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Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs

Posted on November 8, 2017 @10:41 am by cshriver

Many thanks to guest blogger Ashlynn Prasad for contributing the below post! Ashlynn is a graduate student at UBC’s School School of Library, Archival and Information Studies and the curator of our new exhibition of photographs from the Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs.

When I first began perusing the Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs, which is available for public viewing in Rare Books and Special Collections in the Irving K. Barber Learning Center, and digital copies of which can be found online, I approached the photographs with the awareness that many of them were between 100 and 150 years old, and I therefore began the project with the expectation of finding photographic evidence of how much British Columbian scenery and landmarks have changed in the past century, after rapid advancements in technology as well as continuing urban development.

While I did find evidence of change, I was surprised to also find that many of the landmarks closely associated with British Columbia have varied very little in appearance in the past century. I got the sense while looking through the photographs that certain images, though they were taken up to 150 years ago in some cases, could have been taken a mere few days ago. With this in mind, I designed the exhibition in the spirit of a before-and-after, except that instead of juxtaposing new images with old images, I juxtaposed turn-of-the-century images with each other, showing on the one hand images which seem dated (from a modern observer’s perspective) and on the other hand images that look quite familiar. For a more traditional before-and-after comparison, please see below for contemporary versions of the scenes depicted in the exhibition.

Something else that I tried to keep in mind during the curation of this exhibition was the audience to which the photographs would likely be exposed while on display in Ike’s Café. On a personal note, I was born in the lower mainland and spent the earlier half of my life here, before moving to the United States and spending the latter half there. Because of this, I found myself tangentially familiar with a lot of the names I encountered during the curation of the exhibition, and in some instances the scenes in the images themselves were also intimately familiar to me. However, having been away for so long, I also had to do quite a bit of Google Maps searching of place names that would likely be extremely familiar to someone who had spent their entire life here.

I tried to keep in mind that the individuals coming through the café will have varying levels of familiarity with British Columbian landmarks – some will know them well, some will be experiencing them for the first time, and many will fall somewhere in between. I tried to curate an exhibition that could appeal to people at any position on the spectrum by showcasing landmarks that are generally quite well known, and which a large majority of people – even if they’re completely new to the area – will at least have heard of, such as Stanley Park or Fraser River. This way, the exhibition is ostensibly capable of drawing an emotional response from almost anyone, whether that’s the curiosity and nostalgia of seeing a turn-of-the-century version of a place one knows very well, or whether that’s a piqued interest in a place one has never seen before. For at least some of the photographs, I hope we can all enjoy the intrigue of noticing how much has changed in the last 100 years, and perhaps even more so, how much has not.

– Ashlynn Prasad, Exhibition Curator and MAS/MLIS Candidate at the University of British Columbia

 

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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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Celebrating the Colbeck Collection

Posted on September 27, 2017 @7:29 pm by cshriver

Rare Book and Special Collections at UBC Library and the Department of English is delighted to host a symposium to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Library’s acquisition of the Norman Colbeck Collection of Nineteenth Century and Edwardian Poetry and Belles Lettres.

 

An Unmatched Devotion: A 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Colbeck Collection at UBC Library
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Dodson Room (301), Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

 

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. We’re delighted to be joined by scholars from around the globe for this fascinating discussion on Colbeck-related scholarship and research.

 

“The Victorians Come to Vancouver and Delaware”
Mark Samuels Lasner
Senior Research Fellow, University of Delaware Library

 

“Out and Out from the Family to the Community: the Housmans and the Politics of Queer Sibling Devotion”
Kristin Mahoney
Associate Professor of English, Michigan State University

 

“The Mirror of Everyday Life: William Morris’s Book Collecting and the Kelmscott Press”
Yuri Cowan
Professor of Language and Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

 

“The Pre-Raphaelites in the Colbeck Collection”
Florence Boos
Professor of English, University of Iowa

 

The symposium is free, open to the public, and will include a complimentary lunch and a post-event reception. If you are interested in attending the symposium, please register by October 13, 2017 at http://collections.library.ubc.ca/featured-collections/norman-colbeck-collection/

In conjunction with the symposium Rare Books and Special Collection and the Department of English has planned a major exhibition in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre from October 23-December 20, 2017. We hope you can join us!

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

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The diary of Hector Langevin

Posted on August 3, 2017 @11:22 am by cshriver

Hon. Sir. Hector Louis Langevin, M.P. by William James Topley, via Wikimedia Commons

The diary of Hector Langevin is one of the highlights of the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection. It describes Langevin’s journey across the United States by rail, and up to the B.C. coast by boat, on his journey to scope out the appropriate place to end the Canadian Pacific Railway. Ultimately, of course, Vancouver was chosen as the terminus, and in this diary you can come to understand the reasons why Langevin, as Minister of Public Works (1869–73), recommended a site on Burrard Inlet instead of the former front-runner, Port Moody.

Naturally, Langevin also describes his travels along the way to B.C., including a description of Chinatown in San Francisco, and in B.C. he describes the climate, natural resources, existing nations of indigenous peoples, their treaties and Chinook “trading language”, potential for settlement, business activity, public works required, postal, communication, and transportation arrangements, as well as potential railway termini on Burrard Inlet, Esquimalt, and the Skeena River.

You can access a full digital version of the Langevin diary, as well as a French transcription and an English translation here:

Langevin diary (digital version)

Langevin diary (French transcription)

Langevin diary (English translation)

The Langevin diary is also on display in the Chung Collection exhibition room. If you’d like to see it in person, visit Rare Books and Special Collections and join one of our weekly tours of the Chung Collection. 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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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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RBSC closed on July 26

Posted on July 20, 2017 @1:59 pm by cshriver

Edith Stewart, Librarian at the Extension Department Library, in 1950 (UBC 3.1/314)

The Rare Books and Special Collections reading room will be closed on Wednesday, July 26, for staff training, and the 11 a.m. drop-in “Get to Know RBSC” tour will be cancelled that day. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to seeing you on Thursday, July 27, when the reading room will be open as normal, and our new drop-in tour of the Chung Collection will be starting at 10 a.m.

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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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Harry Potter at UBC Library

Posted on June 28, 2017 @3:34 pm by cshriver

Happy 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!

Though it’s hard to believe now, the release of the first Harry Potter book happened without any fanfare. Only 500 hardcover copies of the U.K. first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were printed. 20 years later, a first edition, first printing of Philosopher’s Stone is a very scarce book, indeed!

For several years, Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library has been trying to acquire one of these rare first U.K. editions to complete our collection of U.K., U.S., and Canadian Harry Potter first editions (it’s the only one we’re missing!) for our historical and canonical children’s literature collection. On July 20, UBC Library has an opportunity to acquire one of these very sought after copies at auction in London.

We’ve started a crowd-funding campaign to try to garner community support for the purchase so that this special book can be properly cared for and made publically accessible to Vancouverites for generations to come.

To learn more about the campaign, Harry Potter’s surprising connections to Vancouver, and UBC Library’s children’s literature collection, visit our crowdfunding page!

And if you’re in the Vancouver area and want to see unique and remarkable Harry Potter books, as well as “magical” antiquarian books, from Rare Books and Special Collections, we’ll have a display at the Orpheum Theatre on July 13, 14, and 15 in honour of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s screening and performance of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. In this display, we’re 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. Hope to see you there!

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Croquet anyone?

Posted on June 26, 2017 @2:03 pm by cshriver

At the end of May, UBC Library held its first annual croquet tournament for staff! As part of the contest, there was also a contest to recreate historical croquet images from the Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection (inspired by these amazing photographs staged by our friends in Digital Initiatives a couple of years ago). As the custodian of the collection, RBSC was asked to put together a panel of “celebrity” faculty judges for the contest. We were delighted to have the artistic and period expertise of Dr. Kathie Shoemaker (Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program), Dr. Sarika Bose (Department of English), and Dr. Laurie McNeill (Coordinated Arts Program) on the panel. Last week the winning photograph was announced, and the winners are: The Croquet All-Stars, a team made up of Sheldon Armstrong, Allan Bell, and Lea Starr, three of our assistant university librarians. You can see the original photo, as well as the recreation photo below. Congratulations to Sheldon, Allan, and Lea! Thanks for bringing our collections to life!

The Croquet All-Stars (left to right): Allan Bell, Sheldon Armstrong, and Lea Starr

One of more than 1400 digital images available in the Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection

 

 

 

 

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