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.


Happy Holidays from the Digitization Centre!

Posted on December 24, 2019 by margot chen
Happy holidays everyone! In the spirit of the holiday season, enjoy some festive images from Open Collections. Check out these holiday greeting cards: This is Yip Sang’s personal greeting card from the Chung collection Here are more paintings of this season: Finally, here are photographs of a wintery UBC campus from the UBC Archives Photograph […]


Things to do on Winter Break: Part II

Posted on December 17, 2019 by margot chen
In this two-part series, we compile images of winter activities and attractions from Open Collections. You can view Part I here. Winter destinations Banff National Park is a signature travel destination both in summer and winter. This menu from the Canadian Pacific Railway in the Chung Collection advertises winter sports in Banff on the cover. […]


Things to do on Winter Break: Part I

Posted on December 10, 2019 by margot chen
The holiday season is fast approaching! Are you looking for vacation ideas? In this two-part series, we compile images of winter activities and attractions from Open Collections. Enjoy! Winter sports Canada is a playground for winter sports lovers. Snowshoeing, sledding, and tobogganing as recreational activities can date back to 19th century. Check out these engravings […]


Explore Illustrations of Plants in Open Collections

Posted on December 3, 2019 by margot chen
In a previous blog post, we discussed John Gerard’s The herball, or, Generall historie of plants (1597), a book that features lists of plants with accompanying descriptions of their properties. For this blog, we will introduce more illustrations of plants in our Open Collections. Botanical and ethnological appendix to Menzies’ journal of Vancouver’s voyage, April […]


Advertisements for Canadian Pacific Steamships: Part II

Posted on November 26, 2019 by margot chen
The Chung Collection has thousands of photographs and related material on CPR steamships with a particular emphasis on the Empress class ships. Some of the related material includes pamphlets, menus, world cruise photograph albums, clippings, diaries, and correspondence from both passengers and employees of these vessels. In this two-part series, we will explore some advertisements […]


Advertisements for Canadian Pacific Steamships: Part I

Posted on November 19, 2019 by margot chen
In 1887, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) started a Trans-Pacific service from Vancouver to Asia. With the success of this new venture, the CPR adopted a new name for the steamship services, calling it the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company (CPSC). In 1915, the CPR decided to make the division into a separate entity, the Canadian […]


Vancouver, B.C., 1890

Explore Open Collections: UBC Library Digitization Centre Special Projects

Posted on November 14, 2019 by margot chen
The UBC Library Digitization Centre Special Projects collection is a variety of smaller projects from the UBC Library Rare Books & Special Collections or University Archives divisions. There are 106 items in this collection, including maps, books, albums, and other miscellaneous documents. These projects emphasize the depth and breadth of the Library’s rare materials holdings […]


Images of Foreign Culture in Edo-Period Japan

Posted on November 5, 2019 by margot chen
In a previous post, we introduced some maps from the Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era Collection. UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections holds one of the world’s largest collections of maps and guidebooks of the Japanese Tokugawa period, ca. 1600-1868. This collection does not consist simply of maps of Japan. It also has […]


UBC Library-sponsored registration for DHSI 2020

Posted on October 29, 2019 by margot chen
DHSI – the Digital Humanities Summer Institute – is a training program held every summer at the University of Victoria. Delivered over a week, each course is an intensive series of classes interspersed with colloquiums, unconferences, and other community-based events, and provides an ideal environment for influencing teaching, research, dissemination, creation, and preservation in different […]


Main Mall then and now

Posted on October 22, 2019 by margot chen
The UBC Archives Photograph Collection has over 40,000 photographic images dating from the founding of UBC to the present day. They present a visual record of UBC’s growth and development, the evolution of student life, and campus events over most of the past century. In a previous blog post, Now & Then, we showed how […]


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