Virtual Exhibits from W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections

  • Fragmented Libraries: An Exploration of the Material Culture of 16th Century Books  

    A digital exhibition exploring a collection of 16th century books acquired by Queen’s University Library with a gift from Bader Philanthropies, Inc., from the personal collection of Michael John Hatcher. The collection features a dozen 16th century books printed in England, France, and Switzerland. They cover a broad range of topics, highlighting the vast interests of readers throughout the period. Each volume bears evidence of former owners throughout the years in the form of marginalia, bookplates, and/or their bindings. Researched and written by Haley Svensrud, 2023 Digital Humanities Undergraduate Assistant, under the supervision of Brendan Edwards, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections, Queen's University Library. Funding for the research and creation of this virtual exhibition was generously provided by Bader Philanthropies, Inc.

  • "I Always Speak to Dogs and Cats": Early Animal Rights Literature for Children 

    This exhibition examines the intersection between Victorian children’s literature and the emergent animal rights movement in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Utilizing works from the Children’s Literature Collection and Edith and Lorne Pierce Collection of Canadiana, the exhibition presents a selection of critical texts in both traditions: Victorian children’s literature and reform writings on the humane treatment of non-human animals, with special attention to the literary conversation by Canadian women writers L. M. Montgomery and Marshall Saunders. Curated by Michaela Wipond, Ph.D. Candidate in English Literature, and Dr. S. Brooke Cameron, Associate Professor of English Literature (Spring-Summer 2023).

  • The Ol' Medical Colouring Book 

    Created for the purpose of a stress relief activity for students during exam periods, or any stressful time, the Ol' Medical Colouring Book was designed by HIST212 student, Carolyn Kane in Fall 2022. It showcases images from antiquarian anatomy and botany texts within the Queen's University Library’s Special Collections. Selected works include Andrea Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica libri septem (1555), Browne & Scarburgh’s Myographia nova sive musculorum omnium (1687), and Blackwell’s Herbarium Blackwellianum (1765) among others.

  • Textus-Texts-Textiles: Fabric Bookworks by Lise Melhorn-Boe

    A virtual supplement to the exhibition held at W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, 6 May to 9 September 2022, which explores the relationship between texts and textiles, through a feminist lens, via the sewing bookworks of Kingston artist, Lise Melhorn-Boe, supplemented by books as cultural texts and technological artifacts from the collections of W.D Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections. Curated by Brendan Edwards and HIST212 student, Ella Heiss (Spring 2022).

  • A Primer for the Use of the Mohawk Children

    This exhibit is designed to showcase an important primary resource for understanding the complex relationship between the Kanyen'kehaka (Mohawk) people and British colonists in the late 18th century: A Primer for the use of the Mohawk children, to acquire the spelling and reading of their own, as well as to get acquainted with the English, tongue ; which for that purpose is put on the opposite page / Waerighwaghsawe iksaongoenwa Tfiwaondad-derighhonny Kaghyadoghfera ; nayondeweyestaghk ayeweanaghnòdon ayeghyàdow Kaniyenkehàga Kaweanondaghkouh ; dyorheaf-hàga oni tfinihadiweanotea. (Authorship attributed to Daniel Claus, Printed in London by C. Buckton, 1786). Researched and written by HIST212 students, Camille Prevost and Sam Russell, curated by Brendan Edwards (Spring, Summer 2021).

  • 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. Featuring 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. Prepared by undergraduate students, an archivist, a historian, and a librarian. Curated by Swen Steinberg, Brendan Edwards, Megan Zelle, Aerin Leavitt, Nicholas KingHill, Heather Home (September 2021).

  • A Marvelous Possession: T.E. Lawrence's Kelmscott Chaucer

    Thomas Edward Lawrence (1888-1935), a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia, a.k.a. T.E. Shaw, was a polymath. Among his many interests, was his great love for books. T.E.L. maintained a distinct interest in fine-printed books throughout his life. Perhaps the most iconic in his collection was The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, printed by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press in 1896, included today in the collections of W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections. Curated by Brendan Edwards in observance of International Kelmscott Press Day (June 26, 2021).

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

    Between 1869 and 1948 as many as 118,000 children came to Canada under a British program of child migration. Many of these “Home Children” journeyed to Canada from the UK in search of a better life, far from poverty and discrimination in the old world. 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 nineteenth-century 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. Curated by Dr. Brooke Cameron, Associate Professor of English, and Alicia Alves, PhD Candidate in English (April 2020, revised December 2021).

  • Manuscript and Print in the 15th Century

    The Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection now includes the Liber Chronicarum, or the Nuremberg Chronicle, written by Hartman Schedel and printed by Anton Koeberger in Nuremberg, 1493. This exhibit highlights our hand-coloured Nuremberg Chronicle and two other 15th-century works in the collection: William Caxton's Polycronicon (1482) and a letter from Edward IV to Maximilian, Duke of Austria and Burgundy regarding a case of piracy against English subjects sent in 1479. Together these pieces present a window into manuscript and print culture in the 15th century. Curated by Jillian Sparks and Kim Bell, September 2018.

  • James Cole's 18th-century Canterbury Cathedral Engravings

    This 3D model was created for the Digital Humanities Assistantship at the W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections Library. This position was held by Abigail Berry, a fourth year art history and mathematics student at Queen's University. The model is of Canterbury Cathedral and is based on John Dart's book, The history and antiquities of the cathedral church of Canterbury. Within this book there are hundreds of engravings that were created by James Cole. The engravings show the exterior of the cathedral, the interior of the cathedral, and the elaborate tombs of royalty and bishops. 

    The model was created in order to show James Cole's engravings in a fun and educational manner. Each tomb in the model provides information about the creation of the tomb and the person who commissioned it. You can zoom into the tombs and see James Cole's engravings in detail. The tombs are placed where they would have been located in the cathedral. The goal of this project was to create an exciting model of John Dart's book and to digitize the engravings.

  • History 400/802: The British Discover their Past
    In the Winter 2017 term, Queen's Principal, Dr. Daniel Woolf taught a combined undergraduate and graduate course, Topics in British History: The British Discover their Past , 1475-1730. The course examined the development of historical writing, political theory, natural philosophy, and antiquarianism in England. As part of their final papers, students were required to use primary materials available in W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections. Students consulted works from both our Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection and general rare book collection. They spent several hours in our reading room researching with their books. This exhibit showcases the material they examined and brief remarks on how it aided their research. Curated by Jillian Sparks, September 2017.
  • William Caxton and his Successors
    The Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection now includes a work produced by England's first printer, William Caxton. This small exhibit highlights Caxton's Polycronicon (1482) and two other early printed works in the collection: St. Albans Chronicle printed by Wynkyn de Worde (1515) and Polycronycon printed by Peter Treveris (1527). Curated by Alvan Bregman and Jillian Sparks. Opened April 2017.
  • Then & Now: Architectural and Antiquities Guides
    This exhibition connects our contemporary collection of guidebooks with fascinating books of antiquities found within the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection. Curated by Kelsey Jennings. Opened March 2017.
  • Harlequinades
    An exhibit of tinsel prints from the Robertson Davies Collection by Ally Zmijowskyj. Opened December 2016.
  • Introducing the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection
    An exhibit by Alvan Bregman and Jillian Sparks, assisted by Anna Soper. Opened November 2016.
  • Prison Sentences: Penitentiary Literature in Kingston
    An exhibit by Kim Bell. Opened March 1, 2016.
    Focusing on prison newsletters, or ‘joint magazines’ from Kingston area prisons, this exhibit provides an in-depth look at writings by prisoners. It examines the content and historical significance of these works, and draws attention to the high quality of these publications, especially in the 1950’s and 60’s. It attempts to establish the context and tension in which these newsletters were produced.
  • The Young Ladies' Journal
    An exhibit by Jenna Mlynaryk. Opened March 2016.
  • Stereoscopic Views
    An exhibit by Tiffany Chan. Opened March 2015.
  • 125 Years of Canadian Literature at Queen's University
    An exhibit by Dr. Shelley King, Head, Department of English, with the assistance of Dr. Gwynn Dujardin, Department of English, Pat Hitchcock, Pamela Manders, Barbara Teatero and Mary Claire Vandenburg, W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections and Music Library, Katie Legere, Discovery & Technology Services and Alex Cooper, Queen’s University Library. Opened September 2014.
  • A Pocket Cathedral
    An exhibit curated by Molly-Claire Gillett. Opened March 2014.

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