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?]

The Canada Memory of the World Register highlights exceptional works and documents that reflect the wealth and diversity of Canada’s documentary heritage.

Portrait of Chinese men and women, Vancouver. Between 1900- 1909. Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, UBC Library.

BC Library’s 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).

About the collection

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection was donated to UBC Library by the Chung Family in 1999. The family added a second significant donation to the collection in 2014 and has continued to donate items over the years. Inspired to start collecting by an illustrated poster of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s steamship R.M.S. Empress of Asia in his father’s tailor shop in Victoria, Dr. Wallace B. Chung amassed more than 25,000 items over sixty years. The collection consists of textual records, maps, artefacts, books and other materials and focuses on three main themes: early British Columbia history and exploration, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), and early immigration and settlement, with a particular focus on the Chinese experience.

“UBC Library is proud to be the home of the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection and I am thrilled to see it receive this well-deserved national recognition,” says Susan E. Parker, University Librarian, “This collection is stewarded by the library and actively engaged with by our faculty, students, and staff and by the broader community. We are honoured that Dr. Chung has entrusted UBC Library to ensure this history is preserved and available for research and learning.”

“One of our core mandates at Rare Books and Special Collections is to collect and preserve materials that directly relate to the history of British Columbia and its place in the world,” says Krisztina Laszlo, Archivist.  “The Chung Collection is critical in understanding this history; it documents a story that is relevant not only to the people of Canada, but is of global importance.  For example, in preserving materials related to the Chinese diaspora and their struggles and triumphs in the New World, they teach us all lessons of resilience and triumph in the face of adversity.”    

The Chung Collection is housed in Rare Book and Special Collections in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC Library and is available to scholars and members of the public in British Columbia and beyond. Weekly drop-in tours are held every Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Read the announcement from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Learn more about the Chung Collection.

Ever since the first Japanese immigrants arrived in Canada in the late 19th century, Japanese Canadians have created their communities in their settlement areas. They came to a new country to find employment and to improve their economic situation. In Open Collections, we have many resources about the history and lives of Japanese Canadians. This post will introduce some of our digitized items and explore four towns where Japanese Canadians resided before relocation.

Why did Japanese people migrate to Canada in early 1900s?

Our digitized book from the Chung Collection, Japanese contribution to Canada, a summary of the role played by the Japanese in the development of Canadian commonwealth (1940) explains the background of Japanese migration. Japan ended its seclusion policy and started to establish treaties with other countries in 1854. In 1884, the Japanese government allowed its laboring-class citizens to emigrate abroad, which resulted in big waves of Japanese immigration to Canada. Having little English-language ability, most of the immigrants engaged in the primary industries which required small degree of training, such as fishing, lumbering, mining, and railroading.

Japanese contribution to Canada, a summary of the role played by the Japanese in the development of Canadian commonwealth, 1940.

 

Vancouver, BC: Powell St.

Many of the immigrants from Shiga, Japan, who experienced flooding, resided in the Vancouver area. They initially found employment at the Hastings Mill area, along the south shores of Burrard Inlet, and gradually started their business in the Powell Street area (Japantown, Nihonmachi, Paueru Gai, パウエル街) in today’s Downtown Eastside. Despite enduring the race riots in 1907, the community itself continued to grow.

Building damaged during Vancouver riot of 1907 – 431 Powell Street, $2, 1907.

 

View of people on Powell Street, Vancouver, 1941.

 

Steveston, BC

The first Japanese arrived at Steveston was known to be Gihei Kuno(工野儀兵衛). People from his hometown, Mio district in Wakayama, Japan had made their livings by fishing and farming, but they had faced severe economic hardship in the late 19th century. On his first visit to Steveston, he was fascinated by the amount of salmon in Fraser river, and returned back to Japan to urge people to go to Canada to fish. As a result, Steveston became the second largest Japanese-Canadian settlement area before the Second World War. His recruitment also made Mio district the largest single sources of Japanese emigrants to Canada.

A digitized book from the Chung Collection, Japanese contribution to Canada, a summary of the role played by the Japanese in the development of Canadian commonwealth (1940), notes that the Japanese population in the area was estimated to be around 4,500 in 1900.

Group photograph at Japanese Language School, Steveston, 1924.

 

Woodfibre, BC

Woodfibre was a small company town operating a pulp mill between early 1900s and 2006. According to Takeo Ujo Nakano’s memoir, Within the barbed wire fence : a Japanese man’s account of his internment in Canada (1980), half of the population of Woodfibre was Japanese, and majority of them were single men. Every month, the Japanese employees were assigned to a pulp-loading duty when a Japanese freighter docked at the port. They gathered and listened to the latest news about their home country.

The digitized book Japanese contribution to Canada, a summary of the role played by the Japanese in the development of Canadian commonwealth (1940) also describes Woodfibre as one of the large centres where Japanese formed a large portion of the employment population:

The Japanese workers in Woodfibre are practically all employees of B. C. Pulp and Paper Company, Limited. They first found their way to this town during the War. In 1918, 59 were working in the mills; in 1920, 100; by 1930, the total number of Japanese employed was 230; but in 1934 it had decreased to 157. Now, 200 are working. (pp.16)

The book also argues that the amount of wages for Japanese workers were lower than the Whites in the lumber, paper and pulp industries. However, it was still seven times higher than the average wage in Japan, which motivated them to continue working there and send money to their home.

Class photograph taken at Woodfibre, B.C.

 

Port Alberni, BC

Port Alberni on Vancouver Island had a small settlement of Japanese Canadians. They engaged in the logging and lumber operation at the McLean Mill. McLean Mill/Banbridge School was built in 1929 served as a community center, and half of the students were Japanese Canadians. However, due to the Japanese relocation, the school closed permanently in 1942.

View of Bloedel Steward Sawmill, Port Alberni, 1933.

 

If you are interested in other Japantowns, Japanese-Canadian’s lifestyle before and after their relocation, and Canadian attitudes towards Japanese immigrants, the following are the examples of helpful historical resources in Open Collections:

Collections

Books and Documents

Subject Headings

 


References

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection exhibition at Rare Books and Special Collections has welcomed its 10,000th visitor!

Did you know that mountains cover 75 per cent of British Columbia[i]? Like the beaches we introduced in April, mountains offer beautiful scenery in summer. Today, we will focus on the Canadian Rockies depicted and described in our digitized photographs, illustrations, and books in Open Collections.

 

Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs

In the Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs, you can find postcards of the Rockies:

Mt. Robson

This is a postcard of Mt. Robson, the highest peak (3,954 m; 12,972 ft) in British Columbia and of all the Canadian Rockies mountains:

Frank, Leonard. Mt. Robson, highest peak, Canadian Rockies, 1927

 

Mt. Field

Another postcard depicts Mt. Field (2,643 m; 8,671 ft), located within the Yoho National Park.

Mt. Field, Rockies, 1920

 

Mt. Stephen

The Langmann Collection has a photograph album titled, “20 real photographs of Canadian Rocky Mountains”. This is the photo of Field, BC and Mt. Stephen (3,199 m; 10,496 ft), which is also located within Yoho National Park. Mt. Stephen is the tallest of the mountains surrounding the town:

Field and Mount Stephen, [between 1920 and 1925?].

Chung Collection

Castle Mountain (Miistsukskoowa)

The Chung Collection also has numerous photographs of the Canadian Rockies mountains. Castle Mountain (Miistsukskoowa), a traditional territory of Siksika First Nation[ii], is located within Banff National park. It has numerous rock-climbing routes:

R. H. Trueman & Company. [Castle Mountain, Banff, Alberta], [between 1890 and 1899?].

The Three Sisters mountains

William Notman & Sons photography. [Three Sisters mountain range at Canmore, Alberta], 1899.

Mt. Assiniboine

Mt. Assiniboine (3,618 m; 11,870 ft) is located on the British Columbia/Alberta border.

Mt. Assiniboine, [between 1930 and 1939?].

Canadian Pacific Railway’s Advertisements

In the Chung Collection, we have digitized many advertising pamphlets of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s hotels and train tours which have beautiful illustrations on their front pages.

This 100-page booklet includes the detailed descriptions of each sightseeing spot in the Canadian Rockies:

The challenge of the mountains, 1904.

This five-page pamphlet also summarizes the resorts in the Rockies:

Through the Canadian Rockies, 1931.

 

BC Historical Books collection

BC Historical Books collection has books from the late 19th century and the early 19th century about the Canadian Rockies:

Outram, James, Sir. In the heart of the Canadian Rockies, 1905.

Coleman, A. P. The Canadian Rockies : new and old trails. With 3 maps and 41 illustrations, 1911.

 

We hope you have a chance to enjoy the mountain views this summer. If you want to explore more mountains in Open Collections, here are some items and keywords you can access:


[i] Geography of B.C. (Welcome BC)

[ii] Siksika Nation, federal government to honour Blackhoot traditions with Castle Mountain Settlement (Jan 25, 2017 in CBC News)

Now that the rainy season is finally ending, we’re ready to enjoy British Columbia’s beautiful beaches. For this post, we gathered together historic photos of B.C. beaches, from right here in the Lower Mainland to Powell River.

Starting locally, we found several photos of beaches at and near UBC in the UBC Archives Photograph collection. This photo of Wreck Beach from the 1980s shows the erosion of the Point Grey cliffs:

UBC 1.1/16555-8. Point Grey cliff erosion, aerial view, showing WWII searchlight tower and close-up of cliff-face, July 1983.

 

This photo of Jericho Beach from 1962 also shows the surrounding area, including West Point Grey and Kitsilano:

Holborne, Peter. UBC 1.1/3303. Aerial view of Jericho beach area, September 6, 1962.

 

Although the exact location of this photo within Vancouver is unknown, we love this beach attire from around 1900:

[Woman on a beach], [1900?].

 

These postcards show Kitsilano Beach in the early 20th century – check out the men’s suits in the first photo!

The Beach, Kitsilano, [between 1905 and 1915?].

Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, Canada, [between 1910 and 1935?].

Kitsilano Beach and Swimming Pool, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, [between 1920 and 1930?].

 

We found several photos of English Bay and Second Beach, over by Stanley Park:

Timms, Philip T. A warm day at the beach, Vancouver B.C., [1906].

English Bay, Vancouver, B.C., [between 1930 and 1939?].

Bullen, Harry Elder. Stanley Park, Second Beach, [between 1910 and 1920?].

Second Beach, Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C., [between 1920 and 1927?].

 

This photo shows several 1920s businesses near Crescent Beach in Surrey, including an ice cream parlor and a shop selling fish and chips:

Crescent Beach, B.C., [between 1920 and 1930?].

 

This postcard shows a bustling day at Boundary Bay, close to the Canada/U.S. border:

Boundary Bay, [between 1905 and 1915?].

 

In this postcard, swimmers and boaters enjoy the beach at Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver:

Whytecliff, B.C., [between 1920 and 1935?].

 

In Powell River, Willingdon Beach is a serene location for enjoying the beach and camping:

Powell River Studios. Willingdon Beach, 1947.

 

We hope you get the chance this season to visit the nearby beaches and other vacation spots around the province to enjoy what B.C. has to offer.

Today is World Book and Copyright Day, an international event in support of books, reading, and literacy. This year, the focus is on protecting and supporting Indigenous languages, in conjunction with the International Year of Indigenous Languages. You can read more about World Book and Copyright Day on the United Nations and UNESCO websites.

In recognition of World Book and Copyright Day, we’ve gathered together items from our collections that showcase reading over the past century. We hope you can spend some time with a great book today!

 

UBC 1.1/16567. View of Library reading room at Fairview campus, 1919.

 

[Passenger reading on the outer deck of the first C.P. R.M.S. Empress of Scotland], [1927?].

 

UBC 1.1/5852-3. Students studying in Main Library concourse, 1949.

 

UBC 3.1/844-2. People undergoing a reading efficiency test, [1953].

 

Law Library, [between 1960 and 1969].

 

UBC 93.1/809. Judith C. Thiele with braille book and reading equipment in Crane Library, 1970.

 

UBC 44.1/1231. Ker, Charles. Frances Woodward, Library, peers over three miniature books from Special Collections, 1995.

 

UBC 44.1/821. Wilson, Gavin. Graduate student Shirley Sterling reading to grandchild, 1997.

The Digitization Centre has digitized several collections of maps, as well as several collections that contain maps among other materials. This post provides a summary of those collections, showcasing some of our favourite maps from Open Collections!


Greater Vancouver Regional District Planning Department Land Use Maps

This collection contains more than 1,800 maps of the greater Vancouver area from 1965, 1980, and 1983. There are two index maps that help to navigate the collection:

Index – Land Use Series: The numbers on this map correspond to the “Identifier” field for each map. For example, you can search within the collection for Identifier:(V92) to find maps showing the north side of UBC campus.

Greater Vancouver Regional District Planning Department. Index – Land Use Series.

 

Greater Vancouver Regional District Planning Department. Land Use : U.E.L., 1979.

 

Index Map: Subdivision and Land Use Maps: This index map includes the Lower Mainland outside of Vancouver. Similarly, you can search by “Identifier” to locate the maps referenced by this index.

For more information on this collection, check out our previous blog post about it!


Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era

This collection contains Japanese maps from the Edo period, or Tokugawa period (1603-1868). The majority of the maps are rare or even unique.

Many of the maps show all or part of Japan:

Okamoto, Chikusō, active 19th century. Shinkoku Dai Nihon zenzu [Newly engraved map of Great Japan], 1865.

Utagawa, Sadahide, 1807-1873. Dai Nihon Fujisan zetchō no zu [Panoramic view of the summit of Mt. Fuji], 1857.

There are also some Japanese world maps included in the collection:

Bankoku enzu [Round map of all nations], 1675.

For a more detailed overview of this collection, see our previous blog post: Explore Open Collections: Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era.


Andrew McCormick Maps and Prints

This collection contains world maps dating from 1503 to 1910, with a focus on European maps and maritime exploration. Here is a selection of maps from the collection:

Moll, Herman, -1732. A map of the North Pole with all the territories that lye near it, known to us &c. according to the latest discoveries, and most exact observations, Agreeable to modern history, [1732].

Pond, Peter, 1740-1807. A map shewing the communication of the lakes and the rivers between Lake Superior and Slave Lake in North America, 1790.

 

You can read more about the collection and view other highlights in this previous blog post: Explore Open Collections: Andrew McCormick Maps and Prints.


Maps in other collections

In addition to the above three collections, there are many digital collections that contain maps along with other items.

The Chung Collection contains several maps of Canada released by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. This “sportsman’s map” of Canada shows the terrain and wildlife for different regions:

Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Sportsman’s map of the Dominion of Canada, 1898.

 

This map from 1943 shows the air routes serviced by Canadian Pacific Air Lines at the time:

Canadian Pacific Air Lines. Map of Canada showing air routes, 1943.

 

In the UBC Library Digitization Centre Special Projects collection, there are over 60 maps that do not belong to other collections, including this map of southeastern Vancouver Island from 1860:

D’Heureuse, Rudolph. Map of the south-eastern districts of Vancouver Island, 1860.

 

The BC Historical Books collection is an excellent source of early British Columbia maps, like this map of the Lower Mainland:

Hill, Albert James, 1836-1918. Map of the municipalities of New Westminster city and district, British Columbia, 1889.

 

Finally, the Western Manuscripts and Early Printed Books collection contains several 16th century maps, like this beautiful map of the Americas from 1588:

Ortelius, Abraham, 1527-1598. Americae sive novi orbis, nova descriptio, [1588].

You can find more maps by searching for the keyword “map” in a given collection, or by perusing the Maps genre in Open Collections.

References

Have you ever wondered about what library catalogues used to look like – or what books were in your local library’s collection many decades ago?

We’ve come across a handful of historical library catalogues in Open Collections, which we’ve gathered here for your perusal. You can click on the title or cover of any of the catalogues below to explore the full list of titles from each library.

Catalogue of books in the Free Public Library of Victoria City (Victoria, B.C., 1890)

 

The Free Public Library of Victoria City library catalogue demonstrates the library’s unique classification system. The library had the following classifications:

  • Arts and Science – Class A
  • Travels and Voyages – Class B
  • Biography – Class M
  • Religious – Class R
  • Poetry – Class P
  • Juveniles – Class J
  • History – Class H
  • English Literature – Class L
  • Cassell’s National Library
  • Magazines in Volumes – Class G
  • Miscellaneous – Class Z
  • Books for References – Class D
  • Parliamentary Books
  • Curios and Fine Arts – Class C
  • Novels – Class B

 

Within each classification, books were listed alphabetically by title. To supplement this, there were two additional indices listing titles alphabetically by author in the back of the catalogue. Each entry had a shelf number and an accession number.

 

Catalogue of library books : Royal York Hotel (Toronto, [between 1920 and 1929?])

The Royal York Hotel catalogue also features a unique classification system. The classifications are listed in alphabetical order:

  • Adventure
  • Amusements
  • Art, Painting, Sculpture and Architecture
  • Business, etc.
  • Books for Young People
  • Biographies and Memoirs
  • Drama
  • Fiction
  • Foreign Fiction in English
  • General Literature, Essays, etc.
  • General Extra Suggestions
  • History
  • Makers of Canada, The (12 Vols.)
  • Poetry
  • Popular Science
  • Reference Books
  • Religion
  • Travel and Description
  • Travel (General)
  • Authors Indexed Alphabetically

 

The “General Extra Suggestions” category appears to list the equivalent of today’s self-help or how-to books. It includes titles such as “Dame Courtsey’s Art of Entertaining,” “Eating and Health” and “Inside the House Beautiful”:

Each book has a unique item number, starting from one at the beginning of the catalogue and ending with 1418. Because books are listed alphabetically by title within each category, this catalogue also includes an index in alphabetical order by author. However, the index still separates out books by classification, so you have to know generally where to look!

 

Library catalogue from Canadian Pacific Steamships, Empress of Japan [1919?]

This catalogue is shorter than the previous two; with only five pages of listings, this perhaps reflects limited shelf space within the steamship library.

 

The catalogue contains one listing in alphabetical order by author (as in, “Dickens’ Dombrey and son”) unless only the title was listed (e.g., “Cream of Leicestershire”):

Can you find any interesting titles in these library catalogues? Let us know in the comments!

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