Exhibitions

Retell | Rethink | Recover: February 20 – April 30, 2012

Posted on March 7, 2012 @2:39 pm by kalsbeek


By Glenn Drexhage

UBC Library is hosting an exhibition and conference to commemorate the March 11, 2011 disasters in Japan. Retell, Rethink, Recover, which begins on February 20 and runs through April, consists of three phases on display in different parts of the Library system.

The Retell section highlights disaster prints and historical maps. All materials are from the Library’s exceptional Tokugawa maps collection, housed at Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC).

Rethink includes materials gathered from members of the UBC community who were in Japan during the disasters, or otherwise impacted. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant incident is discussed, and photos and social media archives figure prominently.

Recover features items from UBC’s Asian Library collection, as well as contributions from community members and alumni. This section highlights Japan’s history of recovering from adversity, and includes information on the support between Canada and Japan during times of crisis.

A complementary display will also feature portraits of earthquake survivors, a project sponsored by the Japan Foundation and Shiseido, the cosmetics company.

On March 10, a free one-day conference co-sponsored by UBC’s Department of Asian Studies will feature talks from scholars on Japan, and personal accounts from UBC students, faculty and alumni. This conference will be held from 10am to 4pm in the Dodson Room, in the Irving K Barber Learning Centre.

Read more about Retell, Rethink, Recover in the March 2012 issue of UBC Reports.

Please visit the event site to register and for more information.

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One week left for Love! In the library? exhibition

Posted on February 13, 2012 @10:39 am by sromkey

If you’re new to Rare Books and Special Collections, you may be surprised to find a spicy introduction through our Love! In the library? exhibition. The exhibition is located in the back of the Chung Collection exhibition room, within Rare Books and Special Collections, until February 19th (last day Feb. 18th).

The focus of most of our collections is British Columbia history. One case in the exhibition will tell you a love story related to an early B.C. printer of city directories.

Another focus of our collections is fine press printing. There are a couple of wonderful examples in this exhibition, including Barbarian Press‘s wonderful new The Play of Pericles and Aphrodite’s Cup illustrated with woodblocks by George Kuthan; we also have Kuthan’s woodblocks, as listed in the finding aid for his archives.

Another connection in the exhibition to our archival collections is a love (actually love-stricken) letter from Toni Onley to Yukiko Onley, as it appears in Love Toni, printed by Yukiko Onley and Robert Reid. We have Toni Onley‘s archival collection as well as Robert Reid‘s.

We also collect the archives of several major publishers in British Columbia, including Arsenal Pulp Press. In addition to finding their books in the library catalogue, you can explore their publishing archives through the finding aid.  Arsenal Pulp Press is well known for publishing gender studies, gay and lesbian literature, and as shown in the exhibition, erotica:

Finally, lovers of books love to express their love through a custom-designed bookplate. Rare Books and Special Collections has been building a  digital collection of bookplates for a number of years, which now includes over 800 bookplates.

We hope you enjoy the exhibition and use this opportunity to learn more about our collections! The exhibition is open during our regular opening hours, Monday to Friday 9 -5 pm and Saturday 12-5 pm.

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Chung Collection room closure

Posted on January 18, 2012 @10:56 am by sromkey

The Chung Collection exhibition room will be closed on Monday January 23. We apologize for the inconvenience. This closure also effects the “75 Years of Controversy: Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Awards” exhibition. Both exhibitions will re-open on Tuesday Jan. 24.

Cross-posted with the Chung Collection News blog.

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Less than two weeks left: Charles Van Sandwyk exhibition

Posted on December 5, 2011 @11:31 am by sromkey

You have just under two weeks left to come to Rare Books and Special Collections for our exhibition Betwixt and Between: the art and influences of Charles Van Sandwyk. We’re happy to share with you some thoughts on creating the exhibition by student curator Heather Gring:

“Since the 1980’s, RBSC had been collecting the work of Charles van Sandwyk, an artist and writer who published mostly small-press and limited edition books. Charles works in printmaking, watercolor and calligraphy techniques to create the publications as well as to create original works of art. Born in South Africa, Charles moved to still spends part of the year in North Vancouver. The winter months Charles spends on the islands of Fiji.

“I first encountered the title “Betwixt and Between” in one of Charles’ publications, “Dream Sketches from the Isle of Tropical Birds”: “The birds are above, the fish are below, and we are betwixt and between.” Charles’ work as well exists “betwixt and between.” Charles can create images of anthropomorphized animals and whimsical fairies but creates naturalistic representations of animals just as well. His illustrations seem to be from the Victorian era, and yet he is only in his 50’s. His works appear to be stories for children, but really speak to the inner child in adults. You can’t peg him or his artwork into any neat little category; Charles even remarked that book sellers don’t know where to put his works on the shelves!

Charles Van Sandwyck exhibition at RBSC

Charles Van Sandwyk exhibition at RBSC

“In late September, I went to interview Charles van Sandwyk in preparation for the exhibition. Meeting Charles was an incredible experience for me; I have never met someone so warm and genuine and open as he. It is as if you’ve always known him, and he’s always been a dear friend. After a lovely lunch, we went back to his cottage and talked for several hours about his life and career. In the course of our conversations, I realized how deeply his high-school art teachers had influenced the trajectory of his career, in addition to the other artistic influences outlined in the exhibition. I soon decided to include them in the exhibition. It was a wonderful experience to see the relationships emerge and to have the competency to articulate them in such a way that viewers are able to see the connections for themselves.

“Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC had a wealth of materials in their collections that allowed my research to proceed smoothly. In addition to owning over forty works by van Sandwyk, RBSC also owned works by every one of Charles’ influences, with the exception of Dorothy Kay. I began research for the exhibition by exploring all of van Sandwyk’s publications in depth, then exploring works of his influences held by RBSC. Some connections between the artists emerged easily, whereas others required a good deal of insight. A drawing Rembrant did of an elephant paired perfectly with an illustration of an elephant Charles did for “Animal Wisdom”.

Charles Van Sandwyck exhibition at RBSC

Charles Van Sandwyk exhibition at RBSC

“In comparison, Albrecht Durer was a little more complicated. For the exhibition, I explored how the two artists had produced Ex Libris book plates for patrons and the different ways they explored the space constraints of the materials. I also truly enjoyed how some cheeky comparisons emerged, such as the juxtaposition of an etching of a Burgher Rembrandt made in contrast to a monkey sitting in a similar pose, etched and colored by Charles. Charles’ monkey has an air of thoughtfulness and respectability to him, very similar to Rembrandt’s Burgher. Some of the books on display, such as the texts by Gandhi, Gilbran and Kay, are from Charles’ personal collection. It was also very exciting to be able to hang framed works on the walls above the cases. Don’t miss this opportunity to see original works by Charles van Sandwyk (the “Fiddle Beetle” is my favorite) and even Arthur Rackham.

Charles Van Sandwyck exhibition at RBSC

Charles Van Sandwyk exhibition at RBSC

“I came to know Charles van Sandwyk through his works, and the works of artists and writers who influenced the scope of his career. One of the drawbacks I experienced was only being able to show one page of a publication, when every page is so amazing! Books are meant to be read, with pages turned. Once you see the exhibit “Betwixt and Between,” I encourage you to come back to RBSC and explore the many works of Charles van Sandwyk which RBSC owns…after the show comes down on December 17th, that is, and the books are again dispersed betwixt and between.”

Thank you Heather for providing the curator’s perspective! If you would like to see the exhibition you can do so until Dec. 17, from Monday to Friday 9-5 and Saturdays 12-5. The exhibition is located in the back of the Chung Room, which is accessed through the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room. The exhibition is free and open to all members of the public.

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Less than two weeks left: Charles Van Sandwyck exhibition

Posted on December 5, 2011 @11:31 am by sromkey

You have just under two weeks left to come to Rare Books and Special Collections for our exhibition Betwixt and Between: the art and influences of Charles Van Sandwyck. We’re happy to share with you some thoughts on creating the exhibition by student curator Heather Gring:

“Since the 1980’s, RBSC had been collecting the work of Charles van Sandwyk, an artist and writer who published mostly small-press and limited edition books. Charles works in printmaking, watercolor and calligraphy techniques to create the publications as well as to create
original works of art. Born in South Africa, Charles moved to still spends part of the year in North Vancouver. The winter months Charles spends on the islands of Fiji.

“I first encountered the title “Betwixt and Between” in one of Charles’ publications, “Dream Sketches from the Isle of Tropical Birds”: “The birds are above, the fish are below, and we are betwixt and between.” Charles’ work as well exists “betwixt and between.” Charles can create images of anthropomorphized animals and whimsical fairies but creates naturalistic representations of animals just as well. His illustrations seem to be from the Victorian era, and yet he is only in his 50’s. His works appear to be stories for children, but really speak to the inner child in adults. You can’t peg him or his artwork into any neat little category; Charles even remarked that book sellers don’t know where to put his works on the shelves!

Charles Van Sandwyck exhibition at RBSC

Charles Van Sandwyck exhibition at RBSC

“In late September, I went to interview Charles van Sandwyk in preparation for the exhibition. Meeting Charles was an incredible experience for me; I have never met someone so warm and genuine and open as he. It is as if you’ve always known him, and he’s always been a dear friend. After a lovely lunch, we went back to his cottage and talked for several hours about his life and career. In the course of our conversations, I realized how deeply his high-school art teachers had influenced the trajectory of his career, in addition to the other artistic influences outlined in the exhibition. I soon decided to include them in the exhibition. It was a wonderful experience to see the relationships emerge and to have the competency to articulate them in such a way that viewers are able to see the connections for themselves.

“Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC had a wealth of materials in their collections that allowed my research to proceed smoothly. In addition to owning over forty works by van Sandwyk, RBSC also owned works by every one of Charles’ influences, with the exception of Dorothy Kay. I began research for the exhibition by exploring all of van Sandwyk’s publications in depth, then exploring works of his influences held by RBSC. Some connections between the artists emerged easily, whereas others required a good deal of insight. A drawing Rembrant did of an elephant paired perfectly with an illustration of an elephant Charles did for “Animal Wisdom”.

Charles Van Sandwyck exhibition at RBSC

Charles Van Sandwyck exhibition at RBSC

“In comparison, Albrecht Durer was a little more complicated. For the exhibition, I explored how the two artists had produced Ex Libris book plates for patrons and the different ways they explored the space constraints of the materials. I also truly enjoyed how some cheeky comparisons emerged, such as the juxtaposition of an etching of a Burgher Rembrandt made in contrast to a monkey sitting in a similar pose, etched and colored by Charles. Charles’ monkey has an air of thoughtfulness and respectability to him, very similar to Rembrandt’s Burgher. Some of the books on display, such as the texts by Gandhi, Gilbran and Kay, are from Charles’ personal collection. It was also very exciting to be able to hang framed works on the walls above the cases. Don’t miss this opportunity to see original works by Charles van Sandwyk (the “Fiddle Beetle” is my favorite) and even Arthur Rackham.

Charles Van Sandwyck exhibition at RBSC

Charles Van Sandwyck exhibition at RBSC

“I came to know Charles van Sandwyk through his works, and the works of artists and writers who influenced the scope of his career. One of the drawbacks I experienced was only being able to show one page of a publication, when every page is so amazing! Books are meant to be read, with pages turned. Once you see the exhibit “Betwixt and Between,” I encourage you to come back to RBSC and explore the many works of Charles van Sandwyk which RBSC owns…after the show comes down on December 17th, that is, and the books are again dispersed betwixt and between.”

Thank you Heather for providing the curator’s perspective! If you would like to see the exhibition you can do so until Dec. 17, from Monday to Friday 9-5 and Saturdays 12-5. The exhibition is located in the back of the Chung Room, which is accessed through the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room. The exhibition is free and open to all members of the public.

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Chung exhibition room closure: Monday Nov. 7

Posted on November 3, 2011 @10:35 am by sromkey

The Chung Collection exhibition room will be closed to the public on Monday Nov. 7. Our apologies for this inconvenience.

Please note that this closure also effects the Rare Books and Special Collections Charles Van Sandwyck exhibition.

Cross posted with the Chung Collection news blog.

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Chung Collection room re-opened

Posted on October 4, 2011 @1:41 pm by sromkey

The Chung Collection room and King James Bible exhibition have re-opened. Our apologies for the inconvenience this closure may have caused.

 

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Chung Collection exhibition closure

Posted on October 3, 2011 @4:06 pm by sromkey

The Chung Collection exhibition room will be closed on Tuesday Oct. 4 for repairs. Please note that this closure also affects the King James Bible exhibition.

We are sorry for the inconvenience. Please check back for updates.

Cross-posted with the Chung Collection News blog.

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A voyage of discovery: George Vancouver’s narrative.

Posted on July 28, 2011 @1:29 pm by sromkey

In honour of the City of Vancouver’s 125th birthday, an exhibition highlighting the voyages of George Vancouver and the publication of his voyage narrative is on display at Rare Books and Special Collections.  Featuring a number of late 18th- and early 19th-century editions of George Vancouver’s A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, first published in May 1798, the exhibition describes Vancouver’s expedition to the Pacific Northwest on the ships The Discovery and The Chatham.  The exhibition also displays plates and maps from A Voyage of Discovery, including the dramatic “The Discovery on the rocks in Queen Charlotte’s Sound”, shown below.

"Discovery on the rocks"

“Discovery on the rocks”

This exhibition is the first to be displayed in our new exhibition cabinets, located on the back wall in the Chung Collection exhibition room. It is free and open to the general public during Rare Books and Special Collection’s opening hours of Monday to Friday, 9-5, until September 1 (please note that we are closed on Monday August 1 for BC Day).

New exhibition display cases

New exhibition display cases

The exhibition was curated by School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS) MAS/MLIS graduate Shamin Malmas, and was mounted by SLAIS MAS/MLIS student Sarah Hillier.

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Featured place: Fort Fraser

Posted on December 21, 2010 @9:19 am by kalsbeek

This week our featured place is Fort Fraser, British Columbia.  Today, Fort Fraser,  named by the explorer, Simon Fraser in 1806,  is a community of about 1000 people that is active in the tourism and forestry industries.

Mill at Fort Fraser

Mill at Fort Fraser, BC-1456-2-11. This photograph of a lumber mill in Fort Fraser comes from the B.C. Historical Photograph Album Collection . RBSC collects photographs both individually and as parts of larger collections. On our website you will find tutorials on how to search for photographs in our collections.

Historically, Fort Fraser played an important role in the development of British Columbia for a number of reasons, including:

  • It is found near the geographical centre of British Columbia, 44 km west of Vanderhoof on The Yellowhead Highway.
  • Originally established in 1806 as a North West Company fur trading post by the explorer Simon Fraser, it is one of present-day British Columbia’s oldest permanent European-founded settlements. The area around the community is also recorded as the site of the first land in British Columbia cultivated by non-First Nations people.
  • The present community is located at the site of the last spike of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, driven on April 7, 1914.

The Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) reading room is named after the community of  Fort Fraser. We think that it is a very fitting name for our reading room. Similar to the way in which Fort Fraser is located near the geographical centre of British Columbia, physically, the RBSC reading room is located at the heart of the Barber Learning Centre.

Fort Fraser Reading Room

If you have some extra time before we close for the holidays at 3pm on December 24, please drop in to visit the RBSC Fort Fraser Reading Room and a take a look at ‘Tis the Season, a winter holiday-themed exhibition.


Holiday exhibition in the Fort Fraser Reading Room
Holiday exhibition in the Fort Fraser Reading Room
Holiday exhibition in the Fort Fraser Reading Room
Holiday exhibition in the Fort Fraser Reading Room
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