The UBC Library Digitization Centre Special Projects collection is a variety of smaller projects from the UBC Library Rare Books & Special Collections or University Archives divisions.

There are 106 items in this collection, including maps, books, albums, and other miscellaneous documents. These projects emphasize the depth and breadth of the Library’s rare materials holdings and give visitors a glimpse into some unique materials.

Bibliographies

The Special Project collection contains some bibliographies about the Puban Collection(蒲坂藏書) and the Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era Collection.

The Puban Collection is one of the most distinguished Chinese rare book collections in North America. It contains some 3,200 Chinese titles in about 45,000 volumes, including numerous rare books in many subject fields such as history, literature, philology and philosophy. As mentioned in this tweet, the oldest book in Open Collections, Shang shu tong kao 尚書通考, is from the Puban Collection.

A descriptive Catalogue of Valuable Manuscripts and Rare Books from China (1959)

This catalogue is about books in the Puban Collection issued during the Sung, Yuan, and Ming Dynasties (960-1644) in China. The author, Yi-t’ung Wang (王伊同, 1914-2016), was a professor at UBC History Department in 1957-l962. Professor Wang picked the most valuable items in this collection and composed a descriptive catalogue.

A descriptive Catalogue of Valuable Manuscripts and Rare Books from China (1959)

The Puban Collection has not been fully digitized, which makes the bibliography especially informative.  With the help of Professor Wang’s work, we can have a preview of the most precious items in this collection.

Maps

There are 68 maps in the Special Projects collection, the oldest of which dates back to approximately 1587. A lot of these maps are nautical charts, mine maps, and geological maps that are quite different from the maps most people are familiar with.

Vancouver, B.C., 1890

Have you seen a map of Vancouver like this? It is a bird’s-eye view map printed in 1890. It depicts Vancouver in an artistic style, with drawings of 38 city buildings in margins of map, and index to points of interest in the bottom. Downtown Vancouver is in the foreground, while the rest of the city stands at the far end.

Vancouver, B.C., 1890

On the left-hand side, there is a bridge across the False Creek. It was the Westminster Avenue Bridge. In 1910, the avenue was renamed as Main Street. The eastern part of False Creek was filled for railway lands in the 1910s and 1920s. As a result, the bridge no longer exists. Another bridge on the False Creek, the Cambie Street Bridge, was opened in 1891, the year after this map was printed.

Albums

Kanada no sakae 金田之栄 [Prosperity in Canada]

This is an album of Japanese Canadian children published in 1921. According to the preface, the album was in commemoration of Prince Hirohito’s tour of Europe. It contains photos of 545 children from 259 families. Most of the families lived in B.C.

These two boys were living in 10th Avenue, Vancouver. Their family was from Kagoshima, Japan.

These children were living in Powell Street, Vancouver. Their families were from Hiroshima, Japan. The Powell Street area was once a Japanese neighborhood until World War II when Japanese Canadians within 100 miles of the British Columbia coast were forced to relocate east to the B.C. interior and other provinces.

The album lists the children’s addresses, names, dates of birth, and hometowns in Japan. It is especially valuable for Japanese immigration history and genealogy research.

In 2017, Professor Norifumi Kawahara from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, re-edited and published the album. An alphabetical list of the children’s names in English is attached to the album as well as maps showing where they lived. The re-edited album is available at UBC Asian Library.

If you enjoyed this post, please visit UBC Library Digitization Centre Special Projects and explore more!

In a previous post, we introduced some maps from the Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era Collection. UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections holds one of the world’s largest collections of maps and guidebooks of the Japanese Tokugawa period, ca. 1600-1868. This collection does not consist simply of maps of Japan. It also has maps and books about various peoples and countries of the world.

In this post, we will explore a few guidebooks in the collection that depict the outside world. Despite the isolationist foreign policy during the Edo period, the Japanese people were fascinated by different peoples and cultures and were keen to know more.

Amerika shinwa 亜墨新話 [New story of America]

This work is about a Japanese sailor’s adventure. Hatsutarō was working on Eiju Maru, a Japanese shipping vessel. In 1841, he and twelve other members of the crew were blown out to sea. After months of drifting, they were rescued by a Spanish ship and brought to Lower California. Hatsutarō lived and worked there for seven months, and went back to Japan in 1843. As soon as he arrived, the local lord ordered two scholars and a painter to write down his journey in America.

The book is a four-volume manuscript with numerous coloured drawings, covering American people’s appearances, social customs, clothing, houses, and so on, from a Japanese sailor’s perspective.

[Spanish vessel rescuing shipwreck survivors], vol. 1, p. 78.

[Women’s outwear], vol. 2, p. 20

[Wedding ceremony], vol. 2, p.44

Notice that the drawings were done by Tsurana Morizumi (守住 貫魚), a painter who never traveled abroad. Like many other images about foreigners in the Edo period, these drawings are a mix of imagination, creativity, hearsay, and observation.

Gaiban yōbō zuga 外蕃容貌圖画 [Pictures of foreigners’ features]

This is a book of drawings, edited by Tagawa Harumichi (田川 春道) and illustrated by Kurata Tōgaku (倉田 東岳). There are two volumes, consisting of illustrations and brief explanations of people from 42 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and North and South America. It reveals a Japanese view of foreign people of that period. It was published in 1855, two years after the American Black Ships forced the opening of Japan to America and the end of National Isolation policy in 1853.

Below are two leaves from the second volume of the book. Can you tell they are people from Nova Scotia and Italy?

[People from Nova Scotia, North America], vol. 2, p. 48

[People from Italy, Europe], vol. 2, p. 8

Meriken shinshi 米利幹新誌 [New account of America]  

This may be the first printed Japanese book exclusively about the geography and history of North and South America and consists of five volumes. In volume 1, there are four maps showing the Eastern and Western hemispheres and North and South America. In volume 2, there is a map of the then-existing 31 states of the United States. There are also illustrations through the five volumes. This book was also published in 1855.

南北亜墨利加全圖 Nanboku Amerika zenzu [Map of South and North America]. Vol. 1, p. 8.

Left: [Portrait of George Washington]. Right: [Portrait of Amerigo Vespucci]. Vol. 1, p.12.

The author, Shigenobu Tsurumine(鶴峯 戊申, 1788-1859), was a well-known scholar of Japanese classics who was also interested in western technology. His work Gogaku shinsho  語学新書 [New Book on the Study of Language ] was the first book of Japanese grammar based on western grammatical rules and conceptions.


To learn more about the Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era Collection, please check out our previous post, and the website of ASIA453, a course on Japanese Travel Literature held by UBC’s Asian Studies Department.

DHSI – the Digital Humanities Summer Institute – is a training program held every summer at the University of Victoria. Delivered over a week, each course is an intensive series of classes interspersed with colloquiums, unconferences, and other community-based events, and provides an ideal environment for influencing teaching, research, dissemination, creation, and preservation in different disciplines. Course offerings have historically included such topics as text analysis, data visualization, digital pedagogy, programming, topic modelling, and more.

We are pleased to confirm that UBC Library is continuing as a sponsoring partner of DHSI thanks to the support of University Librarian Susan Parker. As part of this sponsorship, the Library provides free registration – normally $950 with the early bird rate, or $1,250 at full cost – for five library employees to attend a course at DSHI 2020, held on June 1-5 or 8-12.

If you would like to be considered for one of these sponsored spots, please submit the following to digital.initiatives@ubc.ca by Tuesday, November 12th:

  • A short statement of interest (300 words max)
  • Your preferred course(s)
  • Source(s) of funding you would use to cover the other costs of attending DHSI (travel, accommodation, incidentals)
  • If you have attended DHSI in the past on UBC Library-sponsored spot: the years you attended and the courses you completed

Any UBC Library staff member with an interest in Digital Humanities is invited to apply. We hope to notify successful applicants by November 19th.

NOTE: Participants from sponsoring institutions can also attend DHSI at a reduced rate of $650, using a discount code. If you are planning to attend DHSI next year and are interested in registering at this discounted rate, please contact Larissa Ringham (larissa.ringham@ubc.ca) for the code *before you register*, as the discount cannot be applied retroactively. Scholarships are also available by applying to DHSI directly.

We look forward to seeing your applications! Please let us know if you have any questions.

The UBC Archives Photograph Collection has over 40,000 photographic images dating from the founding of UBC to the present day. They present a visual record of UBC’s growth and development, the evolution of student life, and campus events over most of the past century. In a previous blog post, Now & Then, we showed how one of the oldest buildings on campus, the Irving K Barber (IKB) Learning Centre has changed during the past decades. In this post, we will focus on Main Mall.

Being in the centre of UBC Grey Point campus, Main Mall is a historic pedestrian axis. Looking north, the landscape of the mountains hasn’t changed much. But the red oaks, the earliest of which were planted in the 1920s, have grown a lot!

UBC 72.1/32, View of Main Mall looking north, [1939]

UBC 164.1/11, Looking north along Main Mall, 1955

UBC 175.1/28b, View north on Main Mall toward flag pole, 2002

The Main Library, now the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, was first built in 1923. In 2002, the library began the process of a major renovation. After the refurbishment, both wings and the majority of the interior were completely redone, but the west entrance hall remained much the same.

UBC 1.1/2664, Main Library from the north end of Main Mall, [between 1960 and 1969]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: UBC 1.1/2355, Entrance hall, Main Library, [1960]. Right: The west entrance of Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, October 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: UBC 1.1/1729, Main Library entrance, [1932]. Right: The west entrance of Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, October 2019.

The view of Main Mall from the west entrance of IKB Learning Centre looks quite different from 50 years ago. These two photos were taken in the same place, one in 1943, and the other last week. In the right photo, the Ladner Clock Tower was built in 1968, Walter C. Koerner Library in 1996, and the Residential School History and Dialogue Centre in 2018.

Left: UBC 1.1/1073, Reflection pool and lawns in front of Main Library, 1943. Right: In front of Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, October 2019.

Can you tell where this building is? It’s now right behind the Koerner Library. It was called the Arts Building until 1960, then the Mathematics Building.

UBC 1.1/703, Arts building and Main Mall, 1936

Is this side more familiar?

Miguel Garcia / UBC Mathematics Building, 2013

Did you know there was a bus stop on Main Mall? It was on the west side of Main Mall across from the Science Building (now the Chemistry Building), to the south of Mathematics Annex, as shown in the photo below.

UBC 1.1/309, Main Mall looking northwest from Science building, Oct 4, 1937

In 1955-56, a long, low building including the Bus Stop Café and the old University Bookstore was built in the location of the bus stop.

UBC 44.1/193-1, Bus Stop coffee shop, 1987

UBC 44.1/193-3, Bus Stop coffee shop, 1987

UBC 41.1/1699-2, Bookstore interior view, 1976

According to the University Archives of Buildings & Grounds, the old Bookstore and Bus Stop Café were torn down in 1991 to make space for the David Lam Management Research Centre.

This is how this area looks like now.

UBC 128.1/143, David Lam Management Research Centre, 1999

To read more about the Bus Stop Café, please check out this post.

In the south end of Main Mall, there is the Old Barn Community Centre. There was actually a horse barn on the same spot. According to UBC Archives, the Old Horse Barn was erected in 1920. In 2003, the barn was deemed structurally unsafe and beyond restoration, and then rebuilt. The building now functions as a community centre providing a social space for university residents and students, including a coffee shop, meeting rooms, and a number of social spaces.

UBC 1.1/1358, Horse barn, [between 1920 and 1939]

UBC 175.1/19b, Old barn, 2002

 

Alex Ristea / The Old Barn, 2009

We hope you enjoyed the blog post. To find out more historical photographs about the university, please explore the UBC Archives Photograph Collection!

This two-part series introduce the collection of History of Nursing in Pacific Canada. You can view Part 1 here. In previous blog posts, we profiled Ethel Johns Fonds, and Laura Holland Fonds.


Lyle Creelman Fonds

Lyle Creelman (1908-2007) was the Chief Nursing Officer of the World Health Organization from 1954–1968. She established national and international standards for accomplishments in the field of nursing. She also co-authored the Baillie-Creelman Report, which was a classic textbook for nurses. In 1971, she was awarded the Order of Canada.

UBC 117.1/66, Lyle Creelman portrait, [1945]

This fonds includes correspondences, journals, reports, publications, and speeches written by Creelman.

Here is a page from Creelman’s diary when she was in Hamilton, Ontario in 1948. It appears to be her full personal record of the Baillie-Creelman Survey.

[1948-1949 Diary Hamilton Ontario]

Infant Feeders Collection

In an earlier post, we talked about infant feeding devices such as feeding bottles and food pushers, which may strike the material historians’ fancy.

The oldest item within all these artifacts is a pap boat that dates back to 1741. A pap boat is a small open-topped vessel with extended pouring lips to feed “pap” to infants, children, and invalids. Pap is a mixture of bread, flour, and water.

[Pewter pap boat], 1741

History of Nursing

There are 18 items in this collection, including annual reports and proceedings of convention of the British Columbia Hospitals’ Association, from 1918-1931, Public health nurses’ bulletins that were published in 1930s, and a pamphlet on nursing questions.

Public health nurses’ bulletin, vol.2, no.1, May 31, 1933

Vancouver Medical Association

This collection contains 363 issues of The Vancouver Medical Association Bulletin from 1924-1955. The Vancouver Medical Association Bulletin was published by the Vancouver Medical Association (VMA) for 34 years, from October 1924 until January 1959.

In 1957, as the advertising income of the journal had begun to decline, the VMA and the British Columbia Medical Association made an agreement to restructure the journal with the BCMA paying to sustain the publication. The new title of the journal was British Columbia Medical Journal and was first released in January 1959.

The Vancouver Medical Association Bulletin: October, 1924.

If you are a nursing and health history buff, there’s something you won’t want to miss, the collection of History of Nursing in Pacific Canada. This two-part series will explore some highlights of the collection.

The History of Nursing in Pacific Canada digital collection was developed by the UBC Library, together with the UBC School of Nursing Consortium for Historical Inquiry in Nursing and Health Care and the BC History of Nursing Society.  In the collection are more than 600 items, including medicine periodicals, books, annual reports, correspondences, video lectures, and images of artifacts. It focuses on local materials (British Columbia and Yukon) held by Rare Books and Special Collections and University Archives at the UBC Library, with items represented from a number of their collections.


Ethel Johns Fonds

Ethel Johns (1879-1967) was the founding director of the UBC School of Nursing. She was named a person of national historic significance in 2015.

Johns fought to establish university education and higher standards for nurses in Canada and internationally. She founded a university nursing program at UBC in 1919, the first such program of its kind in Canada and the British Empire.

UBC 82.1/2, Ethel Johns, [1933]

The Ethel Johns fonds includes correspondence, reports, minutes, notes, photographs, drafts of Johns’ unfinished autobiography and related papers, and manuscripts of a considerable number of her articles and speeches.

[Letters, Ethel Johns to Eileen C. Flanagan, [1948-1957]

Laura Holland Fonds

Laura Holland (1883-1956) was both a nurse and a social worker and played an active leadership role in both professions. She served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps from 1915-1919 and was awarded the Royal Red Cross. In 1927 she moved to British Columbia to reorganize and coordinate the Vancouver Children’s Aid Society. In the early 1930s, Holland lectured in UBC’s social work program and nursing program. In 1938, she was appointed Advisor to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and later took an active role in the development of the Placement Service and Labour Relations Program of RNABC.

UBC 123.1/10, Laura Holland, [unknown]

The fonds mainly contains correspondences and diaries. There is a large volume of letters written by Holland to her mother from June 1915 to July 1917, when she served in active theatres of war in France and Greece.

[Letter from Laura Holland to her mother], 1916-05-12

The Historical Children’s Literature Collection contains more than 80 images of variations on classic children’s tales. Made possible by a UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) grant, this collection is a collaboration with the Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, UBC’s iSchool, and the Department of English Language and Literatures.

Particularly strong in chapbooks and early Canadian content, most of the selected books come from the Arkley Collection of Early and Historical Children’s Literature. The Arkley Collection, donated in 1976 by Stan T. Arkley, a member of UBC’s class of 1925, and his wife, Rose, comprises more than 12,000 Canadian, British, and American children’s books, serials, and manuscripts. The digitized collection contains only a small portion of the entire Arkley Collection, with potential for future growth. Among the chapbooks — small booklets containing stories or ballads aimed at the popular market and sold on the street by itinerant pedlars or “chapmen”— are a number of stories that many readers will recognize.

The first of these two versions of the Cinderella tale includes an “historical description of the cat”, for anyone who is otherwise unfamiliar with such exotic creatures.

The history of Cinderella, [1840]

Adventures of the beautiful little maid Cinderilla; or, the history of a glass slipper : to which is added, an historical description of the cat, [1825?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also represented are somewhat lesser-known stories – such as this cautionary tale on the dangers of trying to please everyone …

Old man and his ass, [1840]

… and this collection of anecdotes where haggis regrettably appears but once.

The Scotch Haggis; a selection of choice bon mots, Irish blunders, repartees, anecdotes, &c, [between 1840 and 1857?]

In addition to children’s tales, the collection also contains instructional materials such as this 1885 speller.

Old aunt Elspa’s spelling, [1885]

To view these items and other treasures in the collection, please visit the Historical Children’s Literature Collection.

Autumn is the spawning season in B.C. when salmon fight their way upstream as they complete their final journey. On Campbell River in Vancouver Island or Capilano River in North Vancouver, you’ll be sure to spot salmon leaping their way back home. For this post, we gathered historical images related to salmon in B.C. from our Open Collections, hoping to provide you a taste of these incredible creatures.

The Chung Collection contains books, archival documents, artifacts and photographs about the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, early British Columbian history, and immigration and settlement in BC. This picture in the book By track and trail: a journey through Canada from the Chung Collection illustrates a run of salmon in the Fraser River at North Bend, B.C.

By track and trail: a journey through Canada, 1891, p. 392

As the author and illustrator Edward Roper explained:

The illustration of this scene is not an atom exaggerated, except that I have made the fish more visible, but they were even closer packed in the water than I have shown.

Let’s take a close look. This photo from Fisherman Publishing Society Collection shows how packed they can be!

Salmon run, 1977

This postcard from Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs captures salmon jumping over water.

Salmon leaping the falls, [between 1900 and 1930?]

Salmon watching and fishing are fun activities in many places in B.C. A lot of pamphlets in the Chung Collection list it as one of the best things to do in B.C. This photo is from a pamphlet related to trips to Vancouver Island aboard Princess ships. Look how big the fish can be!

Vancouver Island, an island of enchantment, 1922, p. 27

Another pamphlet that promotes salmon fishing in Victoria, B.C.

Victoria, 1930, p. 19

This photo, from a Canadian Pacific Railway pamphlet, shows fish ladders on the Fraser River. The ladders permit salmon to make their way upstream to spawn in the fresh waters where they were born.

By train… through the Canadian Rockies, [1950?], p. 21

In this map of Vancouver Island, you can even find an “S” in the legend which stands for salmon fishing.

Map of Vancouver Island, [between 1940 and 1951?], p. 8

Finally, here’s a photo depicting Chinese workers unloading salmon at Butterfield and Mackie Cannery, New Westminster, B.C.

Unloading salmon at a cannery, [between 1910 and 1919?]

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