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.”
Posted on April 15, 2013 @2:04 pm by Laura Ferris
The Chung Collection contains thousands of photographs and slides, many of which we have already uploaded to CONTENTdm and are available online through the Chung Collection website. While we continue to upload new items, we are also doing a little bit of file maintenance and upgrading on the existing files, also known as the “glamorous part of digitization”.
The interesting part about this process is that as we chip away at the file swapping we have the opportunity to look back at a number of the photographs and there is quite a variety! The photographs come from a number of different sources so the subjects vary from local to around the world, from family portraits to the Egyptian Pyramids.
Here’s a selection of photographs that stood out for us.No Comments
Posted on April 12, 2013 @4:16 pm by Larissa
If you read Laura’s previous post on the Empress of Britain, you’ll have some appreciation for this gorgeous old Canadian Pacific ocean liner. The Chung Collection has some wonderful ephemera related the ship including this pamphlet for King Neptune’s Dinner Party from the 1934 world cruise. Not only the menu for the dinner party (iced papayeas, turtle soup and roasted pheasant), it includes the musical selections for the evening, and an illustrated cover of Neptune on a giant fish.
This item and other related materials coming to the Chung Collection soon.
Posted on March 18, 2013 @1:29 pm by Rob
The Westland television series was produced and hosted from 1984 to 2007 by Mike Halleran and broadcast on the Knowledge Network in British Columbia. The content of the show covers a broad range of environmental issues of importance to the province as well as more generally including forestry practices, wildlife conservation and human impact on the environment. Both the broadcast tapes (in varying forms of video) and the raw production footage was donated to the UBC Library in 2011. We have now made the broadcast footage available in our digital collections portal. This still is from an episode called “Back from the Brink: The efforts to save Vancouver Island Marmots from extinction.” Enjoy!No Comments
Posted on January 27, 2014 @1:29 pm by Schuyler Lindberg
Unlike the majority of the content on the Digitizers’ blog, this post does not involve pretty pictures or interesting nuggets of historical information. Instead, it will cover a very different aspect of the work performed in the Digital Initiatives unit: Metadata. To be more specific, descriptive metadata; less glamorous perhaps than the maps and images we typically share in this forum, but without a significant amount of behind-the-scenes metadata work, searching for a particular image in our digital collections would be akin to looking for a needle in an enormous pile of very-similar needles. While the following procedures will probably be most interesting to our colleagues in libraries, archives, and other information science disciplines who deal with these kinds of issues on a daily basis, we hope also to shed some light for the average user on both how and why we spend a significant amount of our time developing and implementing useful metadata for our collections.
BC Bibliography Metadata Overview
The BC Bibliography collection is inspired by (and based closely on) a three volume printed bibliography of the same name. In a sense, these volumes contain only metadata. That is, the title, author, and descriptive data included in the printed bibliography serves as a guide for locating the texts and documents that it refers to.
In much the same way, the metadata we create provides a means for users to locate the digital documents in our collections. The metadata schema for the BC Bibliography digital collection is designed specifically to supplement full text searches with results for related terms and to provide a faceted browsing experience in which users can select terms from several categorical lists to narrow down their results.
Preparing the metadata from the printed bibliography for use in an online environment is typically accomplished with what is known in information-professional circles as a “crosswalk,” which matches metadata fields from one “standard” schema to another. While the name calls to mind a nice clear path, in the real world things are almost never that simple. Fields from one schema seldom all match up 1:1 with the fields in the desired schema meaning that somehow data will either need to be split from a single field into multiple fields or visa versa. In practice this is akin to fitting a square peg in a round hole.
The final metadata for the BC Bibliography digital collection involved crosswalking three (or more) separate metadata sources into one. Because we wanted to provide the most complete metadata possible we decided to include not only the data from the original print bibliographies (which are missing subject data crucial to the desired faceted browsing experience), but also data from the contributing institution’s library catalogue record and the most complete record available through WorldCat (an industry-standard catalogue record aggregator). As one might imagine, this presented a host of issues including both the basic logistics of how to collect and combine all this data, and how to handle the numerous duplicates and inconsistencies inherent to mashing together so many disparate sets of data. Furthermore, the Library of Congress subject headings we were able to collect through this method proved unsuitable for the type of faceted browsing planned for the BC Bibliography collection, and needed to be split into constituent phrases (rather than the familiar dash — separated — format). Ultimately we were able to combine these records, split and reformat the subject fields, normalize the data, and remove all duplicates to end up with a properly formatted tab-seperated text file for batch uploading into our CONTENTdm based collection. If you’d like to know more about how it was all done, read on…
Posted on February 22, 2013 @4:06 pm by Laura
Every time we open a new box from the Chung Collection to digitize, it’s always exciting to see what’s in store for us. Sometimes the boxes are filled with Canadian Pacific pamphlets about train travel across the Rockies or vacation trips for “couples only” to Mexico, or menus from the Empress Hotel or Sporting Maps.
In Box 219, we found the usual array of items from menus to shuffleboard game rules, but what sets this box apart from some of the others is that every single item relates to the CP ocean liner the Empress of Britain.
The Empress of Britain was launched in 1931 as the largest passenger ship in the CP fleet and traveled the world in first class style. Not only was she launched by British Royalty, but also was host to HM King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at the end of their Canadian tour in 1939. The Empress of Britain sank in name of “King and Country” in 1940 after she had been converted from a luxury ocean liner to ferrying troops across the Atlantic Ocean as part of the war effort.
The items within Box 219 cover many transatlantic and world wide sailings, however it is possible to pick out items from an individual sailing including passenger lists, drink lists, programs of entertainment, luncheon menus, abstract logs of sailing, and personal letters written by passengers aboard the ship. With all this we are able to create a profile of what life aboard the Empress of Britain was like, including weather throughout each sailing, which prominent people were on board and what they would eat while dining with the ship’s Captain. Meanwhile, other documents allow us to compare this with what the third class passengers could expect for their meals.
Items like these highlight the depth of the Chung Collection and give us a glimpse of life in a different era. The individual items, although interesting in isolation, become much more meaningful when correlated with other material within the collection.
Here are a few examples from Box 219.No Comments
Posted on February 14, 2013 @10:56 am by Larissa
It’s 1912 and you are reclining on your Canadian Pacific Railway seat having just finished a hearty lunch of roast beef and custard pudding. You gaze out at the prairie scenery and think ahead fondly to your family waiting for you at home – it’s been a long trip and you are looking forward to seeing them in 2 day’s time.
Then you open up the newspaper and spill your coffee, just a little bit, as you notice the date. February 14th – you forgot Valentine’s Day.
Never fear! Your trusty CP Rail porter can organize a telegram to be sent at the next stop, to be delivered by a uniformed messenger (location dependent) and enclosed in an attractive envelope. And if you aren’t the poetic type, take advantage of one of these specially prepared texts to declare your love:
I picked my Valentine for life, sweetest and fairest of all, my wife.
Prefer something a little more dramatic?
Faint heart, they say, ne’er won fair lady. My heart is strong for you this Valentine’s Day.
Or maybe it’s for someone that you’re still wooing:
Be my Valentine. Say you care. Give all those other guys the air.
And there’s always this one. Perhaps racier-sounding today than in 1912:
You’re dearest to me of all your sex. All I can say is x x x.
Happy Valentine’s Day!No Comments
Posted on May 25, 2017 @3:49 pm by mikec
Update: A list current in May 2017 can be found here: http://digitize.library.ubc.ca/uncategorized/bc-historical-newspapers-update-2017/
The BC Historical Newspapers portal is one of our most heavily used digital collections. Occasionally we are delightfully surprised to find out about the creative ways people find to use the collections. Two of our favourite projects come to us courtesy of the great work by folks at Heritage Vancouver and the Revelstoke Museum & Archives: Heritage Vancouver used the Daily Building Record to locate previously missing 1912 Vancouver building permits for the Heritage Vancouver Society Building Permits Database Revelstoke Museum & Archives is using several BC Historical Newspapers titles in the history of snow and avalanche research for an upcoming exhibit. In the process, they are finding information on previously unknown avalanche events and will be adding them to the Canadian Avalanche Centre Database Have you used the BC Historical Newspapers for your own project? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
New in BC Historical Newspapers
Over the past few months, DI staff have been quietly adding issues to the BC Historical Newspapers portal. Since the site first launched in November 2011 we have added 9 new titles in addition to completing the remaining partial runs of 9 of the original titles. In all we have added an additional 8000 issues consisting of over 42,000 pages of community newspapers, nearly matching the original 45,000 pages.
|District Ledger (Fernie) Various other titles||1893-1919|
|Boundary Creek Times (Greenwood)||1896-1911|
|Miner (Nelson)||1890 (not 1891)-1898|
|Daily Building Record (Vancouver)||1912-1914|
Coast News (Gibsons)
(Courtesy of Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives)
|Enderby Press & Walker’s Weekly (various other titles)||1909-1921|
|The Independent (Vancover)||1900-1903|
|Western Call (Vancouver)||1910-1916|
|Orchard City Record (Kelowna)||1908-1911|
|Nicola Valley News (Merritt)||1910-1916|
A pilot project to move the digitized back issues of UBC’s student newspaper, the Ubyssey from its current home to the BC Historical Newspapers portal has been completed. Starting later this year, we will begin adding issues from 1918-2010. Thanks to the support from a very generous donor, we will also begin adding over 100 titles of early community newspapers in 2013-2014. Coming up:
|Armstrong Advance and Spallumcheen Advocate||1905-1906|
|West Fork News (Beaverdell)||1901|
|Chilliwack Free Press||1911-1912|
|Fraser Advance (Chilliwack)||1907|
|Surrey Times (Cloverdale)||1895|
|Weekly News (Courtenay)||1892-1896|
|Crofton Gazette & Cowichan News||1902|
|Duncan Enterprise & Vancouver Island Advertiser||1900-1903|
|Lardeau Eagle (Ferguson)||1900-1904|
|East Kootenay Miner (Golden)||1897-1898|
|Grand Forks Sunday||1914-1920|
|Evening Sunday (Grand Forks)||1902-1910|
|Grand Forks Miner||1896-1898|
|Grand Forks Sun & Kettle Valley Orchardist||1911-1913, 1921-1932|
|Daily Times (Greenwood)||1900|
|Omineca Herald (Hazelton)||1908-1912|
|Omineca Miner (Hazelton)||1911-1918|
|British Columbia News (Kaslo)||1897-1898|
|Evening Kootenaian (Kaslo)||1898|
|Delta News (Ladner)||1902-1908|
|Delta Times (Ladner)||1903-1914|
|Mission City News||1893|
|Arrow Lake Advocate (Nakusp)||1914|
|Daily Telegram (Nanaimo)||1893|
|Westward Ho (Nanaimo)||1886|
|Daily Canadian (Nelson)||1906-1908|
|Kootenay Liberal (Nelson)||1908|
|Lowery’s Claim (Nelson)||1901-1906|
|Nelson Daily Miner||1898-1902|
|Nelson Weekly Miner||1899|
|Slocan Mining Review (New Denver)||1906-1908|
|Daily News (New Westminster)||1906-1914|
|New Westminster Times||1859-1961|
|Pacific Canadian (New Westminster)||1893-1894; 1916-1917|
|Express (North Vancouver)||1905-1912|
|Okanagan Mining Review||1893|
|Loyalist (Port Essington)||1908|
|Port Essington Loyalist||1909|
|Star (Port Essington)||1908|
|Sunday (Port Essington)||1907-1908|
|Port Moody Gazette||1883-1887|
|North Coast (Port Simpson)||1907-1908|
|Prince Rupert Journal||1910-1917|
|Prince Rupert Optimist||1909-1911|
|Quartz Creek Miner||1897|
|Queen Charlotte Island||1911-1914|
|Kootenay Star (Revelstoke)||1890-1894|
|Mail Herald (Revelstoke)||1906-1917|
|Evening World (Rossland)||1901-1904|
|Industrial World (Rossland)||1899-1901|
|Saturday World (Rossland)||1903|
|Cassiar News (Stewart)||1919-1926|
|Slocan Prospector (Kaslo)||1895|
|Lardeau Mining Review (Trout Lake)||1904-1907|
|Coast Miner (Van Anda)||1900|
|BC Labour News (Vancouver)||1921-1922|
|BC Lumberman (Vancouver)||1904-1905|
|BC Trades Unionist (Vancouver)||1908-1909|
|Vancouver Building Record||1911|
|Greater Vancouver Chinook||1912-1917|
|Labor Star (Vancouver)||1919|
|Mt. Pleasant Advocate (Vancouver)||1904-1907|
|Red Flag (Vancouver)||1918-1919|
|Western Clarion (Vancouver)||1904-1924|
|British Columbia Tribune (Yale)||1866|
Posted on June 23, 2014 @11:28 am by RobNo Comments
Posted on January 30, 2013 @9:38 am by pughchr
This image is from the Augustus Pemberton collection, one of two collections donated to Rare Books and Special Collections by John Keenlyside in 2008. We are currently digitizing both collections, and they should appear on the Rare Books and Special Collections website in the near future.
The image is of a calendar of prisoners who were tried at the Court of Assize in Victoria on January 4th, 1866. Of the five prisoners tried, three were discharged, one was sentenced to death, and one was sentenced to “penal servitude” for five years.
There are a number of interesting things in this picture. Two of the prisoners do not have last names written on the calendar, and instead have “An Indian” written after their first names. In one case the first name is in brackets, while “An Indian” is not. It is also worth noting that one prisoner, who was sentenced to death by the court, was ordered to be kept in jail (spelled “Gaol” on the calendar) until “Her Majesty’s pleasure be known”.
There is also a double entendre in the calendar. In the case of the first prisoner, who was been sentenced to death, the order to the jailor (“Gaoler”) reads “To be executed”. We assume this means that the jailor is to carry out the sentence, not that the jailor is to execute the prisoner.No Comments
Posted on January 22, 2013 @3:56 pm by pughchr
One of our current projects is to digitize the David Conde fonds in partnership with the University of Tokyo. We are discovering first hand that David Conde was a hugely prolific journalist who had much to say about a lot of subjects. As such, the David Conde fonds contains vast quantities of manuscripts for books and articles.
Though he mostly wrote about Japanese and American politics and culture, he would sometimes venture into other subject areas as well. This page (click the image to enlarge) is the first page of an article about historical anthropology entitled “Mankind from Beginning to End”. With a title like that, this article is a fitting example of how prolific David Conde was. We are half expecting to find an article called “Everything under the Sun”, or maybe even “The Kitchen Sink”!No Comments