Stories of Support


Yamaha Piano from Tom Lee Music Enriches UBC Library

A donation of an electronic silent piano from Tom Lee Music has greatly benefitted students at the Music, Art and Architecture Library. This article is a translation of the original Ming Pao Canada article.

Friends – Spring 2016

The Spring 2016 issue of UBC Library’s Friends newsletter includes updates on recent collection acquisitions, current exhibitions featuring book illustrations and BC historical photographs, and a look at our Open Collections portal.

The Friends newsletter keeps UBC Library’s broad community of supporters up to date on developments and is produced twice a year. Read past issues of Friends here.



UBC Library celebrates Convocation 2016

<em>Image of a group of women standing outside the old UBC library (now the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre) in graduation gowns. May 7, 1931.</em> From the Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs (UL_1046_0041).

Image of a group of women standing outside the old UBC library (now the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre) in graduation gowns. May 7, 1931. (UL_1046_0041)


Congratulations to UBC’s Class of 2016 at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

UBC Library Legacy Program - An example of a bookplate

An example of a UBC Library Legacy Program bookplate

Celebrate the journey to graduation and honour the new graduate in your life with a personalized UBC bookplate offered by UBC Library.

Bookplates, or ex-libris, are decorative labels placed inside book covers to indicate the volume’s owner, and have a long history dating back to the 15th century.

Give the gift of a bookplate

Through the University Library Legacy Program, a bookplate with a personalized inscription is placed in the subject area of the donor’s choice. All proceeds from this program are put towards future UBC Library collections.

Explore the online gallery of bookplates and give a special individual a meaningful and lasting contribution to the University community of lifelong learners who use the Library.

Please email for more information.

Croquet prize for research

UBC Library is pleased to announce a new award focusing on the Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection

The Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection Prize, established in 2015, will be awarded annually to the best research paper featuring the collection. The research papers must be a maximum of 12 pages, and can focus on a range of subjects, including gender studies, athletics, history, art and photography – however, the paper must use the collection in some capacity.

people playing croquet

Wounded Canadians playing croquet, circa 1915.


The Arkley Croquet Collection contains more than 1,400 items from the 1850s to 1950s. The collection includes oil paintings, watercolours, illustrations and fine art as well as photographs, prints, books, advertisements, comics and other materials related to croquet. The images show the rise in the game’s popularity in England and America in the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection also offers a fascinating glimpse at gender roles, as croquet was one of the first games that men and women played together.

Tremaine Arkley, a former member of the US National Croquet team, and his wife Gail Arkley donated the collection to the Library in 2011. 

Researchers wanting to use the collection can view it in person at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC), or online via the Library’s digital collections portal. 

Submissions should be sent to RBSC’s acting head, no later than 4 p.m. on February 1, 2016. Two prizes of $1,000 each will be awarded – one to a UBC student and one to a member of the community at large. Members of the community do not need to be Canadian citizens.

For a full list of requirements and submissions information, see the prize poster. Please direct questions to

Prize winners will be announced in April.


Friends – Fall 2015

The latest issue of UBC Library’s Friends newsletter features updates on the UBC Centennial events, new library collections and upcoming events at the Library.



New digital collections

UBC Library’s digital collections are accessed by scholars and students globally, and new content is added regularly. Here’s a glimpse of some recent additions:

  • Puban Collection
    Consisting of 45,000 hand-stitched volumes spanning Chinese history, literature and thought from the 12th to 19th centuries, the Puban Collection was acquired with the help of UBC professor Ho Ping-ti in 1959.
  • Discorder Magazine
    Devoted to in-depth coverage of Vancouver’s independent music scene, Discorder magazine is published by UBC’s student-run CiTR 101.9 FM radio station. All existing issues of the magazine are now available to view online, and new issues will be added as they are published.
  • BC Sessional Papers, Phase 2
    BC’s Sessional Papers document political, historical, economic and cultural history of British Columbia. New additions to this collection include committee reports, petitions, correspondence, maps, voter lists and more from 1887-1911.

image of books

To explore these and other digital collections, please visit the digital collections portal.
Be sure to watch for UBC Library’s new Open Collections website, a new, user-friendly platform for the Library’s digital collections. Launching summer 2015.


This story originally appeared in the Friends 2015 spring newsletter.

Upcoming UBC Library events


  • In the Season of New Rice (April – May)
    Photographer and anthropologist Evelyn Nodwell displays her photography exhibition depicting life in Guizhou Province, China at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre on the Vancouver campus through the month of May
  • Dr. Frances Wood Public Lecture (May 26 – 29)
    See our cover story for events featuring visiting author and former British Library curator Dr. Frances Wood in Vancouver, BC


  • Aboriginal Unhistory Month (June – July)
    The Library, in partnership with the Musqueam Indian Band, the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology and the Museum of Anthropology, will be celebrating Aboriginal scholarship, creativity, and intellectual traditions with its fourth annual Aboriginal Unhistory Month. Programming includes exhibits, book display, and other campus-wide activities
  • Canadian Health Libraries Association Annual Conference
    UBC Library is pleased to be a sponsor for the annual Canadian Health Libraries Association Conference, taking place June 19 – 22 in downtown Vancouver.

FALL 2015

  • Launch of Library Preservation and Archives (Library PARC)
    UBC Library’s new modular storage facility will officially open in the fall to accommodate the future growth of collections at the Library. Located at UBC Vancouver’s South Campus in the Research Precinct.
  • Preview: Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs
    A preview of one of the Library’s most prolific collections will take place in the fall as a lead-up to a spring exhibition scheduled for Spring 2016.


For more information about the Library’s anniversary events, please visit our centenary page or follow us on Twitter @ubclibrary.


This story originally appeared in the Friends 2015 spring newsletter.

Woodward Library to honour medical history in new display cases


Through a generous grant from Mr. & Mrs. P.A. Woodward’s Foundation, Woodward Library will create a permanent exhibit of its medical artifacts.

More than 300 historic scientific and medical instruments, mostly donated over the years, will find new homes in high-quality display cases. The exhibit will honour the past while inspiring future medical students and their research. Rehousing of the artifacts will also allow for full access to the Charles Woodward Memorial Room by students and researchers, which was previously closed off to protect the rare items stored inside.

The exhibit is expected to be ready in late 2015/early 2016.


This story originally appeared in the Friends 2015 spring newsletter.

Research Commons sparks grad student success

UBC Library is committed to increasing and expanding services for graduate students. In 2012, Koerner Library received a grant from UBC’s Teaching, Learning and Enhancement Fund (TLEF) to create the Research Commons, where students from all academic disciplines are given access to peer-to-peer research support.

The Research Commons offers workshops and one-to-one assistance with citation management tools; two data analysis tools, for both quantitative and qualitative data; and thesis formatting to help students meet UBC’s thesis formatting requirements.

A unique program offered at the Research Commons is FIREtalks, Facilitated Interdisciplinary Research Exchanges. FIREtalks bring together graduate students of all disciplines to share their perspectives on a set theme. The sessions yield lively presentations and discussion on a wide range of topics, from neuroscience data to dance performance.

Though the Research Common’s TLEF funding ends this year, its support has solidified the need for dedicated space for graduate students at UBC Library. UBC Library is currently developing a plan to expand its graduate programs and create a dedicated learning space for graduate students.


This story originally appeared in the Friends 2015 spring newsletter.

Medieval Papal Bull comes to UBC Library


The 770-year-old Papal Bull now housed in Rare Books and Special Collections was acquired last May from an antiquarian book seller in London, England. A papal bull is a letters patent or charter issued by the Pope and named for the seal (bulla) attached to the bottom.

The bull arrived at UBC Library in good condition but creased from being stored folded for centuries. UBC Library’s conservator, Anne Lama, used a humidification chamber to ease out the creases, spending over 24 hours straight working with the fragile document.

UBC Library invites the public to view the Papal Bull and other works from the middle ages in an exhibition this month.


This story originally appeared in the Friends 2015 spring newsletter.


Read more stories about collections, services and spaces on the Library’s About Us blog.