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.”

The Discoverer and other book destruction/digitization techniques

Posted on May 21, 2014 by Matthew Murray
While we frequently post on this blog about the collections we’re digitizing (or about to digitize) we rarely talk about the various processes of digitizing that we use. To bring more light to our techniques I thought I’d show you a couple of the methods we use for getting books ready to digitize. Last month […]

We’ve joined The Flickr Commons

Posted on May 14, 2014 by Matthew Murray
We’re very pleased to announce that we’ve successfully joined The Commons on Flickr! You can check out the announcement on their blog. The Commons is a group of libraries, museums, and other institutions from around the world who have placed all or parts of their digital image collections on Flickr. While joining this group is exciting […]

Uno Langmann Collection

Posted on May 7, 2014 by Matthew Murray
You may have recently heard that Uno Langmann, a well known local art dealer, donated more than 18,000 photographs, apparently worth $1.2 million, to UBC! The photos stretch back to the 1850s and go all the way up to the 1970s. While we probably won’t be able to digitize all of the photos (due to copyright […]

Epigraphic Squeezes

Posted on April 30, 2014 by Matthew Murray
If you’ve never heard of epigraphic squeezes I wouldn’t be surprised as they’re not commonly known, they don’t even have a Wikipedia entry! Epigraphic squeezes are created when a soft, wet material, such as paper or plaster, is pressed into inscriptions made in stone. When the material dries it is removed and becomes a mirrored 3D version […]

Namazu-e Prints

Posted on April 22, 2014 by Matthew Murray
Hidden within some of our collections you can find content which you might not expect to see! A great example of this can be found in our collection of Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era which features a sub-collection of disaster prints, made up of several dozen prints which describe disasters that occurred in Japan. While some of […]

This will be a TRIUMF

Posted on April 14, 2014 by Matthew Murray
Our newest digitization project is being done in collaboration with TRIUMF, the Canadian laboratory for particle and nuclear physics located on UBC campus. We will be digitizing various reports and other documents dating back to the development and creation of the lab in the 1960s. Amongst all the text and equations in the reports there […]

What’s for Dinner? Historical Menus!

Posted on April 7, 2014 by Matthew Murray
The digital Chung Collection features a lot of really fascinating material, but unfortunately the collection is so large we haven’t finished making everything in it available online. If you’re interested in any of the material in the Chung Collection (Early BC History, Immigration and Settlement, and the Canada Pacific Railway) you should try to make time to […]

Discorder Digitization Destiny

Posted on April 2, 2014 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 18, 2014 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 17, 2014 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 […]

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