Exhibitions

Colbeck Collection exhibition: An Unmatched Devotion

Posted on October 19, 2017 @7:23 pm by cshriver

Yeats Tower ImageRare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition: “An Unmatched Devotion”: A 50th Anniversary Exhibition for UBC’s Norman Colbeck Collection of Nineteenth-Century and Edwardian Poetry and Belles Lettres.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the University of British Columbia Library’s acquisition of the Norman Colbeck Collection of Nineteenth Century and Edwardian Poetry and Belles Lettres. The Colbeck Collection, which comprises some 13,000 rare and often unique volumes – in addition to literary manuscripts and letters – is one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Victorian and Edwardian English and Anglo-Irish literature. The catalogue of the collection, A Bookman’s Catalogue, issued by UBC Press in 1987, remains a vital work of reference for scholars, collectors, and members of the book trade. To celebrate this indispensable research and teaching asset, UBC Library, in conjunction with the Department of English, invites you to explore some of these remarkable treasures.

Kelmscott Prospectus Image

The exhibition, curated by Assistant Professor of English, Dr. Gregory Mackie, is divided into several thematic areas representing the particular strengths of the collection: Poetry; the Pre-Raphaelites; Aestheticism and Decadence; the revival of printing and fine press publications; literary and artistic little magazines; Belles Lettres; and inscribed and association copies. We are also taking this opportunity to display recent acquisitions that complement the Colbeck Collection with a view to future teaching and research. The exhibition further provides an opportunity to display UBC’s recently acquired copy of the 1896 Kelmscott Press Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (“the most beautiful of all printed books,” according to poet W. B. Yeats) in its broader cultural and historical context. It is our hope that the exhibition will be both engaging and enlightening for students, scholars, and the wider community.

An Unmatched Devotion is on display at UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre from October 23 through December 20, 2017. The exhibition is located on the second floor Community Concourse and on the first floor 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. and Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. For IKBLC’s general hours, check their website (http://ikblc.ubc.ca/aboutus/hours). 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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New Chung Collection drop-in tours

Posted on August 3, 2017 @12:04 pm by cshriver

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, one of our most well-known and beloved special collections, contains material related to three broad and interrelated themes: early British Columbia history, immigration and settlement and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. The Chung Collection contains more than 25,000 rare and unique items (documents, books, maps, posters, paintings, photographs, silver, glass, ceramic ware and other artifacts), and selections from the collection are on display in RBSC, organized to show some of the most compelling stories of Canada’s past.

To accompany our weekly Wednesday drop-in tours, Rare Books and Special Collections is now offering weekly tours of the Chung Collection exhibition space. The weekly drop-in tours are held every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Rare Books and Special Collections on Level 1 of UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre!

If you are unable to make the drop-in tour, you are welcome to browse the exhibition anytime RBSC is open, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the general public, as well as the UBC community. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at 604 822-2521.

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Harry Potter at the VSO (now RBSC)

Posted on July 27, 2017 @2:34 pm by cshriver

Rare Books and Special Collections was delighted to be invited by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (for the third time!) to create a display of Harry Potter books for the latest performance in their Harry Potter Film Concert Series. Taking place at the beautiful Orpheum Theatre in downtown Vancouver, these unique events feature screenings of the Harry Potter films while the VSO performs the entire score live. The most recent events in the series ran July 13-July 15, and RBSC provided four display cases highlighting some of our unique and remarkable Harry Potter books, as well as “magical” antiquarian books, from our collection. We were also delighted and proud to honour the role of Allan MacDougall, founder of Raincoast Books, for his significant role in bringing Harry Potter, and author J. K. Rowling, to Canada, by displaying memorabilia kindly loaned by the MacDougall family. Now that the performances at the Orpheum are over, the cases are back in the RBSC reading room, and will be available through the rest of the summer.

Photograph courtesy of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Rare Books and Special Collection has had strengths in classic and canonical children’s literature since the mid-1960s when the exceptional Alice One Hundred Collection was donated to the Library by UBC’s graduating class of 1925. The class donated the collection in celebration of their 40th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the original publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The original donation, comprised of nearly 500 items dating between 1858 and 1965, was rich in first, early, and limited editions of books by and about Lewis Carroll, and featured the work of more than 80 illustrators. The children’s literature collection at RBSC continued to grow with the donation in 1976 of the Arkley Collection of Early and Historical Children’s Literature by Stan T. Arkley, a native of Vancouver and also a member of UBC’s class of 1925, and his wife, Rose. Today, through purchase and donation, the Arkley Collection comprises more than 12,000 Canadian, British, and American children’s books, serials, and manuscripts. The Arkley Collection has always prioritized popular works or “books that children actually read,” so it seems incredible that as late as spring 2015, Rare Book and Special Collections did not have a single Harry Potter book in its collection.

Photograph courtesy of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

As the most popular children’s literature series in several generations, with a global impact equaling Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Harry Potter has a natural home in RBSC’s collection. Consequently, in the summer of 2015, RBSC began the process of acquiring complete sets of the U.S., U.K., and Canadian first editions of the Potter series. As books were added to the collection, RBSC learned more and more about the profound and surprising connections that Vancouver shares with the Harry Potter series (for example, Raincoast Books in Vancouver published the Canadian editions of the Harry Potter series until 2010, while Kidsbooks in Vancouver was the first bookstore in all of Canada to carry Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and hosted four legendary book release parties). Collecting the Harry Potter books not only ensures that scarce first or special editions of these works can be properly cared for and made accessible to Canadians for generations to come, but allows RBSC to promote the story, not only of one of the most important series in children literary history, but also the story of the impact that the series had on the people, the business, and the cultural landscape of Vancouver.

Our current Harry Potter display can be viewed at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections on the first floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre 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.

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Visit the Chung Collection exhibition

Posted on July 21, 2017 @12:17 pm by cshriver

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, one of our most well-known and beloved special collections, contains material related to three broad and interrelated themes: early British Columbia history, immigration and settlement and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. The collection contains a wide variety of documents, photographs, books, artifacts and maps related to each of these themes.

Selections from the collection are on display in RBSC, organized to show some of the most compelling stories of Canada’s past.

Early B.C. history:

Related to early B.C. history are rare editions of the narratives of many Pacific voyages of discovery including Valdes, Galiano, Malaspina, Cook and Vancouver. The exhibition also features charts recording the exploration of the Pacific Northwest.

Immigration and settlement:

The Fraser River gold rush that sparked Chinese immigration to British Columbia is highlighted through books and government documents relating to the restriction of such immigration. Chinese-Canadian cultural, social and economic life is displayed through archival documents, photographs and artifacts.

European immigration to Canada is illustrated with promotional brochures and posters encouraging settlers to the West, and archival material from the Clandonald colony in Alberta, a community of immigrants from the Scottish Hebrides.

Canadian Pacific Railway:

Documents, maps and publications show how the Canadian Pacific Railway was built, and how Vancouver was chosen as the western terminus. Photographs and accounts of the building of the railway are presented, along with vibrant posters promoting travel and tourism via C.P.R. rail and steamships. Beautiful examples of cruise ship memorabilia provide a glimpse of the style of the times.

The exhibition is open to the public, free of charge during Rare Books and Special Collections opening hours (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.). Also, there is a drop-in tour of the Chung Collection room available every Thursday at 10 a.m. We hope to welcome you for a visit soon!

 

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Chung Collection exhibition closure

Posted on May 16, 2017 @3:32 pm by cshriver

The Chung Collection exhibition room will be closed on Tuesday, May 23 for conservation work. Our apologies for the inconvenience, but this important work will ensure that the treasures in the Chung Collection will be available to visitors for generations to come. The Chung Collection exhibition room will be open as usual on Wednesday, May 24. Thank you for your patience!

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Double Exposure: Missionary Photographs of Meiji-Taisho Japan

Posted on March 27, 2017 @10:26 am by cshriver

John Cooper Robinson was an Anglican missionary who lived and worked in Japan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The Cooper Robinson collection consisting of over 4,600 photographic prints, negatives, glass lantern slides, and postcards is one of the most valuable photographic records of this era.

The exhibition, Double Exposure Japan-Canada: Missionary Photographs of Meiji-Taisho Japan, on display at Rare Books and Special Collections was curated by Professor Allen Hockley and Naoko Kato, Japanese Language Librarian. The exhibit highlights four major themes: Robinson and the Economies of Japanese Photography, Robinson and the M.S.C.C. Mission in Japan, Robinson and Japanese Religions, and Robinson’s Photographic Practices. This exhibit features original photographs as well as glass lantern slides and glass negatives that were used by Robinson.

In addition, the Asian Center at UBC features a selection from The Making of History and Artifacts (1888-1926): The Photographs of John Cooper Robinson from Meiji-Taisho Japan exhibit, curated by Robert Bean with an introduction by Bill Sewell.

Check out the John Cooper Robinson Collection Finding Aid to learn more about this extensive photo collection.

Double Exposure Japan-Canada is on display at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections on the first floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre from March 13–May 31, 2017, and can be viewed Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. until April 8. The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Naoko Kato at naoko.kato@ubc.ca.

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The ABCs of RBSC

Posted on March 8, 2017 @2:10 pm by cshriver

Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition: From Apple Pies to Astronauts: A Chronology of Alphabet Books with Aphorisms, Amusements, and Anecdotes!

The exhibition, curated by UBC Master of Library and Information Studies candidates Sarah Bagshaw and Laura Quintana, under the supervision of Professor Kathie Shoemaker, offers a selection of English language alphabet books from the late 18th century to the present day. These books illustrate the changes in alphabetic education for young children in England, the United States, and Canada. The authors and illustrators who created these books were influenced by the political and social contexts of their worlds. As both printing and publishing changed and advanced, so too did the alphabet books being produced.

The exhibition, featuring materials from RBSC’s historical children’s literature collections, including the Arkley Collection of Early and Historical Children’s Literature and the B. Roslyn Robertson Collection of Children’s Literature, contains many familiar favourites still enjoyed by children today. As well, there are many that may be unknown treasures that are sure to delight.

From Apple Pies to Astronauts is on display at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections on the first floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre from February 27 through April 30, 2017, and can be viewed Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. A complete catalogue of the exhibition can be downloaded here. The exhibition is free and open to the public, and people of all ages are encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

We hope to see you there and that you will enjoy learning about alphabet books and those that created them!

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Ever Austen

Posted on March 3, 2017 @11:26 am by cshriver

Ever Austen poster imageRare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition!

2017 marks the bicentennial of Jane Austen’s death, an author who has left an ever-lasting literary legacy that continually influences popular culture across time. In celebration of this legacy, RBSC presents Ever Austen: Literary Timelessness in the Regency Period, curated by UBC undergraduate students Kathryn Ney, Karen Ng, and Karol Pasciano. This exhibition not only honours Austen, but also illuminates the social and material history of her works in the context of the Regency era.

Featuring RBSC’s newly-acquired first editions of Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, as well as thematically-diverse displays, Ever Austen invites Austen fans old and new to experience a literary journey through the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Rare Books and Special Collections is grateful to the Vancouver-based Society for the Museum of Original Costume (SMOC) and Mr. Ivan Sayers for the loan of beautiful Regency era clothing and accessories for this exhibition.

Ever Austen: Literary Timelessness in the Regency Period is on display on the second floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre from January 3 through February 28, 2017. 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.

In addition, two lovely period gowns, courtesy of Ivan Sayers and SMOC, can be viewed in the reading room of Rare Books and Special Collections, on the first floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

A panel discussion on Jane Austen’s influences, work, and legacy will take place on Thursday, March 2. More information about the panel can be found here!

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Petrushka and Beyond

Posted on February 28, 2017 @2:10 pm by cshriver

Igor Stravinksy image Rare Books and Special Collections is delighted to host Petrushka and Beyond: An Exhibition of the H. Colin Slim Stravinsky Collection at UBC.

Petrushka and Beyond features a selection of items from UBC Library’s H. Colin Slim Stravinsky Collection including signed musical quotations, personal correspondence between Stravinsky and his acquaintances, a likeness of the composer, and a tracing of his right hand.

Dr. H Colin Slim is a renowned musicologist and Stravinsky scholar who holds a PhD in musicology from Harvard University. He first met Stravinsky while he was an undergraduate student at UBC and went on to become a knowledgeable and enthusiastic collector of Stravinsky’s letters, scores, and memorabilia. In 1999, Dr. Slim donated his fascinating and colourful collection to UBC Library. Every period of Stravinsky’s rich and varied life is represented in the collection, the largest of its kind in Canada.

This display is curated by Marina Gallagher, PhD student in musicology at UBC, in consultation with Dr. Slim.

As an added bonus for music enthusiasts, the reading room at RBSC also currently features a display of materials from the Gatti-Kraus Collection of Musica Sacra. The collection comprises 66 manuscripts of European sacred music scores; many early editions. These scores were originally part of a significantly larger collection of monographs, scores, and musical instruments assembled through the late 19th and early 20th centuries by father and son, Alexander (1820-1904) and Alessandro (1853-1931) Kraus. In 1978, UBC’s Music Library worked with the Baron Giulio and Baroness Mirella Gatti-Kraus, residents of Vancouver, to transfer a selection from the family’s music manuscript holdings to the university.

Petrushka and Beyond and the materials from the Gatti-Kraus Collection of Musica Sacra are on display at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections on the first floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and can be viewed 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.

 

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Remembrance Day Speaker Series and Display

Posted on February 28, 2017 @2:15 pm by cshriver

Please join us for a series of talks in honour of Remembrance Day, sponsored by Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library.

A trench bridge (World War I 1914-1918 British Press photograph collection, BC_1763_0955)

A trench bridge (World War I 1914-1918 British Press photograph collection, BC_1763_0955)

Tragic Bravery: Canada and the Battle of Hong Kong
November 4, 2016
12:00-1:30 p.m.
Cameron Cathcart, President of the Royal United Services Institute – Vancouver Society (RUSI) and director of Vancouver’s Remembrance Day ceremonies at Victory Square

When asked if he thought the British Colony of Hong Kong could be defended against an invasion by the Japanese in 1941, Winston Churchill replied, “not the slightest chance”. This prediction forms the background to the fatal decision by Ottawa 75 years ago to send Canadian troops into the maelstrom that became known as the Battle of Hong Kong. As the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Hong Kong approaches, Cameron Cathcart will provide an overview of the battle, its aftermath, and delve into the personal lives of the brave Canadians whose lives were changed forever.

 

Canada’s Secret Sailors: Asian Crewmen and Canadian Vessels in the Indo-Pacific Theatre
November 8, 2016
12:00-1:30 p.m.
Clifford J. Pereira, FRGS, Independent researcher, curator, and museum consultant

Based on research gathered over the last two years from national, provincial, and naval archives in Canada, Australia, and the U.K, Clifford J. Pereira will tell the forgotten story of hundreds of non-resident Asian seamen on vessels of the Canadian Pacific Railway deployed by the British Admiralty in the Pacific and Indian Oceans during the First World War.

 

Remembering the Great War with Canadian Writers and Artists
November 10, 2016
12:00-1:30 p.m.
Sherrill Grace, OC, FRSC, Professor Emerita of English and University Killam Professor

While Canada has been surprisingly low key about commemorating the Great War since 2014, we do have a wealth of artistic material that does important work in reconstructing and remembering the war. Dr. Sherrill Grace will consider how Canada remembers the war, and why it is important to do so, focusing on works by Canadians writing about the war from a late-20th century perspective.

Sailors and Chinese labourers aboard the C.P. R.M.S. Empress of India (Chung Collection, CC_PH_02426)

All three talks are located in the Lillooet Room (301) of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre on the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus. The talks are free and open to the public.

In conjunction with the talks, a special display, Empires and Empresses at War, will be featured in RBSC’s Chung Collection exhibition room from November 4-November 30, 2016. The display, curated by Clifford J. Pereira, with curatorial assistance from Katie Sloan, showcases the importance of Canadian shipping vessels and the role of Asians and Asian-Canadians serving on Canadian vessels during World War I.

For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at 604 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

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