News

And there’s the humor of it…

Posted on June 6, 2018 @11:30 am by cshriver

Shakespeare’s first folio. Image courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition:And there’s the humor of it”: Shakespeare and the Four Humors.

Blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm. These four humors were once thought to shape a person’s mental and physical health, behavior and even personality. Initially borrowed from Ancient Greek thinkers like Aristotle, Hippocrates, and Galen, the theory of the four humors was so ingrained into the common wisdom of Shakespeare’s time that references to melancholic displays and choleric outbursts fill his most popular plays. The interplay between medical theory and theatrical language forms the basis of a fascinating exhibition, created by the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, now at UBC Library.

The traveling exhibition, “And there’s the humor of it”: Shakespeare and the Four Humors, has been supplemented with additional materials from UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, exploring topics including Shakespearean theatre in British Columbia and Shakespeare in children’s literature. More information about the National Library of Medicine display and the materials at RBSC is available through the UBC Library website.

Many thanks to co-curators of the UBC Library collections materials Patricia Badir, Professor of English, Anthony Dawson, Professor Emeritus of English, and Department of English students Karol Pasciano (MA), Aiden Tait (BA Hons.), and Ana Maria Fernandez Grandizo (BA Hons.). Thank you also to John Christopoulos, Assistant Professor of History, for lending his subject matter expertise. UBC Library co-curators for the exhibition included Charlotte Beck, Chelsea Shriver, and Helen Brown.

The panels on loan from the National Library of Medicine will be on display at Woodward Library through July 14 and the books on display at Rare Books and Special Collections will be available through August 3, 2018. The RBSC reading room is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For Woodward Library’s hours, check their website. The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

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Student project: The Works of Ambroise Paré

Posted on June 6, 2018 @11:12 am by cshriver

This past spring term, Rare Books and Special Collections hosted a number of classes from a wide variety of disciplines, including English, history, art history, German studies, Asian studies, and many more. We love hosting classes, as it allows us to introduce so many more students to our amazing collections. We especially love to see the results of the students’ work with our collections and the incredible insights they bring to their topics. Now we’re very happy to share some of this great student work with you!

One of the assignments for Professor Patsy Badir’s course, “Image and Text in Seventeenth Century Literature,” was an in-depth exploration of a single book from a selection of 17th-century items here at RBSC. Students were asked to research the history of the item and introduce it to a public audience online. We’ve shared a few student projects to share with you and hope you’ve enjoyed them.

Finally, Millika Veltmeyer’s exploration of the 1634 edition of The Workes of That Famous Chirurgion Ambrose Parey

https://ofmonstersandprodigies.weebly.com/

This edition of Paré’s works is currently on display for the exhibition And there’s the humor of it”: Shakespeare and the Four Humors, which is free and open to the public.

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ASRS outages scheduled

Posted on May 24, 2018 @9:00 am by cshriver

Due to an upgrade to the Library’s Catalogue, patrons will not be able to request materials from ASRS starting Sunday May 13, 2018 at 6 p.m. Full service is expected to resume May 19, 2018.

A recent UBC Library service bulletin has more information about the scheduled outages and their impact on the UBC Library system more broadly.

While RBSC will not be able to retrieve materials from the ASRS (any item with the location listed as RARE BOOKS & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS ASRS storage in the catalogue record), we will still be able to retrieve materials stored in the RBSC vault (any item with the location listed as RARE BOOKS & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS in the catalogue record). Materials stored in the ASRS generally include textual archival materials and contemporary books.

If you have questions about whether an item might be available, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

 

 

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New acquisition of WWII Japanese Canadian letters

Posted on April 26, 2018 @12:30 pm by cshriver

WWII Japanese Canadian lettersRare Book and Special Collections at UBC Library is thrilled to have acquired an extraordinary collection of letters that provide unique insight into the devastating effects of the Japanese Canadian internment during World War II.

The collection of 147 letters, written to donor Joan Gillis in 1942 by a group of young Japanese Canadians she met while attending Queen Elizabeth Secondary School in Surrey, talk of daily life and the challenges faced by these young people after being ordered out of the “Security Zone” on the B.C. coast, and are filled with frequent references to acute homesickness and sadness at being removed from their homes. The writers range in age from 13 to 18.

RBSC is pleased to be able to add this unique acquisition to its robust Japanese Canadian Research collection that includes materials on business and commerce, mining, farming, fishing, forestry, religious activities, education, community, reminiscences and biographies in addition to materials on the Japanese Canadian evacuation.

You can learn more about the collection of letters by reading the full press release. If you’d like to see the letters in person, feel free to visit Rare Books and Special Collections and join a tour!

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Student project: Shakespeare’s second folio

Posted on April 20, 2018 @11:36 am by cshriver

Shakespeare second folioThis past spring term, Rare Books and Special Collections hosted a number of classes from a wide variety of disciplines, including English, history, art history, German studies, Asian studies, and many more. We love hosting classes, as it allows us to introduce so many more students to our amazing collections. We especially love to see the results of the students’ work with our collections and the incredible insights they bring to their topics. Now we’re very happy to share some of this great student work with you!

One of the assignments for Professor Patsy Badir’s course, “Image and Text in Seventeenth Century Literature,” was an in-depth exploration of a single book from a selection of 17th-century items here at RBSC. Students were asked to research the history of the item and introduce it to a public audience online. We have a few of these student projects to share with you and hope you enjoy them. Perhaps you will be inspired to stop by RBSC to see one of the items for yourself!

Next up: Ana Maria Fernandez Grandizo’s exploration of the second folio edition of Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies:

https://anamariafdzg.wixsite.com/ubcshakespearefolio/printing-binding

Enjoy!

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Once Upon a Pop-up

Posted on April 24, 2018 @8:31 am by cshriver

“Mechanical books should look like ordinary books. Their success is to be measured by the ingenuity with which their bookish format conceals unbookish characteristics.” – Iona and Peter Opie

Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition: Once Upon a Pop-up!

The exhibition, curated by UBC Master of Library and Information Studies candidates Lucas Hill, Brooklyn Kemp, Sarah Khan, and Meaghan Smith, under the supervision of Professor Kathie Shoemaker, have curated a selection of pop-up books from RBSC’s children’s literature collection, ranging from the horror-filled to the historical, from the architectural to Alice in Wonderland.

Pop-up books and their movable book cousins have challenged our assumptions about books and reading for more than 700 years. They push the limits of the “book” and reinterpret the form. Pop-up books combine linear storytelling with aspects of visual spectacle and surprise to bring delight and add new facets to a narrative. Book becomes game. These pop-ups raise the question: how do you “read” something in three dimensions?

Not just for children anymore, pop-up books require exemplary teamwork from experts across the field; authors, illustrators, paper engineers, publishers, designers, and the often dozens of people responsible for putting the pop-up book together, must work as a team to perfect the form. Paper engineering is an art that requires many hands.

Once Upon a Pop-up is on display on level 1 (RBSC reading room) and level 2 (main foyer) of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre from April 11 through May 31, 2018. A complete catalogue of the exhibition can be downloaded here. The exhibition is free and open to the public, and people of all ages are encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

We hope you will admire the ingenuity and grandeur of the unassuming pop-up book in all of its papery glory as much as we do!

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Student project: Wither’s “Emblemes”

Posted on April 11, 2018 @9:36 am by cshriver

Image from Wither's EmblemesThis past spring term, Rare Books and Special Collections hosted a number of classes from a wide variety of disciplines, including English, history, art history, German studies, Asian studies, and many more. We love hosting classes, as it allows us to introduce so many more students to our amazing collections. We especially love to see the results of the students’ work with our collections and the incredible insights they bring to their topics. Now we’re very happy to share some of this great student work with you!

One of the assignments for Professor Patsy Badir’s course, “Image and Text in Seventeenth Century Literature,” was an in-depth exploration of a single book from a selection of 17th-century items here at RBSC. Students were asked to research the history of the item and introduce it to a public audience online. We have a few of these student projects to share with you and hope you enjoy them. Perhaps you will be inspired to stop by RBSC to see one of the items for yourself!

First up: Aiden Tait’s exploration of George Wither’s Collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne:

https://a-tait.tumblr.com/

Enjoy!

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What’s Old Is New Again!

Posted on February 2, 2018 @1:26 pm by cshriver

What's Old is New Again PosterRare Books and Special Collections is delighted to present What’s Old Is New Again: An Exhibition of RBSC Acquisition Highlights for 2017.

2017 was an exciting year as RBSC worked diligently to enhance its collections to meet the present needs of UBC faculty and students, to anticipate future areas of research and scholarship, and to build on its legacy of past collecting.

What’s Old Is New Again features a small selection of highlights from RBSC’s 2017 acquisitions, including items dating from the 17th century to 2017, with geographical coverage from Japan to Vancouver. With materials running the gamut from books and diaries to ephemera and photographs, the exhibition reflects the breadth and variety of RBSC’s collections. Make sure to keep an eye out for the “RBSC favourites,” top picks of RBSC’s archivists, librarians, staff, and students especially selected from among many 2017 acquisitions.

What’s Old Is New Again is on display at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections on the second and first floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre until February 13, 2018. The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

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Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs

Posted on December 14, 2017 @12:42 pm by cshriver

Many thanks to guest blogger Ashlynn Prasad for contributing the below post! Ashlynn is a graduate student at UBC’s School School of Library, Archival and Information Studies and the curator of our new exhibition of photographs from the Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs.

When I first began perusing the Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs, which is available for public viewing in Rare Books and Special Collections in the Irving K. Barber Learning Center, and digital copies of which can be found online, I approached the photographs with the awareness that many of them were between 100 and 150 years old, and I therefore began the project with the expectation of finding photographic evidence of how much British Columbian scenery and landmarks have changed in the past century, after rapid advancements in technology as well as continuing urban development.

While I did find evidence of change, I was surprised to also find that many of the landmarks closely associated with British Columbia have varied very little in appearance in the past century. I got the sense while looking through the photographs that certain images, though they were taken up to 150 years ago in some cases, could have been taken a mere few days ago. With this in mind, I designed the exhibition in the spirit of a before-and-after, except that instead of juxtaposing new images with old images, I juxtaposed turn-of-the-century images with each other, showing on the one hand images which seem dated (from a modern observer’s perspective) and on the other hand images that look quite familiar. For a more traditional before-and-after comparison, please see below for contemporary versions of the scenes depicted in the exhibition.

Something else that I tried to keep in mind during the curation of this exhibition was the audience to which the photographs would likely be exposed while on display in Ike’s Café. On a personal note, I was born in the lower mainland and spent the earlier half of my life here, before moving to the United States and spending the latter half there. Because of this, I found myself tangentially familiar with a lot of the names I encountered during the curation of the exhibition, and in some instances the scenes in the images themselves were also intimately familiar to me. However, having been away for so long, I also had to do quite a bit of Google Maps searching of place names that would likely be extremely familiar to someone who had spent their entire life here.

I tried to keep in mind that the individuals coming through the café will have varying levels of familiarity with British Columbian landmarks – some will know them well, some will be experiencing them for the first time, and many will fall somewhere in between. I tried to curate an exhibition that could appeal to people at any position on the spectrum by showcasing landmarks that are generally quite well known, and which a large majority of people – even if they’re completely new to the area – will at least have heard of, such as Stanley Park or Fraser River. This way, the exhibition is ostensibly capable of drawing an emotional response from almost anyone, whether that’s the curiosity and nostalgia of seeing a turn-of-the-century version of a place one knows very well, or whether that’s a piqued interest in a place one has never seen before. For at least some of the photographs, I hope we can all enjoy the intrigue of noticing how much has changed in the last 100 years, and perhaps even more so, how much has not.

– Ashlynn Prasad, Exhibition Curator and MAS/MLIS Candidate at the University of British Columbia

 

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Colbeck Collection exhibition: An Unmatched Devotion

Posted on October 19, 2017 @7:23 pm by cshriver

Yeats Tower ImageRare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is delighted to announce a new exhibition: “An Unmatched Devotion”: A 50th Anniversary Exhibition for UBC’s Norman Colbeck Collection of Nineteenth-Century and Edwardian Poetry and Belles Lettres.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the University of British Columbia Library’s acquisition of the Norman Colbeck Collection of Nineteenth Century and Edwardian Poetry and Belles Lettres. The Colbeck Collection, which comprises some 13,000 rare and often unique volumes – in addition to literary manuscripts and letters – is one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Victorian and Edwardian English and Anglo-Irish literature. The catalogue of the collection, A Bookman’s Catalogue, issued by UBC Press in 1987, remains a vital work of reference for scholars, collectors, and members of the book trade. To celebrate this indispensable research and teaching asset, UBC Library, in conjunction with the Department of English, invites you to explore some of these remarkable treasures.

Kelmscott Prospectus Image

The exhibition, curated by Assistant Professor of English, Dr. Gregory Mackie, is divided into several thematic areas representing the particular strengths of the collection: Poetry; the Pre-Raphaelites; Aestheticism and Decadence; the revival of printing and fine press publications; literary and artistic little magazines; Belles Lettres; and inscribed and association copies. We are also taking this opportunity to display recent acquisitions that complement the Colbeck Collection with a view to future teaching and research. The exhibition further provides an opportunity to display UBC’s recently acquired copy of the 1896 Kelmscott Press Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (“the most beautiful of all printed books,” according to poet W. B. Yeats) in its broader cultural and historical context. It is our hope that the exhibition will be both engaging and enlightening for students, scholars, and the wider community.

An Unmatched Devotion is on display at UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre from October 23 through December 20, 2017. The exhibition is located on the second floor Community Concourse and on the first floor in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room. The RBSC reading room is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. For IKBLC’s general hours, check their website (http://ikblc.ubc.ca/aboutus/hours). The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.

 

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