We’re excited to announce that we’re soon going to start digitizing Discorder, the monthly(ish) music magazine published by UBC’s community radio station CiTR (101.9 FM).

Discorder has published hundreds of issues since in launched in 1983. They’ve reviewed countless albums and shows, interviewed who knows how many bands and musicians, and published lots of essays, comics, and other material. We’re excited to start scanning this important part of Vancouver’s musical history, and can’t wait until it’s all available online! Until then you can check out some of their more recent issues on Issuu.

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One of our ongoing projects at Digital Initiatives is the the BC Bibliography project. For this project we are digitizing thousands of books, pamphlets, and other publications with historical value concerning British Columbia. These run the gamut from political speeches and documents, to travelogues, to books concerning aboriginal languages (plus lots more!). While many of these books are mostly of interest to scholars and historians, its possible to find interesting content in books you might otherwise consider boring. Case in point being the British Columbia Directory, a listing of businesses and homes in British Columbia that was published for several years near the end of the 19th century. It was like a phone book before telephones were invented and before people stopped using phone books.

Williams_Directory_83_t39_RIt might look really boring from the outside (and many of the pages are just listings of names), but there are also a bunch of neat looking ads inside! The number of different fonts used in some of these ads is extremely high; I imagine graphic designers being driven insane just looking at them, and yet somehow they seem to work.

Williams_Directory_83_t13_RElectro-Plated Ware!

Williams_Directory_83_t16_LApart from pages printed on colour paper this is the only colour in the entire book, and it really stands out.


Williams_Directory_83_t31_RThat poem is actually an ad for a tobacconist, though figuring out exactly where it’s located takes some effort.

Williams_Directory_83_t36_L Williams_Directory_83_t189_RIt’s fascinating to see undertakers who also sell sewing machines, sheets, and kitchenware.

Williams_Directory_83_t396_LWilliams_Directory_83_t397_R Straight from Wikipedia: “Coraline was manufactured from the straight, stiff fibers of the Mexican ixtle plant, bound together by two strands of thread wrapped in opposite directions.”

You may not know it, but a few months ago we set up a Flickr account! We’ve chosen several collections that we feel have really great images and have started to upload them so that more people can see the work that we’re doing. If you see any images you like, we’d love for you to share them with your friends! Properly crediting us of course : )

So far we have photos from nine different collections on Flickr, and we’re uploading about a dozen new photos to a different collection every weekday. Once we finish uploading all the photos from a specific collection we’ll start adding a new one! If you have any suggestions for which collections you’d like to see on our Flickr page let us know in the comments. Follow us on Twitter to get updates about what collections have been updated, and for links to photos we think are especially awesome.

The collections on Flickr (so far) are:

 Andrew McCormick Maps and Prints

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 explorarion and settlement of North America.

Capilano Timber Company fonds

The images are originally from a single photograph album, and depict the operations of the Capilano Timber Company, including loggers, logging camps, and views of the Capilano Valley and the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver.

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. 

H. Bullock-Webster fonds

As a young man H. Bullock Webster (1855-1942) came to Canada from England and began working as an apprentice clerk for the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1874. While in the service of the company Webster travelled extensively to HBC posts throughout the Canadian west and in particular northern Alberta and British Columbia. By 1878 he was in charge of the trading post at Fort Connelly on Bear Lake in northern British Columbia. 

Although never formally trained in art, Webster sketched throughout his life. While in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company he compiled an album of some ninety three colour sketches depicting social life, activities, customs and dress in and around Hudson’s Bay Company posts mainly around Stuart Lake and Fort McLeod during the period 1874 to 1880. Many of the sketches included First Nations as well as Metis people whose participation was critical to the Canadian fur trade. 

Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era

UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections holds one of the world’s largest collections of maps and guidebooks of the Japanese Tokugawa period, ca. 1600-1867. The collection varies in both format and size: items range from small single-sheet maps to more than thirty square feet, and also include a ceramic plate, a woodblock, and 15 maps in scroll format. Most of the items in the collection are rare, and some are unique. 

Peter Anderson fonds

Born in Sweden, Peter Anderson emigrated to the United States in 1885, worked as a logger in Wisconsin, and later owned a sawmill in Washington. He later moved to British Columbia and started a new logging company at Knox Bay. The photographs document early logging operations in British Columbia as well as Anderson’s experiences in the forest industry.

R. Mathison Printing Collection

The R. Mathison Printing Collection contains materials, printed between 1886-1890, for businesses in Vancouver by R. Mathison Jr., The Job Printer. The style is visual; often with mixed fonts and fancy script.

UBC Library Framed Works

This collection includes prints, photographs, charters, and documentary artworks, all originating from diverse sources. Some of works form part of a larger collection or fonds held by the Archives or Rare Books and Special Collections. Some items are interesting examples of a particular artistic medium or technique; others provide valuable visual documentation of scenes from British Columbia’s history.

As a number of these works have little or no identification, we would welcome receiving corrections or additional information. Please contact us at spcoll@interchange.ubc.ca.

WWI Posters 
(Eventually this will have posters from WWII as well!)

Posters, broadsides, and ephemera from World War I, published in Canada, Belgium, England, France, Germany, and the United States. The posters cover a variety of subjects including recruitment and enlisting, savings stamps, savings and victory bonds, women, agriculture, and munitions. 

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