Digitization Projects


This list is a sampling of our completed digitization projects. You can view all our digital collections on the UBC Library Open Collections page.

Ancient Artefacts

This eclectic collection contains ancient and remarkable papyri and cuneiform tablets from the University of British Columbia Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections. The two Greek papyri in this collection likely originate from Roman Egypt and date from the second century AD. The cuneiform tablets in this collection were discovered at Ur in Chaldea, and date from 2456-2390 BCE. See our blog post for more information.


UBC Library partnered with the University of Washington Libraries to digitize this Latin American women's journal that was published in Vancouver in the 1980s and '90s. The journal is currently hosted by the University of Washington.

Arkley Croquet (Phase I)

The Arkley Croquet Image collection contains paintings, illustrations, engravings, advertisements, photographs and other ephemera depicting the game of croquet, dating from the 1850’s to the 1950’s. The images range from fine art to cartoons and everything in between, and show the rise in the game’s popularity in England and America in the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection offers a fascinating glimpse at gender roles, as croquet was one of the first games that men and women played together.

Arkley Croquet (Phase II)

The Arkley Croquet Collection is fascinating for croquet aficionados, but also for scholars and the general public interested in subject matters like art, advertisement and gender roles from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. This project is to process, describe and digitize selections from the latest accrual from Tremaine Arkley. Approximately 300 items were processed, and described. Approximately 100 items were digitized according to copyright restrictions and included in the existing digital collection. See our blog post for more information.

B.C. Historical Newspapers Phase I

UBC Library's pilot project to digitize and make available 24 of British Columbia's earliest newspapers. The British Columbia Historical Newspapers Collection makes 24 of B.C.’s earliest newspapers freely available in digital format for the first time.

B.C. Sessional Papers (Phase I)

The Sessional Papers are important provincial legislative documents that capture the economical, historical, political, and cultural atmosphere of British Columbia history. This collection consists of the first 10 years of the British Columbia Sessional Papers (1876-1886). There are also accompanying fold out maps and charts.

B.C. Sessional Papers (Phase II)

The Sessional Papers are important provincial legislative documents that capture the economical, historical, political, and cultural atmosphere of British Columbia history. This second phase of the project added an additional 25 volumes (1887-1911) to the collection. See our blog post for more information.

Berkeley Poster Collection

250 posters concerned with the advocacy for peace, equality and harmony during the Vietnam War era from the University of California's Berkeley campus and other regions in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Charles Darwin Letters

Two collections of letters, written to and by Charles Darwin.

Chinese Canadian Stories (CHRP)

"Chinese Canadian Stories: Uncommon Histories from a Common Past” is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary project led by the University of British Columbia, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP).

David Condé Fonds

UBC Library is partnering with the University of Tokyo to make this large archival fonds collection available online. The fonds contain extensive documentation on the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal) in the 1940's as well as Condé's own archives from working in Asia as an author and journalist. Digitization on this project is complete, and we will be working to make the fonds available online in Summer 2014. For more information on the collection, see the finding aid online here.

Delgamuukw Transcripts

This project makes available the Trial and Court of Appeal transcripts from the precedent-setting land claims and aboriginal title case (Delgamuukw v. British Columbia).


The UBC Library has digitized the entire run of the [Discorder], a magazine devoted to Vancouver's independent music scene and published by CiTR 101.9 FM, the Student Radio Society of the University of British Columbia. The Discorder has been published continuously from February 1983 to the present with 352 issues as of May 2014 and provides in-depth coverage of the Vancouver music scene. It is the longest running independent music magazine in Vancouver is a valuable and comprehensive resource for local music history. Coverage includes articles, reviews, photos, features, interviews, advertisements and more. In recent years the Discorder has extended its scope to include coverage of local artists, books, films and other cultural materials. While the Discorder has featured countless album and concert reviews of artists from outside of Vancouver its real value lies in its exhaustive documentation of 30+ years of music and culture unique to the city. The extensive nature of the Discorder coverage, especially of the lesser known aspects of Vancouver’s independent arts and culture scene, is found virtually nowhere else.

Dr. Andrew McCormick Collection

A diverse collection of historical maps and illustrations, dating from 1503 to 1910, that pertain to the exploration and mapping of the world, the evolution of cartography, and the exploration and settlement of North America.

Epigraphic Squeezes

Funded by the TLEF, this phase of a collaborative project with the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies will digitize a large collection of epigraphic squeezes - paper impressions of ancient Greek inscriptions. For more information on the project, see the CNERS student blog http://fromstonetoscreen.wordpress.com.

Fish Lab Notebooks

The project included digitizing field records associated with individual fish collection records in the UBC Beaty Fish Collection. The project links this field data with FishBase, providing worldwide access to over 11,000 collection records spanning a 108 year period. The project also provides critical security for these historical records which are now only stored as hard copies. See our blog post for more information.

Gold Rush Letters

An important resource for students and researchers of B.C. History, this collection of almost 900 letters from the B.C. Gold Rush provides valuable information on trade and commodities during the era. This phase of the project will digitize the letters and make them available online thanks to funding from the TLEF; future phases will seek to further develop the materials in a online learning environment.


The collection consists of court documents pertaining to legal charges against Chinese and Aboriginal individuals, most of which were heard in front of Judge Augustus Pemberton (1808-1891), and legal documents pertaining to small claims suits brought before the Inferior Court of Civil Justice in Victoria, 1858-1866. Accrual to collections contains documents related to the British Columbia Provincial Police force, and various Japanese Canadian civil rights groups.


Kinesis is a local women’s newspaper that was published by the Vancouver Status of Women organization from 1974 to 2001. It is the only Canadian national newspaper focusing on women and women’s issues, and is an invaluable and well-referenced resource for researchers in the area of gender, sexuality and social justice. The project included the digitization of all 330 issues of the newspaper.

Language and Literacy Graduating Papers

Approx. 100 papers from the Faculty of Education, currently available in print and microfiche only, have been digitized and uploaded to cIRcle.

Metro Vancouver Maps

This series of 596 detailed maps was produced in 1971, 1981 and 1983 by the Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver) and are held in the UBC Library’s Map & Atlas Collection. The maps, printed in black & white, use symbols to show lot-by-lot land use according to 64 categories, such as residential, industrial, commercial, etc. As frequent use over the years has caused the maps to deteriorate, it is imperative that we take measures now to preserve them digitally and make the images publicly available.

Okanagan Historical Society Reports

The annual reports of the OHS, one of the oldest historical societies in British Columbia, comprise an important piece of the historical record B.C. This project makes these reports freely available online back to 1925.

One Hundred Poets (Phase I)

This project is centered around a collection of largely Edo-period (1615-1868) material focusing on The One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each (Hyakunin isshu, hereafter HNIS) poetry collection, edited by the famous poet and scholar Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241). This project is part of a larger project with Professor Joshua Mostow of the Department of Asian Studies and Shirin Eshghi of UBC’s Asian Library to digitize materials, create a database, as well as host seminars and exhibits. These works once digitized will complement the Library’s other major Japanese digital collection, the Beans Tokugawa Map Collection—one of the three most important collections of Edo-period Japanese maps in the world. See our blog post for more information.

Prism Magazine

PRISM international is a quarterly magazine out of Vancouver, British Columbia, whose mandate is to publish the best in contemporary writing and translation from Canada and around the world. This digitization project is in partnership with the UBC Creative Writing department.

Puban Collection

In 1959, UBC professor Ho Ping-ti negotiated the acquisition of the world-class Puban Collection, whose 45,000 hand stitched volumes span Chinese literature, history and thought from the 12th to the 19th centuries. The core of the Puban 蒲坂藏書was originally a part of the famed Nanzhou Shu Lou 南州書樓, a large private library owned by Xu Shaoqi 徐紹棨 (1879–1948), a professor of Chinese literature and bibliography, curator of the Sun Yat-sen Library of Guangdong Province. The Sun Yat-sen Library of Guangdong Province was funded partially by Chinese Canadians in early 20th century, and it now holds many valuable titles from its first curator, Mr. Xu. The provincial librarians have been working closely with UBC Library on collaborative virtual reference services in the past a few years, and now on digitizing selected rare books on the province from Puban Collection. See our blog post for more information.

TRIUMF Archive

Approx. 100 technical and annual reports, currently available in print only, have been digitized and uploaded to cIRcle. See our blog post for more information.

Uno Langmann Family BC Photographs

This project has digitized almost 15,300 photographs and postcards from the Uno Langmann Family Collection of BC Photographs. This collection includes extensive coverage of B.C. from the 1850’s to the 1950’s and includes photographs in a wide variety of formats and genres including albums, diaries, portraits, landscapes and city/townscapes. See our blog post for more information.


A nature-oriented program that aired on the Knowledge Network between 1984 and 2007, the Westland series examined a broad range of issues associated with forestry, fresh water fishing, endangered species, and ecosystem restoration in B.C. A donation from the Halleran Collection and supported by Columbia Basin Trust, the project has digitized and preserved this collection of 250 videotapes.


See the timeline of our current digitization projects.


A selection of our digitization projects currently underway

B.C. Historical Books

BC Historical Books project is to build a single searchable database of the bibliography of British Columbia based on full-text searchable versions of the books contained therein. The result will allow scholars, students and the public unparalleled access to knowledge about our province. The 160 works which seeded this digital collection were contributed by: University of British Columbia Library, Legislative Library of BC, Royal BC Museum and Archives, Simon Fraser University Library, University of Northern British Columbia Library, University of Victoria Libraries, and Vancouver Public Library. The University of British Columbia Library continues to add to the project from its Rare Books & Special Collections holdings.

B.C. Historical Newspapers

The BC Historical Newspapers project features digitized versions of historical papers from around the province. The titles, which range from the Abbotsford Post to Westward Ho!, date from 1865 to 1994. Enhancing access to this valuable information encourages the study of B.C. history and brings research material to historians across British Columbia and beyond. B.C. Historical Newspapers is in it’s final phase of development.

B.C. Sessional Papers

B.C. Sessional Papers is a project proposes to continue work completed in the first and second phases of project by digitizing the next selection of the British Columbia Sessional Papers. We will be digitizing 41 bound volumes from the Legislative Library’s collection and making them accessible and keyword searchable via UBC Library’s CONTENTdm platform.The Sessional Papers contain unique materials that document the political, historical economic and cultural history of British Columbia. The Sessional Papers include official committee reports, orders of the day, petitions and papers presented records of land sales, correspondence, budgetary estimates, proclamations, maps, voters’ lists by district, and departmental annual reports. We anticipate that the resulting digital collection will be of interest to researchers and scholars in the fields of history, political science and other interdisciplinary studies.

The Canadian Pacific/Chung Collection Project

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection is an outstanding collection of archival documents, photographs, books and artifacts related to three broad themes: British Columbia History, Immigration and Settlement and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Recent support from Canadian Pacific enables us to complete the digitization of the items in this collection.

CiTR Audio Tapes

A collaboration between the UBC Library Digitization Centre and CiTR 101.9 FM (the Student Radio Society of UBC), the CiTR audiotape collection constitutes a wealth of broadcast content documenting the music and arts scene of Vancouver and beyond. Spanning 1949 to the year 2000, this collection will increase access to an important segment of Vancouver’s modern cultural history. The project is currently on the third phase, digitizing audio from past shows.

History of Nursing in Pacific Canada

UBC Library, together with the UBC School of Nursing Consortium for Historical Inquiry in Nursing and Health Care and the BC History of Nursing Society, has identified material that is of interest to scholars of nursing history. The primary focus for digitization is local material (British Columbia and Yukon) held at UBC Library.

One Hundred Poets Phase II

This project is centered around a collection of largely Edo-period (1615-1868) material focusing on The One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each (Hyakunin isshu, hereafter HNIS) poetry collection, edited by the famous poet and scholar Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241). This project is part of a larger project with Professor Joshua Mostow of the Department of Asian Studies and Shirin Eshghi of UBC’s Asian Library to digitize materials. Phase 2 of the One Hundred Poets project will digitize around 70 items, including 50 books and 19 woodblock prints. Phase 2 will focus on metadata enrichment for existing collection which will make the collection easier to search and access. See our blog post for more information.

Tairiku Nippō

The Japanese-Canadian newspaper "Tairiku Nippō" (Continental Daily News) was published in Vancouver between 1907 and 1941. The paper, predominantly written in Japanese, was an important source of information for Japanese immigrants to British Columbia. The Nippō sheds light on the Japanese-Canadian community previous to the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II.

Western Manuscripts

A selection of western manuscripts dating from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries, from the holdings of Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of British Columbia Library. The collection will have about 60 manuscripts when the project is complete and that the oldest one is the papal bull papal bull which is also the oldest item on Digital Initiative collections.


A selection of some of our upcoming projects that are currently in the planning stages. Stay tuned for more details!

German Consulate Fonds

Acquired from the German Consulate in Montréal sometime after the Second World War, these fonds contain a range of consular records such as correspondence, reports, and trade agreements. Digitized in 2011, the next phase of the project will make the collection available online. For more information on the fonds collection, see the finding aid here

University Publications

University Publications & Serials provides on-line access to scanned copies of newspapers and other periodicals published at the University of British Columbia. These include the Alumni Association's "Alumni Chronicle" (and its successor, "Trek"), the student newspaper "The Ubyssey", and the University's official news publication "UBC Reports." Also included are faculty/department-level periodicals, including "UBC Medicine Magazine;" the UBC Science Undergraduate Association's "The 432;" the "Indian Education Newsletter" (1970-1977); and "FOCUS," from the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems. Collectively, these publications comprise more than 67,000 pages that chronicle the historical evolution of the University. Also available are annual publications such as the "UBC Calendar" and the "Annual/Totem" student yearbook (1916-1966), as well as other published materials.

source: http://wiki.ubc.ca/Library:DigInit_Projects

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