Our digital collections cover a wide range of topics and disciplines that you can explore through Open Collections. Among our thousands of digital items, you can find materials to support your research, your teaching, and even your imagination. Below, we’ve selected a few of our collections that may be helpful when researching topics related to Asian Studies.

 

Rikuchū no kuni yōsan no zu. 6

 

There are many collections that can be used as a resource for historical Asian Studies, including:

  • Chinese Rare Books Collection: this collection is mainly composed of works from the Puban and Pang Jingtang. You can find census information, literature, as well as historical, political, and military documents from China covering the years 1368 to 1959.
  • Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era: this is the world’s largest collection of maps and guidebooks of the Tokugawa Era. It contains travel maps, guides and stunning woodblock prints. The collection is used as a resource at the ASIA 453: Japanese Travel Literature class. If you are curious to know more, check out our blog post Explore Open Collections: Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era.
  • Meiji at 150: the collection is part of the Meiji at 150 project, which was created to celebrate the 150 years since the start of the Meiji Era in Japan. The collection consists of materials produced during the period, including: woodblock prints, photographs, books, albums, and booklets. Visit the Meiji at 150 website to learn more about planned special events, lecture series, workshop series, podcast, and digital teaching resources.
  • One Hundred Poets: the collection consists of 74 books and 20 sets of cards of the Japanese poetry anthology “Hyakunin Isshu” (One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each). This anthology, edited by Fujiwara no Teika, became the most famous poetry anthology in Japan. Get to know about this collection, more specifically about the card sets, by checking out our blog post Utagaruta: a poetry game.

 

Family wedding portrait, Vancouver, B.C.

 

If you are interested in studying Japanese and Chinese life in Canada, then the following collections will be helpful:

  • Chinese Canadian Stories: composed of several sub-collections and fonds, this collection covers a wide range of topics, including Chinese Canadian military service, businesses, and social life in Canada.
  • The Chung Collection: the collection contains materials that can be comprised into three themes: British Columbia History; Immigration and Settlement; and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. The collection has several materials relating to the Chinese community in British Columbia.
  • Yip Sang Collection: the collection contains Yip Sang’s personal and business-related materials. Yip Sang was an important businessman in the Chinese community in Vancouver and was often referred to as the “major of Chinatown”. Get to know more about him and his collection in our blog post Explore Open Collections: Yip Sang Collection.
  • Japanese Canadian Photograph Collection: this collection contains materials that registered the life of Japanese Canadians in British Columbia. The collection is a great resource for anyone researching about how Japanese Canadians were treated during the World War II.
  • Tairiku Nippo (Continental Daily News): this publication was an important information source for Japanese Canadians in British Columbia. It was published between 1907 and 1941, and is a valuable resource for studying the history of the Japanese Canadians before the World War II.

Since 2008, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre has collaborated with UBC Library, the History Department, researchers, interested individuals and community organizations across Canada on this program.   As a community engagement initiative, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre has collaborated with twenty-seven community organizations funded by the CHRP in promoting the Chinese Canadian Stories: Uncommon Histories from a Common Past web portal.


Summer Workshop (10 Aug 2010 & 12 Aug 2010)


January 8, 2011 – Oral History Workshop, Chinatown


January 15, 2011 - CHRP Community Workshop at IKBLC


June 11, 2011 – Chinatown Workshop


July 12-14, 2011 – CHRP Digitization Workshop


As part of its community engagement mandate, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre has presented to public school teachers at the K-12 sector on the materials created by the Chinese Canadian Stories project and widely available for use and download via the Chinese Canadian Stories website.

Richmond Delta Regional Heritage Fair 1Richmond Delta Regional Heritage Fair 2


On May 3, 2013, the Community Engagement Librarian at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre collaborated with Richmond Museum for the 11th annual Richmond Delta Regional Heritage Fair on May 3, 2013.   Other public and community outreach focused efforts include:

Image of game

Gold Mountain Quest, an educational video game, is part of the Chinese Canadian Stories project.

The successful completion of an ambitious multimedia project involving UBC Library is allowing users to discover the invaluable contributions of Chinese Canadians. 

Chinese Canadian Stories: Uncommon Histories from a Common Past is a collaborative initiative focusing on the legacies of Chinese Canadians. The project – led by Henry Yu, UBC History Professor and Principal of St. John’s College – received a $900,000 grant from Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP) in 2010. The project has also been supported by in-kind contributions from UBC Library and Simon Fraser University (SFU) Library.

Chinese Canadian Stories (CCS) unveiled interactive kiosks at Vancouver Public Library and UBC’s Museum of Anthropology in October 2012, and at the Ottawa Public Library in December 2012. The kiosks offer compelling stories of Chinese Canadian communities in three languages (English, Chinese, French); the project was organized through the UBC Community Learning Initiative and included work by UBC students from architecture, mechanical engineering, integrated engineering, sociology and the arts.

“The stories celebrate the history of Chinese Canadians without glossing over the discrimination and racism they struggled to overcome in Canada,” says Yu.

Meanwhile, a complementary website contains a searchable Chinese Head Tax Register of 97,000 digitized records, an educational videogame entitled Gold Mountain Quest and videos of oral histories that were conducted during the CCS project.

Chinese Canadian Stories staff held more than 10 workshops and community outreach events in the Lower Mainland during the past year. Several workshops on oral history research, filming and digitization catered to high school students, independent researchers, community elders and members of the public interested in preserving family histories. The CCS project also showcases the work of 29 community groups from across Canada that received CHRP funding to tell their stories.

One of those groups is the Chinese Canadian Military Museum, which scanned hundreds of images for CCS of veterans who fought for Canada, despite having no Canadian citizenship. Individual stories of veterans were also presented on the kiosks. “At the museum, we want to stress the importance of the Chinese Canadian veterans playing an important and integral role in the development and building of Canada as a nation,” says Larry Wong, Curator at the Chinese Canadian Military Museum. 

Read more from UBC Library’s Community Report (2013).

Image of people forming the letters UBC

UBC Alumni Weekend 2013 is nearly here!

In celebration of this special event on May 25, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will host a program featuring UBC alumnus Dr. Laifong Leung. Professor Leung will talk about the Chinese community in Canada in the 20th century as part of “Chinese Canadian Stories: From Early Literature to Modern Archives.” The event takes place from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. at the Learning Centre’s Chilcotin Room (Room 256).

Tours of UBC’s cultural collections at the Museum of Anthropology and the exceptional Chung Collection at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) will complement this talk. The Chung Collection, located on level one of the Learning Centre, will also be open for self-guided tours from noon to 4 p.m.; visitors will receive limited edition Chung Collection magnets.

Library staff will also be activating alumni cards in the Student Union Building; stop by and say hello!


For more information, please visit Alumni Weekend at the Learning Centre or contact event organizer Allan Cho.


Image of people forming the letters UBC

UBC Alumni Weekend 2013 is nearly here!

In celebration of this special event on May 25, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will host a program featuring UBC alumnus Dr. Laifong Leung. Professor Leung will talk about the Chinese community in Canada in the 20th century as part of “Chinese Canadian Stories: From Early Literature to Modern Archives.” The event takes place from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. at the Learning Centre’s Chilcotin Room (Room 256).

Tours of UBC’s cultural collections at the Museum of Anthropology and the exceptional Chung Collection at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) will complement this talk. The Chung Collection, located on level one of the Learning Centre, will also be open for self-guided tours from noon to 4 p.m.; visitors will receive limited edition Chung Collection magnets.

Library staff will also be activating alumni cards in the Student Union Building; stop by and say hello!


For more information, please visit Alumni Weekend at the Learning Centre or contact event organizer Allan Cho.


Girl reading at kiosk

Chinese Canadian Stories multimedia project kiosk

UBC’s Chinese Canadian Stories project unveiled interactive kiosks at Vancouver Public Library and UBC’s Museum of Anthropology this past weekend.

The kiosks offer compelling stories of Chinese Canadian communities, a searchable Chinese Head Tax Register of 97,000 digitized records and Gold Mountain Quest, an educational videogame.

To learn more about this collaborative project between UBC Library and Simon Fraser University Library, read the media advisory.

Koerner Library

UBC Library’s Autumn Update appears in the new issue of the BCLA Browser, the newsletter of the British Columbia Library Association.

Have a read to find out about the new UBC fundraising and alumni engagement campaign; copyright and UBC; the Smart Business, Small Business events; a Chinese Canadian Stories preview: the Open UBC series, held in conjunction with International Open Access Week; and an ARL Leadership Institute.

* This article originally appeared in the BCLA Browser, Vol. 3, No. 4.

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