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.”

International Tea Day

Posted on December 14, 2016 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 December 6, 2016 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 November 30, 2016 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 November 23, 2016 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 November 16, 2016 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 9, 2016 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 November 2, 2016 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 […]

Celebrate Open – Impact Report 2015-2016

Posted on October 27, 2016 by Alyssa Hamer
It’s Open Access Week 2016, a chance to celebrate practices that promote Open Access, Open Data and Open Education. This year’s theme is “Open in Action”, an opportunity to highlight key activities that the academic and scholarly community is taking to support and expand open access initiatives. Here at the Digitization Centre we are proud […]

How We Digitize – Revisiting the Berkeley Poster Collection

Posted on October 19, 2016 by Alyssa Hamer
The Berkeley Poster Collection, housed at the UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, contains 250 posters created between 1968 to 1973 which document the advocacy and activism of student groups during the Vietnam War era. These posters attest to the tense political climate present in the United States and South East Asia during that […]

Celebrate Autumn

Posted on October 12, 2016 by Alyssa Hamer
Go, sit upon the lofty hill, And turn your eyes around, Where waving woods and waters wild Do hymn an autumn sound. The summer sun is faint on them — The summer flowers depart — Sit still — as all transform’d to stone, Except your musing heart. How there you sat in summer-time, May yet […]

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