Library:DigInit Projects

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The Digitization Centre works in collaboration with UBC departments, UBC Library branches and other groups within the UBC community to build our digital collections. We also partner with public libraries and archives throughout British Columbia and academic institutions around the world to create the digital resources available through our Open Collections. These partnerships make our work possible by providing access to rare and unique materials worth preserving.

If you are interested in working with us on a project, visit our Work With Us page.

Here is a selection of some of our projects. To view the full list, visit Open Collections.

Featured Projects

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Charles Darwin Letters
This collection includes two groups of letters to and from Charles Darwin (1809-1882), an evolutionary biologist and the originator of the natural selection concept. The Darwin-Burdon-Sanderson Letters 1873-1881 include discussions between Darwin and John Scott Burdon Sanderson (1828-1905) about research that was later published in "Insectivorous Plants" (1875). The second group of letters is part of the Fox/Pearce (Darwin) Collection 1821-1884.
Project partners: UBC Woodward Library, UBC Rare Books and Special Collections
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German Consulate Fonds
The fonds consists of correspondence, reports and memoranda (1935-1939) of the Consul General. Also included are Montreal office papers dating from 1919 and a few original documents from the Vancouver Consulate (1909-1911). There are copies of correspondence from the German Consulates in Ottawa, St. John's, Newfoundland, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
Project partners: UBC Rare Books and Special Collections
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Japanese Canadian Photograph Collection
As part of the Japanese Canadian Research Collection, the JCPC documents the various experiences of Japanese nationals and Canadians citizens of Japanese descent living in British Columbia, including their treatment during World War II.
Project partners: UBC Asian Library, UBC Rare Books and Special Collections
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Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs
The collection includes more than 7,900 images from 77 albums, representing British Columbia from the 1850s to the 1950s. It includes photographs in different formats and genres, such as albums, diaries, portraits, landscapes and city/townscapes.
Project partners: UBC Rare Books and Special Collections
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Community Partnerships

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BC Sessional Papers
The British Columbia Sessional Papers are an annual collection of selected papers tabled in the Legislative Council of British Columbia (2nd to 8th Sessions, 1865-1871) and the Legislative Assembly (1st to 32nd Parliaments, 1872-1982).
Project partners: BC Government Publication Librarians Group (including the Legislative Library of BC), Simon Fraser University Library, University of Northern BC Library, and University of Victoria Libraries
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Chinese Rare Books Collection
A collection of rare Chinese books from the UBC Asian Library collection composed mainly of works from the Puban (蒲坂藏書) and Pang Jingtang (龐鏡塘藏書). 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), who was a professor of Chinese literature and bibliography.
Project partners: Sun Yat Sen Library (Guangdond Province, China), the National Central Library of Taiwan, UBC Asian Library
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Rainbow Ranche Collection
The Rainbow Ranche Collection was donated to the Lake Country Museum and Archives in 2013 by the family of the late James Goldie. The Rainbow Ranche was one of the first independent fruit ranches in the Okanagan, owned by several partners and managed by onsite partner James Goldie.
Project partners: The Lake Country Museum and Archives
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Yip Sang Collection
The Yip family in Vancouver began with Yip Sang's arrival in B.C. in 1881. Yip Sang was one of the driving forces in the establishment of the Chinese Benevolent Association, the Chinese School and the Chinese Hospital (now Mount St. Joseph's) in Vancouver. He was a lifetime governor of Vancouver General Hospital and was also a benefactor of the Public Hospital in Guangdong province in China.
Project partners: City of Vancouver Archives
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Ongoing Projects

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BC Historical Books
The three bibliographies of British Columbia, published by the Social Sciences Research Center at the University of Victoria (B.C.) between the late 1960's and mid-1970's, provide the foundation for this project. The BC Historical Books project aims to build a single searchable database of the bibliographies based on full-text searchable versions of the books contained therein.
The process of digitization is ongoing and new records will continue to be added from Rare Books & Special Collections holdings
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BC 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 the Ymir Miner, date from 1865 to 1994.
Access to the microfilm used to create this collection generously provided by the Royal British Columbia Museum and British Columbia Provincial Archives.
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The Chung Collection
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. Donated in 1999 by Drs. Wallace and Madeline Chung, the Chung Collection is held at UBC Library's Rare Books and Special Collections.
The process of digitization is ongoing and new records will continue to be added.
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Okanagan Historical Society
The Okanagan Historical Society (OHS) has been chronicling the history of the Okanagan Valley since 1925, making it one of the oldest historical societies in British Columbia. The OHS has always been active in promoting the history of the Okanagan Valley and each year has published their Annual Report entitled Okanagan History, which is believed to be one of the longest, continually published historical periodicals in British Columbia.
This collection is currently up to date and new issues will continue to be added as they become available, with a rolling wall embargo period of 5 years.
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PRISM International
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. It is the oldest literary magazine in western Canada (established in 1959) and is well known for publishing both acclaimed Canadian writing and international literature. This digitization project is in partnership with the UBC Creative Writing department.
This collection is currently up to date and new issues will continue to be added as they become available.
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UBC Publications
Enjoy on-line access to scanned copies of newspapers and other periodicals published at UBC. Collectively, these publications comprise more than 67,000 pages that chronicle the historical evolution of the University.
This collection is currently up to date and new issues will be added as they become available.
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Teaching & Learning

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Epigraphic Squeezes
Epigraphic squeezes are filter paper impression of inscriptions. This collection represents inscriptions from Athens and the surrounding area of Attica and Nemea from the 5th century BCE.
At UBC, the materials of this collection are used in assignments and translation exercises that introduce students to the field of digital humanities.
Project partners: From Stone to Screen, an initiative of the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies (CNERS), with funding from UBC's Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund. Learn more about the project at the From Stone to Screen website.
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One Hundred Poets | 百人一首
The collection consists of 74 books and 20 different card sets relating to the poetry anthology Hyakunin Isshu 百人一首 (One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each), edited by the poet and scholar Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241) in the 1230s.
At UBC, the collection is used in Japanese literature and poetry classes and seminars.
Project partners: UBC Department of Asian Studies, UBC Asian Library, UBC Rare Books and Special Collections, UBC Technical Services, with funding from Toshiba International Foundation
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Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era
The Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era is the world's largest collection of maps and guidebooks of the period 1600-1967. It is focused on privately published and travel related maps and guides published during the Tokugawa or Edo period.
At UBC, this collection is used in Japanese Travel Literature classes and conferences associated with the topic.
Project partners: UBC Woodward Library, UBC Rare Books and Special Collections.
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Royal Fisk Gold Rush Letters
The collection has over 900 manuscript letters from the Cariboo Gold Rush period (1862-1868), correspondents from merchants, telegrams, bills of exchange and other documents related to the Fisk Hotel in Silver City, California.
At UBC, this collection is used in Canadian History classes and as a topic for assignments.
Project partners: UBC Woodward Library, UBC Rare Books, and Special Collections.
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