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UBC Library 2021/22 Senate Report

UBC Library’s annual Senate Report is now available. Read about our highlights from the past fiscal year, which include advancing research, learning and scholarship, engaging with communities, inspiring with innovative spaces and services and stewarding the organization. Learn how the library transitioned back to fully in-person operations on campus in September 2021, kicking off a year of hybrid teaching, learning and work.

Dr. Gregory Betts wins the 2022 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for his incisive treatment of a key period in Vancouver’s cultural history.

Dr. Gregory Betts has won the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia for his book Finding Nothing: the VanGardes, 1959-1975. The $2,500 prize, given by UBC Library and the Pacific BookWorld News Society, will be awarded at a reception to be held in April.

Published by University of Toronto Press, Dr. Betts’ book is an incisively written, compellingly argued, and wide-ranging look at Vancouver’s cultural life from 1959 to 1975. Through this book, Dr. Betts advances a strong claim that Vancouver was a key site for the cultural transformations spreading across English Canada at that time.

“The years I spent working on this book were delightfully rich. I visited archives and bookshops, met with scholars and writers, as well as people who just lived in the city during the period. What I found was a rich set of memories and jaw-dropping art and literature. What I found surprising and striking, however, was how different everyone’s take was on the story of the ’60s in Vancouver,” says Dr. Betts. “I obviously left more on the cutting floor than in the book, but I decided to focus almost exclusively on the writing. I say ‘almost’ because the avant-garde writing of the period was so consciously interdisciplinary, pushing new boundaries, and creating new spaces for intersections of art and life that all manner of other disciplines inevitably intersect. Writing and what it meant to be a writer changed over the years of this book, and I wanted my project to reflect the dynamic nature of the community at the time. Indeed, my hope is that this book makes it easier for others to delve into the wealth of world-shifting work that emerged in Vancouver during those years.”

“The story laid out in this book, which is at once coherent and many-dimensioned, represents a huge volume of research material that has been thoroughly examined and analyzed,” says Dr. Susan E. Parker, UBC’s University Librarian. “The book models what deft handling of complicated subject matter and materials should be. We are pleased to recognize Dr. Betts’ book with the Basil’ Stuart-Stubbs Prize.” 

Dr. Betts is a poet, editor, essayist and professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. Born in Vancouver and raised in Toronto, he has taught literature at four different universities in Canada and Germany. He has published five books of poetry, edited five books of experimental Canadian writing, including Avant-Garde Canadian Literature: The Early Manifestations. He is currently President of the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English.

The book is available to read through UBC Library.

Shortlisted titles for the prize are:

Becoming Vancouver: a History, Daniel Francis. (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing).

A Long Way to Paradise: a New History of British Columbia Politics, Robert A. J. McDonald. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press).

About the Prize

The Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Book on British Columbia, sponsored by UBC Library and the Pacific BookWorld News Society, recognizes the best scholarly book published by a Canadian author on a B.C. subject. The book prize was established in memory of Basil Stuart-Stubbs, a bibliophile, scholar and librarian who passed away in 2012. Stuart-Stubbs’s many accomplishments included serving as the University Librarian at UBC Library and as the Director of UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. Stuart-Stubbs had a leadership role in many national and regional library and publishing activities. During his exceptional career, he took particular interest in the production and distribution of Canadian books and was associated with several initiatives beneficial to authors and their readers, and to Canadian publishing.

UBC Library 2020/21 Senate Report

UBC Library’s annual Senate Report is now available. Read about our highlights from the past fiscal year, which include advancing research, learning and scholarship, engaging with communities, inspiring with innovative spaces and services and stewarding the organization. Learn how the library’s services, spaces and collections adapted to best serve the UBC campus community in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Dr. Lara Campbell wins the 2021 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for her examination of the complex history of suffrage in British Columbia.

Dr. Lara Campbell has won the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia for her book A Great Revolutionary Wave: Women and the Vote in British Columbia. The $2,500 prize, given by UBC Library and the Pacific BookWorld News Society, will be awarded later this year.

Published by UBC Press as part of the Women’s Suffrage and the Struggle for Democracy series, Dr. Campbell’s book examines how the case for female enfranchisement in British Columbia grew and gained support, while negotiating the ambiguities and features that distinguished the movement in British Columbia.

“Writing A Great Revolutionary Wave has been a wonderful opportunity to bring together my long-standing interest in gender and women’s history and my appreciation for the history of British Columbia. I moved to Vancouver 16 years ago, and learning about the history of this province has been an ongoing project and a great joy,” says Dr. Campbell. “British Columbia has been continually overlooked in histories about women’s struggle for political equality. Archival research revealed that suffragists in the province were more diverse in terms of class background, and more open to debate and public confrontation, than previous historians have imagined. But while suffrage claims to equality challenged male authority in often inspiring ways, I hope readers get a strong sense of how they were also built on racial exclusion and Indigenous dispossession. I took the suffrage story into the late 1940s to try to capture the desire for political equality expressed by racialized men and women in the province, and to honour the rich histories of community organizing for political and racial equality.”

“Dr. Campbell’s book skilfully provides sensitive source-reading and disciplined exposition on the suffrage movement in British Columbia,” says Dr. Susan E. Parker, UBC’s University Librarian. “We are pleased to recognize a book published by UBC Press and by an academic who has made her home in British Columbia.” 

Dr. Campbell is a professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University where she currently serves as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programming, Teaching and Learning, and Student Experience. Her first book, Respectable Citizens: Gender, Family, and Unemployment in Ontario’s Great Depression, 1929-1939, was recognized with Honorable Mentions from the Canadian Women’s Studies Association and the Canadian Historical Association.

The book is available at the UBC Bookstore for purchase.

Shortlisted titles for the prize are:

Service on the Skeena: Horace Wrinch, frontier physician, Geoff Mynett (Vancouver: Ronsdale Press).

Landscapes of Injustice: A New Perspective on the Internment and Dispossession of Japanese Canadians, Jordan Stanger-Ross (Montreal and Kingston: McGill Queens Press).

About the Prize

The Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Book on British Columbia, sponsored by UBC Library and the Pacific BookWorld News Society, recognizes the best scholarly book published by a Canadian author on a B.C. subject. The book prize was established in memory of Basil Stuart-Stubbs, a bibliophile, scholar and librarian who passed away in 2012. Stuart-Stubbs’s many accomplishments included serving as the University Librarian at UBC Library and as the Director of UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. Stuart-Stubbs had a leadership role in many national and regional library and publishing activities. During his exceptional career, he took particular interest in the production and distribution of Canadian books and was associated with several initiatives beneficial to authors and their readers, and to Canadian publishing.

UBC Library 2019/20 Senate Report

UBC Library’s annual Senate Report (2019/20) is now available. Read our highlights from the past fiscal year which include advancing research, learning and scholarship, engaging with communities, creating and delivering responsive collections, inspiring with innovative spaces and services, and stewarding the organization.

Michael Layland wins the 2020 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for his celebration of the richly diverse flora and fauna of Vancouver Island.

Michael Layland has won the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia for his book In Nature’s Realm: Early Naturalists Explore Vancouver Island. The $2,500 prize, given by UBC Library and the Pacific BookWorld News Society, will be awarded at UBC’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre later this year.

Published by Touchwood Editions, Layland’s book explores the richly diverse flora and fauna of Vancouver Island through the records of explorers, settlers, and visitors, and with due respect to the wealth of Indigenous traditional knowledge of the island’s ecosystems.

“Since moving to Vancouver Island nearly 30 years ago, I’ve been fascinated by the island’s rich history, in particular during the eras of exploration and early settlement,” says Layland, “In Nature’s Realm combines my twin passions of history and nature, and complements my two earlier books. It tells how the Island’s flora and fauna appeared to the naturalists among the explorers and early settlers. It shows how their understanding was constrained by limited time and equipment, as well as the political motivations of their sponsors. In telling the story, I pay tribute to the Island’s original naturalists, the Indigenous Peoples, whose knowledge is at last being ‘discovered’ and appreciated.”

“This masterful book is remarkable in its physical appearance, and based on consummately executed research and investigation”, says Dr. Susan E. Parker, UBC’s University Librarian. “We are thrilled, once again, to highlight the fine work of an author from British Columbia.”

Trained as an officer and mapmaker in the Royal Engineers, Michael Layland was president of the Victoria Historical Society, the Friends of the BC Archives, and is an amateur naturalist. In Nature’s Realm is a companion volume to his two previous titles: A Perfect Eden: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island and The Land of Heart’s Delight: Early Maps and Charts of Vancouver Island which detail the progression of European knowledge of Vancouver Island.

Shortlisted titles for the prize are:

At the Bridge: James Teit and an Anthropology of Belonging , Wendy C. Wickwire (UBC Press).

Against the Current and Into the Light: Performing History and Land in Coast Salish Territories and Vancouver’s Stanley Park,  Selena Couture (McGill-Queen’s University Press).

About the Prize

The Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Book on British Columbia, sponsored by UBC Library and the Pacific BookWorld News Society, recognizes the best scholarly book published by a Canadian author on a B.C. subject. The book prize was established in memory of Basil Stuart-Stubbs, a bibliophile, scholar and librarian who passed away in 2012. Stuart-Stubbs’s many accomplishments included serving as the University Librarian at UBC Library and as the Director of UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. Stuart-Stubbs had a leadership role in many national and regional library and publishing activities. During his exceptional career, he took particular interest in the production and distribution of Canadian books and was associated with several initiatives beneficial to authors and their readers, and to Canadian publishing.

Chung Milestone: 10,000th Visitor!

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection exhibition at Rare Books and Special Collections has welcomed its 10,000th visitor!

Gift to UBC Library to Transform Lillooet Room

The Lillooet Room, part of the Chapman Learning Commons in Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, has been renamed the Antonio and Marissa Peña Learning and Events Room.

More than 100 years of BC’s provincial governmental papers now accessible online

 

One hundred and six years of British Columbia’s governmental papers are now available to anyone with a wifi connection and a device. The British Columbia Sessional Papers, an annual collection of selected papers tabled in the Legislative Council of British Columbia and the Legislative Assembly is now publicly accessible through UBC Library’s Open Collections.

The collection contains materials that document the political, historical, economic and cultural history of British Columbia and includes official committee reports, orders of the day, petitions and papers presented, records of land sales, correspondence, budgetary estimates, proclamations, maps, voters lists by district, and departmental annual reports.

The multi-year project began as a collaborative endeavor in 2014 executed by five provincial institutions, collectively known as the BC Government Publications Digitization Group. The group made up of representatives from UBC, the Legislative Library of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria and the University of Northern British Columbia aims to increase access to primary source materials.  The project was then carried out by UBC Library thanks to a grant from The British Columbia History Digitization Program and materials provided by the Legislative Library of British Columbia.

Improved accessibility facilitates research

The collection, which now includes over 4,000 items in total, highlights the cultural, economic, social and political atmosphere of their historical era and are being used for research in multiple fields.

“Annual reports within the Sessional Papers have helped answer reference questions about the history of public schools in British Columbia, road and infrastructure policies of the 1940s and 1950s and relations with the provincial government and First Nations Peoples,” notes Susan Paterson, Government Publications Librarian at UBC Library. “The project has also been used by researchers outside of UBC including Canadian federal departments, law firms, and independent researchers.” Digital Projects Librarian Eirian Vining confirms the relevance of these papers to broader researchers: “We also see a lot of genealogists using these materials because of the voter lists contained within them.”

Andrea Lister, Editor of British Columbia History Magazine uses the records regularly for fact-checking and appreciates the increased accessibility, “The collection allows researchers, regardless of location, access to records that allow for analysis of the political, historical, economic, and cultural history of British Columbia.”

An eye to preservation

The project has also enabled UBC Library to better preserve the collection. “This collection is not easily browsed,” says Vining, “So, now it can be accessed more frequently and more widely without the worry of wear and tear.”

The collection is well-used with more than 17,000 item downloads and more than 860K item views since its launch and is being used by researchers globally including France, the U.S., Germany, China, Russia and the Ukraine.

Explore the British Columbia Sessional Papers collection through UBC Library’s Open Collections. 

UBC Library 2018/19 Senate Report

UBC Library’s annual Senate Report (2018/19) is now available. Read our highlights from the past fiscal year which include advancing research, learning and scholarship, engaging with communities, creating and delivering responsive collections, inspiring with innovative spaces and services, and stewarding the organization.

 

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