Special Collections

William C. Gibson History of Medicine and Science Collection

The rare and historical medicine and science collection at Woodward Library was named for William C. Gibson in 1988 in recognition of the efforts of the first Head of UBC’s Division of the History of Medicine and Science (1959-1978) in creating the historical book collection.

Harry Hawthorn Collection

The Library of the University of British Columbia has an excellent collection of books on angling and fly-fishing, known as the Harry Hawthorn Collection. At present it totals more than 1800 books, including many rare and valuable items. This Collection came about as the result of a fishing holiday in 1953 by eight UBC professors and Roderick Haig-Brown at Upper Campbell Lake.

At the end of the holiday, the group, including the University President, Dr Norman MacKenzie, decided to start a Foundation at UBC with $13.50 accumulated from various bets and fines for alleged illegal or non-ethical fishing methods. At subsequent annual meetings (i.e. fishing trips) funds raised by fines and donations by members would be used to purchase books for the UBC Library on angling and game fish.

Gerald W. Korn Obstetrics & Gynecology Collection

Gerald W. Korn practised obstetrics and gynecology in Vancouver from 1972.  In 1976 he gifted his fine collection of early obstetrics, gynecology and midwifery books to UBC Library. 

Rodger Stanton Memorial Library Collection

In 1998, the Sutherland Foundation donated $1 million to establish the Rodger Stanton Memorial Library Endowment. This fund was created in honor of Rodger Stanton (1930-1977), a BC surgeon. He attended the UBC Faculty of Medicine in 1956 before interning in internal medicine in Michigan and Washington. He returned to BC in 1958, and spent the next 19 years working as a surgeon and coroner at practices throughout BC before passing away in 1977. To honour his memory, a library trust was founded in 1978 at St. Paul’s Hospital to acquire resources for hospital staff. In 1998, the Sutherland Foundation donated additional funding to create the Rodger Stanton Memorial Library Collection. In 2001, the endowment moved to UBC and is used to purchase materials for all of the Life Sciences Libraries.

Peggy Sutherland Site

In 2000, the Sutherland Foundation gave another $1 million gift to establish the Peggy Sutherland Memorial Library Endowment, also within the Life Sciences Libraries. The endowment, the important library resources it funds, and the great learning it makes possible, are a tribute to Mrs. Peggy Sutherland. The fund is used to support acquisitions of on-line resources in the areas of nursing, allied health, breast cancer and women’s health. The focus on on-line resources provides 24-hour access for many users, including nurses, nursing students and others who may work varying hours and/or live outside the Vancouver area.

Manuscripts, Oral Histories and Artifacts


There are approximately 20 collections of letters and manuscripts including those of Sir Charles Scott Sherrington, Sir William Osler, Joseph Thomas Clover, and John Snow.

The following two collections of letters have been digitized and transcribed and are available on the UBC Library’s Digital Collections website:

Oral histories

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UBC Medical School, oral histories were taped and transcribed.


In addition to the artifacts on display in the Charles Woodward Memorial Room and Sherrington, there is collection of feeding bottles.