Many thanks to guest blogger Karen Ng for contributing the below post! Karen is a graduate student at UBC’s iSchool (School of Library, Archival and Information Studies) and the co-curator of Judging a Book by Its Cover.

Fantastic Books and Where to See Them!

At Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC), I work as a student assistant, and it is both exciting and daunting to learn the collections and holdings. What do we have and what’s interesting about each thing? In searching for books with visually appealing covers that draw our attention, we turned our focus to items that show the progression of bookbinding techniques over time, as well as items that highlight Vancouver’s book arts scene. The exhibition, Judging a Book By Its Cover, showcases items from the following categories: early European bindings; works from local bookbinders and designers; artists’ books and odd formats; examples of the Arts and Crafts Movement; special qualities of bindings that make books unique; and notable and aesthetically beautiful covers.

Some of my favourite items from the exhibit include The WunderCabinet: The Curious Worlds of Barbara Hodgson & Claudia Cohen, The Canned Think, and Le trésor du fidèle. The WunderCabinet is a charming contemporary cabinet of curiosities filled with odd bits and pieces alongside a journal inside the wooden box. The Canned Think, created by Tyrrell Mendis, Joel Matthews, and Jon Matthews, is a cute selection of “poemtry” inside a can. Finally, Le trésor du fidèle is a small book published some time in the 1800s. It lives in a plain little black box, and with a beautifully sculpted ivory cover with engraved initials, it sits in delightful contrast to one of the biggest books in the exhibit, a large music chant manuscript with wonderfully obnoxious metal bosses and clasps.

When nearly all the books on the shelves were beautiful, it was easy to pick out the ones with gold lettering and decorations for display. These books formed our cases that highlighted the Arts and Crafts Movement of the late nineteenth century, when there was an emphasis on aesthetics and the fine arts, which was a response of sorts to the industrial nature of mass-produced books. A major focus in this exhibition is also on the handmade quality of books ranging from medieval manuscripts to artists’ books. At times, it became difficult for me to fully appreciate the work and craftsmanship that went into artists’ books in particular when they looked like a machine had made them, and perhaps that’s the fascinating part about the book.

This exhibition was an exciting opportunity to judge and explore the books in RBSC on a largely superficial level. These books look great and we want you to see them.

The exhibition Judging a Book by Its Cover is free and open to the public at Rare Books and Special Collections through January 4, 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



BQ6353 K82 S4825 2018
近代化する金閣 : 日本仏教教団史講義 / 藤田和敏

DS881.5 Y58 K64 2018
評伝横井小楠 : 未来を紡ぐ人, 1809-1869 / 小島英記

DS894.99 K3395 O375 2018
神の島のうた / 葛西亜理沙写真;中脇初枝文

GV1188 J3 I66 2018
射芸の探求と教育の射 / 入江康平

HQ759 F79 2018
近世武家社会の奥向構造 : 江戶城・大名武家屋敷の女性と職制 / 福田千鶴

HV800 J3 W38 2018
子どもの貧困 : 未来へつなぐためにできること / NPO 法人キッズドア理事長渡辺由美子

NA6050 Y36 2018
神をまつる神社建築 : 玉殿の起源と発展 / 山田岳晴

ND1053.6 K36 M375 2018
権力の肖像 : 狩野派絵画と天下人 / 松島仁

PL696 Y66 2018
ことばが消えたワケ : 時代を読み解く俗語の世界 / 米川明彦

PL747.6 S84 2018
波瀾万丈の明治小說 / 杉原志啓

PL853 S535 Z89 2018
常世の花石牟礼道子 / 若松英輔

TX783 M585 2018
和菓子 : 伝統と創造 : 何に価値の真正性を見出すのか / 森崎美穂子


BR1295 W46 C37 2017
温州基督徒與中國草根全球化 / 曹南來

D523 G478125 2018
不曾结束的一戰 : 帝國滅亡与中東歐民族國家興起 / 羅伯·葛沃斯(Robert Gerwarth)著 ; 馮奕達譯

DS421 H78 2018
用電影說印度 : 從婆羅門到寶萊塢, 五千燦爛文明背後的現實樣貌 / 黃偉雯

DS922.462 M3125 2018
北朝鮮核危機!全内幕.  金正恩的外交遊戲 : 你不知的北韓核武真相 / 牧野愛博(Makino, Yoshihiro)著 ; 林巍翰譯

G3201 P1 Z485 2017
中外交通古地圖集 / 朱鑒秋, 陳佳榮, 錢江, 譚廣濂編著

HE894 M377 2018
海上丝绸之路与亚洲海域交流(15世纪末-20世纪初) / 松浦章(Matsuura, Akira)著 ; 孔颖编译

PL720.55 C6 L56 2018
勸善垂戒, 孝行可風 : 從中日出版文化論漢籍之東傳承衍 / 林桂如

PL2754 S5 Z58885 2017
血性文章 : 鲁迅研究序跋集 / 陈漱渝

PL2848 Y8 Z9825 2017
金庸小说的文化与价值研究 / 余醴

PL2939 A538 R46 2017
人之彼岸 / 郝景芳

PL2976 Y847 D36 2017
大乔小乔 / 张悦然

PZ10.831 S8 Zx 2017
自行车之歌 / 苏童

Z45 Z436 2017
中国文献载体演变史 / 赵海丽, 蔡先金


B5253 N45 K538 2018
율곡 이 묻고 퇴계 가 답 하다 : 퇴계 와 율곡 의 성리학 과 정치 철학 / 김 형찬

D810 C698 K59 2018 v.1-2
끌려 가다, 버려 지다, 우리 앞 에 서다 : 사진 과 자료 로 보는 일본군 ‘위안부’ 피해 여성 이야기 / 기획 서울시 여성 가족 정책실 ; 집필 서울대 인권 센터 정 진성 연구팀

DS915.35 K5575 2018
근대 한국 의 정치 변동 과 담론 : 이행 의 구조적 특이성 / 김 동택

DS922.445 K5555 2018
광주, 그날 의 진실 : 다시 쓰는 5.18 / 김 형석

HQ76.3 K6 P35 2018
조선 의 퀴어 / 박 차 민정

ND1070 M86 2018
평양 미술 : 조선화 너 는 누구냐 / 문 범강

PL957.5 T73 U26 2018
근대 조선 의 여행자들 : 그들 의 눈 에 비친 조선 과 세계 / 우 미영

PL961.6 Z44 2018
1930년대 한, 중 모더니즘 시 의 근대성 비교 연구 / 趙 萍

PL992.18 M96 H65376 2018
혼불, 저항 의 감성 과 탈식민성 / 서 철원

PL994.62 S628 C4 2018
체공녀 강 주룡 : 박서련 장편 소설

PN1995.9 I457 N6 2018
너 와 극장 에서 : 언제나 영화로운 이곳 / 엮은이 서울 독립 영화제 ; 기획 김 동현, 김 지은, 이 채현 ; 인터뷰 진행 이 채현 ; 촬영/인터뷰 사진 송 기영 ; 편집 유 정미

Z464 K63 K885 2018
광고 로 보는 출판 의 역사. 일제 강점기 편 : 1910-1945 / 서해 문집 출판 문화 연구소 ; 김 흥식 엮음

Students, researchers and the wider community can now access original pamphlets from the French Revolution thanks to a partnership between UBC Library and French, Hispanic and Italian Studies.

Orange Shirt Day Display

In honour of Orange Shirt Day on September 30, Xwi7xwa Library is highlighting materials in our collection with related themes: the residential school experience, healing journeys of the survivors and their families, and the ongoing process of reconciliation. Our materials on these topics include a range of formats (books, DVDs, government reports, graphic novels, and more), created for diverse audiences, including children, teachers, and scholars, Indigenous community members and non-Indigenous allies. To find these materials at Xwi7xwa, search “Residential schools” on our online catalogue and filter by Location: Xwi7xwa Library, or try searching for subject headings starting with First Nations–Residential schools. Our research guide on the Indian Residential School System in Canada is another excellent resource. As always, you’re welcome to come by Xwi7xwa to browse our shelves, check out our display, or ask us for help!

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