Title and statement of responsibility area
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- Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the collection.
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Dates of creation area
[ca. 1795-1999 , predominant 1899-1930] (Creation)
- Hodgson, Barbara
Physical description area
206 transparencies : b&w and col.
48 photographs : b&w
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Barbara Hodgson was born in 1955 in Edmonton, Alberta. She presently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Hodgson’s career began at the Vancouver-based independent publisher Douglas & McIntyre. Hodgson worked as a book designer and, finally, art director at this organization. In 1993, she started a book packaging company, Byzantium Books, with artist and writer Nick Bantock. Following this period, Hodgson began writing her own fiction and non-fiction books.
Hodgson has published several works of fiction, including the novels The Tattooed Map (1995), The Sensualist (1998), Hippolyte’s Island (2001), and The Lives of Shadows (2004). Additionally, she has published over 15 non-fiction works, including The Rat: A Perverse Miscellany (1997), Opium: A Portrait of the Heavenly Demon (1999), and In the Arms of Morpheus: The Tragic History of Laudanum, Morphine, and Patent Medicines (2001).
Hodgson has also collaborated with other bookbinders, artists, and writers on several volumes. One of Hodgson’s most significant partnerships has been with bookbinder Claudia Cohen. Together, the two have released a series of fine art books on colour (via Heavenly Monkey) and The WunderCabinet (2011), a limited-edition volume and object collection meant to emulate curiosity cabinets from the 16th to 18th centuries.
Scope and content
Items in the collection were gathered by Barbara Hodgson. Many of the items were reproduced in Hodgson’s non-fiction publications In the Arms of Morpheus: The Tragic History of Laudanum, Morphine and Patent Medicines (2001) and Opium: A Portrait of the Heavenly Demon (1999). Hodgson was particularly interested in representations of opium production, transportation, sale, and ingestion, as well as similar representations of laudanum and patent medications containing morphine. Geographical areas depicted include China, countries in South Asia, and countries in the Middle East. Many representations of opium ingestion in the collection are orientalist in nature; individuals who have South Asian, Chinese, or Middle Eastern heritage are depicted in a racist, exoticized manner by Western film or medicine companies in order to lend an aura of “glamour” to various products.
The collection spans 223 books searchable through the UBC Library Catalogue and the following archival files created by Hodgson: Trade Cards; Postcards and Stereo Cards; Movie Stills; Portraits of Writers and Performers; Pharmaceutical Documents, U.S. Federal Order Forms, Medication Advertisements, and Stamps; Print Copies of Engravings; and Canadian Customs Tariff Book, 1897. As is apparent from this list, archival documents were aggregated based on their form. Principle documentary forms in the collection include the following: trade cards created by Victorian-era patent medicine companies; postcards; stereo cards; film stills from a variety of films; copies of film reviews; photographs; postage stamps; advertisements; handwritten prescriptions; pharmacy stock lists; U.S. Treasury Department order forms; anti-narcotic postage stamps; a package of Stanback Headache Powder; print copies of engravings; and a Canadian customs tariff book from 1897.
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Related materials: 223 volumes from this collection have been catalogued separately. These items can be located by performing an advanced search in the UBC Library catalogue, using the term “Hodgson Opium Collection” as an additional author.
Materials in this collection are a part of the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection (RBSC-ARC-1679), which also features historical documents related to opium.
ca. 101 postcards : b&w and col.
ca. 63 trade cards : col.
206 transparencies : b&w and col.
48 photographs : b&w (RBSC-ARC-1763-PH-01 to RBSC-ARC-1763-PH-48)
3 additional cm of textual records
1 package of Stanback Headache Powder : powder in sealed paper envelope
1 volume : leather cover, paper pages ; 24 x 16.5 x 2 cm.
6 stereo cards : b&w and col.
Standard number area
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- Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung (Subject)
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Script of description
Hodgson, Barbara. In the Arms of Morpheus: The Tragic History of Laudanum, Morphine, and Patent Medicines. Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2001.
Hodgson, Barbara. Opium: A Portrait of the Heavenly Demon. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. 1999.
Said, Edward W. Orientalism. 1st -- ed. New York: Pantheon Books, 1978.