A reminder that Rare Books and Special Collections, University Archives and the Chung Collection will be closed on Monday August 6th for B.C. Day, along with all other branches of UBC Library.

If you will be spending your long weekend watching the Olympic games, you might be interested to know that Rare Books and Special Collection holds the archives of former Olympian Harold Wright. He represented Canada in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles as a sprinter, reaching the semi-finals in the 100 and 200 m races. He went on to become the president of the Canadian Olympic Association, and would play a key role in bringing the summer Olympics to Montreal in 1976. Wright passed away in 1997, and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.  His archives contains a great deal of textual documents and ephemera related to sporting in B.C. and Canada, especially the Olympic games. There catalogue record for the collection is here; click on the inventory link for a detailed finding aid.

We were shocked and saddened this week to learn of the cancellation of the National Archival Development Program. This is in addition to a major round of cuts at Library and Archives Canada, which was the funding source of the program.

The funding is used by the Archives Association of British Columbia, as it is in other provinces and territories by their respective archival organizations, to maintain our provincial database of archival holdings, MemoryBC,  and to employ a professional archivist and a professional conservator to provide advice to archival institutions and archivists when needed.  It also provides professional development opportunities for archivists, so that we can continue to learn to serve our patrons and our collections better. UBC Rare Books and Special Collections has very frequently taken advantage of these opportunities; for example, this program was used to help develop a preservation plan for the Chung Collection, a declared national treasure and one of our most frequently used collections.

This same pot of funds was used to maintain the national archival database, Archives Canada. This database brings together archival descriptions from institutions across Canada. There is no other “one stop shop” for searching archives across the country, making this and provincial/territorial equivalents like MemoryBC absolutely crucial research tools for everybody who uses archives.   In our reference and teaching activities here at RBSC, we are constantly referring researchers to these resources.

Images of Jack Shadbolt mural, preserved and catalogued using NADP funds

Images of Jack Shadbolt mural, preserved and catalogued using NADP funds

The other arm of this funding was used to provide matching grants to archival institutions to preserve, catalogue and disseminate our archival collections. In recent years, this funding was used by Rare Books and Special Collections to catalogue and make available the Mike Apsey fonds, the Council of Forest Industries fonds, and the  Red Cedar Shingle and Handsplit Shake Bureau fonds (all in our recently created Forest History research guide); the Jack and Doris Shadbolt fonds (featured in our British Columbian Art and Artists research guide); and the Rosemary Brown fonds (the archives of the first black female member of a Canadian parliamentary body). Just from these examples, it is easy to see that this funding is crucial in helping the Canadian public gain access to records ranging from industry, to politics, to the environment, to the arts.

Advertisement from the Red Cedar and Handsplit Shake Bureau fonds, preserved and catalogued using NADP funds

Advertisement from the Red Cedar and Handsplit Shake Bureau fonds, preserved and catalogued using NADP funds

The National Archival Development Program was administered by the Canadian Council of Archives.  If you would like to learn more, there is a Call to Action on their website.

There is still room to register for the Rare Books and Special Collections workshop for graduate students on archival research skills on Friday Oct. 21 at noon-2 pm.  Designed for beginners, this workshop will cover the basics of archival research and organization, and finish with some hands-on examples from the collections at UBC Library. This workshop will be held in the Rare Books and Special Collections division of the library, Room 110 in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Please note that participants will be asked to leave their coats and bags in lockers when they arrive; notepads and pencils are provided, or feel free to bring a laptop.

This is a great opportunity for new grads, or those who have been to Rare Books and Special Collections or other archives in the past but would like a refresher.

Click here to register.

Rare Books and Special Collections is hosting a workshop for graduate students on archival research skills on Friday Oct. 21 at noon-2 pm.  Designed for beginners, this workshop will cover the basics of archival research and organization, and finish with some hands-on examples from the collections at UBC Library. This workshop will be held in the Rare Books and Special Collections division of the library, Room 110 in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Please note that participants will be asked to leave their coats and bags in lockers when they arrive; notepads and pencils are provided, or feel free to bring a laptop.

This is a great opportunity for new grads, or those who have been to Rare Books and Special Collections or other archives in the past but would like a refresher.

Click here to register.

In Canadian public and academic institutions, there is not a lot of online information available for people new to archival research. Katherine Kalsbeek, Reference Librarian in Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library, and Carolyn Casenas (a former adjunct archivist at York University) developed an onine tutorial intended for undergraduate and graduate students who have little or no experience doing research in an archives.

The goal of the tutorial is to guide users in the research process and the culture of archives. The tutorial can be used in its entirety or in sections. While the basic content is the same, the examples and procedures outlined in each tutorial are institution specific. To access the tutorials, please see the UBC version at http://www.library.ubc.ca/spcoll/Guides_UBC/Index.html or the York version at http://www.library.yorku.ca/binaries/ArchivesSpecialCollections/Guides_York/index.html.

Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) and University Archives (UA) are now using an electronic system to circulate our materials to the Reading Room. If you are a non-UBC user and would like to use RBSC or UA materials, we ask that you first register using our Patron Registration Form available at: http://french.util.itservices.ubc.ca:7001/webvoyage/servlet/PatronRegistrationForm

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