“Life’s too short to wear boring shoes.” — John Fluevog

The David Lam Management Research Library and Canaccord Learning Commons, Rare Books and Special Collections, and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC Library are pleased to present “50 Years of Sole: A History of Fluevog: Honouring a Vancouver Icon,” which is on display in David Lam Library from November 20 to December 24, 2019.

The exhibition coincides with the 50th anniversary of Vancouver-based John Fluevog Shoes, and the publication of a new book, Fluevog: 50 Years of Unique Soles for Unique Souls. John Fluevog is a celebrated Canadian shoe designer known for his witty and unconventional style, as well as the uplifting messages that he includes on every pair of shoes. His designs are among the most distinctive footwear of the last fifty years.

Darren Dahl, Senior Associate Dean, Faculty at the UBC Sauder School of Business, Director of the Robert H. Lee Graduate School and Professor in the Marketing and Behavioural Sciences Division, attests to Fluevog’s significance as both a business and a cultural treasure, affirming that “Fluevog put Vancouver on the map for innovative and progressive shoe design.”

John Fluevog’s work in shoe design and business has been a winding journey with ups and downs. His career began in Gastown, where the Vancouver flagship store is located today, when Fluevog partnered with Peter Fox in 1970. The partnership, known as Fox and Fluevog, lasted a decade and saw the opening of multiple stores before an amicable split. The split marked the birth of “John Fluevog Shoes” with more store openings in Seattle, Boston, and Toronto. Fluevogs broke into the mainstream in the 1990s when they were worn by both Madonna in the film Truth or Dare and by Lady Miss Kier from the band Deee-lite. To keep up with demand, John opened up stores in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. Today, Fluevog has 27 stores in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and Australia. Throughout his career, Fluevog has woven his love of cars, his focus on community and culture, and design and sustainability into his craft and stores.

The Mini Gorgeous is UBC Library’s favourite Fluevog shoe, as voted on by Library personnel in an online poll.

The exhibition hosted within the David Lam Library and Canaccord Learning Commons highlights how John Fluevog has successfully built a business, a brand, and a community over the course of 50 years. Just as Fluevog values its customers as collaborators, locating the display in a vibrant, learner-centred space allows students to experience directly Fluevog’s collaborative, creative, and inspiring approach to business.

In addition to the exhibition at David Lam Library, a display on level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will feature original multimedia illustrations from Vancouver artist Robert Chaplin’s The Elves & the Shoemaker, featuring charming and helpful elves making and wearing Fluevog shoes. The book is a delightfully illustrated adaptation of the Brothers Grimm original tale, inspired by the soul and soles of Fluevog shoes.

Complimenting the displays in the David Lam Library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, the Walter C. Koerner Library will host a book display starting on December 1 that delves into the “sole” of Fluevog, bringing together materials on the subjects of footwear, fashion, celebrity, subculture, and Vancouver history that influenced and were influenced by John Fluevog. The display will also feature interactive de-stressing activities that tap into Fluevog’s creativity and playfulness.

Drop-in tours of the exhibition at the David Lam Library and Canaccord Learning Commons  will be offered on the following dates:

November 26: 12:00-12:30pm and 12:30-1:00pm
November 28: 12:00-12:30pm and 12:30-1:00pm

We are pleased to announce these tours during Global Entrepreneurship Week, and we will feature subsequent posts featuring short interviews with UBC Fluevloggers on UBC Library’s Small Business Accelerator: sba.ubc.ca.

These multi-site displays will run from November 20 to December 24, located in the David Lam Management Research Library, level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, and the main lobby of Walter C. Koerner Library (starting December 1). For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, The Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society and the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop have collaborated to present an exhibition that captures the continual impact of iconic Asian Canadian Jim Wong-Chu.

Jim Wong-Chu (1945- 2017) was a well-known Asian-Canadian historian, editor, author, and poet. Born in Hong Kong, Wong-Chu came to Canada in 1953. He attended the Vancouver School of Art (Emily Carr University of Art + Design) from 1975-1981, majoring in photography and design. From 1976-1981, Wong-Chu was involved with the Vancouver Co-op Radio Program on culture and assimilation, Pender Guy Radio Program while working at the Vancouver School of Art.

Considered one of the first Asian-Canadian authors who gave voice to the Asian Communities in the times when the support for the Asian arts was difficult to obtain. Jim Wong-Chu dedicated much of his time to compile a literary anthology, “Many Mouthed Birds” to showcase the richness of Asian-Canadian literature. During 1995 and 1996 Jim Wong-Chu co-founded the Asian Canadian Performing Arts Resource (ACPAR) and became one of the founders of the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW) where he helped many young Asian-Canadian writers to succeed by editing and finding publishers for their works. Jim Wong-Chu along with Mishtu Banerjee, Mo-Ling Chui, Grace Eiko Thomson, and Winston Xin​ formed the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society, as an organization that endeavoured to explore the diversity of Asian Canadian life and culture and promote the discussion of relevant issues and concerns within and beyond the Asian Canadian communities.

RBSC is proud to hold both the Jim Wong-Chu fonds and books from Jim’s personal library collection.

The exhibit, Jim Wong-Chu: Iconic | Asian | Canadian, runs October 10 to November 15 on level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, located on the UBC Vancouver campus. 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.

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