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 coming soon to UBC Library.

The exhibition, “And there’s the humor of it”: Shakespeare and the four humors, will run from June 4 to July 14, 2018 and feature additional materials from UBC Library’s collections to explore related topics, such as Shakespearean theatre in British Columbia and Shakespeare in children’s literature. Collection highlights will include: the second edition folio of Shakespeare’s complete works (1632), first editions of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1590), John Donne’s Poems (1633), and George Herbert’s The Temple (1633), along with medical manuals such as 16th century midwifery book The byrth of mankynde (1540) by Eucharius Rösslin and milestone physiology book, Exercitatio anatomica de motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus (1628) by William Harvey.

On display at Rare Books and Special Collections on Level 1 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and in the Memorial Room at Woodward Library, the exhibition is open to the general public as well as UBC students, staff and faculty across campus.

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.

Take this opportunity to view rare materials that chronicle both medical milestones and Shakespeare’s enduring relevance throughout the ages.

 

Upgrades to the third and fourth floors of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre are complete and opened to library users during the spring session.

The upgrades, which began in February 2017, include new flooring, additional study spaces, improved lighting, upgraded furniture and additional electrical outlets (with USB chargers).

 

The upgrades have been popular with students. “I like this new seating by the windows,” says Heather, undergraduate student in the Faculty of Education who studies regularly at IKBLC, “It’s nice to have more natural light.”

Fourth-year Psychology student Nithia enjoys the new, more user-friendly study spaces, “The higher tables and chairs are much more comfortable — I slouch less. And the new usb ports are very convenient.”

The renovation is one of several projects planned for 2017 to improve UBC Library spaces and services for UBC students.  

“Every effort was made during the renovation project to minimize disruptions and maintain available study space for students,” says Julie Mitchell, Assistant Director, Student Engagement, IKBLC, “We’re so pleased with how the renovations turned out and to see students already enjoying the upgraded spaces.”

Be sure to try out the upgraded study spaces for yourself! 

 

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The fifth annual Aboriginal (Un) History Month exhibit is now on display at UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. 

This exhibit asks the question “Whose 150?” and explores the rich Indigenous history and culture in Canada. The eight cases include video, maps, video animated graphics, stories and histories – aimed at encouraging conversation and learning about the broader context of Canada’s 150.  

“This year, many Canadians are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada. For them, the development of Canada from a colony to an independent nation is the story of the emergence of a democratic nation exceptional in both its history and promise. That is, however, a history that looks very different to many Indigenous people in Canada…By truthfully and directly addressing the history and current circumstances of Indigenous people—and acting upon what we come to understand—we can work together to make Canada a country and a society we can all more fully join in celebrating.” – Linc Kesler, Director, First Nations House of Learning

Exhibit partners include the Musqueam First Nation, UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre and UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

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For more information on the themes of the cases, visit the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre website

The exhibit is open to the public daily from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Level 2, and will be on display until August 30, 2017.

 

UBC is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people.

 

About Aboriginal (Un)History Month

The “un” represents the continued importance and relevance of Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world. These contributions should be recognized daily, not just once a year. The first Aboriginal (Un)History Month event kicked off in June 2012.

 

Exhibit partners

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