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.


Discorder in December: winter concerts in Vancouver

Posted on December 11, 2018 by Kelly Stathis
UBC Library’s Open Collections has made available the entire run of Discorder, the magazine of CiTR 109.1 FM. Issues date back to 1983 and include articles, album and concert reviews, interviews, radio show lists, advertisements, comics, and more. New issues continue to be added to Open Collections. We were curious about shows in Vancouver throughout the […]


John Latham’s birds

Posted on December 4, 2018 by Kelly Stathis
John Latham (1740-1837) was an English doctor and naturalist, famous for his work in ornithology. He was particularly known for his study of Australian birds, brought to England and observed on James Cook’s colonial expeditions. Latham published A general synopsis of birds over the years 1781-1785, with supplements published in 1787 and 1801. A general […]


Exploring The Herball in UBC Library’s Open Collections

Posted on November 27, 2018 by Kelly Stathis
A herbal is part of a genre of books that features lists of plants with accompanying descriptions of their properties. John Gerard’s The herball, or, Generall historie of plants (1597) is a quintessential 16th century example. The text drew from earlier herbals: it was commissioned as an English translation of a Dutch herbal, Rembert Dodoens’ […]


Hotel Vancouver

Posted on November 20, 2018 by Kelly Stathis
Did you know that there were actually three incarnations of the Hotel Vancouver? One of Canada’s grand railway hotels, Hotel Vancouver has a rich history beginning with its initial construction in 1888. This post uses images and publications from the Chung Collection to trace its history, from the first Hotel Vancouver to its present-day incarnation […]


UBC’s Fairview Campus

Posted on November 13, 2018 by Kelly Stathis
Did you know that UBC’s Vancouver campus wasn’t always at Point Grey? Although Point Grey was selected as the site for the university in 1910, the outbreak of World War I necessitated the creation of a temporary campus, which opened in Fairview in 1915. Except for the Arts building, the buildings at Fairview were temporary […]


Teach me how: Using Open Collections for Genealogy Research

Posted on November 6, 2018 by Kelly Stathis
Have you ever looked for information on your family history? Whether you are simply curious about a few relatives or embarking on an in-depth genealogy research project, there are many online resources that can help your search. If you have relatives from British Columbia, or relatives who are UBC alumni, UBC Library’s Open Collections can […]


Happy Halloween from the Digitization Centre!

Posted on October 30, 2018 by Kelly Stathis
In celebration of Halloween coming up tomorrow, enjoy these spooky and festive images from Open Collections. From the Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection, three “modern” witches gather around a cauldron:   This woodcut of a shrouded skeleton, by the artist Walter Crane, could serve as some last-minute costume inspiration:   Watch out for this creepy spider […]


UBC Library-sponsored registration for DHSI 2019

Posted on October 25, 2018 by Larissa
DHSI – the Digital Humanities Summer Institute – is a humanities training program held every summer at the University of Victoria. Delivered over a week, each course is an intensive series of classes interspersed with colloquiums, unconferences, and other community-based events, and provides an ideal environment for influencing teaching, research, dissemination, creation, and preservation in […]


Explore Open Collections: Meiji at 150

Posted on October 23, 2018 by Kelly Stathis
The Meiji at 150 Project commemorates the 150th anniversary of Japan’s 1868 Meiji Restoration. As part of the project, UBC Library digitized works from the Meiji period (1868-1912), including 21 woodblock prints, 1 hand-painted kimono book, over 41 photographs, a 7-volume book on the Ainu, and more. As part of the newly launched Meiji at […]


Importance of web archiving for government information

Posted on October 16, 2018 by Kelly Stathis
This is a series on web archiving at the UBC Library. For all posts about web archiving, please see https://digitize.library.ubc.ca/tag/web-archiving/ From the new report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to the new NAFTA (USMCA) Agreement to Vancouver’s housing crisis, government information is all around us. Historically, government information was sent to […]


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