UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page UBC Home Page -
News Events Directories Search UBC myUBC Login
- -
UBC Public Affairs
UBC Reports
UBC Reports Extras
Goal / Circulation / Deadlines
Letters to the Editor & Opinion Pieces / Feedback
UBC Reports Archives
Media Releases
Services for Media
Services for the Community
Services for UBC Faculty & Staff
Find UBC Experts
Search Site

UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 7 | Jul. 3, 2003

Uncovering the Treasure

By Cristina Calboreanu

From 17th-century Japanese roadmaps to the works of the early Vancouver bookbinders, the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the UBC Library holds invaluable treasures. Many are still waiting to be revealed.

From the more than 100,000 books in his care, Rare Books and Special Collections librarian Ralph Stanton is particularly fond of a Victorian notebook that scholars have yet to discover.

“It was my first important acquisition here,” he explains.
It’s also a unique historical and linguistic record.

According to Stanton, the holograph of The Thompson liturgy, offices, regimen & lists & c., dated 1873, is a remarkable rarity. Rev. John Booth Good, the Anglican minister at St. Paul’s Mission in Lytton, B.C. transliterated parts of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, passages from the Bible, and hymns, into the local Neklakapamuk tongue. He also included a list of the villages, chiefs, and watchmen of the mission.

The manuscript has been at UBC for more than a year.
“We’re awaiting scholars to start working on this book,” Stanton says. “It’s an invaluable resource for linguists and historians of the church and Native relations and it’s the faculty’s job to exploit this resource.”

The Thompson liturgy is not the only treasure in the UBC collection waiting to be discovered.

“The public doesn’t fully appreciate how exceptional this collection is,” Stanton says.

While the community has been generous, financial and staff resources are still stretched. Cataloguing the items is a major task and digitization efforts are just beginning. Exhibition and user space is limited.

The new Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will solve some of these problems. Stanton is working with the architects and designers to ensure that the new facility is “as useful to the university community as it can be.” The new exhibition space will be far superior in terms of lighting and presentation, and the new display cases will allow the public to view the exhibits from two different angles. Stanton hopes the new learning centre will make the library resources more readily available to scholars and the public.

“We have endless treasures here,” he says. Treasures waiting to be shared.

- - -  

Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

to top | UBC.ca » UBC Public Affairs

UBC Public Affairs
310 - 6251 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1
tel 604.822.3131 | fax 604.822.2684 | e-mail public.affairs@ubc.ca

© Copyright The University of British Columbia, all rights reserved.