Threads of Tradition: Library Resources on Textiles and Patterns from Asia

From May 7 to July 3, 2024, the Asian Library collaborated with the Art Education Program in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy for the exhibition titled “Patterns as Poetic Practice: A Global Conversation Through Textile Cartographies.” Held at the Asian Centre foyer, this exhibition featured over 200 textile artworks from more than 15 countries, celebrating the diversity and beauty of global textile traditions.

The Asian Library contributed a variety of books on textiles and patterns specific to Asian countries, highlighting the powerful stories and rich cultural heritage behind these textile artworks. Selected books from the exhibition remain on display at the entrance of the Asian Centre until July 31.

If you are interested in exploring this topic further, we have compiled a book list for your reference. We invite you to join us in continually appreciating the stories, experiences, and cultural heritage embedded in textile traditions.

NK7183 A1 Y56 2002
銀裝盛彩 : 中國少數民族服飾 / 香港康樂及文化事務署, 北京市文物局及北京服裝學院

NK8883 A1 F36 1997
中国历代染织绣图案 / 方兴德绘画; 刘瑜翻译

NK8883 A1 H83 1998
中国民间织绣印染 / 黄钦康編著

NK8883 A1 S86 2012
织染 / 孙法鑫著

NK9283.A1 W36 1986
中國民間剌繡 / 王亞蓉著

NK9283.S8 D354 2017
苏绣: 天堂之绣 / 丹菲著

DS832 A63 1995 v.3

GT1560 F85 2006 v.1-3
服飾文化研究会きもの図錄 / 服飾文化研究会

GT1560 M36 2007
江戶のきものと衣生活 / 丸山伸彦

GT1560 N495 2021
日本の婚礼衣裳 : 寿ぎのきもの / 長崎巌編著

GT1560 Y86 2007
時代きもの / 弓岡勝美

GT1560 Z87 2005
図說着物の歴史 / 橋本澄子編

N7350 K66 2017
日本美術に見るきもの / 近藤富枝

N7350 N53 v.16
日本の美術: 小袖と能衣装

N7355.4 M66 2005
もの派– 再考 / 編集国立国際美術館, 中井康之, 酒井安純

N7359 S555 A4 2008
精神の呼吸 / 塩田千春

NK1484 A1 N56 2006
日本の図像: 波・雲・松の意匠 / 企画編集濱田信義; 解說谷川渥

NK1484 A3 H62 1981

NK1484 A3 H625 1993
アイヌ芸術 / 金田一京助, 杉山寿栄男

NK4784 A1 T64 1987
東京国立博物館図版目錄: 能装束編 / 東京国立博物館

NK8880 O75 1999
織り・染め・縫いの宇宙 / 編集・校正 (福岡市美術館) 都築悦子

NK8884 A1 K39 2007
織物百科 : 縞と絣 / 河原崎奨堂

NK8898 M56 A4 2015
ミナペルホネンのテキスタイル /  著者ミナペルホネン

NK9284.6 A1 R57 1995
李王朝時代の刺繡と布 / 編集北海道立近代美術館

NK9503.2 I5 K87 1996
インドネシアの更紗 / 編集校正尾崎直人

TR647 I78 2014
ひろしま / 石内都

TT853 K38 2017
残したい手しごと, 日本の染織 / 片柳草生

TT853 K87 2022
草木の聲 / 志村ふくみ

GT1565 H89 2015
황홀 한 앨범 : 옷 으로 본 한국 의 현대 여성, 1946-2015 / 김 유경

GT1565 K95 2012
활옷, 그 아름다움 의 비밀 / 권 혜진

GT1565 P35 2005
조선시대여인의멋과차림새 / 박성실

NK8884.6 Y53 2001
한국 의 현대 염색 : 해방 이후 부터 현재 까지 한국 염색 미술 의 동향 / 이 재선

NK9284.6 A1 H6 2006
우리 가 정말 알아야 할 우리 규방 문화 / 허 동화

NK9284.6 A1 H63 2001
이렇게좋은자수 / 허동화

NK9284.6 A1 P44 2011
베갯머리 에 스민 정성 : 김 대환 先生 기증 베개 모음 특별전 / 김 대환

NK9284.6 A1 P65 2015
보자기 할배, 허 동화 : 자수 와 보자기 로 세계 를 지배 하다 / 허 동화

NK9284.6 A1 C48 2004
동양자수의 근원과 역사 / 정영양

NK9284.6 A1 S48 2020
한국 자수 이천년 / 심 연옥

TT854.3 A56 2004
전통 복식 공예 : 전통 염색, 매듭, 누비, 자수 / 안 명숙

GT2252 I4 Y33 2018
छत्तीसगढ़ के पारम्परिक आभूषण एवं पोषाक / by हेमू यदु

HD9736.I52 K38 2016
मेक इन इंडिया : विकसित भारत की ओर बढ़ते कदम / by टी. वी. कटटीमनी

N7285 K474 2017
کنکاشى در هنر معاصر ايران / by حمىد کشمىرشکن

N7280 P62 2008
شاهکارهای هنر ایران Masterpieces of Persian Art / by Pope, Arthur Upham

N7337 H87 1987
Understanding Far Eastern art: a complete guide to the arts of China, Japan and Korea – ceramics, sculpture, painting, prints, lacquer, textiles and metalwork / Julia Hutt

N7359 S556 A4 2017
Chiharu Shiota : under the skin / Shiota Chiharu

NK1068 T33 1975
The Taft Museum presents Ming to Chʻing : imperial objects and textiles : masterpieces of Chinese furniture : [exhibition] February 12-June 30, 1975 / Taft Museum

NK4783 A1 Z743 2013
Threads of heaven: silken legacy of China’s last dynasty: companion to Qing Dynasty textiles at the Denver Art Museum / Alice M. Zrebiec

NK8810 V58 2019
Vitamin T : threads & textiles in contemporary art / commissioning editor, Rebecca Morrill ; project editors, Louisa Elderton and Catalina Imizcoz.

NK8883 A3 G85 2001
Miao textiles from China / Gina Corrigan

NK8883 A1 T55 2012
Silk splendour: textiles of late imperial China, 1644-1911 / Barry Till

NK8883 A1 W38 1997
When silk was gold: Central Asian and Chinese textiles / James C. Y. Watt

NK8883 M566 1943
Catalogue of an exhibition of imperial robes and textiles of the Chinese court / Minneapolis Institute of Arts

NK8884 A1 T36413 2013
The power of the weave : the hidden meanings of cloth / Tanaka, Yūko

NK8983 A1 V65 2000
Clothed to rule the universe: Ming and Qing dynasty textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago / John Vollmer

Taylor and Francis eBooks Website Issues

Taylor and Francis is seeing a large-scale access issue with our authentication service, OpenAthens.

Users will see a 404 Not Found error.

OpenAthens has an this issue as Active Incident on their Status Page and is working quickly to get it solved.

More ways to get your Indigenous Community Borrower Card at UBC Library

Indigenous Community Borrower Card

There are now more ways to get an Indigenous Community Borrower Card at UBC Library. Available at no cost to Indigenous Peoples in Canada, the Indigenous Community Borrower Card provide holders with free access to the library’s resources and services, including research assistance, collections, on-campus study spaces, and online resources in-person at any UBC Library branch.

In an effort to create wider access, applicants can now apply online through the UBC Library website, and can choose to pick up their borrower card at either the circulation desk at   Xwi7xwa Library or Koerner Library. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, and must present one piece of valid ID and proof of permanent address in Canada at card pick-up.

For questions about Indigenous Community Borrower Cards, contact Xwi7xwa Library (

Learn more

UBC Library Open Education Impact & Activity Report

UBC Library Open Education Impact & Activity Report


The Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office released this year’s Open Education Impact & Activity Report, highlighting UBC Library’s combined impact on open educational practices at UBC for 2023/2024. For more information, or to share feedback please contact

Sage Explorer- Access Issues

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Issues with Summon – “Check Availability”

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Users will see a slow loading ‘Checking Availability” under search results and then an availability that may be missing library branch information.

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The Lee Family: Enduring Struggles and Separation

In one of our blog posts in May, we briefly touched on the Chinese Head Tax, a burdensome imposition on many Chinese Canadians from the 1885 to 1923. This week, we will take a closer look at the life of Chuck Lee, one of the very few Chinese Canadians in Halifax in the early 1900s, and examine how the Head Tax and the subsequent Chinese Exclusion Act shaped the Lee Family. All materials shown in this blog post are available through Open Collections.

The Journey Begins

In 1903, Chuck’s father, Ngoon Lee, decided to journey from China to Canada—a daunting undertaking in those times. Originating from a remote village in China, the Lee family first navigated their way to the bustling ports of Hong Kong. From there, they boarded the Canadian Pacific liner, the Empress of Asia, which was bound for Victoria, B.C.

Map of the Pacific Ocean annotated to show the route taken by the Canadian Pacific steamship Empress of Asia from Hong Kong to Vancouver, British Columbia.

As noted in “A brief chronology of Chinese Canadian History”, Hong Kong didn’t have an immigration office back then. Consequently, upon arriving in Victoria, passengers were lined up on the wharf and taken to an immigration facility that resembled a prison. Here, they underwent medical examinations and were required to pay the Head Tax, a process that often stretched out over several days or even weeks.

Canadian Pacific steam ship – Empress of Asia

A steerage berthing cards of the Empress of Asia for a passenger named Woo Chow Shim

Life in Canada

Once their immigration papers were cleared, the Lees continued their journey by boat to Vancouver and eventually by train to their final destination, Halifax.

Chuck Lee, reflecting on his family’s experience in an interview at St. Mary’s University International Centre, vividly recalled his father’s payment of a staggering $500 Head Tax for his admission to Canada. Despite the financial challenges, Ngoon Lee managed to establish his own business, first a laundry store on the Bliss Street and later a grocery store.

A bill with a price list for services at Sam Wah Laundry, with handwritten notes on the recto listing city names in English and Chinese

Photograph of Chuck Lee at the corner of Edward and Bliss Street, taken in 1988

Impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act – Forced Separation

While the federal Head Tax imposed significant financial strain on Chinese Canadians, the enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act on July 1, 1923, had an even more profound impact by officially prohibiting all Chinese immigration. This legislative measure led to heartbreaking separations within families such as the Lees.

A document issued by the Chinese Benevolent Association regarding discriminatory treatment of Chinese by the 1923 Exclusion Act.

Due to the Act, Chuck’s wife, Sui Fa Kung, was unable to join him in Canada due to the Act, leading to a separation of 15 years. It wasn’t until 1948 that she was finally able to bring their daughter, whom Chuck had never met, to reunite with him.

Wedding portrait of Chuck Lee and Kung Sui Fa wearing traditional Chinese clothing

Portrait of Nancy Lee, daughter of Chuck Lee

The impact of the Exclusion Act extended beyond their eldest daughter to their sons as well. In an interview with RCI Radio, one of Chuck’s sons, Albert, recounted how the Act prevented his father from reuniting with his mother, resulting in him being born much later in their lives. Reflecting on this, Albert noted, “My parents were old enough to be my grandparents because of the Chinese Exclusion Act,”. This underscores how the Chinese Exclusion Act deprived the Lee family of choices and shaped their life significantly.

Photograph of the Lee family gathering for dinner

Through the lens of Lee family’s experiences, we gain insight into the hardships endured by Chinese Canadians across generations as they sought to establish themselves in Canadian society. For more on Chinese Canadian history, feel free to explore through the Chinese Canadian Stories Collection in our open collections!

Thank you for reading.


Albert, L. (n.d.) Reflection by Albert Lee. Our Stories.

Chan, A. (2020). Chinese Head Tax in Canada. The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Chinese Canadian Heritage Fund. (n.d.). A brief chronology of Chinese Canadian history: from segregation to integration.

RCI Radio. (2021). 【專訪】攝影師李棣華:“人頭稅、排華法案給我們這一代的生活留下了深刻的印記”[Interviewing Photographer Albert Lee: the significant impact of Head Tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act on our generation]. RCI Radio.新闻/1837367/-专访-摄影师李棣华-人头税-排华法案给我们这一代的生活留下了深刻的印记.

New Books at the Law Library – 24/07/09

LAW LIBRARY level 3: KE1973 .S84 2023 S. Sugar, Franchise Law in Canada, 2nd ed (LexisNexis Canada, Inc., 2023). LAW LIBRARY level 3: KF308 .T73 2023 H. Maki et al., eds, Trauma-Informed Law: A Primer for Practicing Lawyers and a Pathway for Resilience and Healing (American Bar Association, 2023). LAW LIBRARY level 3: KF1610 .F75 […]

UBC Asian Library renovations create dynamic spaces for collaboration

UBC Asian Library renovations create dynamic spaces for collaboration

UBC Asian Library has benefited from two substantial renovation projects on both the upper and main floors of the branch, completed earlier this year. The reimagined space includes extensive improvements to seating and study spaces, much needed repairs, and an overhaul of the book collection stacks and displays.

The upper floor renovations began in 2018 and concluded in March 2020, but due to the pandemic and the temporary closure of library spaces across campus, the Asian Library was not accessible to the public until September 2021. The main floor renovation took place in January 2024 and reopened a month later in February.

Renovated ceiling and skylight area

The renovations consisted of upgrades to the physical space such as ceiling repairs and carpet replacements. Book collections and seating spaces have also been rearranged and display cases have been redesigned to feature collections and special exhibits.

Upper floor display cases

“It’s essential for us to make our space vibrant and dynamic in order to serve the many, many needs of our users that go beyond having collections at our fingertips.” says Shirin Eshghi Furuzawa, Head of Asian Library. “Our spaces are used for studying, group work, as well as programming such as instruction, events and displays. Our goal has been to make sure our physical collections are well cared for and findable while making all the rest possible.”

Originally, the upper floor consisted predominantly of book stacks with sparse seating at the centre and carrels along the perimeter. The shelves on all floors of the library were overflowing, sometimes causing preservation concerns where books were wedged into overcrowded spaces, so a major part of the upper floor renovation involved reducing the stacks’ footprint and rearranging the branch’s entire book collection so that material could be easily discovered and retrieved.

Upper floor book collections

Seating areas on both floors have also been reimagined to encourage collaboration between library users. The upper floor now includes soft seating that is perfect for group conversations and library-led programs such as reading circles. Both the upper and main floor spaces have study areas that can be shifted around by the library to accommodate different types of programming.

Left: Main floor seating area, Right: Upper floor soft seating area

“We definitely see a lot of students using the space, and we are so happy to see how much they enjoy it. We see a lot of collaborative study as well as individual study. Further, we have seen a lot of use by community members as well as UBC colleagues who are using our collections and spaces for recreational purposes, especially our reading corner,” says Eshghi Furuzawa.

There has been a positive shift for librarians, staff and library users within the redesigned space, which is especially apparent in the new area allocated to librarian offices. These offices, which were previously located on the main floor and quite hidden away, have been made more visible on the upper floor to better facilitate interactions and engagement between library users and librarians.

Upper floor librarian offices and study area

“I personally am looking forward to more events and collaborations with faculty, students and community where we can engage in topics that are of importance to those studying Asia and Asian language as well as issues that are relevant to Asian Canadian communities and the UBC community more broadly.” says Eshghi Furuzawa.

Visit the website to see Asian Library’s hours of operation.

This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to inspire with innovative spaces and services.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.