Ada Cavendish

Ada Cavendish in an unidentified role

A famous actress of her time (1939-1895), Cavendish was known for playing Mercy Merrick in New Magdalen and Mrs. Darlington in For Love or Money, among many others. She performed and produced in the UK and toured in America, notably brining the plays of Wilkie Collins to popularity the States.


Luther McCarty

Photo taken shortly before death, May 24, 1913

McCarty was a champion American boxer who died during a match against Canadian Arthur Pelkey in Calgary in 1913. The fate of the event influenced boxing in Alberta, although it was later determined that McCarty died as a result of other causes.

Or collections include a potentially distressing photo of McCarthy, depicting men trying to revive him after his collapse. Accounts of this final fight, and the repercussions, can also be found by searching for the boxer in various newspaper articles of the BC Historical Newspapers collection.

Newspaper coverage, following fight


Laura Holland

An undated photo of Holland

Laura was awarded the Royal Red Cross medal for her work as a nurse serving the Canadian Army Medical Corps in both France and Greece from 1915-1918. Her legacy shaped children and social welfare for British Columbia. She worked to implement the Infants Act, the Adoption Act, and the Children of Unmarried Parents Act. In 1933, she became the Deputy Superintendent of Child Welfare for the province, and in 1938 the Advisor to the Minister of Health and Welfare on Social Welfare Policy position was created specifically for her.

The Laura Holland fonds were recently digitized as part of the History of Nursing in Pacific Canada collection.


Sir Tyrone Guthrie

Theatre summer school, 1955

A well-known figure in theatre around the world, Sir Guthrie pioneered radio play broadcasts for the BBC and gained fame as a stage director across the UK, including a stint as the resident producer-director at the Old Vic. After leaving the UK, he helped develop the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.


Laura Glenn

Switzerland, 1947

Nearly 300 images can be seen thanks to the digitized album of Laura Glenn, a chairwoman of the Canadian Red Cross Corps in Windsor, Ontario and member of the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. Glenn’s photos largely cover her time in Europe between 1940 and 1950, including bombed-out city views and the War Court trials in Hamburg, military events, social outings, and travels and historic sites.


David Conde

Ex.1464-1500. Treatment of prisoners of war

A Canadian born in Ontario, Conde became a U.S. citizen and gained attention as the head of the Motion Picture Department of the Civil Information and Education Section in 1945-1946. He also was known for covering the Tokyo War Crimes Trials from 1946-1947. The collection includes records from the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (1946-47) from Conde’s own research notes to photographs, ephemera and trial transcripts. Some materials are available through our digital collections, but the full fonds is in UBC’s Rare Books and Special Collections.


“Allen Sillas Wilmot and Mary Corburt”

A group portrait, presumably between 1870 and 1880

And, finally, there’s one group that’s definitely peaked our interest, and we wish we knew more about them. The album [Jock Taylor’s Travels] is believed to depict the adventures of the HMS Zealous, including this photo captioned as “Allen Sillas Wilmot and Mary Corburt.” They’re a rather smiley crew for the period. But who were they? Not all that hair is real, right? And what’s with the poses? And, most pressingly, what do the two hand signals mean?



The school term is over, finals are over, the sun is shining for more than an hour at a time… We’re spotting signs of summer both outside and in our collections!

Hats and tea, between 1895-1905


Dockside poses, 1924


Reading outdoors totally counts as being outdoorsy between 1910 and 1920


1959 family time


Wooded wonderland, between 1900 and 1910


Boating and swimming at Horseshoe Bay during the 1922 UBC Alumni Picnic


Camping at the north shore of English Bay in 1901


Boat snoozing, between 1920 and 1925


Camping and fishing with (furry) friends, 1937


Tennis trash talking, 1910


1912: Ties not optional


Hockey season may be over for the Canucks, but with a long history, the sport lives all year in our collections!


Women’s field hockey team, circa 1898


UBC women’s ice hockey, 1921


Hockey game against Czechoslovakia, 1980


1950s field hockey with Oxford-Cambridge


McGill women’s grass hockey, 1911


Canadian field hockey pioneer Dr. Harry Warren pictured with children (no date)


Smith Falls High School hockey (no date)


Women’s grass hockey, 1944


Ice hockey, 1939


Canadian women’s field hockey champions, 1980/81


If it’s the sounds of hockey you’re missing, we have an hour-long broadcast of a 1974 ice hockey game against Alberta you can listen to here.

Planning a remodel? Want to refresh your decor? You just might catch the renovation bug after checking out these spaces!

Perhaps vintage log cabin is your style: nature-inspired and cozy.

Interior view of log cabin, circa 1933

How about a touch of Spanish flair? Milk glass lighting, plenty of greenery and a mix of stripes with more intricate tile patterns.

A courtyard in Blanes, Spain, between 1940 and 1950

Go glam nerd — but not too glam — by pairing a bold accent color and chandelier with some fresh flowers and books. If it’s good enough for Queen Elizabeth’s visit, it’s good for us.

UBC Faculty Club, Royal visit 1959

Logging camp has a farmhouse vibe that benefits from lots of white paint and using everyday utensils as storage.

MacMillan Bloedel Limited kitchen, 1907

Deep woods and rich leathers are the trademark of nautical smoking lounge style. Also, if you love chevron but hate that it’s out of style, here’s proof that chevron was a thing long before the 2010s. This whole look is #timeless.

Smoking room aboard the first C.P. R.M.S. Empress of Scotland, 1921

If you prefer a more contemporary approach, lab chic has you covered: Open shelving shows some personality, and a table instead of a desk makes the space feel less cluttered. Metal bar stools enhance the modern discomfort vibes.

Laboratory, Fairview campus

Vacation is a graphic style that merges striking patterns in an energizing way that tells others, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!”

Verandah and bedroom suite of the second C.P. R.M.S. Empress of Japan, 1930s

Love all the barn wood wall coverings you see at cafes? How about industrial lighting with exposed bulbs? Early hipster coffeehouse combines both trends.

Cook House, Capilano Timber Company


And, finally, with any design project, the devil is in the details. Here are a few takeaways that you can apply to any decor.

Leggy trough sinks with exposed plumbing and wall-mount faucets – they’re pretty and very practical for hand-washing your clothes. And that fold-out ironing board is just too practical!

Fort Camp laundry room

Wall-mount phones are back! Okay maybe not, but this office offers some advice for your own home workspace, like it’s A-OK to display multiple calendars (who doesn’t love calendars?). Also storage can be sensible and decorative – just check out that mesh letter holder hung on the wall.

View of interior office, 1920, Capilano Timber Company

There’s a lot to take in here, but the faceted door really grabs your attention.

P.S.S. Kathleen smoke room alcove, 1924

And in case you’ve been looking for the perfect place to add that family (or alma mater) crest, doorknobs make a delightful unexpected detail.

University Librarian’s office, 2003




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