New exhibition: Settling the Language

Settling the Language exhibition poster

We’re very excited to welcome a new exhibition to Rare Books and Special Collections!

The exhibit, Settling the Language: Dictionaries and Language Change, 1490 to Today, is being mounted in support of the Dictionary Society of North America and Studies in the History of English Language conferences being held at UBC from June 5 to 7. The exhibition, curated by Grant Hurley, an MAS/MLIS student at SLAIS, will run until August 15.

Featuring items from the H. Rocke Robertson Collection of Dictionaries and other materials at RBSC, the exhibit celebrates the many forms of dictionaries. It includes 32 items, from early Latin and polyglot dictionaries, to the vital materials for Indigenous language revitalization, which all work in curious and contradictory ways to both fix, or settle a language. Brought together by the immense work of H. Rocke Robertson and other donors to RBSC’s collections, we hope you will enjoy the complicated and fascinating tales these texts tell us about our languages, identities, and linguistic ancestors. You can download the exhibition catalogue here.

You can visit the exhibition, which is free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rare Books and Special Collections on the first floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at 604 822-2521 or


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