UBC Library’s Canadian Art Exhibition Catalogue collection has a new home in the Ridington Room. The Music, Art and Architecture Library in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) has moved its exhibition catalogues out of storage into a new, visually impressive display on the third floor.

“The goal with this exhibit is to bring this collection, that has been scattered while in storage, together in a coherent way,” says Kevin Madill, Acting Head Librarian at the Music, Art and Architecture Library.

Although the collection covers exhibitions taking place throughout Canada, it is particularly strong in featuring local exhibitions, including those taking place at UBC. The collection helps preserve historically important Canadian materials and is the most in-depth collection on the west coast.

More than 60,000 exhibition catalogues were filed in cabinets, vertical files and the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) in the IKBLC. This project moved many of them into visible storage on the third floor, where they can be accessed during reference hours.

To complement the collection, Kevin Madill liaised with the Vancouver Art Gallery to have facsimile reproductions of Emily Carr paintings put on display next to the catalogues. The reproductions were printed locally at Fidelis Art Printers and were mounted in the glass bookcases by library staff. Carr’s paintings highlight the focus of the collection on local artists, specifically women artists.

“We wanted to provide a sense of place,” says Madill, “To have everyone who walks into this space know immediately that they are in British Columbia.”

The project is dedicated to the memory of Diana Cooper, a UBC Fine Arts Librarian who devoted her professional career to the visual arts in Canada. She initiated the Canadian Art Exhibition Catalogue Collection and her work laid the groundwork for the collection.

Madill says he hopes to expand the display to the upper floor of the Ridington Room, using new facsimile reproductions. “This is a great representation of our cultural heritage and I think the space is much richer for it.”

Stop by the Music, Art and Architecture Library to view the Emily Carr display and exhibition of unique materials from the collection.

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