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.

Expanding the “COVID-19 Pandemic and the University of British Columbia” Web Archive

Posted on July 27, 2021 by Sarah Gallagher
The following is part of a series on web archiving at the UBC Library. This post was written by Sarah Gallagher, a graduate student in the Master of Library and Information Science program at UBC’s iSchool. For all posts about web archiving, please see From January through April 2021, I worked with the Digitization […]

New item on Open Collections: A Recollection of my Indian Career

Posted on June 28, 2021 by stuart hill
A new item is now available on Open Collections in our UBC Library Digitization Centre Special Projects. “Recollections of my Indian Career” is an autobiographical account of Lieutenant-General John Matthew Cripps’ experiences serving in the British Indian Army from the mid to late nineteenth century. During the course of his service he was personally involved […]

5 titles from Chinese Rare Books

Posted on May 25, 2021 by stuart hill
One of the most common assumptions about digitization is that entire collections can be scanned without prioritization. Collection assessment and evaluation is essential before proceeding with any project. In the case of Chinese rare books, as more and more volumes are scanned and made accessible online, it is important to evaluate proposed digitization projects to […]

New Item on Open Collections: House book of the wife of Archibald McDonald, Chief Factor, Hudson’s Bay Company, Fort Qu’Apelle

Posted on April 13, 2021 by stuart hill
Recently, in response to a patron request, a new item became available on UBC Open Collections: UBC Library Digitization Centre Special Projects. “House book of the wife of Archibald McDonald, Chief Factor, Hudson’s Bay Company, Fort Qu’Apelle” was stored on a microfilm reel at UBC Rare Books and Special Collections. Initially, the microfilm proved difficult […]

The Digitization Centre Impact Report 2019-2020

Posted on November 3, 2020 by stuart hill
Hot off the press it’s the 2019-2020 Digitzation Centre Impact Report! This report highlights key activities of the Digitization Centre over the past year including: new and highlighted collections, software enhancements and upgrades, and user engagement statistics. With over 219,000 users accessing Open Collections, engagement grew substantially from last year’s 190,000 visitors. While the majority […]

Disease and treatment in BC

Posted on October 20, 2020 by stuart hill
  The feature photograph of this collection, showing students being vaccinated against polio in the 1950s, illustrates the culmination of a concerted effort to eradicate a debilitating disease that had affected Canada since the early 1900s (Canadian Public Health Association). While this photograph is from the BC Archives Photograph Collection editions of the Ubyssey from […]

B.C. Healthcare on Open Collections

Posted on October 1, 2020 by stuart hill
  As we continue to push through the COVID-19 pandemic many questions are raised. What pandemics have affected British Columbia in the past? What was their effect? How were they dealt with? We might wonder what the health care system was like over a century ago. We might be tempted to see what hospitals existed […]

Nelson Daily News Goes Online

Posted on August 26, 2020 by stuart hill
Cover page from the prosperity and development edition, 1907 <> Though it’s old news by now, phase one of the digitization project to make copies of the Nelson Daily News available online was completed this spring. In partnership with the rights holder, Touchstone Nelson, and using microfilm from the BC Archives, over 60 microfilm reels […]

Host Your Next Virtual Meeting with Backgrounds from Open Collections

Posted on April 28, 2020 by margot chen
Like many of you, we are spending a lot more time on virtual meetings here at the Digitization Centre. For this post, we’ve compiled a bunch of backgrounds from Open Collections that will refresh your space and make your next video call, online lecture, or virtual party more fun. From the Uno Langmann Family Collection […]

Gardens on UBC Vancouver Campus

Posted on April 21, 2020 by margot chen
Now that spring is in full bloom, you may miss strolling around UBC Vancouver and soaking up the greenery. So for this post, we’re taking a virtual tour through the campus gardens. Nitobe Memorial Garden Designed by Kannosuke Mori, a renowned landscape architect from Chiba University, Japan, Nitobe Memorial Garden highlights a sense of harmony […]

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