Framing memory

Many thanks to guest blogger, Barbara Towell, for contributing the below post! Barbara is University Archives’ E-Records Manager and an enthusiastic collector of antiques. This post continues an occasional blog series looking at 19th century photographs of women and their jewellery held in Rare Books and Special Collections.

The art of framing memory: Hannah Maynard and the impossibly large brooch

Portrait of a woman, cabinet card c1890 [UL_2001]

Among the many items included in the Uno Langmann and Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs is this remarkable cabinet card created by Hannah Maynard, a 19th-century Canadian businesswoman, artist, and celebrated photographer. In 1862 Maynard’s business opened in Victoria in the Colony of Vancouver Island and remained in operation until 1912. Her clientele was said to be the well-heeled of Victoria, but as Dr. Jennifer Salahub tells us, Maynard photographed its inhabitants across economic classes (Salahub, p. 171). Maynard is most recognized for her experimental photography leaving her portraiture to be sometimes described as conventional. But in this image, I think Maynard achieves something quite unconventional. Crossing the boundaries of the photographic frame, something she is known for in her experimental photography, Maynard uses the subject’s jewellery to connect past artistic practice with the technology, and most importantly, the art of photography.

In this cabinet card we see a portrait of a mature woman looking at the camera. She is dressed in black, wearing a ribbon bonnet, a watch chain, and an impossibly large brooch. The scalloped edge of the card stock suggests a time period of 1890s but the brooch is from an era prior. The pin was new around the time known as the Grand Period of Victorian jewellery (1861-1885). Fashion trends during the middle part of the 19th century favoured jewellery large in scale. Brooches were especially popular and were typically around 6.35 x 3.81 centimetres in size, roughly three or four times the size of pins popular in the period this photo was taken.

The brooch is known as a Swiss enamel. Drawing on a tradition centuries old, Swiss enamels were admired souvenir items handmade by highly skilled artists. The mid-century’s custom for large articles of adornment provided enamel artists ample scope to create a window framing an idealized time and place. They were status symbols of wealth and most importantly, Anglocentric class-based concepts of sophistication that could only be achieved through European travel. For affluent 19th-century tourists visiting Switzerland they made the perfect portable keepsake memorializing travel while signalling wealth and refinement.

Example of Swiss enamel showing colour saturation c1860. Photograph used with permission from Nelson’s Rarities.

What this cabinet card cannot show the viewer is the vibrancy of the brooch. Set against the black backdrop of the subject’s dress, the decorative frame, its saturated colours and impressive size would have made it the outfit’s focal point. And while I am unable to enjoy the colours of the pin 160 years later, I am still unable to keep my eyes off it. But this, I believe, is the central point.

Swiss enamels are very much part of a world before popular photography and it was specifically the new medium of photography that  severely reduced the luxury tourist trade in Swiss enamels. In contrast to the Grand Period, brooch styles by 1890s had become comparatively small. This brooch is at least 20 to 30 years old at the time the photo was taken, even for a slow-moving colonial outpost such as Victoria, its inclusion seems somewhat odd; not old enough to be an antique, but not fashionable either. It is possible that the subject may have chosen this particular brooch herself without counsel from Maynard, however, photographic portraiture was a formal process in this period and the photographer’s use of visual support contextualizing the subject was common practice. The brooch’s position in the photograph effectively ties the subject to a bygone era. It is the key prop in this cabinet card and it is important that it be front and centre. The brooch’s centrality is the principle reason the bonnet is left untied, so as not to disrupt the viewer’s sight-line. The pin’s inclusion not only situates the subject in the past however, it also buttresses another narrative fundamental to Maynard’s contemporary artistic practice.

Portrait of a woman cabinet card verso c1890 [UL_2001]

Most other cabinet cards use either the back or the block at the bottom of the card to advertise the name and location of the business. In this example the company information along with the words, photographic artist  is printed on the back of the card. Maynard annotates the front of this card by hand, and that addition is unusual. She writes her married name, Mrs. Richard Maynard, and her occupation, Artist. Unlike other cabinet cards, Hannah Maynard presents herself not primarily as a photographer, but instead she signs the work as an artist. Maynard used her subject’s gender, age and symbols of class-based sophistication as a backdrop and canvas to draw a line connecting past artistic methods of recollection, as seen with the Swiss enamel, with the artistic and technical practice of photography. Maynard uses the brooch to bridge a conceptual relationship to photography but not to privilege the technology over the human hand. Instead she stages for the viewer a meeting between the artistry and status symbols of the past with the new techniques of portrait photography. In doing so she illustrates for us a lineage of remembering where the primary and central role belongs to the artist.


Works Cited

Salahub, Jennifer. 2012. “Hanna Maynard: Crafting Professional Identify.” In Rethinking Professionalism: Women and Art in Canada 1850-1970, edited by Kristina Huneault and Janice Anderson. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press.

Wikipedia. “Cabinet Card.” Accessed Dec 29, 2020.


International Women’s Day 2021


Let’s celebrate all women today on International Women’s Day
March 8
#ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021

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.

International Women’s Day 2021: Choose To Challenge

International Women’s Day (IWD), marked annually on March 8, is a day to recognize the achievements of women around the globe.  The day is not only a celebration of these varied experiences, but a call to action in support of gender parity.

This year’s IWD theme is Choose to Challenge.  “A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.  We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world” (International Women’s Day, n.d.).

To celebrate IWD, the UBC community is hosting events throughout March including a Women’s Health Seminar Series, Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon 2021, and Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) mentoring night.  Click here for the full list of events and resources.

UBC Library also offers a number of guides on topics related to IWD:

Koerner Library contains a wide selection of books in which women amplify their voices for themselves and their communities.  We encourage you to check out the list below as a starting point, and continue your search with our online catalogIf you don’t know where to begin, here are some suggested subject headings: Feminist Theory, Aboriginal Canadians – Women, Women’s Rights – Canada

You can get these books by using our Materials Pick-Up Services.

Women, Race and Class - Wikipedia Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis
#NotYourPrincess : voices of Native American women, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale
File:Feminist Theory, From Margin to Center.jpg Feminist Theory : from margin to center, by bell hooks
Trans, by Juliet Jacques
Collective Amnesia, by Koleka Putuma
The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir ; translated by Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier
Eve out of her ruins, by Ananda Devi, translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman
A Spare Life, by Lidija Dimkovska; translated by Christina E. Kramer
The collected poems of Audre Lorde
In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez



International Women’s Day. (n.d.). IWD 2021 campaign theme: #ChooseToChallenge.

Climate Research Made Real: Practical Applications of Research for Better Futures

Join UBC Library on March 25th for a special event featuring four panelists from diverse disciplinary backgrounds as they engage in a conversation about the climate crisis and work to be done in the here and now. In the December 5, 2019 Declaration on the Climate Emergency, the UBC Board of Governors stated that the University has a mandate “to effect change beyond our institutional boundaries” and to “advance a sustainable and just society across British Columbia, Canada and the world.” In response to this mandate, the L#CAT (Library Climate Act Team) invites you to an afternoon panel event, “Climate Research Made Real: Practical Applications of Research for Better Futures”. Registration is required.

Learning Services Librarian, Chapman Learning Commons | UBC Library | Vancouver Campus | Full-time, ongoing Librarian

Learning Services Librarian, Chapman Learning Commons
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Vancouver Campus
Full-time, ongoing Librarian position
Anticipated Start Date: May 1, 2021


The University of British Columbia Library is one of the largest academic libraries in Canada and consistently ranks among the top university research libraries in North America. UBC Library has 14 branches and divisions, two campuses (Vancouver and Kelowna), one off-site hospital library, and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre – a multi-purpose teaching and learning facility.

The Library’s collection of over 7M items includes 1.4M ebooks, 229,020 electronic journals, 850,000 maps, audio, DVD/video and graphic materials, and 1,703 bibliographic and fulltext databases.

More than 300 knowledgeable employees – librarians, management and professional staff, support staff and student staff – provide users with the excellent resources and services that they need to further their research, teaching and learning. The UBC Library Strategic Framework can be viewed at To learn more about working with UBC Library and to explore our aspirational values visit UBC Library – Work with us.


The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) and the Chapman Learning Commons (CLC) provide programs and services to support academic excellence and community engagement at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver serving students, faculty, staff and the community. The Learning Services Librarian is responsible for supporting the initiatives, programs and services to meet the vision and mandate of the CLC, IKBLC, UBC Library and the University.


  • Assists in the planning, delivery, and assessment of policies, programs, and services provided by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) with a focus on the Chapman Learning Commons (CLC) including collaborating with colleagues across the UBC Library, units within the IKBLC, UBC departments and programs, as well as other institutions, organizations and community groups;
  • Works with the Learning Commons Coordinator to design and deliver staff training related to the programs and services throughout the CLC;
  • Oversees the equipment lending program at the CLC Help Desk, including identifying and coordinating the purchase of new equipment to support student innovation; defining equipment lending policies and procedures; and ensuring consistency of equipment lending policies across other library branches;
  • Oversees the on-going development and maintenance of the CLC website using a variety of online tools and software;
  • Provides in-person support at the CLC Help Desk and other service points, as required;
  • Works with units across UBC Library to develop, support, and deliver instruction for students, staff, faculty and community members, using a variety of methodologies (e.g. in-person workshops, web-based tutorials), with a specific focus on first-year and international students, including the maintenance and development of the UBC Vancouver Library Skills Tutorials;
  • Responsible for the Digital Tattoo Project, including collaborating with cross-institutional partners, UBC faculty and students, maintaining the website, supervising students and sourcing funding opportunities where necessary;
  • Monitors developments in learning commons service models; information technology; and information and digital literacies, to apply this knowledge to the benefit of all users of the CLC and IKBLC.
  • Coordinates and supervises staff, services and special projects as required. Evening and weekend work may be occasionally required;
  • Collaborates with colleagues and departments across the Library, IKBLC, UBC and other organizations to ensure programs and services support and evolve with current and emerging student need; and meet the Statement of Purpose and Charter of Principles for the IKBLC and the mandates for the Chapman Learning Commons and UBC Library.


A graduate degree from an ALA accredited program in library and information science is required with a minimum of one year of experience in developing and providing information services to a broad community of users. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as well as experience teaching individuals and groups, are required. General knowledge of online information resources and systems, as well as an excellent understanding of online tools such as UBC Blogs, UBC CMS (WordPress) and UBC Wiki.

The candidate should be organized, able to contribute to the operationalization of the visions of the Learning Commons and the IKBLC, able to successfully manage a diverse set of responsibilities, and possess a demonstrated commitment to the provision of learning support resources and services to benefit a wide and diverse community of users. The ideal candidate will be flexible, innovative and able to work as a member of a team. Keen interest in emerging technologies and trends in student learning and teaching tools is an asset.


Reports to the Assistant Director, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Works closely with the Learning Commons Coordinator. Collaborates with UBC Library units, other IKBLC units, UBC departments and other institutions and organizations in the development of programs and services for Learning Commons and IKBLC users.


Takes an innovative and creative approach to the development and evolution of services offered by the Learning Commons and IKBLC. Works within and assists in the formulation of policies and procedures for the successful operation of the IKBLC. Stays informed about current developments in library and information studies and related fields and in appropriate areas of specialization, and shares this knowledge with colleagues and users. Effectively organizes, supervises and provides information services. Works effectively as a member of a team. Demonstrates excellent communication skills, both written and oral. Demonstrates flexibility, enthusiasm and willingness to work in a rapidly changing environment. Actively supports and assists in the evolution of the Learning Commons’ programs and services. Understands and is able to assist in the operationalization of the vision of the Learning Commons, Statement of Purpose and Charter of Principles for the IKBLC and the strategic directions of the UBC Library.

Ability to recognize, respect and work effectively with individuals and groups with diverse perspectives and backgrounds.  Takes initiative in learning about language and issues relating to equity and diversity. Ability to develop and maintain cooperative and productive working relationships and engage in workplace culture. Promotes and fosters a supportive environment built on appreciation, recognition, learning and professional growth. Committed to demonstrating respect to colleagues at every level by trusting in their abilities and knowledge to perform their roles and earning respect through meeting commitments. Models and demonstrates good communication through active listening and appreciative inquiry and open to providing and receiving timely, constructive feedback. Listens to, encourages and expresses creative and innovative ideas. Open to experiment and improvise with new ways of approaching processes, tasks or problems.


This position will be filled as a full-time, ongoing Librarian position.

We are seeking applications from Librarians with up to 2 years of experience. However, all internal candidates will be considered regardless of years of experience and are encouraged to apply. Salary will be commensurate with experience and academic/professional qualifications.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. 

Applications will include: a detailed and current curriculum vitae; and a letter of application that includes a statement of citizenship/immigration status and indicates the candidate’s education, training and work experience in the areas listed above.

To view the complete job description and to submit an application, please visit the UBC Careers page at by midnight March 31, 2021.

Open Education Week: March 1-5

Open Education Week University of British Columbia runs March 1-5. Check out all the exciting #OEweek events coming up and learn more about #OpenUBC.

Drop-in Zoom Reference hours

UBC Library offers Drop-in Zoom Reference hours. Check availability for one-on-one virtual support from librarians.

Google Scholar Drops UBC Library (UBC eLink) -Feb.2021

UBC Restored to Google Scholar

Google Scholar has dropped UBC Library (UBC eLink) as an option from its “Library Links” under “Settings”. Unfortunately, this will take about a week to resolve.

In the meanwhile, if you have installed our Library Access Browser Extension from Lean Library, you can highlight the article’s title from a Google Scholar result, right click, and use the “Search_Summon@UBC” option to run a search in Summon.

Honouring Indigenous Writers 2021

This year the Honouring Indigenous Writers (HIW) organizing team has put together an exciting schedule of events starting this week and continuing throughout the month of March. Please join us for author readings, panel discussions, and the Honouring Indigenous Writers Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, inspired by Daniel Heath Justice’s twitter campaign of the same name.

These events and activities are free and open to anyone to participate. Events kick off with a reading from Smokii Sumac and discussion with Daniel Heath Justice on February 24th at 7:00pm (PST, Vancouver time).  You can learn more about all the events planned at the HIW home page, and at the HIW Wikipedia Meetup Page.

Check out some of the amazing resources at UBC Library and warm up for this invaluable event:

Xwi7xwa Library collections and services reflect Aboriginal approaches to teaching, learning, and research. Their thorough and thoughtfully designed multidisciplinary Research Guides support students and faculty in different UBC Programs and Faculties across the campus.

Looking forward to the Kick-off event?  Why Indigenous Literatures Matter, by Daniel Heath Justice informs this event and can be accessed online.  Borrow Smokii Sumacs‘ book You are Enough: Love poems in print format from one of our branches, and explore Xwi7xwa’s guide on Two-Spirit & Indigenous Queer Studies. If you love the theme, you can also find some loveable reads here.

Can’t wait to attend the Children’s Author Reading with Richard Van Camp? Get acquainted with the theme by visiting Xwi7xwa Library’s guide to Indigenous Children’s Literature and check out some of the books by the author available at the library.

little you coverLittle you = Kîya-k’apisîsisîyân, by Richard Van Camp, with illustrations by Julie Flett and translation by Mary Cardinal Collins.

Get ready for a Reading with Marilyn Dumont by checking out some of her award-winning poetry collections.

Tenille K. Campbell’s forthcoming book of poetry, nedi nezu (Good Medicine) is the Honouring Indigenous Writers book club selection this year. The book will be available March 2, 2021, and can be pre-ordered from event partner, Iron Dog Books. Grab your copy and get ready for Tenille’s reading and discussion on March 24th at 7:00pm PST. You can also borrow her award-winning book #IndianLovePoems using the UBC Library Materials Pick-Up Service.

Check out some other Indigenous Writer’s titles available at Koerner Library:

A History of My Brief Body, by Billy-Ray Belcourt.
Love beyond body, space, and time : an Indigenous LGBT sci-fi anthology, edited by Hope Nilson
The Swan Book, by Alexis Wright
Feed, by Tommy Pico
At Geronimo’s Grave, by Armand Garnet Ruffo
Sarah’s Children, by Anne Cameron
 Mother/Land, by Cheryl Savageau

You can also find playwrights and scripts written by Indigenous writers using the North American Indian Drama database, and watch Indigenous Cinema browsing the National Film Board database.

There is still a lot to explore. Indigenous writers are to be celebrated and read at UBC Library throughout the entire year!