The Collection, formerly owned by Yao of Macao and acquired by UBC in 1959 with funds from the Friends of the Library and Dr. Walter Koerner, contains some 3,200 Chinese titles in about 45,000 volumes in thread-stitched binding, the majority of which came from the well-known Studio of Guangdong Province. With numerous rare editions in many subject fields such as Chinese classics, philosophy, history, language, literature and arts, it is one of the most distinguished Chinese collections in North America. In the age of 1960s-1990s, as one of the five primary resources on Chinese studies in North America, Collection benefited not only UBC students and faculties, but also external researchers. Currently, Collection still attracts many scholars from all over the world.
蒲坂藏書原為澳門姚鈞石所藏，本館於1959年獲圖書館之友及姜納博士（Dr. Walter Koerner）捐款購入。該藏書共有線裝古籍約3200種，45000余冊，多半為廣東著名之南州書樓舊藏，涵蓋文史哲等多學科，例如儒家經典、哲學、歷史、語言、文學以及藝術等等，堪稱北美最卓越之中文藏書之一。蒲坂藏書作為北美五大主要的中文研究資源之一，不僅為UBC的師生服務，也為校外學者的科研提供支援。 時至今日，蒲坂藏書仍然吸引著全球各地的眾多學者。
Yao Junshi and His Puban shu lou
Mr. Yao Junshi / 姚鈞石 (1889-1973), the former owner of Puban Collection, was a Cantonese merchant, also a registered physician on traditional Chinese medicine. Born in Guangzhou, he successfully rebuilt his private library “Puban shu lou” in Macao in the 1940s and accumulated a large number of Chinese rare books by a chance of purchase from “Nan Zhou Shu Lou”, one of the largest private libraries in Guangdong in early 20th century whose collection focus on Guangdong local history.
姚鈞石 (1889-1973) 是蒲坂藏書的收藏者。他出生于廣州，是廣東地區的一個商人，也是一名註冊中醫醫師。在1940年代，他在澳門成功地修建了一座私人藏書樓，名叫蒲阪書樓。通过一次偶然的機會，他從南州書樓處購買了大量珍貴的古籍。而南州書樓则是20世紀初廣東地區最大的私人藏書樓，專門收藏廣東先賢的著作、廣版書籍等，反映了廣東當地的歷史。
Puban Collection was known as “in extraordinarily fine condition” when it arrived UBC Library in 1959. But it deteriorated very fast. About 8% of the collection by titles assessed in 1992 were in serious condition and cannot continue to be used. Currently, according to the Chinese Standard for Distinction of Disrepair of Ancient Books and Special Collection, at least 50% of the collection by titles need some kinds of basic preservation treatment and 20% need special preservation treatment. The poor condition of Puban Collection should not be overlooked, and it is high time that we take measures to preserve and conserve the Puban Collection.
The primary factors that caused the condition change include Vancouver’s warm and humid climate, heavy uses for teaching and research, an accidental roof leaking in the vault as well as the lack of professional conservators. UBC Library has relocated the collection into a climate control vault which was designed for rare collections with temperature and humidity monitored 24/7. A conservation lab is also on planning. We are calling for collaboration from libraries in China and all over the world to work together on the preservation and conservation of Chinese rare books.
Broken Book Cover
Deterioration Resulted from the Accidental Roof Leaking