- [ca. 1795-1999 , predominant 1899-1930]
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.