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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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Get to Know RBSC!

Posted on June 1, 2017 @10:31 am by cshriver

RBSC tours poster imageHave you ever been curious about what we do or what we have at RBSC? Join our weekly tour of Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of British Columbia Library for an introduction to our space and our unique materials and collections. Tours are free and open to the general public, as well as the UBC community. No need to RSVP, just drop in to learn what RBSC is all about!

Every Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1st floor
1961 East Mall, UBC Vancouver campus

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

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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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