1 May 2002


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Maps showing location of the Chung Collection at the Main Library of the University of British Columbia.


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Entrance to the Dr. Wallace Chung exhibit in the Main Library at the University of British Columbia.


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The large scale model of a CPR Empress ship dominates the center of the exhibit room.


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CPR postcards and slide projector.


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A Seth Thomas clock is flanked by two Chinese calendars published by Canadian Pacific.


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This display case contains large vertical pull-out drawers on each side holding additional CPR posters.


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This silverware service comes from an Empress ocean liner.


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A close up of the Empress ship model shows the details renovated or reconstructed by Dr. Chung.








The Chung Collection

 CPR Logo 1960 This month's web page describes the collection of Dr. Wallace Chung of Vancouver. While not strictly railway oriented it will be appreciated by Canadian Pacific Railway fans and collectors for its sheer size and priceless value.
Dr. Chung has spent more than 60 years collecting one of the most exceptional and extensive collections of its kind. The Chung Collection, housed in the Main Library at the University of British Columbia, includes more than 25,000 rare and one-of-a-kind items. Artifacts include original documents, books, maps, posters, paintings, photographs, silver, glass, and ceramics.
 CPR House Flag Over the years, Dr. Chung meticulously assembled this outstanding body of material piece by piece, carefully arranging it into 65 series and 37 sub-series.
While only a fraction of the collection can be shown at one time, the exhibit, weaving together three broad interrelated themes, tells some of the most compelling stories of Canada's past.
The first of three topics, Voyages of Discovery, contains the rare books of Captain James Cook's voyages to the Pacific between 1776 and 1780 and artifacts of Galiano and John Meares.
Topic two, Immigration and Settlement, opens with the Chinese immigration to British Columbia during the Fraser Gold Rush. It is depicted through rare books, documents, and artifacts, including interesting Chinese promotional material printed by the Canadian Pacific Railway. European immigration is represented by the numerous promotional brochures and posters encouraging settlement on Prairie lands, owned by the CPR of course.
Topic three, Canadian Pacific Railway, contains the original diary of then Public Works Minister, Hector Langevin, one of the Fathers of Confederation. He describes a visit to Burrard Inlet where he is persuaded it should be the Pacific terminus of the railway.
Fascinating photographs and accounts of the construction of the CPR are presented, including an original blueprint proposing a different position for the Spiral Tunnels near Field, BC. Vibrant posters promote travel and tourism via the CPR's rail and ship services. Examples of rare and beautiful cruise ship memorabilia provide a glimpse of the style of the times, including a complete table setting of CPR china, most of which was retrieved from the ocean floor. Dr. Chung beautifully restored a large scale model of a CPR Empress ocean liner which dominates the exhibit after entry to the room.
The items in the collection span time, borders, and cultures. Together they tell innumerable stories and provide an unparalleled record of Canadian history. The Chung's have made an invaluable resource available to the people of Canada by bestowing this collection on the University of British Columbia.
University of British Columbia
Main Library
1956 Main Mall
Vancouver BC V6T 1Z1
Admission is free.
Associated Links
UBC Chung Collection
Canadian Pacific Railway
University of British Columbia
Chinese Canadian Heritage Fund

© Copyright 2002 William C. Slim         pacificcoast.net/~slim