Upcoming Exhibits & Events

Queen's Refuge: refugees and the University

This exhibition examines stories of forced migration in the history of Queen’s University and within the Queen’s community. It reflects the diverse trajectories of those who sought refuge: some found sanctuary at Queen’s, and Kingston became their new home. Others found safety at the University for only a short time, migrating elsewhere when the opportunity was available. In addition to examples of shelter, relief, and solidarity, the exhibition also presents instances of reluctance, prejudice, antisemitism, and racism. The exhibition tells its story through the lens of individual biographies: one person, associated with one refugee-related phenomenon, is further represented by one object. These are stories that go beyond campus and have always been closely linked to the broader Kingston community. Presenting books, archival materials, and objects from W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, Queen's University Library, Queen's University Archives, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and the Museum of Healthcare at Kingston, complimented with a satellite exhibition at the PumpHouse Museum and a virtual exhibit. Prepared by undergraduate students, an archivist, a historian, and a librarian. 

September 25 - November 26 2021

Curated by Swen Steinberg, Brendan Edwards, Megan Zelle, Aerin Leavitt, Nicholas KingHill, Heather Home

Little Wanderers: A Literary History of the British Home Children in Canada

Between 1863 and 1939 as many as 118,000 children came to Canada under a British program of child migration. These “Home Children” journeyed to Canada from England in search of a better life, far from the poverty and desperation of the old world’s slums. But why was migration viewed as a reasonable solution to urban poverty in the first place, and why was Canada the selected destination for these displaced youth? This special exhibit, “Little Wanderers,” seeks to answer these questions by surveying influential literature from the period. The exhibit features texts by prominent social reformers documenting the dire situation of the working-class and poor people in the Victorian city. It also includes education and adventure fiction for children—works that often celebrate colonialism as a means to self-reform and social belonging. Literature by late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century Canadian authors also represents the colony as a place for discovery and growth. “Little Wanderers” concludes with a selection of texts specifically depicting the experiences and reception of the Home Children in Canada, including the legacy of these young migrants in their adoptive country.

December 2021

Curated by Dr. Brooke Cameron and Alicia Alves

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