Chung Collection News


If you're in the Victoria area, be sure to check out the "Floating on the Margins" exhibition at the Maritime Museum of B.C. The exhibition "illustrates the lives of early Chinese Canadian sailors and passengers on the Canadian Pacific Passenger Liners" and we're especially pleased to have loaned a number of documents and photographs to their exhibition from the Chung Collection! The exhibition is on now, and will be available for viewing until May 28th.


Have you come to visit us at the Chung Collection lately? If you have, you will have noticed one of our new additions- a model locomotive, built by a former CPR Engineer as a retirement hobby project and given to Dr. Chung several years ago:

We think it's pretty neat! We have had great feedback from visitors already. It's a very nice companion to the model Empress of Asia steamship, which has long been the "centrepiece" of the exhibition.

This new addition to the collection got me to thinking about CPR locomotives, and how photographs from the Chung Collection can really be used to show the evolution of train locomotives over time. Take our new model in contrast, for example, to this photograph from ca. 1890:

What a difference! The model is of a K1a-class locomotive, which were in use from around 1930-1950's. If you know what kind of locomotive is depicted in this photograph we'd love to hear from you- leave a comment, or email us at

To search for more images of locomotives, search for "locomotive" under Photographic Material, or more broadly for "train."


We're really pleased that comments are now enabled on our blog posts, meaning readers can join in on the conversation! 

Do note that the comments are moderated to ensure that they are respectful in tone and content. It may take a couple of days for your comment to appear.

Looking forward to our future blog-dialogs! Of course you can still get in touch with us at Many thanks to the UBC Library LSIT department for making this change for us.


Gung hay fat choy! Chinese New Year is on February 10, which will mark the beginning of the Year of the Snake. To celebrate, we thought we'd use our monthly featured photograph blog post to find some snakes in the Chung Collection.

The Chung Collection actually holds several photographs of snakes- why would that be? It's because travellers aboard CPR cruises around the world sometimes took photographs or bought postcards of snake charmers in exotic locales along their journey, such as this photograph from Trinidad:

Photograph of snake handlers

And this photograph from Mumbai:

Photograph of snake charmer

Although people born in the year of the snake are thought to be careful, independent and charismatic, we know that snakes the reptilian creatures are not everyone's favorite. For those who suffer from ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), the Chung Collection has a photograph for you too:

Photograph of hedge in the shape of a snake

This snake is a hedge of flowers, taken in Vancouver in 1921. Phew! That's better!

To search for snakes, or any other animal in the Chinese zodiac, use your keyword in an advanced search and specify "photographic material" as the media type. You can also see our Chinese zodiac round-up from 2011. Happy year of the snake and happy searching!

If you are in the Vancouver area, be sure to check out the Chinese Benevolent Association's annual parade and the Year of the Snake Temple Fair at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Classical Garden on February 17.


We're pleased to let you know that we have added 159 government publications such as sessional papers, reports, addresses and printed correspondence related to the development of railways in Canada and the United States. This is a great source of information for anyone interested in the political aspects of railway building, and the importance of the development of trans-continental railways to Canada and the U.S.

You can search for all of these publications by searching for the phrase "Railway Government Publication."


We're huge fans of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation's lectures, and Chung Collection users may be interested in an upcoming evening lecture, to be held on February 19 at 7:30 pm at the University Women's Club at Hycroft. The lecture on "Chinatown as a National Historic Site" will be given by historian John Atkin and city planner Jeanette Hlavach, on the process and significance of Vancouver's Chinatown becoming a National Historic Site.

The VHF website has registration information, and information on all of their upcoming lectures and brown-bag sessions.


In last December's featured photo, we showed an elaborate Christmas dinner being served on the Empress of Australia. This December, we found another culinary feat on the high seas:

Chef showing large Christmas cake

According to the photograph's caption, the cake weighed 97 pounds! A challenge to bake anywhere, let alone on a ship. This photograph appears in a scrapbook from an Empress of Australia world cruise from 1927-1928.

A reminder that Rare Books and Special Collections and the Chung Collection will be closed over the holiday season- from December 25 to January 1 (more information on our holiday hours here). We look forward to seeing lots of visitors in 2013. There will be lots of exciting Chung Collection news in 2013, so please stay in touch with us!


We frequently have vistors that count themselves amongst UBC Alumni so we're thrilled that Dr. Chung and his collection has been profiled in Trek Magazine, published by the UBC Alumni Association. You can read the article online. It was written by Larissa Bjus, who also wrote a forthcoming book about Dr. Chung and the Chung Collection, which we will have available in the library soon!


It's that time of year in Vancouver when we're all longing for the rain and mist to lift so we can see the beautiful, snowy North Shore mountains. While we wait, you can gaze upon this photograph instead:

In this turn-of-the-century photo, a group of unidentified hikers enjoys a snowy hike on a mountain. How do we know it's a mountain? There are a number of photographs in the collection (found in Box 55) of the same group showing them ascending the mountain on their hike. There unfortunately is not any accompanying information with the photographs, so we do not know the exact location- but they could very well be on the North Shore given the scenery.

To see all the photos of these folks, a keyword search for "men and women on a mountain" will find them all. To find more photos of mountains, search for the keyword "mountain" with "photographic material" as the type.


Thank you for your patience yesterday as we kept the Chung Collection exhibition closed for installation of new exhibits! There is still work happening today, Thursday November 15th and tomorrow, Friday November 16th in the back of the room and the back exhibits will remain unavailable during that time.

We'll be adding interpretive signs to our new exhibitions soon. Stay tuned to the News blog for more information (and some behind-the-scenes photos!)

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