Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is excited to announce a new public exhibition in the Chung Collection exhibition room, “Fashioning the Landscape: Women’s Interwar Sportswear at the Canadian Pacific Railway Resorts.” The exhibition has been guest curated by Klahanie Research.

Interwar CPR brochures courted elite female consumers by advertising resorts as more gender neutral spaces than day-to-day life. Images of progressive women’s sportswear, which borrowed from men’s fashion, were used to rationalize and naturalize the rugged activities of the recreational holiday landscape. Distant, isolated, outdoor locations helped to relax social codes that would have been more vigorously enforced in more formal, populated urban centres. With the removal of city clothes, women symbolically shed workplace and household inequalities and seized pleasure with an outfit for every activity. From arrival to an evening of glamour, this exhibit explores the sportswear of: golf, hiking, skiing, canoeing, swimming, and riding, worn across CPR resorts.

“Fashioning the Landscape: Women’s Interwar Sportswear at the Canadian Pacific Railway Resorts,” which is free and open to the public, will be on display in the exhibition room of the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room. 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.

“Life’s too short to wear boring shoes.” — John Fluevog

The David Lam Management Research Library and Canaccord Learning Commons, Rare Books and Special Collections, and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC Library are pleased to present “50 Years of Sole: A History of Fluevog: Honouring a Vancouver Icon,” which is on display in David Lam Library from November 20 to December 24, 2019.

The exhibition coincides with the 50th anniversary of Vancouver-based John Fluevog Shoes, and the publication of a new book, Fluevog: 50 Years of Unique Soles for Unique Souls. John Fluevog is a celebrated Canadian shoe designer known for his witty and unconventional style, as well as the uplifting messages that he includes on every pair of shoes. His designs are among the most distinctive footwear of the last fifty years.

Darren Dahl, Senior Associate Dean, Faculty at the UBC Sauder School of Business, Director of the Robert H. Lee Graduate School and Professor in the Marketing and Behavioural Sciences Division, attests to Fluevog’s significance as both a business and a cultural treasure, affirming that “Fluevog put Vancouver on the map for innovative and progressive shoe design.”

John Fluevog’s work in shoe design and business has been a winding journey with ups and downs. His career began in Gastown, where the Vancouver flagship store is located today, when Fluevog partnered with Peter Fox in 1970. The partnership, known as Fox and Fluevog, lasted a decade and saw the opening of multiple stores before an amicable split. The split marked the birth of “John Fluevog Shoes” with more store openings in Seattle, Boston, and Toronto. Fluevogs broke into the mainstream in the 1990s when they were worn by both Madonna in the film Truth or Dare and by Lady Miss Kier from the band Deee-lite. To keep up with demand, John opened up stores in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. Today, Fluevog has 27 stores in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and Australia. Throughout his career, Fluevog has woven his love of cars, his focus on community and culture, and design and sustainability into his craft and stores.

The Mini Gorgeous is UBC Library’s favourite Fluevog shoe, as voted on by Library personnel in an online poll.

The exhibition hosted within the David Lam Library and Canaccord Learning Commons highlights how John Fluevog has successfully built a business, a brand, and a community over the course of 50 years. Just as Fluevog values its customers as collaborators, locating the display in a vibrant, learner-centred space allows students to experience directly Fluevog’s collaborative, creative, and inspiring approach to business.

In addition to the exhibition at David Lam Library, a display on level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will feature original multimedia illustrations from Vancouver artist Robert Chaplin’s The Elves & the Shoemaker, featuring charming and helpful elves making and wearing Fluevog shoes. The book is a delightfully illustrated adaptation of the Brothers Grimm original tale, inspired by the soul and soles of Fluevog shoes.

Complimenting the displays in the David Lam Library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, the Walter C. Koerner Library will host a book display starting on December 1 that delves into the “sole” of Fluevog, bringing together materials on the subjects of footwear, fashion, celebrity, subculture, and Vancouver history that influenced and were influenced by John Fluevog. The display will also feature interactive de-stressing activities that tap into Fluevog’s creativity and playfulness.

Drop-in tours of the exhibition at the David Lam Library and Canaccord Learning Commons  will be offered on the following dates:

November 26: 12:00-12:30pm and 12:30-1:00pm
November 28: 12:00-12:30pm and 12:30-1:00pm

We are pleased to announce these tours during Global Entrepreneurship Week, and we will feature subsequent posts featuring short interviews with UBC Fluevloggers on UBC Library’s Small Business Accelerator: sba.ubc.ca.

These multi-site displays will run from November 20 to December 24, located in the David Lam Management Research Library, level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, and the main lobby of Walter C. Koerner Library (starting December 1). For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, The Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society and the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop have collaborated to present an exhibition that captures the continual impact of iconic Asian Canadian Jim Wong-Chu.

Jim Wong-Chu (1945- 2017) was a well-known Asian-Canadian historian, editor, author, and poet. Born in Hong Kong, Wong-Chu came to Canada in 1953. He attended the Vancouver School of Art (Emily Carr University of Art + Design) from 1975-1981, majoring in photography and design. From 1976-1981, Wong-Chu was involved with the Vancouver Co-op Radio Program on culture and assimilation, Pender Guy Radio Program while working at the Vancouver School of Art.

Considered one of the first Asian-Canadian authors who gave voice to the Asian Communities in the times when the support for the Asian arts was difficult to obtain. Jim Wong-Chu dedicated much of his time to compile a literary anthology, “Many Mouthed Birds” to showcase the richness of Asian-Canadian literature. During 1995 and 1996 Jim Wong-Chu co-founded the Asian Canadian Performing Arts Resource (ACPAR) and became one of the founders of the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW) where he helped many young Asian-Canadian writers to succeed by editing and finding publishers for their works. Jim Wong-Chu along with Mishtu Banerjee, Mo-Ling Chui, Grace Eiko Thomson, and Winston Xin​ formed the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society, as an organization that endeavoured to explore the diversity of Asian Canadian life and culture and promote the discussion of relevant issues and concerns within and beyond the Asian Canadian communities.

RBSC is proud to hold both the Jim Wong-Chu fonds and books from Jim’s personal library collection.

The exhibit, Jim Wong-Chu: Iconic | Asian | Canadian, runs October 10 to November 15 on level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, located on the UBC Vancouver campus. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

Science Literacy Week (September 16-22, 2019) is an annual celebration of science in Canada, in which libraries, universities, museums, and other partners offer events and displays to highlight research and learning at our institutions.

This year focuses on the OCEAN, a perfect theme for a country that borders the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans. All branches of the UBC Library on both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses will showcase items from their rich collection of ocean-related books, films, and even puppets.

Rare Books and Special Collections is delighted to feature displays of historical materials related to the ocean from the W.C. Gibson History of Science & Medicine Collection, as well as modern poetry books inspired by our world’s oceans, notably some beautiful small and fine-press limited editions featuring British Columbian and Canadian poets.

For more details about RBSC’s book displays as well as displays and activities at the other UBC Library branches, visit the UBC Library Guide to Science Literacy Week.

RBSC’s Science Literacy Week displays, which are free and open to the public, will be up in our reading room from September 16 until September 30, 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.

Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is excited to announce a new public exhibition, “A Queer Century, 1869-1969,” opening to coincide with UBC’s hosting of the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

“A Queer Century” tell stories from the history of sexuality, progressing from the emergence of homosexuality as a named concept in 1869 to the announced decriminalization of homosexual activity in Canada in 1969, and highlighting cultural events in the changing perceptions of gender and sexuality. The exhibition features books, ephemera, and archival materials in English, German, and French from RBSC’s collections, as well as original correspondence held in UBC’s University Archives, and materials generously loaned by local private collectors.

This exhibition is made possible by the Queer Collections Project (QCP), a joint, interdisciplinary initiative organized by faculty in the Faculty of Arts with the support of UBC Library and housed at Rare Books and Special Collections. The QCP began with seed funding from the Jane Rule Endowment for the Study of Human Relationships (JRE), with the goal of making significant additions to the UBC Library’s collections, thereby putting in place primary resources for undergraduate and graduate research into the study of the history of sexuality.

Since 2017, the faculty curators—Dr. Kyle Frackman (Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies) and Dr. Gregory Mackie (Department of English Language and Literatures)—have aimed to add to the University’s collections and to surface items that UBC Library already owns. The QCP has received generous funding and support from the JRE, UBC Library, the UBC Provost’s Office, and the Ulrich Maché Memorial Fund.

“A Queer Century, 1869-1969,” which is free and open to the public, will be on display in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room from June 1 to September 11, 2019. The RBSC reading room is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A catalogue of the exhibition can be downloaded here. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

 

Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition: Across Enchanted Lands: Universal Motifs in Illustrated Fairy Tales.

Many thanks to guest bloggers Renée Gaudet, Karen Ng, and Ashlynn Prasad for contributing the below post! Renée, Karen, and Ashlynn are graduate students at UBC’s iSchool (School of Library, Archival and Information Studies) and curated this delightful new exhibition under the supervision of Professor Kathie Shoemaker.

Our exhibition, Across Enchanted Lands: Universal Motifs in Illustrated Fairy Tales, showcases various themes and archetypes common in fairy tales, with particular attention to the ways in which those themes appear in stories from a variety of cultures. While many of the archetypes highlighted – including peril, romance, and fairies and little folk – may be familiar to consumers of modern-day fairy tales, the exhibition also features characteristics common to early fairy tales that have since changed and evolved.

Student curators Renée Gaudet, Karen Ng, and Ashlynn Prasad

Across Enchanted Lands comprises just a small portion of the vast collection of children’s literature housed at UBC’s Rare Books and Special Collections, and also includes some items from the Education Library. Part of the strength of these materials is the fact that they span the course of hundreds of years, which allows for the exploration of illustration styles from different eras of fairy tales and the ways in which certain fairy tales have evolved over time. The illustrations highlighted here showcase both the beauty and light side of fairy tales as well as some of the darker and sinister undertones that often creep up in these narratives. In this way, Across Enchanted Lands offers a well-rounded perspective on the history of the modern fairy tale and the various roles the fairy tale genre has played in different cultures.

Across Enchanted Lands is located partly in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room and partly on level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. On level 2, the cases cover the following themes: Global Fairy Tales; Cinderella and Red Riding Hood Across Cultures; Not for Children; Powerful Women; Pop-Up and Interactive Books; Illustration Styles; and Abodes. On the first floor in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room are Beautiful Books; Canonical Writers; Global Fairy Tales; Cinderella Across Cultures; Fairies and Little Folk; Animals; Mythological Creatures; Peril; and Romance. The cases work together and inform one another in order to provide a well-rounded picture of the many essential archetypes and motifs that have made fairy tales so iconic.

Across Enchanted Lands: Universal Motifs in Illustrated Fairy Tales is on display from March 1 through May 30, 2019. The exhibition is free and open to the public, and people of all ages are encouraged to attend. A complete catalogue of the exhibition can be downloaded here. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

Shakespeare’s first folio. Image courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

In honour of Dr. Patricia Badir’s new course Shakespeare Now (ENGL 241) Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to partially re-stage our popular Shakespeare exhibition from this past summer.

Exploring topics including Shakespearean theatre in British Columbia, Shakespeare in children’s literature, Shakespeare and religion, and the legacy of Shakespeare, the exhibition was co-curated by Patricia Badir, Professor of English, Anthony Dawson, Professor Emeritus of English, and Department of English students Karol Pasciano (MA), Aiden Tait (BA Hons.), and Ana Maria Fernandez Grandizo (BA Hons.).

Shakespeare and the Book will be on display in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room through February 22, 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.

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.

 

From upper left corner: Wood sample, “Effect of Fertilizer on Mature Trees,” (n.d), MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. (181-06); Penick and Co. Oils, 1957, MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. (181-05); Keys to the first paper mill in B.C., ca. 1894, MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. (180-22).

Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition: 150 Years of Forestry in British Columbia.

Curated by Ashlynn Prasad, MAS/MLIS Candidate at the University of British Columbia, under the supervision of RBSC Archivist Krisztina Laszlo, 150 Years of Forestry in British Columbia takes a broad view of the forestry industry in British Columbia from 1861 to 2016. Items on display are drawn from key RBSC collections with strong ties to forestry and illustrate the evolution of a cornerstone industry in B.C.

The exhibition is being staged in honour of the 10th anniversary of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC). Dr. Irving K. Barber, who as the principal donor gave $20 million towards the building’s development and construction in 2012, was a leader within B.C.’s forestry industry for much of his career. A second exhibition, A Place of Learning: The Evolution of the Library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, explores the construction and physical evolution of the 1925 Library building and its transition to the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Curated by Archivist Erwin Wodarczak, all items featured in the exhibition come from the collections of the University Archives, which serves to identify, preserve and showcase the University’s permanently valuable records. 

150 Years of Forestry in British Columbia will be on display at Rare Books and Special Collections through November 16, 2018. The RBSC reading room is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca. A Place of Learning: The Evolution of the Library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is on display on level 2 (main foyer) of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre through October 31, 2018.

Shakespeare’s first folio. Image courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition:And there’s the humor of it”: Shakespeare and the Four Humors.

Blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm. These four humors were once thought to shape a person’s mental and physical health, behavior and even personality. Initially borrowed from Ancient Greek thinkers like Aristotle, Hippocrates, and Galen, the theory of the four humors was so ingrained into the common wisdom of Shakespeare’s time that references to melancholic displays and choleric outbursts fill his most popular plays. The interplay between medical theory and theatrical language forms the basis of a fascinating exhibition, created by the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, now at UBC Library.

The traveling exhibition, “And there’s the humor of it”: Shakespeare and the Four Humors, has been supplemented with additional materials from UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, exploring topics including Shakespearean theatre in British Columbia and Shakespeare in children’s literature. More information about the National Library of Medicine display and the materials at RBSC is available through the UBC Library website.

Many thanks to co-curators of the UBC Library collections materials Patricia Badir, Professor of English, Anthony Dawson, Professor Emeritus of English, and Department of English students Karol Pasciano (MA), Aiden Tait (BA Hons.), and Ana Maria Fernandez Grandizo (BA Hons.). Thank you also to John Christopoulos, Assistant Professor of History, for lending his subject matter expertise. UBC Library co-curators for the exhibition included Charlotte Beck, Chelsea Shriver, and Helen Brown.

The panels on loan from the National Library of Medicine will be on display at Woodward Library through July 14 and the books on display at Rare Books and Special Collections will be available through August 3, 2018. The RBSC reading room is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For Woodward Library’s hours, check their website. The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

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