Science Literacy Week (September 16-22, 2019) is an annual celebration of science in Canada, in which libraries, universities, museums, and other partners offer events and displays to highlight research and learning at our institutions.

This year focuses on the OCEAN, a perfect theme for a country that borders the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans. All branches of the UBC Library on both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses will showcase items from their rich collection of ocean-related books, films, and even puppets.

Rare Books and Special Collections is delighted to feature displays of historical materials related to the ocean from the W.C. Gibson History of Science & Medicine Collection, as well as modern poetry books inspired by our world’s oceans, notably some beautiful small and fine-press limited editions featuring British Columbian and Canadian poets.

For more details about RBSC’s book displays as well as displays and activities at the other UBC Library branches, visit the UBC Library Guide to Science Literacy Week.

RBSC’s Science Literacy Week displays, which are free and open to the public, will be up in our reading room from September 16 until September 30, 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 Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection has been added to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Canada Memory of the World Register in recognition of its historical value.

Showcasing the most significant documents of our heritage, UNESCO’s Memory of the World program is an international initiative launched to safeguard the documentary heritage of humanity against collective amnesia, neglect, the ravages of time and climatic conditions, and wilful and deliberate destruction. It calls for the preservation of valuable archival holdings, library collections and private individual compendia all over the world for posterity, the reconstitution of dispersed or displaced documentary heritage, and the increased accessibility to and dissemination of these items. The Canada Memory of the World Register highlights exceptional works and documents that reflect the wealth and diversity of Canada’s documentary heritage.

In being added to the Canadian register, the Chung Collection joins a short list of Canadian works and documentary collections including the Canadian Pacific Railway Company Fonds, The Vancouver Island Treaties, and Witnesses of Founding Cultures: Early Books in Aboriginal Languages (1556-1900).

The Chung Collection contains more than 25,000 rare and unique items (documents, books, maps, posters, paintings, photographs, silver, glass, ceramic ware and other artifacts), and selections from the collection are on display in Rare Books and Special Collections, organized to show some of the most compelling stories of Canada’s past. RBSC offers weekly tours of the Chung Collection exhibition space. The weekly drop-in tours are held every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Rare Books and Special Collections on Level 1 of UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre!

If you are unable to make the drop-in tour, you are welcome to browse the exhibition anytime RBSC is open, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the general public, as well as the UBC community. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at 604 822-2521.

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection exhibition at Rare Books and Special Collections has been open to visitors in its current location in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre since April 2008. Since then, the RBSC team has diligently tracked attendance. Earlier today, we were delighted to welcome the 10,000th and 10,001st visitors to the Chung Collection exhibition!

Over the years, the visitors to the Chung Collection have been diverse and varied, including UBC classes, visiting scholars, University staff, students and faculty, seniors groups, as well as community members from Greater Vancouver and many visitors from afar. Today’s special visitors were Ivy Ng (the 10,000th visitor) and Susanna Ng (the 10,001st visitor). Ivy and Susanna had known about the Chung Collection for some time and finally visited the exhibition to see in person some of the Collection’s many special and unique artifacts related to the Chinese community. They were thrilled to discover they were milestone visitors to the exhibition, particularly Ivy, who received a UBC Library gift bag. Given their good luck today, Ivy and Susanna said they were considering buying a lottery ticket. Like most lottery hopefuls, they have already partially spent their winnings—generously offering funds for a Chung Collection endowment if they win big.

The Chung Collection exhibition features only a small portion of the Chung Collection’s more than 25,000 items. Materials not on display can be accessed for consultation in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room. Accumulated over 60 years by Dr. Wallace Chung, the extraordinary Chung Collection covers three main themes: early British Columbia history and exploration, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and early immigration and settlement with a focus on the Chinese diaspora.

Stay tuned for 20,000th visitor celebrations!

In honour of the 60th anniversary of the Library’s acquisition of the Puban Collection, Rare Books and Special Collections will be hosting bi-weekly tours highlighting items from the Puban Collection throughout the summer.

Tour Dates:
July 9, 2019 (1:30-2:30 pm)
July 23, 2019 (1:30-2:30 pm)
August 6, 2019 (1:30-2:30 pm)
August 20, 2019 (1:30-2:30 pm)

Join this tour for an introduction to the Puban Collection, hosted by UBC Library’s Chinese Rare Books Cataloguer, Ya Min Wu.

The event is free and open to the general public, as well as the UBC community. No need to RSVP, just drop in. Rare Books and Special Collections is located on the 1st floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, UBC Vancouver campus. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-0645 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, one of our most well-known and beloved special collections, contains material related to three broad and interrelated themes: early British Columbia history, immigration and settlement and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. The Chung Collection contains more than 25,000 rare and unique items (documents, books, maps, posters, paintings, photographs, silver, glass, ceramic ware and other artifacts), and selections from the collection are on display in RBSC, organized to show some of the most compelling stories of Canada’s past.

To accompany our weekly Wednesday drop-in tours, Rare Books and Special Collections offers weekly tours of the Chung Collection exhibition space. The weekly drop-in tours are held every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Rare Books and Special Collections on Level 1 of UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre!

If you are unable to make the drop-in tour, you are welcome to browse the exhibition anytime RBSC is open, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the general public, as well as the UBC community. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at 604 822-2521.

Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is excited to announce a new public exhibition, “A Queer Century, 1869-1969,” opening to coincide with UBC’s hosting of the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

“A Queer Century” tell stories from the history of sexuality, progressing from the emergence of homosexuality as a named concept in 1869 to the announced decriminalization of homosexual activity in Canada in 1969, and highlighting cultural events in the changing perceptions of gender and sexuality. The exhibition features books, ephemera, and archival materials in English, German, and French from RBSC’s collections, as well as original correspondence held in UBC’s University Archives, and materials generously loaned by local private collectors.

This exhibition is made possible by the Queer Collections Project (QCP), a joint, interdisciplinary initiative organized by faculty in the Faculty of Arts with the support of UBC Library and housed at Rare Books and Special Collections. The QCP began with seed funding from the Jane Rule Endowment for the Study of Human Relationships (JRE), with the goal of making significant additions to the UBC Library’s collections, thereby putting in place primary resources for undergraduate and graduate research into the study of the history of sexuality.

Since 2017, the faculty curators—Dr. Kyle Frackman (Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies) and Dr. Gregory Mackie (Department of English Language and Literatures)—have aimed to add to the University’s collections and to surface items that UBC Library already owns. The QCP has received generous funding and support from the JRE, UBC Library, the UBC Provost’s Office, and the Ulrich Maché Memorial Fund.

“A Queer Century, 1869-1969,” which is free and open to the public, will be on display in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room from June 1 to September 11, 2019. The RBSC reading room is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A catalogue of the exhibition can be downloaded here. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

 

UBC is excited to host this year’s Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences from June 1-7, 2019. During Congress 2019, Rare Books and Special Collections will have special weekend open hours on Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Materials will not circulate, but visitors will be able to enjoy the permanent exhibition of the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, as well as the temporary special exhibition “A Queer Century, 1869-1969.” We look forward to welcoming you during Congress 2019!

 

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. A complete catalogue of the exhibition can be downloaded here. 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.

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