Sedgewick to the Fourth Power

UBC Archives. Main Library - Akrigg, G. Philip V.; Eagles, Blythe Alfred; Robbins, William; Daniells, Roy. 1965, College library renamed Sedgewick Library.

UBC Archives. Main Library – Akrigg, G. Philip V.; Eagles, Blythe Alfred; Robbins, William; Daniells, Roy. 1965, College library renamed Sedgewick Library.

In these times when the almighty dollar is king, the norm is that he/she/they who donate the largest wad of cash to the construction of a building gets it named after him/her/them. This appears not to have been the case at UBC in the relatively recent past, with two libraries, a reading room, and a lecture series named in honour of Professor Garnett Sedgewick. GS was the first head of the department of English and he lectured on Chaucer and Shakespeare. There is no evidence available online that he left a substantial sum to the university upon his passing in 1949.

The first image (above) is of “College Library” at its renaming as “Sedgewick Library”. This original Sedgewick Library was located in the east(ish) wing of the Main Library (shown below). This space was occupied by the Special Collections Division of the library when I was at UBC in the early 1990s. (And, if memory serves, was where graduate students deposited completed theses).

UBC Archives. 1965. College Sedgewick Library entrance Main Library.

UBC Archives. 1965. College Sedgewick Library entrance Main Library.

The two images below show the Sedgewick Undergraduate Library as I knew it when I was a student at UBC. The night shot shows a library skylight — one of the few photographable exterior features of the library, since the principal defining feature of ‘Sedge’ that it was an underground library.

UBC Archives. 1977. Main Library at night with Sedgewick Library skylight in foreground.

UBC Archives. 1977. Main Library at night with Sedgewick Library skylight in foreground.

There was a 1960s feel to Sedge. This isn’t surprising, given that it was built in the early 1970s and opened in 1973.

UBC Archives. 1978. Student in Sedgewick Library.

UBC Archives. 1978. Student in Sedgewick Library.

This final image is of the Sedgewick Memorial Reading Room in the Main Library.

UBC Archives. ca 1953. Sedgewick Memorial Reading Room (in Main Library).

UBC Archives. ca 1953. Sedgewick Memorial Reading Room (in Main Library).

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