We invite you to come out to Bloomberg Training sessions the week before reading week. There will be two training sessions by a Bloomberg expert on February 12. The details are as follows: Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 Location: Leith Wheeler Investment Research Lab (CLC 222) 1:00pm – 1:50pm (PMF students) 2:30pm – 3:20pm (Sauder […]

The Department of Asian Studies and the Asian Library at the University of British Columbia are pleased to announce the 2019 essay competition in Punjabi for Punjabi language students, in association with the Harjit Kaur Sidhu Memorial Program at UBC. Students who were enrolled in a Punjabi language class or classes at a university, college, or at the pre-collegiate level in B.C. during the last three years (2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19) can participate in this competition.

The essay topics for the competition are:

Beginner’s level: What is the importance of recycling?  

Advanced level: Discuss the pros and cons of social media?

Students can enter in this competition in either one of the following TWO categories, depending upon their level in Punjabi (Proof of level of most recently taken class is required):

Beginners: For those students who have completed or who are enrolled in the first-year level of Punjabi at a university or college or grade 8 to 11 in a high school in B.C. Students at this level should write a 400 – 500 words essay on the above topic.

Advanced: For those students who have completed or who are enrolled in a second year or higher-level Punjabi course at a university, college, or in grade 12 in a high school in B.C. Students at this level should write a 800 – 1000 words essay on the above topic.

One winner will be selected from each category and will be given an award of $200.00; one runner-up will be selected in each category, who receive an award of $50.00. These awards will be presented at a function in Liu Institute, at UBC, Vancouver on the evening of March 14th.

Those students who are currently enrolled in Punjabi classes can submit their essays to their teachers (who are then responsible for submitting them by the deadline); other students can forward their essays to the address given below. All submissions must be received on or before March 1st. No exceptions will be made.

For further information, please e-mail Sarbjit Randhawa, South Asian & Himalayan Studies Librarian, at sarbjit.randhawa@ubc.ca.

To submit your essay, please send to:
Punjabi Competition
Asian Studies Department
Asian Centre, UBC
1871 West Mall, Vancouver V6T 1Z2

The Kelmscott Chaucer
Have you ever been curious about what we do or what we have at Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library (RBSC)? Interested in seeing the famous Kelmscott Chaucer in the flesh or a medieval bible from the 13th Century?
Join our weekly open house/hands-on show-and-tell for an introduction to our space and our unique materials and collections every Wednesday at 11 a.m.
The event is free and open to the general public, as well as the UBC community. No need to RSVP, just drop in to learn what RBSC is all about. 
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 or to book visits for classes or large groups, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-0645 or rare.books@ubc.ca.
All classes should be booked at least a week in advance. No backpacks, overcoats, food, drink or pens are allowed in the seminar room. Lockers are provided.
Rare Book and Special Collections Tour

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 rare.books@ubc.ca.


We invite you to come out to David Lam Library and the CLC’s Winter Celebration Event this Friday, November 30th from 1pm-3pm. Join us for an afternoon of wonder with singing, hot apple cider and maple cookies. You will also have a chance to take pictures with the great Santa himself! We will also be making personalized cards and […]

The weather outside might be frightful, but inside Rare Books and Special Collections is so delightful. To warm your heart and ward off any winter blues, we have put together a selection of winter-themed items from our archival and library collections. The display features photographs and postcards from the Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs, original drawings from the H. Bullock-Webster fonds, and a variety of books and pamphlets, including a number of items from the Arkley Collection of Early and Historical Children’s Literature.

The display is free and open to the public at Rare Books and Special Collections through the end of January 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.

And if you need more holiday cheer in your life, our colleagues at David Lam Library and the Canaccord Learning Commons will be hosting a Winter Celebration Event on Friday, November 30, from 1-3 p.m. Join them for an afternoon of wonder with singing, hot apple cider, and maple cookies. You will also have a chance to take pictures with Santa and craft personalized cards and gift tags that you can bring home! Oh what fun!

After the event, you can begin your countdown to Christmas with the Canaccord Learning Commons’ advent calendar.

Hello UBC Education Community,

This year LLED has chosen an amazing local non-profit charity that strives to provide books for children in need, Books for Me! Literacy Foundation.  In an effort to raise awareness of this organization and have a larger impact, UBC Education Library is also supporting this great cause!  Together our communities will collect gently used/new books, as well as monetary donations, for this non-profit organization from November 16 – December 14.

In addition, we are reaching out to our education community at UBC in hopes that you will also participate and help us donate books to this wonderful cause.

Books for Me! asks that donated books:

  • be for children aged 12 and younger
  • are clean and like new or brand new
  • are not scary or violent
  • are not affiliated with any religious group

You can donate books at both the LLED office (PCOH 2013) and the UBC Education Library in Scarfe. You can also donate money at the LLED office.

Please help us support this amazing organization that helps to build children’s libraries by donating books directly to children in Vancouver!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding donations, please do not hesitate to contact Liza Navarro (liza.navarro@ubc.ca).



On October 26, the Asian Library hosted an early Diwali (Festival of Lights) or Deepavali celebration – the most widely celebrated festival in India and throughout South Asia – in partnership with the Centre for India and South Asia Research, Department of Asian Studies, and South Asian Canadian Histories Association. There were about 100 participants who enjoyed the tasty samosas, Khadija Bhatti’s henna painting, Klara Milada’s mantra singing and crystal bowl playing, a Hindi song by Raghavendra Rao K.V., a Research Associate from the Institute of Asian Research, a Punjabi song by Gurinder Mann, and Bhangra by the dancers of Gurdip Art’s Academy.

Sarbjit Randhawa, South Asian and Himalayan Studies Librarian, would like to thank Dr. Anne Murphy, Associate Prof. for Punjabi Language, Literature and Sikh Studies for her continued support to the Asian Library, and Shirin Eshghi, Head of the Asian Library, for her ongoing support and encouragement.

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