Photo courtesy of UBC Vault
UBC Reports | Vol. 53 | No. 12 | Dec. 6, 2007
UBC Library Vault . . . Unlock the Treasures
By Julie-Ann Backhouse
UBC Library’s collection of rare treasures has been largely concealed from the public eye -- until now. Deep in the vault of the library and hidden across campus are exceptional collections of rare books, manuscripts, fine art, maps and archival material in climate-controlled storage designed to prevent deterioration. These collections have grown in value and stature over the 100-year history of the university and continue to support teaching and research by scholars at UBC and around the world.
To bring some of these rare gems to light, UBC Library has selected highlights from its collection and they are now available to view online.
Under the banner of UBC Library Vault, items range from the meticulous, such as zoological giraffe drawings by an 18th-century naturalist, to the monumental -- for instance, pages from a German book of prayer created at the dawn of western printing in 1500.
Pictured below are images from the UBC Library Vault that are accessible online. They include (from left-to-right): 1 & 2 Pages from an early Buddhist work (539-597) which unified Buddhist doctrine in China. 3 & 4 Pages from a book of Gregorian chants published in 1730. 5 & 6 Text from a Missal, or liturgical book of prayer, dating to 1500. 7 & 8 Images from Robert John Thornton’s The Temple of Flora, an illustrated flower book first published in 1807 and generally accepted as the greatest of all English botanicals.
UBC Library Vault serves as a gateway to distinct images and stories from the university’s special collections. A series of gifts featuring imagery from the rare collections are planned -- card sets are now available and can be purchased at www.ubcvault.ca. Other upcoming gifts include prints, journals and umbrellas. Each time you purchase a gift from the UBC Library Vault, a portion of the proceeds is directed to one of the library’s many funds and endowments.