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Featured place: Nicola River

As previously mentioned in our blog posts on British Columbia place names, many rooms in the Irving K Barber Learning Centre are named after rivers in British Columbia. This week, we are exploring the history of the Nicola River, after which room 322, a group study room, is named after. According to BC Geographical Names […]

Featured photograph: Christmas on board the Empress of Australia

Where are you spending the holidays this year? Would you spend them on a cruise ship? This is exactly what passengers of the C.P.R. steamship Empress of Australia did in 1929:

The photograph above shows Christmas party decorations on board the Empress of Australia, and the wait staff all dressed very smartly, ready to serve Christmas dinner. We also have in the collection the menu for Christmas dinner on that cruise. They served:

-Melon Supreme
– Caviar on toast
– Eggs Strasbourgeoise
-Mixed olives
-Salted nuts
-Turtle au Medere
– Cream of chicken Marie Louise
– Fried silver smelts, sauce Figaro
-Supreme of Turbot Yvonne
-Breast of Chicken aux truffles
-Coeur d’artichauds
-Baron of Scotch beef a l’anglaise
-Potatoes persillee chateau
-Cauliflower sauce creme
-Punch Romaine
-Roast turkey, cranberry sauce
-Wafer chips
-Heart of lettuce
-Thousand Island dressing
-Xmas pudding
-Yule log
-Bombe Dame Blanche

Sounds… elaborate! May you have a wonderful holiday season and an easier to prepare menu than this one.

To search for photographs and ephemera related to the CPR cruise ships, try searching for keywords such as “tour” or “cruise” in conjunction with “Empress,” or the name of a specific ship. Happy searching and happy holidays!

A reminder that the Chung Collection and Rare Books and Special Collections is closed over the holidays- from Dec. 24 to January 2 inclusive. We re-open at 9 am on January 3.

Holiday closure

Most UBC Library branches, including Rare Books and Special Collections, University Archives and the Chung Collection will be closed from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2 for the holiday season. For full details on holiday hours, please click here. The painting above is from the Olive Allen Biller fonds, and is captioned by the first two […]

Less than two weeks left: Charles Van Sandwyck exhibition

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 […]

Featured place: McBride

In this installation of our blog series exploring B.C. places from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre rooms, we will explore the village of McBride, or in this case, its namesake. McBride is located in the Cariboo, between Prince George and Valmount, very close to the Albertan border.  Settled during the construction of the Grand […]

Featured photograph: “5 scouts”

Have you noticed more moustaches around than usual this month? It’s “Movember,” which is a fundraising and awareness campaign for prostate cancer research. And so our monthly featured photograph shows some moustached men in the Chung Collection:

There are a couple of very fine moustaches in this photograph! This photograph is from a handwritten travel journal by A. E. Blake and H. A. Jamieson across Canada and to the United States of America, via the Canadian Pacific Railway and other railway routes, in the year 1900. Blake was British, and in a letter enclosed in the journal, he explains that he wrote up the journal of his adventure and also published several columns in The Field, a British leisure magazine which is still in print. Some clipped articles that he wrote about this journey in the The Field are also enclosed in the journal. The photographs from the journal, all digitized and available online, show the men hunting, fishing, camping and travelling by horse and wagon.

This photograph is captioned in the journal, “5 scouts : Harry, Kelly and Dick.” The photo obviously depicts 8 men, and in the journal Blake describes meeting another party, including a lady who was a “good sport” and “had done her fair share of the work.” Perhaps it was the lady who took the photograph of the men.

Featured place: Bralorne

The Bralorne Reading Room (room 490 in the School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies, Irving K Barber Learning Centre) is named after the town of Bralorne, a gold mining community in the Bridge River District, 125 kilometers west of the town of Lillooet. In 1897, three gold prospectors staked claims at what became the […]

Happy birthday, Louis Daguerre!

If you have been to Google today, it may have come to your attention that today is the 224th anniversary of the birth of Louis Daguerre, inventor of the first permanent photographic process, called a daguerreotype.  Daguerreotypes were used from around 1839 to 1860, and differ in many ways from later photographic types: the process […]

Remembering our Chinatowns: book launch and reading

The Chinese Canadian Historical Society of B.C. and the Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies (INSTRCC) at UBC are co-presenting a book launch and readings for a trio of books by three local authors next week. Larry Wong (Dim Sum Stories), Rebecca Lau (Mami) and Chad Reimer (Chilliwack’s Chinatowns, a history) will read from their respective books next week at the Museum of Vancouver. The event starts at 7 pm (doors at 6 pm) and light refreshments will follow. The event is free for members of the CCHS or the Museum of Vancouver, regular museum admission for others. For details, check the Museum of Vancouver events calendar.