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!  

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Explore Open Collections: Greater Vancouver Maps

Posted on [published-on] by Paula Arasaki
Do you ever wonder what Vancouver was like just a few decades ago? What used to exist where you live or work? If you want information about Greater Vancouver, you can check out our Greater Vancouver Regional District Planning Department Land Use Maps Collection. The collection has over 1,800 detailed maps—produced in 1965, 1980 and […]

Objects of the Canadian Pacific Railway

Posted on [published-on] by Paula Arasaki
Did you know that we have some of the items in our collections because of a lazy dishwasher? Several Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) items in the Chung Collection were bought by Dr. Chung from a scuba diver. The CPR had many diverse businesses, including cruises, and apparently some crew members were so tired of washing […]

How Are Collections Made?

Posted on [published-on] by Paula Arasaki
While browsing through our digital collections, you might start wondering how all of these items originally came together. Every collection has its own unique story, and we’ve chosen to highlight two such stories in this week’s post. Maybe it will motivate you to start your own collection!   Chung Collection The Chung Collection currently has […]

Typography in early printed books

Posted on [published-on] by Paula Arasaki
We here at the Digitization Centre were wondering: “What can I learn from the Early printed books and Western manuscripts”? We found the answer: “A lot of things.” This time, we chose to discuss what we found out about the history of typography. The earliest printed books were produced to be similar to handwritten manuscripts […]

Explore Open Collections: Harry Hawthorn Fly Fishing & Angling Collection

Posted on [published-on] by Paula Arasaki
The Harry Hawthorn collection contains more than 2,200 books about fly-fishing and angling, including rare and valuable items from the 1700s to the 1970s. Harry Hawthorn was a UBC professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, and even though the collection carries his name, he was not the only one responsible for collecting the […]

Utagaruta: a poetry game

Posted on [published-on] by Paula Arasaki
Our One Hundred Poets Collection contains 20 different card sets of the utagaruta (uta = poem; karuta = card), a variation of the Japanese game called “Karuta” (which originated from “Carta,” the Portuguese name for “Card”). The Utagaruta is a poetry game, that exercises your reflexes and memory. The karuta is a combination of two […]

Chung Collection Menus: A Flavour Throwback

Posted on [published-on] by Paula Arasaki
Restaurant and hotel menus are windows to the past. When looking at old menus, you can learn about what kinds of foods people used to prefer, what kinds of produce was available, what was considered to be an elaborate dish, and how much people used to pay for food. The Chung Collection contains hundreds of […]


Posted on [published-on] by Paula Arasaki
Pixelating: A Digital Humanities Mixer is a program facilitated by Susan Atkey, Larissa Ringham and Allan Cho, at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The program is a forum for discussion to develop UBC Library-based digital humanities projects. Digital humanities is an emerging area, which combines technologies and digital tools with the objects and methods […]

Surgery in 16th century

Posted on [published-on] by Paula Arasaki
Jherome of Bruyinswike (also known as Jerome of Brunswick or Hieronymus Bruncschwig or Jerome von Braunschweig), was born around 1450 in Strasburg, Germany. He was a surgeon, alchemist, and botanist, responsible for the publication of the first illustrated book on surgery in English. Brunswick was an apprentice to a master surgeon and had success in […]

Infant Feeding Devices in the History of Nursing in Pacific Canada Collection

Posted on [published-on] by Paula Arasaki
Collections stand out for different reasons. The History of Nursing in Pacific Canada Collection contains many unique items, including materials from the Ethel Johns Fonds and local material (BC and Yukon) held at UBC Library. It further contains what is known as the Infant Feeders Collection, held in the Memorial Room of the Woodward Biomedical […]

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