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Happy Canada Day!

Or Dominion Day, as it was formerly known. In this photograph from RBSC’s BC Historical Photograph Collection, “Miss Canada” contestants are being driven through North Vancouver, on July 1 1918. A reminder that all UBC Library branches (including RBSC, University Archives and the Chung Collection) are closed for Canada Day on July 1st. For information […]

Featured place: Muskwa River

Interestingly, many of the group study rooms in the Irving K Barber Learning Centre are named after rivers in British Columbia. Room 416, a group study room on the fourth floor of the Barber Centre, is named after the Muskwa River, a river that runs 257 kilometres through northern British Columbia. The Muskwa River, a […]

Vancouver Heritage walking tours

Chung Collection fans may be interested in checking out the offerings of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s Summer Walking Tours series. Some have particular ties to the subjects of the Chung Collection (click on the links to search for related material in the collection):

– July 16: “Market Alley: Opium, Laundry and Pawnshops.”

– July 23: “Blood Alley.” This tour focuses on the early history of Vancouver (link searches for 19th century items concerning Vancouver).

– August 28: “Eveleigh Street.”  According to the Vancouver Heritage site, “This little known one block long street, lost amidst the Bentall development, was once home to a number of CPR employees, a well known architect and some elegant homes.”

To register or learn more, click here!

Read the diary of Hector Langevin online

We often tell people that we started the digitization of the Chung Collection in 2008, but strictly speaking, that’s not true.  There was actually a very modest start to our digitization activities in 2004, when we digitized the diary of Hector Langevin.

The Langevin diary is one of the highlights of the 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, 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.

There are three ways to access the Langevin diary:

1. See digital versions of the diary pages here:

2. Read an English language transcription here:

3. Read a French language transcription here:

The Langevin diary is on display in the Chung Collection exhibition room, Case 6.

Image of Hector Langevin above is courtesy of Library and Archives Canada, via the Wikimedia commons.

Hockey history mystery

Hockey fever is alive and well in Vancouver, despite last night’s less than desirable results in Boston. So for all you hockey history buffs out there, we have a challenge for you:

We have two photographs in the Chung Collection that are inscribed on the back as being the “CPR Hockey Team”, taken in 1928. The photo above shows the team posing on the deck of the Empress of Canada. We do not appear to have any other records of this team in the collection, nor have we been able to find any references to the team in secondary sources. Does anyone know this piece hockey/CPR history? Did the CPR have a hockey team, or perhaps this was a team being sponsored by the CPR? If you know, we’d love to hear from you! Email us at

The records for the two photographs can be read here and here. Click on the thumbnails to see a larger version.