilian published several articles on horses and horseback riding in Country Life Tatler, and a variety of other magazines including some in French and German. She often included her own photography in these publications, and/or photographs of her riding.

Lilian the Motorwoman

In 1925 Lillian drove her husband, her cousin, and their two children from California back to Vancouver in a Model-T ford, camping on the way.

“I had the trusty Ford in which the seats would turn into two beds, and a tent hooked on the side. A large kettle was slung behind, a roll of blankets on the mud-guard, the blue Jay in his cage, two children and the three of us, and left California for a 1,000 mile trip to Vancouver.”

Lilian had driven a Model-T in Britain which her father had purchased her as enticement to give up her airplane, which he considered much more dangerous.

Lilian the Pilot

In 1910, Lillian designed and built her plane the MayFly.

“My uncle sent me a postcard from France illustrating the monoplane and giving its dimensions. This was the final spark to my ambition to fly, something I had not tackled yet. I would make a machine and fly it!”

The Lilian Bland fonds can be viewed in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room starting in mid-March 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 rare.books@ubc.ca.

Shakespeare’s first folio. Image courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

In honour of Dr. Patricia Badir’s new course Shakespeare Now (ENGL 241) Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to partially re-stage our popular Shakespeare exhibition from this past summer.

Exploring topics including Shakespearean theatre in British Columbia, Shakespeare in children’s literature, Shakespeare and religion, and the legacy of Shakespeare, the exhibition was co-curated by Patricia Badir, Professor of English, Anthony Dawson, Professor Emeritus of English, and Department of English students Karol Pasciano (MA), Aiden Tait (BA Hons.), and Ana Maria Fernandez Grandizo (BA Hons.).

Shakespeare and the Book will be on display in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room through February 22, 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 rare.books@ubc.ca.

As part of the course, FREN 520: La Révolution française: histoire, fiction, débats, and in conjunction with the talk by Prof. Keith Baker (Stanford University) on Jean-Paul Marat, Rare Books and Special Collections is pleased to host a display of materials from UBC Library’s French Revolution Collection.

The display, curated by students Juliette Christie and Marilyse Turgeon-Solis and Dr. Joël Castonguay-Bélanger (Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies), explores the start of the French Revolution in 1789, the political power of the printing press, the Revolution as portrayed on the stage and in music of the time, and the final days of King Louis XVI. A catalogue of the exhibition is available for download. The core of UBC Library’s French Revolution Collection, a small group of 111 pamphlets, was acquired in the 1970s, but a recent collaborative acquisition effort between the Library and the Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies will allow the collection to grow substantially over the next five years.

The display of materials from the French Revolution will be on in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room through February 28, 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 rare.books@ubc.ca.

Many thanks to guest blogger Karen Ng for contributing the below post! Karen is a graduate student at UBC’s iSchool (School of Library, Archival and Information Studies) and the co-curator of Judging a Book by Its Cover.

Fantastic Books and Where to See Them!

At Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC), I work as a student assistant, and it is both exciting and daunting to learn the collections and holdings. What do we have and what’s interesting about each thing? In searching for books with visually appealing covers that draw our attention, we turned our focus to items that show the progression of bookbinding techniques over time, as well as items that highlight Vancouver’s book arts scene. The exhibition, Judging a Book By Its Cover, showcases items from the following categories: early European bindings; works from local bookbinders and designers; artists’ books and odd formats; examples of the Arts and Crafts Movement; special qualities of bindings that make books unique; and notable and aesthetically beautiful covers.

Some of my favourite items from the exhibit include The WunderCabinet: The Curious Worlds of Barbara Hodgson & Claudia Cohen, The Canned Think, and Le trésor du fidèle. The WunderCabinet is a charming contemporary cabinet of curiosities filled with odd bits and pieces alongside a journal inside the wooden box. The Canned Think, created by Tyrrell Mendis, Joel Matthews, and Jon Matthews, is a cute selection of “poemtry” inside a can. Finally, Le trésor du fidèle is a small book published some time in the 1800s. It lives in a plain little black box, and with a beautifully sculpted ivory cover with engraved initials, it sits in delightful contrast to one of the biggest books in the exhibit, a large music chant manuscript with wonderfully obnoxious metal bosses and clasps.

When nearly all the books on the shelves were beautiful, it was easy to pick out the ones with gold lettering and decorations for display. These books formed our cases that highlighted the Arts and Crafts Movement of the late nineteenth century, when there was an emphasis on aesthetics and the fine arts, which was a response of sorts to the industrial nature of mass-produced books. A major focus in this exhibition is also on the handmade quality of books ranging from medieval manuscripts to artists’ books. At times, it became difficult for me to fully appreciate the work and craftsmanship that went into artists’ books in particular when they looked like a machine had made them, and perhaps that’s the fascinating part about the book.

This exhibition was an exciting opportunity to judge and explore the books in RBSC on a largely superficial level. These books look great and we want you to see them.

The exhibition Judging a Book by Its Cover is free and open to the public at Rare Books and Special Collections through January 4, 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 rare.books@ubc.ca.

 

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 rare.books@ubc.ca.

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.

RBSC tours poster imageHave you ever been curious about what we do or what we have at RBSC? Join our weekly tour of Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of British Columbia Library for an introduction to our space and our unique materials and collections. Tours are free and open to the general public, as well as the UBC community. No need to RSVP, just drop in to learn what RBSC is all about!

Every Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1st floor
1961 East Mall, UBC Vancouver campus

For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

Many thanks to guest blogger Claire Williams for contributing the below post! Claire is a graduate student at UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies and has worked on processing labour history-related archival materials at RBSC.

As another September rolls around, and we take the first Monday off to celebrate Labour Day, we wanted to highlight some of the primary sources we have at RBSC that document the struggles won by the labour movement.

A Brief History of Labour Day

Labour Day in Canada has its origins in a struggle that originated over a century ago. In the late 1800’s, industrial workers in North America demanded humane working conditions, including a nine-hour workday. The Toronto Typographical Union went on strike in support of these demands, and many of the leaders of the strike were subsequently arrested. Following a public outcry, including large protests of the unfair treatment of the workers, parliament passed the Trade Unions Act, legalizing union activity and the legal right to strike. The legacy of this struggle led to the declaration of Labour Day as a national holiday. So began a tradition of recognizing the power of individuals who were willing to fight for the rights of the working class. While these struggles resulted in major legal and policy changes, they also came at a high cost to some workers who faced legal punitive action, loss of employment, arrest, and on occasion, physical violence.

Exploring Records of the Labour Movement

Here at Rare Books and Special Collections, we hold a wealth of primary sources related to labour history. I work at RBSC as a student archivist, where it is my job to arrange and describe these records in order to provide for their long-term preservation and access. One of the fonds I worked on was the Jean Sheils Research Collection. Sheils’ father, Arthur “Slim” Evans, had been a leading member of the On-to-Ottawa trek in 1935. During the trek over 1,000 unemployed men rode the trains from Vancouver to Ottawa in order to appear before the federal government and request better working conditions in the labour relief camps. The trek ended in Regina on 1 July 1935 when a riot broke out between the trekkers, their supporters, and the RCMP and local police.

 

For a guide to more labour related material at RBSC, see our research guide on the topic, located at http://guides.library.ubc.ca/labourhistoryarchives. To view this and other material in person, please come down to the RBSC reading room located in the basement of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

 

From upper left corner: Wood sample, “Effect of Fertilizer on Mature Trees,” (n.d), MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. (181-06); Penick and Co. Oils, 1957, MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. (181-05); Keys to the first paper mill in B.C., ca. 1894, MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. (180-22).

Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition: 150 Years of Forestry in British Columbia.

Curated by Ashlynn Prasad, MAS/MLIS Candidate at the University of British Columbia, under the supervision of RBSC Archivist Krisztina Laszlo, 150 Years of Forestry in British Columbia takes a broad view of the forestry industry in British Columbia from 1861 to 2016. Items on display are drawn from key RBSC collections with strong ties to forestry and illustrate the evolution of a cornerstone industry in B.C.

The exhibition is being staged in honour of the 10th anniversary of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC). Dr. Irving K. Barber, who as the principal donor gave $20 million towards the building’s development and construction in 2012, was a leader within B.C.’s forestry industry for much of his career. A second exhibition, A Place of Learning: The Evolution of the Library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, explores the construction and physical evolution of the 1925 Library building and its transition to the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Curated by Archivist Erwin Wodarczak, all items featured in the exhibition come from the collections of the University Archives, which serves to identify, preserve and showcase the University’s permanently valuable records. 

150 Years of Forestry in British Columbia will be on display at Rare Books and Special Collections through November 16, 2018. The RBSC reading room is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca. A Place of Learning: The Evolution of the Library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is on display on level 2 (main foyer) of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre through October 31, 2018.

Shakespeare’s first folio. Image courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition:And there’s the humor of it”: Shakespeare and the Four Humors.

Blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm. These four humors were once thought to shape a person’s mental and physical health, behavior and even personality. Initially borrowed from Ancient Greek thinkers like Aristotle, Hippocrates, and Galen, the theory of the four humors was so ingrained into the common wisdom of Shakespeare’s time that references to melancholic displays and choleric outbursts fill his most popular plays. The interplay between medical theory and theatrical language forms the basis of a fascinating exhibition, created by the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, now at UBC Library.

The traveling exhibition, “And there’s the humor of it”: Shakespeare and the Four Humors, has been supplemented with additional materials from UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, exploring topics including Shakespearean theatre in British Columbia and Shakespeare in children’s literature. More information about the National Library of Medicine display and the materials at RBSC is available through the UBC Library website.

Many thanks to co-curators of the UBC Library collections materials Patricia Badir, Professor of English, Anthony Dawson, Professor Emeritus of English, and Department of English students Karol Pasciano (MA), Aiden Tait (BA Hons.), and Ana Maria Fernandez Grandizo (BA Hons.). Thank you also to John Christopoulos, Assistant Professor of History, for lending his subject matter expertise. UBC Library co-curators for the exhibition included Charlotte Beck, Chelsea Shriver, and Helen Brown.

The panels on loan from the National Library of Medicine will be on display at Woodward Library through July 14 and the books on display at Rare Books and Special Collections will be available through August 3, 2018. The RBSC reading room is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For Woodward Library’s hours, check their website. The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

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