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.”

Happy Birthday, A.A. Milne!

Posted on January 12, 2018 @4:05 pm by kristina mcguirk
English author A.A. Milne was born this week (January 18th) in 1882. Beloved for his creation of Hundred Acre Wood, the home of Winnie-The-Pooh, Milne’s work captured the imaginations of children and adults alike, and our collections include many shoutouts to the author and his famous fictional friends. From inspiring a faculty party in 1942 to maintaining top-villain status in […]

Cats in Stacks

Posted on January 10, 2018 @11:26 am by kristina mcguirk
A recent article from the American Library Association reported on the decline of library cats. A documentary 20 years ago cited 201 cats living the dream in American libraries, including such famous felines as Dewey and Browser. However, a recount in 2016 found only 39 library cats. While the Digitization Centre certainly can’t have a pet on the premises (that hair […]

Happy Holidays!

Posted on February 14, 2017 @9:29 am by Alyssa Hamer
Other than the colder weather, the long, dark days of December, and an exponential increase in the consumption of peppermint mochas, a sure sign of the impending Christmas holidays are the end of exams. With the stress of studying and final papers now passed, we thought it would be a great time to dig in […]

International Tea Day

Posted on March 13, 2018 @3:01 pm by Alyssa Hamer
Tea is a universally beloved beverage, uniting us all across language, age and even social barriers. Whether you’re inclined to enjoy a strong cup of earl grey, or are more partial to a delicate green, tea binds our human experience. International Tea Day is celebrated annually on December 15. The history of tea reaches back […]

Explore Open Collections: Traité Général des Pesches

Posted on January 30, 2018 @12:23 pm by Alyssa Hamer
The General Treaty of Fish, known in French as Traité général des pesches, was written by Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau and Jean-Louis De La Marre between 1769 and 1782. It focuses largely on the boats, equipment and techniques of fishermen in France during the era, including fine details about various species of fish. The text […]

Explore Open Collections – The Klondike Gold Rush

Posted on February 14, 2017 @9:29 am by Alyssa Hamer
Within our BC Historical Books collection, there is a true gold mine of materials – literally! Several of the rare and unusual texts in this collection relate to the Klondike Gold Rush era, which ran from 1897 to 1899. Documenting the lives and livelihoods of the traders and prospectors who passed through Western Canada to […]


Posted on January 10, 2018 @11:28 am by Alyssa Hamer
Movember is more than just a chance to grow out some gnarly facial hair (despite what some men may tell you)– this annual event is intended to raise awareness of men’s health issues including prostate and testicular cancer as well as men’s depression and suicide. By calling attention to some of these matters, the hope […]

International Students’ Day

Posted on February 20, 2018 @9:23 am by Alyssa Hamer
International Students’ Day is celebrated annually on November 17. It is a day of both commemoration and celebration: a chance to recognize the 1939 Nazi German storming of Czech universities and the resulting arrests and deaths of hundreds of students; and a chance to celebrate and support the continued activism of student communities around the […]

Veterans’ Week 2016

Posted on November 30, 2016 @11:10 am by Alyssa Hamer
November 5-11 is National Veterans’ Week, and to commemorate the participation of Canadian men and women in wars and conflicts, both past and present, we’re digging in to Open Collections to highlight some of our collection items from the First and Second World Wars. Our WWI & WWII Poster Collection features posters, ephemera and broadsides […]

Explore Open Collections: Archibald Murchie Collection

Posted on February 20, 2018 @9:23 am by Alyssa Hamer
A number of our smaller collections here at UBC Library contain truly interesting and unique content that provides insightful historical perspective on early British Columbian history. Today we’re highlighting one such example: the Archibald Murchie Collection is made up of more than 50 photographs taken in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s by “B.C.’s Evangelist […]

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