Miss dropping by the reference desk in Koerner Library to get help with your research? Starting January 25th, 2021, Koerner Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences librarians will be holding virtual reference hours over Zoom. These will be held Monday to Friday, from 11am-2pm.

To join, you can:

  1. Click on the following link: https://ubc.zoom.us/s/67725677759
  2. Use the Meeting ID: 677 2567 7759 and Passcode: 221688 in your Zoom application.

Read more about the other Research Help services we offer!

We at Koerner Library wish everyone a safe and restful winter break!

Askaway and our regular reference hours will be back on January 4th. Our e-resources are always available to access!


The United Nations International Migrants Day on December 18th aims to raise awareness about the challenges and difficulties of international migration as well as recognize the rights of migrants throughout the world. This year’s observance of International Migrants Day focuses on the stories of social cohesion, which are as varied and unique as each of the 272 million migrants living new lives and building new communities in every corner of the globe.

2020 also marks the inauguration of the UBC Centre for Migration Studies. As an independent institutional unit within the Faculty of Arts—and as the only centre of its kind in Western Canada—the Centre for Migration Studies promotes cutting-edge research, interdisciplinary collaborations between researchers, community partners and policy makers in order to advance our understanding of global migration and to mobilize knowledge for evidence-informed policies and practices.

Check out these examples of publications from UBC Centre for Migration Studies collaborators below to learn more about stories of migration, and the complex contexts in which they occur.

Sex, Love, and Migration Sex, Love, and Migration: Postsocialism, Modernity, and Intimacy from Istanbul to the Arctic by Alexia Block | E-book Link

This book examines global inequality beyond familiar discussions of exploitative relationships that divide the world between the “Third/First World” or “Global South/North” by looking at the way that post-Soviet women have crossed borders between the former Soviet Union and Turkey as labor migrants. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, it considers how they negotiate emotion, intimate relationships, and unpredictable state powers shaping their lives.

Gender in Refugee Law : From the Margins to the Centre book cover

Gender in Refugee Law: From the Margins to the Centre edited by Efrat Arbel, Catherine Dauvergne, and Jenni Millbank | E-book Link

Questions of gender have strongly influenced the development of international refugee law over the last few decades. This volume edited by UBC Centre for Migration Studies collaborator Efrat Arbel assesses the progress toward appropriate recognition of gender-related persecution in refugee law.

Migration in Performance : Crossing the Colonial Present book cover

Migration in Performance: Crossing the Colonial Present by Caleb Johnston and Geraldine Pratt | E-book Link

Co-written by Geraldine Pratt, a collaborator with the UBC Centre for Migration Studies, this book follows the travels of Nanay, a testimonial theatre play developed from research with migrant domestic workers in Canada, as it was recreated and restaged in different places around the globe. This work examines how Canadian migration policy is embedded across and within histories of colonialism in the Philippines and settler colonialism in Canada.

New Chinese Migrations : Mobility, Home, and Inspirations book cover

New Chinese Migrations: Mobility, Home, Inspirations edited by Yuk Wah Chan and Sin Yee Koh | E-Book Link

This book identifies and examines new forms and paths of Chinese migration since the 1980s, and includes a chapter by UBC Centre for Migration Studies collaborator Amanda Cheong entitled “Immigration and Shifting Conceptions of Citizenship.”

Policy Transformation in Canada

Policy Transformation in Canada: Is the Past Prologue? edited by Carolyn Luges Tuohy, Sophie Borwein, Peter John Loewen and Andrew Potter | E-Book Link

UBC Centre for Migration Studies faculty Antje Ellerman has contributed an essay on Canadian immigration policy to this edited volume that explores the past, present, and future of Canadian policymaking.

Exchanges and Parallels between Italy and East Asia

Exchanges and Parallels Between Italy and East Asian edited by Gaoheng Zhang and Mario Mignone | E-book Link

This collection of essays co-edited by UBC Centre for Migration Studies faculty member Gaoheng Zhang is the first English-language study to present the latest research on Italy’s cultural relationships with China and Japan across the centuries. It explores topics ranging from travel writing to creative arts, from translation to religious accommodation, and from Cold War politics to Chinese American cuisine.


With the stress of finals, papers, and term project due dates taking over our lives these days, it’s important to take care of yourself and take breaks.  Explore these resources from UBC Library to help you de-stress.


Celebrate Souvankham Thammavongsa’s recent Giller Prize win! We have the winning short story collection How to Pronounce Knife on order, but in the mean time you can check out her other books in UBC Library’s collections.  You can request these materials for pickup at Koerner Library with the UBC Library Get It service.

Sounds to Chill Out To

UBC Library has access to many streaming music and spoken word services that are a perfect backdrop for some relaxation time.

The Classical Music Library provides access to over 60,000 racks, including recordings from early music to contemporary from the world’s greatest labels including Hyperion, Bridge Records, Sanctuary Classics, Artemis-Vanguard, Vox and many more.

We have several Naxos online libraries for all musical tastes, including Naxos Music for classical music, Naxos Jazz, Naxos World, and Naxos Spoken Word.

Or if you feel like being whisked away to a live performance, explore the Berliner-Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall and its offerings of live performances.


Imagine living in architectural masterpieces with the audiovisual tours of buildings on OnArchitecture.

Or go window shopping and check out amazing outfits on the Berg Fashion Library or in the Vogue Archives.

Read Other (Historical) People’s Mail

Immerse yourself in other people’s lives. UBC Library has several databases that collect together materials like broadsides, letters, diaries, and other materials that provide intimate insights into people’s everyday lives across history.

Every Day Life and Women in America contains primary source material from the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History, Duke University and The New York Public Library around various subjects including  politics, gender, religion, race, education, employment, marriage, sexuality, home and family life, health and pastimes. The collection is especially rich in conduct of life and domestic-management literature.

British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries extends back to the 1500s, and shows readers how diaries have been used and have evolved.

Spanning more than 300 years, North American Women’s Letters and Diaries is the largest electronic collection of women’s diaries and correspondence ever assembled.

With more than 100,000 pages of personal narratives including letters, diaries, pamphlets, and oral histories, North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories provides a unique and personal view of what it meant to immigrate to America and Canada.

Or hear stories of others’ travel in Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History,a collection of women’s travel diaries and correspondence from The Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Great Reads and Views

There’s no better escape than curling up with a good book, tv show, or film.

Check out UBC Library’s Great Reads Collection, leisure reading materials including literary classics, fiction and non-fiction bestsellers and more!

UBC Library provides access to several streaming services through which you can watch movies, tv shows, and other audiovisual materials. Read all about them and connect through our Streaming Media at UBC Research Guide.

On November 11, we take time to remember those who have served and made sacrifices for Canada during times of war and conflict. But how do we remember? And what does this tell us about our society, history and culture? Explore these e-books and e-resources from UBC Library’s collections which invite us to broaden our understanding around topics of war, memory, and commemoration.

War Memories: Commemoration, Recollections, and Writings on War by Stéphanie A.H. Bélanger and Renée Dickason | e-book link

Offers an international perspective on war commemoration, focusing on how patriotic fervour, resistance, conscientious objection, injury, trauma, and propaganda contribute to the shaping of individual and collective memory.

War Memory and Commemoration, edited by Brad West | e-book link

Presents studies of commemorative practices from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East, and illustrates the power of new commemorative forms to shape the world.

Battlefield Events: Landscape, commemoration and heritage: Reeves, Keir, Bird, Geoffrey R., James, Laura, Stichelbaut, Birger, Bourgeois, Jean: 9781138900592: Military: Amazon Canada

Battlefield Events: Landscape, Commemoration, and Heritage, edited by Geoffrey R. Reeves, Laura James Bird, Birger Stichelbaut, and Jean Bourgeois | e-book link

Charts landscapes of war and processes of remembering at these places has influenced the management of these warscapes in the present day. With chapters from authors based in seven different countries on three continents and comparative case studies.

Memory, Place and Identity: Commemoration and remembrance of war and conflict: Drozdzewski, Danielle, De Nardi, Sarah, Waterton, Emma: 9781138923218: Books - Amazon.ca

Memory, Place and Identity: Commemoration and Remembrance of War and Conflict, edited by Danielle Drozdzewski, Sarah De Nardi and Emma Waterton | e-book link

This book examines how diverse publics relate to their wartime histories through engagements with everyday collective memories through a multidisciplinary perspective, with insights from history, memory studies, social psychology, cultural and urban geography.

Remembering the First World War: Ziino, Bart: 9780415856324: Military: Amazon Canada

Remembering the First World War, edited by Bart Ziino | e-book Link

Brings together a group of international scholars to understand how and why the past quarter of a century has witnessed such an extraordinary increase in global popular and academic interest in the First World War.


Forgotten Warriors, directed by Loretta Todd | Streaming Video Link

Although they could not be conscripted, when World War II was declared, thousands of Indigenous Canadian men and women enlisted and fought alongside their non-Indigenous countrymen. Ironically, they fought for freedom for others while being denied equality in their own country. With narrator Gordon Tootoosis providing an historical overview, Indigenous veterans poignantly share their unforgettable war memories and their healing process.

Want to learn more about Remembrance Day? UBC Library has a wealth of other primary resources.

Check out the First World War database that brings together digitized historical materials, including diaries, letters, posters, as well as digitized everyday artifacts that the user can explore in 3 dimensions virtually.

Or to get more insight into the daily lives of those who lived through wars, browse through Mass Observation Online, an archive of diaries and field notes recorded in a revolutionary social research project between 1937-1965 that enlisted citizen volunteers to document their everyday experiences and observations.

You can also explore the World War I and II poster collection and the World War I British press photograph collection from Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library, hosted on our Open Collections platform.

Take part in UBC’s own commemoration event, a virtual Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 11th at 10:45am. You can watch the livestream here.

Are you wanting to practise your Italian? Learn more about Italian history in its own language? Koerner Library has just acquired a number of recent releases in the Italian language in Humanities and Social Sciences. Check out some highlights below.

Pasolini by Antonio Tricomi
Pasolini by Antonio Tricomi (Italian) | e-book

A profile of Pasolini’s varied works as well as a review of the main critical interpretations of these works.

Il teatro gay in Italia. Testi e documenti - Antonio Pizzo - Libro - Accademia University Press - Mimesis journal books | IBS
Il teatro gay in Italia: testi e documenti edited by Antonio Pizzo (Italian) | e-book

Collects historical and contemporary texts, as well as critical analyses around queer theater in Italy to give a sense of the cultural context in which this movement was born.

Profondo Sud. Storia, documentario e Mezzogiorno - Mariangela Palmieri - Libro - Liguori - Cinema e storia | IBS
Profondo Sud: storia, documentario e Mezzogiorno by Mariangela Palmieri (Italian) | e-book

Considers a large number of documentaries about the South of Italy, and the role these films have played in establishing an identity for this area.

Cityscapes of hellenistic Sicily : proceedings of a conference of the Excellence Cluster Topoi : the formation and Transformation of Space and knowledge in ancient civilizations held at Berl: 9788854910027: Books - Amazon.ca
Cityscapes of Hellenistic Sicily: proceedings of a Conference of the Excellence Cluster Topoi: the Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations (English, Italian, German) | e-book

Includes contributions in English and German as well as Italian.


Rinascimento in mostra
Rinascimento in mostra: la civiltà italiana tra storia e ideologia all’Esposizione universale di Roma by Igor Melani (Italian) | e-book

Exploresthe “Exhibition of Italian Civilization” conceived as part of the planned 1942 Universal Exposition in Rome.

La Storia sul grande schermo. Risorgimento e Resistenza nel cinema italiano tra Ricostruzione e miracolo economico (1945-1965) - Pietro Cavallo - Libro - Liguori - Storia contemporanea | IBS
Storia sul grande schermo: Risorigmento e Resistenza nel cinema italiano tra Ricostruzione e miracolo economico (1945-1965) by Pietro Cavallo (Italian) | e-book

Examines cinema between the Second World War and 1960s in Italy, and the role it plays in emotionally reconstructing the past.


Have you exhausted all of Netflix’s offerings, and looking for a different kind of film? Are you a theatre-buff missing the experience of live productions? UBC Library subscribes to Drama Online, an award-winning digital resource designed for literature and drama courses, and which includes high-quality video of theatrical productions. Take a look and explore:

  • The RSC Live Collection: The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best.  Made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world, the RSC produces an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.

The Drama Online collection also includes e-books, playtexts, and images of productions from around the world, including classic and modern plays. The platform allows you to browse by theme, genre, or period, or browse by material type, making it an indispensable resource for literature or theatre students, or anyone interested in the art and craft of theatre.

Image:”Dress Circle Level, Prince of Wales Theatre,” by Can Pac Swire is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Join UBC Vancouver Library, UBC Okanagan Library, the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology (Vancouver), and the Centre for Teaching and Learning (Okanagan) from October 19-October 24 for Open Access Week, where a variety of speakers and events will explore the many facets of open access. Take a look at the full list of events and register  here.

Open Access refers to an alternative academic publishing model in which research outputs (including peer-reviewed academic journal articles, theses, book chapters, and monographs) are made freely available to the general public for viewing, and often for reuse. This is unlike the traditional scholarly publishing model under which publishers require institutions or individuals to pay for access to these materials.

Looking for Open Access Materials through the UBC Library homepage?

The Library’s general search tool Summon currently indexes more than 200 million open access items, including articles, books, thesis, technical reports, images, and more. These items are made accessible in a variety of ways, including as full text resources (e.g. pdf, image, etc.) or through the descriptive metadata allowing you to find the full resource in open access repositories.

On the Library homepage, search using Summon (General), and limit your results to openly accessible content using the “Refine Your Search” filter for “Open Access.” When you see OpenVersion in a result, that is a link to download a version of the article from Unpaywall, a database of almost 26 million free scholarly articles.  Note that this open access version may not be the same as the final published version.  Read more about Unpaywall here.


UBC Library also provides a list of Open Access journals/indexes that you can access through our catalogue.

Want to Learn More About Publishing Open Access?

If you are interested in moving your work to Open Access, the Scholarly Communications Office at UBC Library has recently launched the UBC Open Access Fund for Humanities and Social Sciences Research which is designed to help offset some of the costs associated with this publishing model. If you have any questions about Open Access, or the fund, get in touch with the Scholarly Communications Office at UBC Library who are there to provide support for all your publishing questions.

Orange Shirt Day on September 30th is an important occasion to honour the more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children who attended Indian residential schools in Canada between the late 1800s and 1996, and to recognize the legacy of this system.

Below, we’ve highlighted materials from Koerner Library’s collections written by Indigenous authors that reflect on the impacts of the Indian Residential School system in Canada. You can request these items through UBC Library’s Materials Pick Up Service by clicking on the orange “Get It” button on the right toolbar, or check out e-books and other related resources through the included links.

You can also learn more about Orange Shirt Day events at UBC, as well as activities and learning resources at UBC’s Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre web resource on Orange Shirt Day.


The Education of Augie Merasty - A Residential School Memoir - New Edition

The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir by Joseph Auguste Merasty and David Carpenter (e-book version)

The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir by Joseph Auguste Merasty and David Carpenter (physical copy)

Merasty, a survivor of the Indian Residential School system in Canada, recounts the ways these schools did more than attempt to mold children in the ways of white society. They were taught to be ashamed of their native heritage and, as he experienced, often suffered physical and sexual abuse. Even as he looks back on this painful part of his childhood, Merasty’s generous and authentic voice shines through.


They Called Me Number One: Survival and Secrets at an Indian Residential School by Bev Sellars

Xat’sull Chief Bev Sellars spent her childhood in a church-run residential school. Beginning at the age of five, Sellars was isolated for two years at Coqualeetza Indian Tuberculosis Hospital in Sardis, British Columbia, nearly six hours’ drive from home. The trauma of these experiences has reverberated throughout her life. In this first full-length memoir to be published out of St. Joseph’s Mission at Williams Lake, BC, Sellars tells of three generations of women who attended the school, interweaving the personal histories of her grandmother and her mother with her own.



“Speaking My Truth” : Reflections on Reconciliation and Residential Schools selected by Shelagh Rogers, Mike DeGagné, Jonathan Dewar, and Glen Lowry

This collection of stories looks at the history of Residential School and possibilities for reconciliation from the perspective First Nation, Inuit, and Metis peoples. It features first-person accounts from survivors, intergenerational survivors, and seeks to provide students and educators with a resource for generating understanding and much-needed debate around difficult questions of Reconciliation among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada.



Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J. McLeod (e-book version)

Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J. McLeod (physical copy)

Growing up in the tiny village of Smith, Alberta, Darrel J. McLeod was surrounded by his Cree family’s history. In shifting and unpredictable stories, his mother, Bertha, shared narratives of their culture, their family and the cruelty that she and her sisters endured in residential school.This intimate autobiography reflects on the inter-generational impacts of the residential school system.




Indian Horse (a novel) by Richard Wagamese (e-book version)

Indian Horse (a novel) by Richard Wagamese (physical copy)

In this novel by Richard Wagamese (Ojibwe), Saul Indian Horse is in trouble, and there seems to be only one way out. As he journeys his way back through his life as a northern Ojibway, from the horrors of residential school to his triumphs on the hockey rink, he must question everything he knows.

You can also stream the 2018 film adaptation of Wagamese’s book through our Criterion On Demand Streaming Service, or watch a video of Wagamese speaking about the book at an event at UBC in 2013.


If you’re interested in learning more about the history and impacts of the Indian Residential School System in Canada, Koerner Library has several physical and electronic books on the topic. You can also consult the Indian Residential School System in Canada research guide created by Xwi7xwa Library for tips on how to find resources in UBC Library’s catalogue and databases, as well as other relevant collections or resources.

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