Phase 3 of the British Columbia Sessional papers have been digitized, and extend the collection over a further twenty-year period, from 1912 to 1932. With the addition of these 664 new papers, the collection now totals 2409 items!


Learn about prohibition in BC! Here is the first report from the Prohibition Commissioner, ca. 1920. Click on the image to read more.

The Sessional Papers are an annual collection of selected papers tabled in BC’s Legislative Council (1865-1871) and Legislative Assembly (1872-1982). These papers highlight the cultural, economic, social and political atmosphere of their historical era.


The Kermode Bear display, featured in the 1912 report of the Provincial Museum.

The project is a collaboration between several provincial institutions, known as the BC Government Publications Digitization Group, which aims to increase access to high-demand government materials.


Fire and burglaries and…. loganberry wine? Oh my!

This multi-year project now enters into Phase 4. Learn more about the BC Sessional Papers, or check out previous posts about the project here and here.

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, and in order to celebrate, today’s post will feature highlights from UBC Library’s collection of Japanese-Canadian newspaper, Tairiku Nippō (Continental Daily News). Published in Vancouver between 1907 and 1941 and written primarily in Japanese, the Tairiku Nippō acted as an important informational resource and community touchstone for Japanese immigrants to British Columbia prior to the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II.

1908.01.06 - 17

A page from the Jan. 6, 1908 issue.

This newspaper provides insight into the lives of pre-war Japanese Canadians in the Lower Mainland, covering religious announcements, community events, and other information relating to the community at the time. There are also some pretty nifty advertisements throughout the newspaper too, including shoe mongers and even a steam car wash.

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Steam Car Wash advert, ca. 1940


This collection has been digitized by UBC as a part of its Japanese Canadian Student Tribute, which honours the 76 Japanese-Canadian students who were unable to complete their UBC degrees or could not attend their graduation ceremonies as a result of the 1942 internment.

1939.04.05- 700

Great ads in this April 5, 1939 issue

Digital Initiatives has partnered with Dr. Norifumi Kawahara, of Ritsumeikan University in Japan, in order to identify key pieces of information contained within each issue, such as major headlines and cover stories. Dr. Kawahara’s graduate students interpret the text and then provide transcriptions of this information in both Kanji and Romaji. This is important work, especially since computer software to read and interpret Asian languages (OCR), especially in relation to older documents, is much more challenging than with Latin script!

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A page taken from one of the final issues of Tairiku Nippō, Jan. 8, 1941

Join UBC Library in commemorating Asian Heritage Month – check out a number of exhibitions taking place this month on campus, review the Asian Library’s Great Reads, or browse some of our other online collections relating to Asian Heritage below!


To see the map for yourself or check on anything you see in this post- just click the pictures!

B.C. Historical Newspapers collection is a priceless resource for anyone interested in the history of British Columbia. In fact it is one of our most well used, well-loved collections!The [current] selection of 94 papers [and growing!] and 30,000 items reflects the social and culture life of the communities they were published in, making them invaluable to researchers, historians and curious folk alike. A resource, with the introduction of Open Collections, that just got even better!

The papers come from all around the province with titles ranging from the Abbotsford Post to Westward Ho! The dates span over a hundred years, from 1865 to 1989.

With Open Collections you can now browse through the papers by text, date, creator, through a listed scrolling bar, or even, most visually stunning, by map.


Many collections display the publisher and the published dates as you browse.

Clicking on a collection will take you to its personalized page where you can browse by date with a scrolling year bar.


Dates the paper was published are highlighted in brown.

Clicking on a date will take you to that paper- where you are free to scroll, zoom and  download!



My favorite Boundary Creek page- not only does it have “all the wants of man”, but it’s got a vintage picture of what’s likely every miner living in Boundary Creek in 1896.

This collection is one that we are continually making better. Many of the papers are being updated so that you can have the best information possible, so keep checking back to see what new things you can find!

UBC had a centennial birthday yesterday! On September 30th 1915 the University of British Columbia held the first lectures for the newly formed University. To celebrate this momentus occasion we’re  taking a look back here on the blog at DI. Memories abound all over the campus and beyond.

Check out some of the amusing, amazing, even astonishing photos of what else was going on in the year 1915. Click on the pictures to see even more.

1st building

Leonard_Klinck_sitting_by_first_building_at_Point_Grey_Campus This is the first and second buildings on what would become the UBC campus taken in 1951. Check out that sign on the first building– “Danger” is right!

The year 1915 was also a major year in WW1. Many people were volunteering for the army, being shipped overseas, or participating in the war effort however they could.

Oh_please_do_Daddy_Buy_me_a_victory_bond (1)

The common citizen would have seen a lot of posters for Victory Bonds- bonds sold by the government to support the war effort.

Soldiers_marching_in_Vancouver_Island (1)

Thousands gathered to see volunteers of the 30th Battalion leave for the front in Victoria BC

Three_soldiers (1)

Soldier_in_uniform Both men and women volunteered as soliders involved in the war effort.

At home people kept on living- getting married, working, and gardening- and of course, going to school!

Bride_groom_and_groomsman_with_flower_girls (2)    Farmers (1)Group_photo_of_women_students (1)


We’ve posted about the Uno Langmann BC Historical Photograph Collection before here, here, and here, but now we’ve got even more to talk about!

Like, for example, this newly uploaded photo:


Of the 4 people in this picture at least 2 are thinking only about that dog.

In case you want a refresher (and to know where this photo originates) – The Uno Langmann BC Historical Photograph Collection, with over 18,000 photographs, was donated by Uno Langmann a local Vancouver art dealer and his wife. It is considered an amazing collection of early photography, and local provincial history. The photos themselves span the ages – from 1850 all the way to the 1970s!

Today we want to announce lots of new albums from this collection have gone live! From only two albums last year at this time we now have more than 55 albums up for exploration- with more to come!

Take a bite out of the Uno Langmann BC Historical Photograph Collection! Click on any of the pictures to be taken to the albums.

Get a look into daily life…


A photo taken between 1895-1905 –Parenting the old school way…in between reading your books.


Titled “The Student” –This girl is ready to take on UBC in the fall don’t you think?


Whose up for watching the band play by the water? Everyone? Okay!

Local history is everywhere in these photos too, from the fire at Pier D in 1911, to the building of the Lions Gate Bridge.


Lions Gate bridge half built!


Fire at Pier D in 1911 – One of the largest and most infamous of the Vancouver waterfront fires.

Hope these images we’ve collected wet your appetite for more!


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