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 view in Open Collections.

Japan in Focus: Part 1 – Kamishibai Plays and Their Diverse Audiences

Posted on Jul 23, 2024 by Lauren Wong
Welcome to our blog series exploring Japan-related materials from our Open Collections! This week, we begin with Part 1, where we delve into the fascinating world of kamishibai plays from the private collection of Dr. Sharalyn Orbaugh, Department Head and Professor of Modern Japanese Literature and Popular Culture at UBC’s Asian Studies. While our previous […]

The Lee Family: Enduring Struggles and Separation

Posted on Jul 09, 2024 by Lauren Wong
In one of our blog posts in May, we briefly touched on the Chinese Head Tax, a burdensome imposition on many Chinese Canadians from the 1885 to 1923. This week, we will take a closer look at the life of Chuck Lee, one of the very few Chinese Canadians in Halifax in the early 1900s, […]

Revisiting the Y2K bug through open collections

Posted on Jun 25, 2024 by Lauren Wong
Remember the year 2000? As the clock ticked closer to midnight on December 31st, 1999, the world was preparing for the potential chaos of the infamous Y2K bug. In this week’s blog post, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and revisit some materials in our open collections that are related to the Y2K crisis! […]

Meet Norman L. Kwong (林佐民): A Remarkable Chinese Canadian Icon

Posted on Jun 11, 2024 by Lauren Wong
Norman L. Kwong’s path to becoming a significant figure in Canadian sports and society as a Chinese Canadian speaks volumes about resilience and breaking barriers. In this week’s blog post, we will explore his remarkable life, including the challenges he faced and the success he achieved. Early Life and Challenges Norman Kwong (far right, front […]

Mining in British Columbia

Posted on May 28, 2024 by Lauren Wong
In this week’s blog post, we’ll take a brief look at the history of coal mining in British Columbia and its impact on the region’s industrial landscape. All the materials featured in this post can be found in our open collections. Please feel free to click the captions underneath the photos attached to this blog […]

Exploring Japanese Travel Narratives in Tokugawa Era

Posted on May 14, 2024 by Lauren Wong
This week’s blog post explores the fascinating world of Japanese travel during the Tokugawa period (1603 – 1868), both within Japan and beyond its borders. All materials shown in this blog post are from our Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era Collection which is available through Open Collection. 1. Seiyū ryotan (西遊旅譚) [A Diary of […]

Wildfire Prevention in B.C. Historical Newspapers: 1904-1981

Posted on Apr 30, 2024 by Jillian
A comparatively warm and dry winter here in British Columbia has experts predicting a bad year for wildfires across the province. While wildfires have always been a natural part of British Columbia’s seasonal cycle, increasing seasonal average temperatures and decreased precipitation are contributing to longer, more widespread and more destructive wildfire seasons, with four of […]

Dinner Menus from the 1930’s-50’s

Posted on Apr 16, 2024 by Jillian
This week’s blog post is a selection of dinner menus from the Chung Collection, which is held at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections. The Chung Collection contains many materials including travel pamphlets, itineraries and menus from the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, which was a large enterprise that dealt in railway and non-railway transportation […]

Open Collections Highlight – Historical Children’s Literature Collection

Posted on Apr 02, 2024 by Jillian
The Historical Children’s Literature Collection contains eighty-five works of children’s literature spanning from the late 18th to late 19th Centuries. The collection is a collaboration between UBC’s School of Information, Department of English Language & Literatures, Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) and Digitization Centre. The physical materials are from both RBSC’s historic children’s literature […]

How a Composer was Reunited with a Long-lost Score

Posted on Mar 19, 2024 by Jillian
It’s not every day that you hear of a librarian reuniting a composer with their long-lost work. Incredibly, this is exactly what happened when a paper score that needed some TLC was brought to UBC Music Librarian Kevin Madill late last year. I spoke with Kevin, who is the Music Librarian at UBC’s Music, Art […]

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC  | © Copyright The University of British Columbia