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Featured place: Namu

In this installment of our blog series featuring resources from Rare Books and Special Collections relating to B.C. places used as room names in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, we will take a look at Namu. If you are not from B.C., the name “Namu” might bring memories of the famous captive whale (they […]

New in News: now you can comment

We’re really pleased that comments are now enabled on our blog posts, meaning readers can join in on the conversation! 

Do note that the comments are moderated to ensure that they are respectful in tone and content. It may take a couple of days for your comment to appear.

Looking forward to our future blog-dialogs! Of course you can still get in touch with us at Many thanks to the UBC Library LSIT department for making this change for us.

Gung hay fat choy! The year of the snake

Gung hay fat choy! Chinese New Year is on February 10, which will mark the beginning of the Year of the Snake. To celebrate, we thought we’d use our monthly featured photograph blog post to find some snakes in the Chung Collection.

The Chung Collection actually holds several photographs of snakes- why would that be? It’s because travellers aboard CPR cruises around the world sometimes took photographs or bought postcards of snake charmers in exotic locales along their journey, such as this photograph from Trinidad:

Photograph of snake handlers

And this photograph from Mumbai:

Photograph of snake charmer

Although people born in the year of the snake are thought to be careful, independent and charismatic, we know that snakes the reptilian creatures are not everyone’s favorite. For those who suffer from ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), the Chung Collection has a photograph for you too:

Photograph of hedge in the shape of a snake

This snake is a hedge of flowers, taken in Vancouver in 1921. Phew! That’s better!

To search for snakes, or any other animal in the Chinese zodiac, use your keyword in an advanced search and specify “photographic material” as the media type. You can also see our Chinese zodiac round-up from 2011. Happy year of the snake and happy searching!

If you are in the Vancouver area, be sure to check out the Chinese Benevolent Association’s annual parade and the Year of the Snake Temple Fair at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Classical Garden on February 17.

Happy birthday, Pride and Prejudice!

Happy birthday, Pride and Prejudice!

Today marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813 by Thomas Egerton. Rare Books and Special Collections is fortunate to have a first edition in our holdings, which was generously donated by a private donor last year. At some point in its life this copy must have lost its title […]

Happy Burns Day!

We love literature and poetry at Rare Books and Special Collections, so we’re pleased to wish you a Happy Burns Day! Burns Day celebrates the birth of Robert Burns in 1759, the great Scottish bard who gave us Tam ‘O Shanter, Auld Lang Syne, and A Red, Red Rose (and many others). RBSC has a […]

New- Railway related government publications

We’re pleased to let you know that we have added 159 government publications such as sessional papers, reports, addresses and printed correspondence related to the development of railways in Canada and the United States. This is a great source of information for anyone interested in the political aspects of railway building, and the importance of the development of trans-continental railways to Canada and the U.S.

You can search for all of these publications by searching for the phrase “Railway Government Publication.”

Featured place: Allison Harbour

Have you been missing our Featured Place posts as much as we’ve missed writing them? It’s a new year and we’re looking forward to featuring lots of B.C. places in 2013! For those new to our blog, this post is part of a series in which we find resources from Rare Books and Special Collections […]

VHF Lecture- Chinatown as a National Historic Site

We’re huge fans of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s lectures, and Chung Collection users may be interested in an upcoming evening lecture, to be held on February 19 at 7:30 pm at the University Women’s Club at Hycroft. The lecture on “Chinatown as a National Historic Site” will be given by historian John Atkin and city planner Jeanette Hlavach, on the process and significance of Vancouver’s Chinatown becoming a National Historic Site.

The VHF website has registration information, and information on all of their upcoming lectures and brown-bag sessions.