The R. Mathison Printing Collection

As extensive as the Chung Collection is, there are a number of related collections here at UBC that are complimentary- this is part of what makes the Chung Collection such a great fit here at UBC. One modest but important example is the R. Mathison Printing Collection. Acquired in 2009 by the Rare Books and Special Collections division of the library, these 54 ephemeral items were all printed by R. Mathison Jr., a job printer who operated in Vancouver from ca. 1886 to 1890.

There are many examples of early B.C. printing in the Chung Collection as well, but a few items in the R. Mathison Printing Collection are also relevant to the study of Chinese-Canadian history. For example the item to the left is an advertising card for a Chinese business called the Hop Yick Drug Store.  In addition to selling tea, sugar, rice, nut oil and Chinese merchandise, it advertises that it is “prepared to contract for the supply of first-class Chinese labor to any extent on public or private works, at lowest current rates.”

There are also two examples of laundry advertising cards: one Chinese (Tong Yuen Laundry) and one white (Pacific Steam Laundry). Note that the Pacific Steam Laundry advertises that they employ white labour only:

Both laundries were on Dupont Street (now Pender Street)- could they have been each other’s competition?

The R. Mathison Printing collection is completely digitized and is available through UBC Library Digital Collections and Services.