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

  • 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

  • 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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