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.”

Touring the Nitobe Memorial Garden

Posted on March 13, 2018 @2:55 pm by liz otero
Vancouver is greening up spectacularly with the warmer weather. We’re enjoying many lunchtimes in the beautiful gardens here at UBC, and soaking up as much greenery as we possibly can while it’s here! This week on the blog, we’re taking a photo tour through the Nitobe Memorial Garden.  The Nitobe Memorial Garden is on UBC’s […]

The Gold Rush in Open Collections

Posted on March 13, 2018 @2:56 pm by liz otero
British Columbia in the second half of the nineteenth century is defined by her gold rushes. Various prospectors, miners, entrepreneurs, and other settlers descended upon BC in waves, and the documents they’ve left behind are as varied as they were. This broadsheet, The Frazer River Thermometer, both offers advice and gently ribs the potential prospector. One of […]

BC Historical Newspapers Update- 2017

Posted on January 10, 2018 @3:51 pm by liz otero
      Not surprisingly, we at the Digitization Centre are a big fan of analytics. Data about how people use the data and images we produce? Our knees are weak. What we’ve learned is that our blog post from 2013 regarding the BC Historical Newspapers Collection is one of the most often used, so […]

Vancouver-based Collections: Kinesis

Posted on March 13, 2018 @2:56 pm by liz otero
There are so many amazing local materials within Open Collections at UBC Library ( When local events and news happen, a text search for topics can reveal some interesting background or even just great stories to read. With the provincial election last week in British Columbia, a search for electoral stories led us to this […]

A drawing of Florence Nightingale in Sepia on white background

Explore Open Collections: Florence Nightingale Letters

Posted on March 13, 2018 @2:56 pm by liz otero
As one of many collections of correspondence housed at the University of British Columbia, the Florence Nightingale Letters collection  demonstrates the enjoyment of exploration through the life and thoughts of such a famous person. Postcard featuring a drawing of a young Florence Nightingale Through the timeline browser on the front page of the collection, one […]

Interesting People in Our Collections

Posted on January 12, 2018 @3:52 pm by kristina mcguirk
Ada Cavendish A famous actress of her time (1939-1895), Cavendish was known for playing Mercy Merrick in New Magdalen and Mrs. Darlington in For Love or Money, among many others. She performed and produced in the UK and toured in America, notably brining the plays of Wilkie Collins to popularity the States.   Luther McCarty McCarty was a champion American boxer who […]

Signs of Summer

Posted on January 10, 2018 @4:43 pm by kristina mcguirk
The school term is over, finals are over, the sun is shining for more than an hour at a time… We’re spotting signs of summer both outside and in our collections!                      

History and Hockey

Posted on January 12, 2018 @3:57 pm by kristina mcguirk
Hockey season may be over for the Canucks, but with a long history, the sport lives all year in our collections!                       If it’s the sounds of hockey you’re missing, we have an hour-long broadcast of a 1974 ice hockey game against Alberta you can listen […]

Interior Inspiration

Posted on January 10, 2018 @4:45 pm by kristina mcguirk
Planning a remodel? Want to refresh your decor? You just might catch the renovation bug after checking out these spaces! Perhaps vintage log cabin is your style: nature-inspired and cozy. How about a touch of Spanish flair? Milk glass lighting, plenty of greenery and a mix of stripes with more intricate tile patterns. Go glam nerd — but not too glam — by […]

Digital Collections Reading List

Posted on January 12, 2018 @3:59 pm by kristina mcguirk
When we came across a “tribute list” in our collections, we couldn’t stop thinking about the Hunger Games trilogy—(Hey! Suzanne Collins! We’d be pretty into another series of districts set on a different continent, or in another time period)—and we realized there were a lot of other times we thought of books related to the collection, too. […]

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