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.”

Transcription, Tradesmen, & Troublesome Murders: A Gold Rush Letters Blog

Posted on March 13, 2018 @3:01 pm by Alexandra Kuskowski
The Royal Fisk Gold Rush Letters are collection of over 900 original manuscript letters from the Cariboo Gold Rush period, 1862-1868.  Merchants in the Victoria area wrote the letters to Royal Fisk, a shipping agent in San Francisco, during the height and decline of the Cariboo Gold Rush. To transcribe the letters – hopefully making […]

BC Timber Trade: Big Trees and Bigger Dreams

Posted on March 8, 2018 @12:26 pm by Alexandra Kuskowski
British Columbia was built, in part, on the timber trade. Logging, timber, and surrounding work is something you can find in the collections at DI over and over and over again, starting from 1846 all the way to 2016. In this blog post we’re going to take a look back to when big dreams for […]

Happy Reading Week!

Posted on January 10, 2018 @4:29 pm by Alexandra Kuskowski
Here at UBC it is Reading Week, which means of course most students book it to the library… kidding! Nearly every person on campus has escaped the ivory tower for greener pastures, but that doesn’t mean our faithful readers can’t take a look at our collections still. Did you know since they are digital accessible […]

Poem Packs an Epic into a Tiny Package

Posted on January 10, 2018 @12:26 pm by Alexandra Kuskowski
Forget watching Star Wars, Avengers, and Lord of the Rings on your cellphone– if you are looking for a larger-than-life story delivered to you in a small container check out our newly digitized epic poem Orlando Furioso in Western Manuscripts. The full size of the book is only 11 by 5 cm. This preciously small package […]

Happy Chinese New Year

Posted on March 4, 2016 @12:38 pm by Alexandra Kuskowski
Known as the Spring Festival the Chinese New Year is a holiday determined by the lunisolar Chinese calendar- meaning the date changes from year to year. Festivities start the day before the New Year (Feb 8th this year) and continue until the Lantern Festival – celebrated this year on February 27th. For Vancouver this holiday is […]

One Hundred Poets in Person (and Online)

Posted on February 12, 2016 @12:16 pm by Alexandra Kuskowski
One of our most dazzling collections is the One Hundred Poets. Originating from the personal collection of Professor Joshua Mostow of the UBC Department of Asian Studies with material largely from the Edo-period (1615-1868), and currently the buzz around it is heating up. While our metadata is pretty comprehensive – check out the information on this […]

Women’s Work in World War 1

Posted on January 10, 2018 @12:30 pm by Alexandra Kuskowski
UBC Open Collections has lots of hidden gems to discover. One of the most historically fascinating is the women of the World War I 1914-1918 British Press photograph collection. The collection images depict multi-faceted views of World War I, and were originally distributed by the British government during the war to diplomats overseas for use […]

Behind the Scenes: Digitizing the RCMP

Posted on March 4, 2016 @12:39 pm by Alexandra Kuskowski
Here at DI we occasionally get special orders for digitization. Every once and a while the orders are for pretty exciting stuff. Recently we got an order to digitize an illustrated poster from the 1970’s about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Canada currently stored in the vaults of Rare Books and Special Collections […]

Stanley Park Pictures

Posted on February 17, 2016 @2:14 pm by Alexandra Kuskowski
One of the best things about Open Collections is the amazing amount of images and items focused on the local area. It’s easy to look back in time. Our Now & Then blog for example is a fun way to see how the UBC campus has changed. We’re turning our time machine to another beloved […]

Now & Then

Posted on March 13, 2018 @3:03 pm by Alexandra Kuskowski
As the end of one year approaches and the beginning of a new year sneaks up it’s always good to take a moment (or 5) to reflect. The Digitization Centre and UBC have seen a lot of changes, this year and over time. Our new portal Open Collections premiered this year and UBC turned 100. […]

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