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.


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Exploring Open Collections: Alma Mater Society Image Collection: Part I

Posted on June 23, 2022 by Kin Man Leung
If you are a UBC student or alum, there’s something you won’t want to miss: the Alma Mater Society Image Collection. This two-part series will explore the historical photographs from the Alma Mater Society of the University of British Columbia Vancouver. Included in this collection, developed and maintained by the Alma Mater Society (or AMS, […]


Pacific coast tours through the Canadian Pacific Rockies, 1922

New Items in BC Historical Books Collection

Posted on June 16, 2022 by Kin Man Leung
One of our biggest collections is BC Historical Books which features around 2,480 items as of June 2022. This collection combines the traditional tools of bibliography with the new tools of the digital world to transform our understanding of, and insight into, the history and life of British Columbia. The three bibliographies of British Columbia, […]


Canadian Pacific Railway stations: Part II

Posted on June 9, 2022 by Kin Man Leung
This two-part series features some of the earliest Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) stations in Canada. While some stations were demolished, some stations survive. However, they formed an important part of early Canadian railway history. You can view Part 1 here. This week, we continue to explore the Chung collection and introduce CPR stations in the […]


Canadian Pacific Railway stations: Part I

Posted on June 2, 2022 by Kin Man Leung
This two-part series features some of the earliest Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) stations in Canada. While some stations were demolished, some stations survive. However, they formed an important part of early Canadian railway history. This week, we are going to explore the Chung collection and dig for hidden gems – CPR stations in British Columbia. […]


UBC tradition: Graduation Tree-Planting Ceremony

Posted on May 28, 2022 by Kin Man Leung
UBC’s Spring 2022 Graduation Ceremonies started earlier this week. We would like to take this opportunity to extend our warmest congratulations to all graduates. Apart from attending graduation ceremonies, the class of 2022 will probably plant a tree on Vancouver campus to celebrate its graduation, a well-known UBC tradition. This tradition started in 1919 and […]


Stunning visual works from the UBC Library Framed Works Collection

Posted on May 19, 2022 by Kin Man Leung
The University of British Columbia Library’s Archives and Rare Books and Special Collections have digitized their collections of framed visual works for the benefit of online researchers. The UBC Library Framed Works Collection contains prints, photographs, charters and documentary artworks that originate from diverse sources. In this blog post, we will explore different subjects in […]


International Nurses Day

Posted on May 12, 2022 by Kin Man Leung
International Nurses Day (IND) is celebrated annually on 12 May, and its 2022 theme is “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health.” It is a day of commemorating Florence Nightingale’s birthday and paying tribute to all nursing professionals. On the occasion of this important day we […]


Telegraph in the olden days

Posted on May 5, 2022 by Kin Man Leung
The Chung Collection is an outstanding collection of archival documents, photographs, books, and artifacts related to three broad themes: British Columbia History, Immigration and Settlement, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. This collection contains over 10,000 digitized items dating from the 18th century to the 20th century, of which we have discussed the menus and […]


Metadata Cleanup for the Alma Mater Society Image Collection

Posted on April 25, 2022 by Kin Man Leung
During my 8-month co-op term in 2021/2022, I have been working as a Digital Projects Student Librarian at UBC Library Digitization Centre. The UBC Library Digitization Centre embraces new technologies, methods of access, workflows and preservation strategies while building sustainable digital collections to support and enrich the educational, cultural, and economic endeavors of the University, […]


BC Victoria Now and Then

Posted on April 19, 2022 by Kin Man Leung
Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and one of the oldest cities in Canada. This capital has evolved from a trading and commercial hub in the 19th century to a tourist hotspot and a city of government nowadays. In this post, we are taking the opportunity to compare a few recent photographs in Victoria […]


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