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Here at the Digitization Centre we are fascinated and excited by the vast amount of primary-source material that our digitization work exposes us to.  Whether a document of historic significance, a beautiful illustration, or even a particularly fine typeface, we are frequently amazed by the materials we’re working to share with the world.  So much so, that not only will we crowd around to ogle a particularly interesting specimen, but we’ve started decorating our workplace with copies of some of our favorites.  But why stop there?  Surely, we can’t be the only ones geeky enough to appreciate such “gems” in our collections, and so we’ve decided to share them here with you.  Below you will find some of our favorites, hand-picked by staff from both existing and upcoming collections.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!   TIP: To view full resolution versions of the images on any size screen, click to enlarge and then right-click and select “open image in new tab.”


How We Digitize – Revisiting the Berkeley Poster Collection

Posted on February 2, 2017 @9:36 am by Alyssa Hamer

The Berkeley Poster Collection, housed at the UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, contains 250 posters created between 1968 to 1973 which document the advocacy and activism of student groups during the Vietnam War era. These posters attest to the tense political climate present in the United States and South East Asia during that time and the efforts of underground and guerilla groups to tap into the social conscience, pressing for greater awareness and public concern regarding the Vietnam War.

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“Peace on Nixon”, 1973

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“USA Stop Policing the World”, 1973 (with perforated edges of printer paper visible)

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“America is a Democracy…”, 1973

At the Digitization Centre we frequently revisit and assess the quality of our digitized collections. As time passes our capacity to produce higher-quality digital images often improves due to newer equipment or scanning techniques. In the case of the Berkeley Poster Collection the images currently available through Open Collections were originally scanned in 2009. It is therefore not surprising that our facilities and equipment have changed so significantly that we’re now revisiting this collection to improve upon the current digital images we have!

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A digitization student prepares posters for rescanning

Additionally, a large number of the posters were printed on discarded computer paper which was repurposed for the posters. A significant portion of these pages have computer code and data on the verso of the poster images – information which was not included in the original digital images but which has now been deemed important enough to include in this new round of scans. This type of “ephemera” not only offers insight into the type of work that early computers were doing at Berkeley in the sixties and seventies but also provides contextual information which situates this collection in a very specific time and location.

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Verso of poster containing computer code

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“America Saves the World”, 1973, ready to be rescanned

Sometimes it can be a challenge to assess all of the possible “values” that a historical item may have which is why it is so important to revisit and reassess digitized collections over time.

If you would like to browse the Berkeley Poster Collection, click here. To learn more about the equipment that we are using to rescan the posters check out this previous blog post on the topic!

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Celebrate Autumn

Posted on November 9, 2016 @12:26 pm by Alyssa Hamer

Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.

How there you sat in summer-time,
May yet be in your mind;
And how you heard the green woods sing
Beneath the freshening wind.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall.

 

Excerpt from “The Autumn” (1833) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

There is an unmistakable feeling of fall in the air around UBC campus – the leaves are changing colour, the days are slowly becoming shorter and cooler, and talk about Hallowe’en costumes and parties is in full swing! To mark the season, enjoy the fall-themed images below selected from across Open Collections’ holdings – and be sure to click on any of the pictures for more information.

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Harvesting Victory oats, 1929

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Harvested wheat field with horse-drawn harvester in distance, between 1924-1935

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Man using horse-drawn harvester, between 1924-1935

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Service of thanksgiving in Lille Cathedral for relief of Lille by British troops, between 1914-1918

Harvest time in France, between 1914-1918

Harvest time in France, between 1914-1918

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Autumn leaves on campus, 1981

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Students enjoying the fall weather, 1981

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Colleen Brady and Marguerite Yee show off some entries in annual Pharmacy pumpkin carving contest, 1997

Lica Chui, Charles Slonecker and Carole Forsythe with food collected by U.B.C. students during the Trick or Treat for the Food Bank on Halloween, 1995

Lica Chui, Charles Slonecker and Carole Forsythe with food collected by U.B.C. students during the Trick or Treat for the Food Bank on Halloween, 1995

Judy Newton in pumpkin patch in Botanical Garden, 1991

Judy Newton in pumpkin patch in Botanical Garden, 1991

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Celebrate World Teachers’ Day 2016!

Posted on November 2, 2016 @11:03 am by Alyssa Hamer

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

William Arthur Ward

 

World Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually on October 5 to recognize the important work that educators do every day around the world. For those of us lucky enough to have had remarkable teachers in our lives, it’s also a chance to reflect on the impact these important figures had on our personal and professional development, from kindergarten to college, and even beyond.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) has indicated that teachers “are the single most influential and powerful force for equity, access and equality in education,” and that worldwide there is a shortage of well trained teachers. (UNESCO)

Enjoy some of our favourite photos of teachers and their students from Open Collections, and take some time today to show your appreciation for an educator in your life.

Click on any of the images below for more information!

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Instructor Takao Tanabe and Summer School painting class, 1962

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Log scaling instruction at Youth Training School, 1958

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Teacher Marlene Palmer with kindergarten class at Child Study Centre, 1987

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Johnson Chow leading Chinese painting class, 1988

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F.W. Vernon Teaching in classroom, 1943

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Pottery instructor Rex Mason doing a demo, date unknown

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Betty Howard teaching class, 1979

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Angie Todd-Dennis, alumna of the Native Indian Teacher Education Program, 1998

 

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Eric Arrouze, Cuisine and Culture Instructor, 2003

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Murray Hodgson with students, 1993

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Tashme Japanese Internment Camp secondary school teachers, 1943

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Explore Open Collections – Fisherman Publishing Society

Posted on November 2, 2016 @11:03 am by Alyssa Hamer

The Fisherman Publishing Society formed in 1937 in order to publish The Fisherman, a newspaper that was jointly sponsored by the Salmon Purse Seiners Union and the Pacific Coast Fishermen’s Union. The newspaper highlighted industry and union events and promoted unity among fishermen along the West Coast.

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Eulachons being unloaded at the Fraser River Fish Company dock at New Westminster, 1950

As one of the founding industries which led to the development and growth of British Columbia’s towns and cities, fishing and fisheries have historically played a large part in the lives of many people living on the West Coast, and continue to this day. Although the industry has seen its share of highs and lows, the photographs in this collection feature some of the incredible hauls that were captured, the vessels that were once so common to our shores, and the many people from diverse backgrounds involved, including First Nations, Chinese and Japanese peoples, Indo-Canadians and Europeans.

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United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union protest meeting concerning Steveston Imperial, 1962

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Fishing from seine boat with nets and rowboat, 1972

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Whale on dock at Coal Harbour, British Columbia, date unknown

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Ship cooks course at Vancouver School Board, 1960

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View of the boat “Spray No.1”, 1962

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View of halibut caught and displayed, date unknown

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Views of the “Canfisco”, 1971

Enjoy the unique photos from this bygone era, and be sure to enjoy the full Fisherman Publishing Society collection at Open Collections!

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Explore Open Collections – Capilano Timber Company

Posted on November 16, 2016 @10:38 am by Alyssa Hamer

UBC’s Rare Books and Special Collections houses a number of rare materials relating to the logging and forestry industry in Vancouver and its surrounding regions. One such collection is that of the Capilano Timber Company, which operated on the North Shore for a fifteen-year period between 1915 and 1930.

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Canadian Pacific Railway party, 1920

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View of high rigger with axe standing beside another employee, 1920

In 1917, the American owned company began to aggressively log the watershed – the demand for high-quality lumber to construct aeroplanes during World War I meant the company received a high return on their investment. Given the steep terrain and narrow valleys on the North Shore, Capilano Timber Co. was forced to build a logging railway in order to get the timber to tidewater. By February 1919, 12.8km of track led in to the Capilano valley. Timber bridges were also necessary to move people and materials along the valley – the most impressive being the Houlgate trestle, which reached a height of 27 metres and spanned a length of 120 metres.

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View of bridge construction, 1918

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30 tonne Grand Locomotive, 1918

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Log dump and derrick

At its peak, the Capilano Timber Co. employed 250 men cutting over 150,000 feet per day. Their living quarters were considered “civilization in the bush”: they had indoor taps running hot water, showers, and dining cars that served bacon, eggs and hotcakes for breakfast, and steaks, stews and pies for dinner. The company even invested in constructing houses for married couples, in order to attract a stable permanent workforce – although it’s not clear how successful this experiment was.

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View of interior dining camp train car, 1919

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Train full of people observing a logged forest

In 1925, the Capilano Timber Co. sold unmanufactured logs to local mills; however, by 1926 they had completed their own mill, and began to process thousands of feet of cedar, hemlock and fir. Just when operations were expanding rapidly and profits were at their peak, the 1929  economic depression hit and the Capilano mill was forced to close down.

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View of two men at work, 1920

In its fifteen years of operation, the company harvested approximately 400,000,000 feet of timber, laid 80 kilometers of railway tracks, and spent $9,000,000 on wages and equipment. The company also left in its wake clear-cut and barren forests which were prone to washouts and forest fires for decades after the company’s operations ceased. In the intervening years many conservationists and local governments have attempted to rehabilitate the Capilano watershed region, and today it’s a source of much of Vancouver’s potable household water.  If you would like to learn more about the Capilano Timber Company, take a look at Anna Gabrielle Kahrer’s 1988 MA thesis paper titled Logging and landscape change on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, British Columbia, 1860’s to 1930’s in UBC’s scholarly repository, cIRcle. And be sure to check out the full collection of photographs in Open Collections!

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Capilano River and the Lions, North Vancouver B.C.

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Explore Open Collections – World War I British Press Photos

Posted on October 12, 2016 @10:13 am by Alyssa Hamer

UBC’s Rare Books and Special Collections houses a selection of over 3,000 wartime images by the British Press. These photographs were approved by the British government during World War I and were distributed to overseas diplomats to be used in official projects. They depict the everyday drudgery, but also the humour and energy, of the soldiers and military personnel on the ground, as well as of those on the home front. It is an eclectic mix of images, and provides a multifaceted view of life during the Great War.

The University acquired these photographs in the 1930’s through the British Consulate in Seattle. Originals of these print copies, as well as thousands of other images, are available through Britain’s Imperial War Museum.

For a Canadian perspective on World War I, the Canadian War Museum has an online exhibition on Canada’s involvement and contribution to the First World War.

Click on any of the images below for more information.

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Reading the newspaper from the trenches

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Funeral of M. Basset – Distinguished dramatist and war correspondent

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Ward at base hospital

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The Battle of Flanders – Not the work of u-boats but a shell hole in a gasometer

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“Sandbags instead of handbags” – lady ambulance drivers

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Succoring a wounded soldier

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Pilot and dog

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Salvaging parts of plane

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Nurse lights a soldier’s cigarette

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British women working in lace factory in Nottingham

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Wounded soldiers at a base hospital show their little mascot, a small black kitten

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Service held to mark the commencement of 4th year of the war

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Back to School!

Posted on September 14, 2016 @11:54 am by Alyssa Hamer

It’s that time of year again – fall is just around the corner, and a new school year has begun. Whether you’re new to the UBC campus community, returning for another semester, or graduated long ago, it can be an exciting and even nostalgic time. Returning to school for a new year can be a rite of passage as we grow up, and many of our fondest memories and closest friendships can form in places of learning.

We’ve searched Open Collections to find the best back-to-school images – enjoy the photographs below, and click on any of them for more information.

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School children at Fairview School, between 1910 and 1919

 

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University Hill School, 1928

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University Hill school class picture, 1928

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Strathcona Elementary school kindergarten class, before 1910

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High school and gymnasium, Powell River, 1947

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Students of Model School, 1902

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Britannia High School class picture, after 1950

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Tashme Japanese internment camp Secondary School teachers

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Students in language laboratory, 1974

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UBC Education students visit Queen Charlotte Islands, 1973

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Explore Open Collections – Japanese Canadian Photograph Collection

Posted on November 23, 2016 @11:53 am by Alyssa Hamer

The Japanese community has had a long history in British Columbia, beginning with the first Japanese person to land on the coast in 1877, a sailor named Manzo Nagano. For the next 70+ years, members of the Japanese community in the province achieved great success while also facing ongoing prejudice and racism, as early settlers in B.C. struggled to accept these new immigrants.

In 1907, Anti-Oriental riots shook various coastal cities along the Pacific, including Vancouver. Pervasive racism, intolerance and economic instability led to extensive damage to Asian-owned properties throughout the city, and prompted the Japanese government to stop emigration of its nationals to Canada.

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Building on Powell St. damaged during 1907 race riots, Vancouver

In February of 1942, in reaction to the events at Pearl Harbor, Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King issued a decree to evacuate all Japanese Canadians to “protective areas”, also known as internment camps. Men, women and children, many of whom were themselves born and raised in British Columbia, were relocated to the camps, and much of their property confiscated by the provincial government.

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Truck transporting Japanese Canadian men to Tashme camp

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Japanese Canadians being processed in Slocan

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Group photograph at Slocan camp

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Two men at internment camp , perhaps in Angler, ON.

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Group of children at Lemon Creek camp

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Group of Japanese Canadian girls participating in Bon-Odori (summer festival) at Greenwood camp

This collection documents these events while offering insight into the everyday lives of Japanese Canadians living in British Columbia throughout the 20th century. To learn more about this important collection, click here.

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Shigetaka Sasaki family

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Mrs. Shigejiro Edamura in front of an unidentified store

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Mrs. Ume Niwatsukino with children Hisako, Hiroshi and Shigeru in Steveston, 1926

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Explore Open Collections – Andrew McCormick Maps & Prints

Posted on October 19, 2016 @11:18 am by Alyssa Hamer

­The Andrew McCormick collection contains nearly 200 historical maps and illustrations which document the history of early European maritime exploration, cartographic evolution and settlement in North America. The documents were donated to UBC’s Rare Books and Special Collections by Dr. Andrew Quinn McCormick, a well-respected former faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology.

Documenting more than three centuries of exploration, these maps offer an intriguing look at what explorers got right, as well as what they got wrong, in their quest to “discover” the New World. Enjoy these relics from the Age of Exploration, and be sure to visit the full collection of Andrew McCormick’s Maps & Prints to view all of these remarkable resources.

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An elaborate hand coloured print illustration of two medieval scenes, ca. 1575

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An engraved print depicting the conception of North America, Asia, the north Pacific Rim and Arctic, 1772

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Engraved map of West Canada, ca. 1851

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Engraved map of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, ca. 1851

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Map of the Northern Hemisphere, date unknown

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Map depicting continents in an unfamiliar configuration, date unknown

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The solar system, ca. 1759

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Engraved & hand-coloured print with many rarities and interesting geographical features, 1700

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Celebrate World Fashion Day

Posted on October 12, 2016 @10:14 am by Alyssa Hamer

You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head

 

For some fashion is frivolous, and for others it’s what makes the world go ‘round. Whichever end of the spectrum you’re on, though, our clothes speak volumes about who we are, where we’re from, and the time in which we live. August 21 is World Fashion Day, so to celebrate we have selected our favourite fashionable moments from Open Collections! Click on any of the images below for more information.

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Portrait of women in Chinese-style dress, some time after 1920

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Men in kilts, between 1919 and 1939

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Woman in ceremonial Northwest Coast First Nations dress, 1980

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Police officers in Suva, Fiji, ca. 1930’s

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Portrait of man with walking stick, some time after 1888

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Woman getting fitted for a dress, 1949

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Maori women sharing a Hongi salutation, ca. 1930’s

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