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.


Discorder Retrospective: Early 2010’s Indie Music

Posted on Jan 23, 2024 by Jillian
Discorder Retrospective: Early 2010’s CiTR-FM’s Discorder Magazine has been published every month since February 1983, and UBC’s Open Collections offers complete online access to every single edition. This collection is an amazing time capsule into Vancouver’s indie music scene in any decade. This week’s blog post is for the 2010’s indie music fans. If you […]


Newspaper Articles on Early Paleontological Findings in Western Canada

Posted on Jan 09, 2024 by Jillian
UBC’s Open Collections contains hundreds of thousands of materials covering a vast number of topics, making it an amazing resource for anyone with historical research interests. Personally, I find great joy in interest driven research, and one collection in particular that often returns excellent materials is the BC Historical Newspaper Collection. This week I was […]


Emily Carr, 1871-1945

Posted on Dec 12, 2023 by Jillian
Tomorrow, December 13th, is the birthday of famous Canadian artist Emily Carr. In honour of her, today’s blog post is a spotlight on the artist. Carr was, as is eternalized on her gravestone, a lover of nature. She was a prolific landscape painter and developed an incredibly unique style that was influenced by early modernism […]


Vintage Advertisements from the BC Historical Newspapers Collection: 1899-1950

Posted on Nov 28, 2023 by Jillian
Looking back at old advertisements can not only be extremely entertaining, but can also provide fascinating insight into commonly accepted knowledge during a given era. Historically, lack of advertising laws or regulations resulted in exaggerated, dishonest and extreme claims being made in attempts to sell products. Advertisers were able to claim almost anything they pleased […]


Recipes from the Punjabi Patrika Archive

Posted on Nov 14, 2023 by Jillian
Punjabi Patrika is a bilingual Punjabi – English newspaper out of Abbotsford, B.C. Its publication began in October 1996 and continues to be published weekly to this day in 2023. Digitization of the first 18 years of the newspapers physical archive (1996-2014) was recently completed, all of which are now available through UBC’s Open Collections! […]


Superstition and Witchcraft

Posted on Oct 31, 2023 by Jillian
Content Warning: Some content within this blog refers to violence against women within the context of witch hunts. Please take care when reading this blog as well as if you search within Open Collections for content related to the topic of witchcraft and superstition as it may contain upsetting, discriminatory sentiments. Do you consider yourself […]


A View of TRIUMF from the UBC Archives Photograph Collection

Posted on Oct 17, 2023 by Jillian
Canada’s National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics, otherwise known as TRIUMF, is a research facility on the UBC Vancouver campus. Tucked beside Pacific Spirit Regional Park on the south side of campus, the facility officially opened in 1976. The consortium was founded in 1968 as a collaboration between Simon Fraser University, University of British […]


Paul Spong’s Auditory Whale Research

Posted on Oct 03, 2023 by Jillian
  One thing about UBC’s Open Collections, is that if you browse long enough you’re bound to find something fascinating that you didn’t know you were looking for. While gathering content for the Digitization Center’s twitter account I came across an image from 1969 of a man leaning down towards a pool, he was playing […]


Vancouver’s Feminist Punk Rockers of the 70’s and 80’s

Posted on Sep 19, 2023 by Jillian
Content warning: some of the articles use foul language and mention violence against women. Punk music and subculture may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Vancouver’s rich history. While Vancouver is the home of D.O.A., arguably one of the founding bands of the genre, the city’s vibrant and politically […]


Aftermath of 1997 APEC Protest

Posted on Aug 29, 2023 by Gage
Warning: this blog post contains images of violence. This is the second part to a two part blog post on the 1997 APEC Economic Leaders Meeting at UBC and the student and activist protest that occurred. If you missed the first part, it can be read here. The protest of the APEC meeting that occurred […]


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