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.”

Discorder Digitization Destiny

Posted on March 14, 2018 @9:40 am by Matthew Murray
We’re excited to announce that we’re soon going to start digitizing Discorder, the monthly(ish) music magazine published by UBC’s community radio station CiTR (101.9 FM). Discorder has published hundreds of issues since in launched in 1983. They’ve reviewed countless albums and shows, interviewed who knows how many bands and musicians, and published lots of essays, comics, […]

Objection! We’ve digitized the John Keenlyside Legal Research Collection

Posted on March 14, 2018 @9:40 am by Matthew Murray
The UBC Library Digitization Centre and Rare Books and Special Collections have just completed the digitization of court files from the John Keenlyside Legal Research Collection. These case files from early British Columbia courts were created between 1858 and 1891, and originate from the provincial Bankruptcy Court, the Supreme Court of Civil Justice and a county court on Vancouver Island. The documents […]

British Columbia 1882/83 Directory

Posted on March 14, 2018 @9:40 am by Matthew Murray
One of our ongoing projects at Digital Initiatives is the the BC Bibliography project. For this project we are digitizing thousands of books, pamphlets, and other publications with historical value concerning British Columbia. These run the gamut from political speeches and documents, to travelogues, to books concerning aboriginal languages (plus lots more!). While many of […]

Images in Stereo

Posted on March 14, 2018 @9:41 am by Matthew Murray
Some of the images in our collection are really cool but others, while still cool, can be considerably more mystifying without knowledge of how or why they were created. An example of this are the stereographs that appear in the Arkley Croquet Collection and the Chung Collection. These images generally look something like this: If you’ve never seen […]

Page from the "Ting Chun Lou Shi Chao

Explore Open Collections: Chinese Rare Books Collection

Posted on March 14, 2018 @9:41 am by Rob
  The Chinese Rare Books Collection, also known as the Puban Project, is a collaborative venture between the UBC Library Digitization Centre, the UBC Asian Library and the Sun Yat-sen Library, part of the Guangzhou Library in Guangdong Province, China. The UBC Library houses several collections of rare Chinese material including the Puban. The core of […]

Digital Initiatives on Flickr!

Posted on March 14, 2018 @9:43 am by Matthew Murray
You may not know it, but a few months ago we set up a Flickr account! We’ve chosen several collections that we feel have really great images and have started to upload them so that more people can see the work that we’re doing. If you see any images you like, we’d love for you […]

World War I British Press Photograph Collection

Posted on March 14, 2018 @9:43 am by Matthew Murray
We’ve recently began to digitize material in the World War I British press photograph collection held at Rare Books and Special Collections. The photos were intended for publication, and most feature a caption on the reverse. The photos are divided into folders based around certain places and topics such as “Mesopotamia” and “Battle of the Ridges”. While […]


Posted on March 14, 2018 @9:43 am by pughchr
A frequent challenge when making digital collections is determining how best to represent a digital object, so that it is true to the original object but still functions properly in its digital form. For example, in the case of newspapers, it can be a challenge to determining how best to represent the two page spread. […]

BC Sessional Papers

BC Sessional Papers available online

Posted on March 14, 2018 @9:44 am by mmlam
Digital Initiatives in partnership with Humanities and Social Sciences and the Legislative Library of British Columbia has completed digitization of the first 10 years (1876-1886) of the British Columbia Sessional Papers.  The Sessional Papers are important provincial legislative documents that capture the economical, historical, political and cultural atmosphere of British Columbia history. The collection includes […]

The Arkley Croquet Collection has gone digital

Posted on March 14, 2018 @9:44 am by mmlam
A former player on the U.S. National Croquet Team, Tremaine Arkley started collecting illustrations, engravings, photographs, cartoons, paintings and other materials around the game of croquet with the sole idea of “saving the history of the game through art”, as he said in a interview with Croquet World Online ( Now that a large selection […]

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