The spring 2010 issue of Connects, the newsletter of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, is now available. This issue serves as the Learning Centre’s 2009/10 Annual Report.

You can view the issue at Connects – Annual Report 2009/10.

The extensive archives of Douglas Coupland – one of Canada’s most renowned authors, an internationally recognized visual artist and a cultural icon who coined the term “Generation X” – have a new home at UBC Library.

Coupland’s archives consist of a vast array of records dating to 1980, including manuscripts, photos, visual art, fan mail, correspondence, press clippings, audio/visual material and more. Coupland plans to continue adding to his archives at UBC Library in coming years.

“For me it’s a great honour for UBC to accept my papers. I hope that within them, people in the future will find patterns and constellations that can’t be apparent to me or to anyone simply because they are there, and we are here,” says Coupland, who will receive an honorary degree from UBC on May 27. “The donation process makes me feel old and yet young at the same time. I’m deeply grateful for UBC’s support and enthusiasm.”

“UBC is honoured to serve as the home to the fascinating archives of Douglas Coupland,” says UBC President Stephen Toope. “We view this as the first step in a broad engagement with an important Canadian intellect.”

The entire holding is stored in 122 boxes and features about 30 metres of textual materials. “This is a very comprehensive look at Doug’s activities – we’re grateful for his generosity,” says Ralph Stanton, the Head of UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) division, which is home to the archive.

A finding aid describing the collection’s contents was organized by Stephen Russo from UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. It is available at Users can view the collection’s contents and make a request to view material.

Coupland is perhaps best known for his first and seminal novel, Generation X, which chronicles the tale of three 20-something friends grappling with their lives. Generation X went on to be a global cultural phenomenon.

The book originally began as an article for Vancouver magazine, and Coupland’s archives feature original copies of the book manuscript and a copy of the magazine article.

Coupland has gone on to write another 19 books, including Generation A, published in 2009. His UBC archives include first editions of many titles, numerous foreign editions, manuscripts and more. He also has written a biography of Marshall McLuhan that was recently released as part of Penguin Canada’s Extraordinary Canadians series.

While best-known as a novelist, Coupland is also an accomplished graphic designer, journalist, visual artist, playwright and filmmaker. Since 2000, he has created or contributed to a wide array of visual art projects, installations and exhibitions. His most recent public work, the 25-foot-tall Digital Orca, was recently installed at the Vancouver Convention Centre, on the west terrace of the West building.


Want to learn more about British Columbia? Then you’ll be happy to hear about BC Books Online, a project that features a digital collection of non-fiction books all about the province – and includes UBC Library as a participant.

In 2007, a consortium of library organizations and publishers initiated the project, which supports equitable access to all British Columbians using Internet technologies and collaboration between libraries and the public sector.

BC Books Online marks the first-ever collaboration between publishers and libraries with the goal of delivering digital content throughout the province.

The collection includes books on history, natural history, Aboriginal culture, arts and culture, political commentary, the environment and other contemporary issues. Find out more about the project at

An upcoming workshop that’s part of the Asian Library’s 50th anniversary celebrations will focus on Chinese immigration patterns, aided by a head tax database that was launched in 2008.

The “Workshop on the Taishan and Zhongshan Immigrants in North America” will enable community members, UBC students and scholars from around the world to conduct research on the roots of immigrants from Guangdong, China, dating from 1885-1947.

The workshop will feature remarks from Lea Starr, Associate University Librarian, UBC Library; Henry Yu, Associate Professor, UBC Department of History; and Eleanor Yuen, Head of the Asian Library. There will also be a range of guest speakers.

The workshop takes place on Tuesday, May 18 at the Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall, UBC Vancouver campus. You can find out more about the event here.

ChildrensLiteratureA fascinating exhibition that complements the release of a new book on children’s literature is now on display at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) division.

Picturing Canada: Canadian Children’s Illustrated Books and Publishing, highlights Canadian picturebooks from the last 200 years. The exhibition includes rare children’s books as well as popular productions from recent years. It was curated by Shannon Ozirny, Meaghan Scanlon and Geneviève Valleau, all students at UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies.

The exhibition features highlights from Picturing Canada: A History of Canadian Children’s Illustrated Books and Publishing, written by Judith Saltman and Gail Edwards. Saltman is an Associate Professor at UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies and Chair of the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature program; Edwards is the Chair of the Department of History at Douglas College.

Picturing Canada, the exhibition, runs until August 31 at RBSC, located on level one of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Art fans, take note: two new exhibitions are now on display at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Beyond the Words features portraits of writers by the late Carl Kohler (1919-2006), a Neo-Modernist/Abstract Swedish artist. Subjects including Franz Kafka, Anaïs Nin, Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, Günter Grass and others are featured in mediums such as oil painting, woodblock prints and drawings.

Meanwhile, the Generation One exhibition features work from dynamic local artists, including Raymond Chow, Ron Sombilon, Ray Shum, Rubina Rajan and others. This show coincides with explorASIAN, the annual Vancouver Asian Heritage Festival.

Beyond the Words runs until August 31, and Generation One runs until May 31. Both shows appear in the Learning Centre Gallery, located on the second floor of the Learning Centre, adjacent to the circulation desk.

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, a designated national treasure, has a new virtual home.

The handsome website, found at, highlights the Chung Collection’s three main themes: immigration and settlement, early British Columbia history, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

Focus groups consisting of faculty, staff, students and community members provided feedback on the development of a new site for the Chung Collection, which is housed at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections division.

Highlights include quick search and advanced search functions, a “most viewed items” feature, an appealing re-design and an extensive catalogue of digitized items.

UBC Library invites you to visit the site and delve into one of Canada’s most exceptional historical collections.



a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Library





Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia

Spam prevention powered by Akismet