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 enlarge and then right-click and select “open image in new tab.”

Out with the Old in with the New!

Posted on May 13, 2016 by Alexandra Kuskowski
Loyal blog readers (and you unloyal ones – you know who you are) it is time for a change in regime. Every week for the past year I have been bringing you the news from Digital Initiatives. Next week you will be getting a new coop student, Alyssa, bringing the best behind the scenes look […]

A Peak Behind the Curtain

Posted on May 6, 2016 by Alexandra Kuskowski
This week we have a quick peak at the behind the scenes stuff we do here at Digital Initiatives. Some of these images are new and some are a bit older, but all give a fun look at the secret stuff that happens to get the content you see online! Scroll to the bottom to […]

Get Wilde with our Digitized Content

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Alexandra Kuskowski
Way back in January UBC Library scored a rare book coup, acquiring two exceptional examples of early gay literature that share a connection with famed Victorian writer Oscar Wilde. Teleny and its prequel, Des Grieux, were first published in the 1890s. It’s long been suspected, but never confirmed, that Wilde may have authored or contributed […]

Nanitch Exhibition & Open Collections: See Early Photos of BC online

Posted on April 13, 2016 by Alexandra Kuskowski
We are pleased to announce the newest exhibition NANITCH: Early Photographs of British Columbia from the Langmann Collection. Here at Digital Initiatives the Langmann Collection is one of our most popular collections, one that we love to share! The exhibition is a collaboration between the UBC Library and the Presentation House – and a chance for […]

Discovering the secrets of API

Posted on April 7, 2016 by Alexandra Kuskowski
One of the most intriguing parts of Open Collections is the API search function. API, Application Programming Interface, is a set of defined tools that people use to communicate with a software system. Basically this translates to asking a data program questions in computerese* – and getting back defined answers on that data that a […]


Posted on March 21, 2016 by Alexandra Kuskowski
We’ve got another new (but actually really really old) addition to our digital collection. We’re excited to share that we have digitized a rare Latin Bible from the 13th century! You can check it out in out Western Manuscripts collection where many of our oldest books live.   This Bible is an amazing addition to our […]

More Digitization of BC Sessional Papers!

Posted on March 18, 2016 by Alexandra Kuskowski
Digitization of BC Sessional Papers, from 1933-1952,
 is on its way. Phase 3 of Sessional Papers has been approved and digitization will start this summer! This phase will look at 41 bound volumes from the British Columbia Sessional Papers. It will increase our current collection by 19 years – and as an added bonus there […]

Transcription, Tradesmen, & Troublesome Murders: A Gold Rush Letters Blog

Posted on March 4, 2016 by Alexandra Kuskowski
The Royal Fisk Gold Rush Letters are collection of over 900 original manuscript letters from the Cariboo Gold Rush period, 1862-1868.  Merchants in the Victoria area wrote the letters to Royal Fisk, a shipping agent in San Francisco, during the height and decline of the Cariboo Gold Rush. To transcribe the letters – hopefully making […]

BC Timber Trade: Big Trees and Bigger Dreams

Posted on February 26, 2016 by Alexandra Kuskowski
British Columbia was built, in part, on the timber trade. Logging, timber, and surrounding work is something you can find in the collections at DI over and over and over again, starting from 1846 all the way to 2016. In this blog post we’re going to take a look back to when big dreams for […]

Happy Reading Week!

Posted on February 17, 2016 by Alexandra Kuskowski
Here at UBC it is Reading Week, which means of course most students book it to the library… kidding! Nearly every person on campus has escaped the ivory tower for greener pastures, but that doesn’t mean our faithful readers can’t take a look at our collections still. Did you know since they are digital accessible […]

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