The UBC Archives Photograph Collection has over 40,000 photographic images dating from the founding of UBC to the present day. They present a visual record of UBC’s growth and development, the evolution of student life, and campus events over most of the past century. In a previous blog post, Now & Then, we showed how one of the oldest buildings on campus, the Irving K Barber (IKB) Learning Centre has changed during the past decades. In this post, we will focus on Main Mall.

Being in the centre of UBC Grey Point campus, Main Mall is a historic pedestrian axis. Looking north, the landscape of the mountains hasn’t changed much. But the red oaks, the earliest of which were planted in the 1920s, have grown a lot!

UBC 72.1/32, View of Main Mall looking north, [1939]

UBC 164.1/11, Looking north along Main Mall, 1955

UBC 175.1/28b, View north on Main Mall toward flag pole, 2002

The Main Library, now the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, was first built in 1923. In 2002, the library began the process of a major renovation. After the refurbishment, both wings and the majority of the interior were completely redone, but the west entrance hall remained much the same.

UBC 1.1/2664, Main Library from the north end of Main Mall, [between 1960 and 1969]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: UBC 1.1/2355, Entrance hall, Main Library, [1960]. Right: The west entrance of Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, October 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: UBC 1.1/1729, Main Library entrance, [1932]. Right: The west entrance of Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, October 2019.

The view of Main Mall from the west entrance of IKB Learning Centre looks quite different from 50 years ago. These two photos were taken in the same place, one in 1943, and the other last week. In the right photo, the Ladner Clock Tower was built in 1968, Walter C. Koerner Library in 1996, and the Residential School History and Dialogue Centre in 2018.

Left: UBC 1.1/1073, Reflection pool and lawns in front of Main Library, 1943. Right: In front of Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, October 2019.

Can you tell where this building is? It’s now right behind the Koerner Library. It was called the Arts Building until 1960, then the Mathematics Building.

UBC 1.1/703, Arts building and Main Mall, 1936

Is this side more familiar?

Miguel Garcia / UBC Mathematics Building, 2013

Did you know there was a bus stop on Main Mall? It was on the west side of Main Mall across from the Science Building (now the Chemistry Building), to the south of Mathematics Annex, as shown in the photo below.

UBC 1.1/309, Main Mall looking northwest from Science building, Oct 4, 1937

In 1955-56, a long, low building including the Bus Stop Café and the old University Bookstore was built in the location of the bus stop.

UBC 44.1/193-1, Bus Stop coffee shop, 1987

UBC 44.1/193-3, Bus Stop coffee shop, 1987

UBC 41.1/1699-2, Bookstore interior view, 1976

According to the University Archives of Buildings & Grounds, the old Bookstore and Bus Stop Café were torn down in 1991 to make space for the David Lam Management Research Centre.

This is how this area looks like now.

UBC 128.1/143, David Lam Management Research Centre, 1999

To read more about the Bus Stop Café, please check out this post.

In the south end of Main Mall, there is the Old Barn Community Centre. There was actually a horse barn on the same spot. According to UBC Archives, the Old Horse Barn was erected in 1920. In 2003, the barn was deemed structurally unsafe and beyond restoration, and then rebuilt. The building now functions as a community centre providing a social space for university residents and students, including a coffee shop, meeting rooms, and a number of social spaces.

UBC 1.1/1358, Horse barn, [between 1920 and 1939]

UBC 175.1/19b, Old barn, 2002

 

Alex Ristea / The Old Barn, 2009

We hope you enjoyed the blog post. To find out more historical photographs about the university, please explore the UBC Archives Photograph Collection!

Today, UBC Library has 15 branches in 12 locations that provide a variety of programs and services. The Digitization Centre is located in Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) on UBC’s Vancouver campus. A previous post explored how IKBLC has changed since the first Main Library was built, so we will delve into the history of UBC Library buildings from UBC Archives Photograph Collection.

Asian Library

The Asian Library provides services relevant to Asian language materials and is currently located in the Asian Centre. Prior to the Asian Library being officially designated a UBC Library branch in 1975, all the Asian language materials were stored in the Main Library.

UBC 1.1/9121. Asian studies desk in Main Library. 1971.

Banham, Jim. UBC 41.1/981-2. Move of Asian Studies Library to Asian Centre, 1981.

Biomedical Branch Library

The Biomedical Branch Library is located in the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre, which includes UBC Faculty of Medicine facilities. It was opened at Vancouver General Hospital in 1952 as the first official branch of the Main Library, and moved to the present location in 1957.

UBC 81.1/5. Faculty of Medicine building (Vancouver General Hospital) entrance, 1958.

David Lam Management Research Library

The David Lam Management Research Library provides library programs and services for the areas of business administration and commerce and is located in UBC Sauder School of Business at Vancouver campus. The library opened in 1985 with a donation from Dr. David See-Chai Lam, British Columbia’s former Lieutenant-Governor. It officially became a branch of UBC Library in 1993.

UBC 8.1/108. David Lam Research Library plaque, 1986.

UBC 44.1/3103. David Lam pours concrete for construction of David Lam Management Research Centre, 1991.

UBC 44.1/2828b. David Lam Management Research Centre, 1996.

Walter C. Koerner Library

We can trace the history of the Walter C. Koerner Library back to 1960, when the Main Library was the only building UBC Library managed. In 1960, the College Library was established inside the Main Library to provide library services for first- and second-year students. It changed its name to Sedgewick Library in 1964, in honour of Dr. Garnett Sedgewick, a former professor and head of the Department of English. As its collection grew, UBC Library opened a new building for Sedgewick in the current location of Koerner Library in 1973.

UBC 1.1/2327. Entrance to Sedgewick Library, [between 1960 and 1969].

Banham, Jim. UBC 41.1/2306. Sedgewick Library, 1973.

UBC 41.1/2247-2. Sedgewick Library stairwell, 1975.

Construction of Koerner Library began in 1995 by adding 7,000 square metres to 10,200 square metres of the renovated space from Sedgewick Library. The current library name is in honour of Walter Charles Koerner, a Canadian businessman who generously supported the construction of the library in addition to other philanthropic contributions to the University overall.

UBC 44.1/3082. Construction of Koerner Library, 1995.

UBC 44.1/3152. View of area for W. C. Koerner Library opening ceremonies, 1997.

 

Law Library

The Law Library is located in Peter A. Allard School of Law at Vancouver campus. It was formed in 1945, and initially housed in a World War II army hut. As a result of contributions from donors, the library moved to a new law building in 1951, and redesigned its space in 1975, concurrently with the renovation of the George F. Curtis Faculty of Law building.

UBC 3.1/613. Huts behind library.

UBC 1.1/5748-2. Students in Law Library, 1952.

 

Woodward Library

Woodward Library is accessed from the inside the Instructional Resources Centre (IRC), and its physical collection covers all medicine, sciences, and engineering areas, except for Math and Computer Science. The initial division started from the Medical Reading Room in the Main Library in 1950. The Woodward Library was opened in 1964 with a generaous gift of fundings from Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Woodward’s Foundation. After expanding its space in 1970, the Library absorbed the collections of MacMillan Library, which included the area of Land and Food Systems and Forestry in 2006, and Science and Engineering collections from the Main Library in 2013.

UBC 1.1/11465-1. MacMillan Library showing the bookshelves, 1967.

UBC 3.1/1234-2. Woodward Biomedical architectural sketches, 1963.

UBC 3.1/1240. Sign announcing the building of Woodward Library, [between 1960 and 1969].

UBC 3.1/1451-1. View of Woodward Library, 1964.

Holborne, Peter. UBC 1.1/12478. Woodward Biomedical Library, 1971.

Xwi7xwa Library

Xwi7xwa Library is the only Indigenous branch of an academic library in Canada, and officially became a branch of UBC Library in 2005. It is located at the eastern end of the Longhouse, built in 1993. The building’s design is modeled after structures built by Interior Salish nations, called Kekuli in the chinook language, a pit house in English, and S7ístken in Ucwalmícwts (Lil’wat nation).

UBC 106.1/22. Construction of Xwi7xwa Library, 1993.

 

We hope you will visit each branch and experience the history and evolution of UBC Library. Visit UBC Archives Photograph Collection to find more library photographs.

References

This year, UBC spring graduation ceremonies take place on May 22-24 and 27-30 at our Vancouver campus, and June 6-7 at our Okanagan campus. Congratulations to all of the new graduates!

In Open Collections, you can find photographs of past graduation ceremonies in the UBC Archives Photograph Collection:

 

UBC 1.1/13351. First Congregation program cover, 1912.

 

UBC 156.1/200. Congregation procession, 1924.

 

UBC 1.1/12136-2. View of students at spring congregation, 1938.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UBC 3.1/177-6. View of Congregation ceremony, 1946.

 

UBC 1.1/12155-3. View of congregation, 1966.

 

UBC 35.1/86-7. Conferring degrees at Congregation, 1981.

 

UBC 35.1/195-5. View of audience at Congregation, 1991.

 

UBC 35.1/508. Honorary degree recipient Irving Barber speaking at Congregation, 2002.

 

Also, in the UBC Congregation Video Collection, you can find video recordings of graduation or congregation ceremonies from 1986 to 2018.

 

Watch video!

University of British Columbia Ceremonies and Events Office. UBC Congregation Ceremony [1986_05_28_am], 1986.

 

You can find more resources in our Open Collections. Have a wonderful graduation ceremony this year!

 

Now that the rainy season is finally ending, we’re ready to enjoy British Columbia’s beautiful beaches. For this post, we gathered together historic photos of B.C. beaches, from right here in the Lower Mainland to Powell River.

Starting locally, we found several photos of beaches at and near UBC in the UBC Archives Photograph collection. This photo of Wreck Beach from the 1980s shows the erosion of the Point Grey cliffs:

UBC 1.1/16555-8. Point Grey cliff erosion, aerial view, showing WWII searchlight tower and close-up of cliff-face, July 1983.

 

This photo of Jericho Beach from 1962 also shows the surrounding area, including West Point Grey and Kitsilano:

Holborne, Peter. UBC 1.1/3303. Aerial view of Jericho beach area, September 6, 1962.

 

Although the exact location of this photo within Vancouver is unknown, we love this beach attire from around 1900:

[Woman on a beach], [1900?].

 

These postcards show Kitsilano Beach in the early 20th century – check out the men’s suits in the first photo!

The Beach, Kitsilano, [between 1905 and 1915?].

Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, Canada, [between 1910 and 1935?].

Kitsilano Beach and Swimming Pool, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, [between 1920 and 1930?].

 

We found several photos of English Bay and Second Beach, over by Stanley Park:

Timms, Philip T. A warm day at the beach, Vancouver B.C., [1906].

English Bay, Vancouver, B.C., [between 1930 and 1939?].

Bullen, Harry Elder. Stanley Park, Second Beach, [between 1910 and 1920?].

Second Beach, Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C., [between 1920 and 1927?].

 

This photo shows several 1920s businesses near Crescent Beach in Surrey, including an ice cream parlor and a shop selling fish and chips:

Crescent Beach, B.C., [between 1920 and 1930?].

 

This postcard shows a bustling day at Boundary Bay, close to the Canada/U.S. border:

Boundary Bay, [between 1905 and 1915?].

 

In this postcard, swimmers and boaters enjoy the beach at Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver:

Whytecliff, B.C., [between 1920 and 1935?].

 

In Powell River, Willingdon Beach is a serene location for enjoying the beach and camping:

Powell River Studios. Willingdon Beach, 1947.

 

We hope you get the chance this season to visit the nearby beaches and other vacation spots around the province to enjoy what B.C. has to offer.

Today is World Book and Copyright Day, an international event in support of books, reading, and literacy. This year, the focus is on protecting and supporting Indigenous languages, in conjunction with the International Year of Indigenous Languages. You can read more about World Book and Copyright Day on the United Nations and UNESCO websites.

In recognition of World Book and Copyright Day, we’ve gathered together items from our collections that showcase reading over the past century. We hope you can spend some time with a great book today!

 

UBC 1.1/16567. View of Library reading room at Fairview campus, 1919.

 

[Passenger reading on the outer deck of the first C.P. R.M.S. Empress of Scotland], [1927?].

 

UBC 1.1/5852-3. Students studying in Main Library concourse, 1949.

 

UBC 3.1/844-2. People undergoing a reading efficiency test, [1953].

 

Law Library, [between 1960 and 1969].

 

UBC 93.1/809. Judith C. Thiele with braille book and reading equipment in Crane Library, 1970.

 

UBC 44.1/1231. Ker, Charles. Frances Woodward, Library, peers over three miniature books from Special Collections, 1995.

 

UBC 44.1/821. Wilson, Gavin. Graduate student Shirley Sterling reading to grandchild, 1997.

Since this April is National Poetry Month, we’ve gathered together selected poetry and related items from Open Collections for your enjoyment!

Our recently added Historical Children’s Literature Collection includes several poetry chapbooks. This chapbook, The butterfly’s ball, and the grasshopper’s feast, includes beautiful engraved illustrations:

Roscoe, William. The butterfly’s ball, and the grasshopper’s feast, 1807.

 

Roscoe, William. The butterfly’s ball, and the grasshopper’s feast, 1807, p. 7.

 

Our BC Historical Books collection also contains several collections of poetry. Eric Duncan’s Rural rhymes and the sheep thief begins with the following disclaimer:

Duncan, Eric. Rural rhymes and the sheep thief, 1896, p. 7.

 

Here’s the first page of the first poem from the book, “A mosquito song”:

Duncan, Eric. “A mosquito song”. From Rural rhymes and the sheep thief, 1896, p. 11.

 

If you’re interested in Japanese poetry, check out our One Hundred Poets collection. This collection contains 74 books and 20 different card sets relating to the poetry anthology Hyakunin Isshu 百人一首 (One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each). You can read more about the collection in this previous blog post.

[Kinoya Hisomaro ; illustrated by Utagawa Kunisada, Utagawa Kuniyoshi], [Nishikie chūiri hyakunin isshu], [1849].

 

You may also be interested in the utagaruta card sets within this collection. You can find them here, and check out our previous blog post to learn more about how this game is played.

[One hundred poets card sheets], [Meiji period [1868-1912]].

 

This month is a great time to seek out poetry readings. We found this photo of Allen Ginsberg reading at UBC in 1963:

UBC 1.1/11341-2. Holborne, Peter. Allen Ginsberg reading poetry at UBC. August 2nd, 1963. Allen Ginsberg reading poetry at UBC.

 

Finally, check out this adorable poem about a cat interrupting a game of croquet:

Playing croquet, 1875.

Now that spring is well underway, we’re thinking about ways to enjoy the beautiful sunshine! For this post, we’ve gathered together our favourite images of bicycles from Open Collections.

Recently added to the Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs, this photograph album documents Clara Wilson’s cycling trips across Canada. Check out the full album for many more photos of her adventures!

Sproat Lake, 1940. From Clara Wilson’s photo album, [Ten Annual Cycling Trips, 1938-1947].

1st Bike Riding Lesson, July 1943. From Clara Wilson’s photo album, [Ten Annual Cycling Trips, 1938-1947].

 

As well as providing transportation, cycling can be a great social activity. Here’s a photograph of a women’s cycling club from 1907:

Cycling club and croquet lawn, 1907.

 

We enjoyed looking at this bicycle route map of Victoria, B.C., from 1897:

The Province pocket road map of Victoria and surroundings: compiled for the use of bicyclists from the government map, 1897.

 

Of course, with bikes, you don’t have to stay on the road. These postcards from the Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection depict cyclists on the beach and in the woods:

La plage à marée basse, 1919.

Le bois, 1906.

 

We found photos featuring tricycles, unicycles, and even a 15-wheel bicycle in Open Collections:

UBC 44.1/510. Dee, Martin. Participants in Science Week tricycle race, 1990.

Kong, Vincent. [Photograph of Stanley Kong].

UBC 44.1/2454. UBC engineering students on 15-seat bicycle built for Manulife Ride for Heart to raise funds for research, May 1991.

 

Finally, we loved finding these photos of bicyclists on and around campus – from the UBC Archives Photograph Collection:

UBC 41.1/1446-2. Lindner, Franz. Bicyclists on University Boulevard, 1978.

UBC 44.1/1886. Woman on bicycle, 2005.

This February 24 marks the 77th anniversary of Order-in-Council P.C. 1486, issued by Prime Minister Mackenzie King in 1942 to officially begin Japanese Canadian internment. All Japanese Canadians within 100 miles of the British Columbia coast – designated as a “protected area” – were forced to relocate east to the BC interior and other provinces, sometimes with only 24 hours to do so. In early March 1942, the British Columbia Security Commission was established to carry out the forced removal of Japanese Canadians. Vancouver’s Hastings Park was established as a temporary detainment center – detainees were housed in the Livestock Building – through which Japanese Canadians were routed before being moved to internment camps.

Tashme internment camp was located 14 miles southeast of Hope, BC. The 1200-acre site was originally named Fourteen Mile Ranch; the name “Tashme” was created from the names of three officers of the BC Security Commission. By May 1942, people were beginning to arrive at Tashme to begin housing construction:

Tashme Camp under construction, 1942

Construction at Tashme camp

 

In September 1942, families from Hastings Park began to arrive at Tashme, and the camp officially opened.

Japanese Canadians arriving at Tashme Camp

 

The forced removal was completed by the end of October 1942, and Hastings Park was closed. Construction at Tashme continued, including housing, bath houses, and a hospital. Farm buildings from the ranch were also renovated and repurposed. By January 1943, the camp had reached its peak population of over 2,600 residents. It was the largest BC internment camp.

Tashme Camp in winter

The hospital in winter [Tashme Camp], 1946

 

Over the next few years, Tashme functioned as a self-sufficient community. Photos in the Japanese Canadian Photograph Collection provide a glimpse of everyday life at Tashme:

View of Tashme camp

Group photograph of men at Tashme camp

Tashme Secondary School teachers, October 13 1943

Family picnics at Tashme Camp

Japanese boy with pet at Tashme Camp

 

The UBC Archives Photograph Collection also contains several photos of Tashme from the Margaret Sage fonds. Margaret Sage served as a social worker at Tashme from September 1945 to August 1946 and created a scrapbook of 97 photographs from that time.

 

Group photograph including Margaret Sage, [1946]

 

In 1945, the Canadian government gave Japanese Canadians the choice to either move east of the Rocky Mountains within Canada, or move to Japan – where many Japanese Canadians had never lived. Many Tashme residents chose “repatriation” to Japan. During this time, Japanese Canadians from other camps who opted for repatriation were also moved to Tashme. Margaret Sage’s scrapbook documents life in Tashme from 1945-1946, including photos of the repatriation process:

Loading the busses [Tashme camp], May 31 1946

Repatriation – Good bye – See you in Japan [Tashme Camp] , May 31 1946

[Japanese Canadians from Tashme Camp boarding train at Hope?], January 1 1946

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Tashme and Japanese internment, the Tashme Historical Project is an excellent resource. In addition, you can check out our previous blog posts featuring photos from the Japanese Canadian Photograph collection here. 

References

 

In the spirit of the holiday season, enjoy these wintery images from Open Collections.

Check out these beautiful photographs of a snowy UBC campus, from the UBC Archives Photograph collection:

Photograph by Leonard Frank, UBC 1.1/1299 Sundial in Botanical gardens in the snow, 1926.

UBC 23.1/67. UBC Library in the snow, [1948?].

UBC 1.1/2047. UBC campus snow scene, 1969.

 

From the Chung Collection, this 1928 Canadian Pacific Railway Company menu advertises various winter sports in Banff:

Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Winter sports at Banff, 1928.

 

Also, check out this ski holidays poster from 1941:

Ewart, Peter. Banff-Lake Louise region Canadian Rockies via Canadian Pacific, 1941.

 

The Tremaine Arkley Croquet collection features retro Christmas cards:

[Christmas card depicting children playing croquet], [between 1910 and 1919?].

Bright and happy be your Christmas, [between 1890 and 1899?].

 

These photos from the Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs show Vancouver and North Vancouver covered in snow:

Granville St., Vancouver, B.C., Jan 13 ’09, 1909.

Barrowclough, George Alfred. Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C. after fall of snow, [not before 1910].

Suspension Bridge, First Capilano Canyon, Vancouver, B.C., Length 450 Feet, [between 1924 and 1949?].

Wardlaw, John. Winter sports, Grouse Mountain Park, North Vancouver, B.C., [between 1922 and 1941?].

Barrowclough, George Alfred. A Winter Sunset on English Bay, Vancouver, B.C., [between 1910 and 1920?].

 

Finally, we hope you’re a bit warmer than these two today:

Bullock-Webster, Harry. 45° below zero–and he’s lost the matches, 1880.

Did you know that UBC’s Vancouver campus wasn’t always at Point Grey? Although Point Grey was selected as the site for the university in 1910, the outbreak of World War I necessitated the creation of a temporary campus, which opened in Fairview in 1915.

Except for the Arts building, the buildings at Fairview were temporary wooden constructions, nicknamed the “shacks” by students and faculty. The entire campus was contained within what is now the site of Vancouver General Hospital, between Laurel St. and Willow St. just south of 10th Ave.

The UBC Archives Photograph Collection contains many photographs of the Fairview campus buildings, shown below in order of construction. More buildings had to be added to accommodate the growing UBC enrolment, but even that was insufficient; professors resorted to holding classes in their own homes, or repeating the same lecture because rooms could not accommodate the entire class.

In 1922, students protested the deficiencies of the buildings and the lack of progress with Point Grey campus construction. This demonstration was known as the Great Trek, and successfully prompted construction to resume on the Point Grey campus.

Physics Building (1911)

Photograph by Leonard Frank, UBC 1.1/143. Fairview Physics Building, 1925.

 

UBC 11.1/9-4. Elementary physics laboratory at Fairview campus, 1919.

 

Machine Shop (1911)

UBC 11.1/11-2. The machine shop at Fairview campus, 1919.

 

Arts Building (1914)

Photograph by Leonard Frank, UBC 1.1/155. Arts building, 1925.

 

UBC 1.1/16567. View of Library reading room at Fairview Campus, 1919.

 

Geology Building (1915) and Mining Building (1915)

Photograph by Leonard Frank, UBC 1.1/142. Geology building, 1925.[Mining building in background.]

UBC 11.1/10-4. Short course students in geology classroom at Fairview campus, 1919.

 

Chemistry Building (1916)

UBC 156.1/021. Chemistry/Biology building at Fairview campus, 1920.

 

UBC 11.1/9-2. Chemistry laboratory at Fairview campus, 1919.

 

Assembly Hall (1916)

Photograph by Leonard Frank, UBC 1.1/156. Assembly hall/auditorium at Fairview, 1925.

 

Photograph by Regan and McMillan, UBC 1.1/15825-6. Interior view of Auditorium at Fairview campus, 1923.

 

Engine Building (Garage) (1918)

UBC 11.1-11/5. The Garage – Mechanical engineering at Fairview campus, 1919.

 

Forestry/Commerce (1918)

UBC 11.1/12-2. The Mill room, Forestry Dept. at Fairview campus, 1919.

 

Students’ Cafeteria (1918)

Photograph by Regan and McMillan, UBC 1.1/15825-8. Cafeteria at Fairview campus, 1923.

 

If you’re looking for a more in-depth look at early UBC history, check out the essay “From Humble Beginnings” from UBC Archives.

References

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