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April 23- 29 is Preservation Week! This annual initiative aims to unite communities through individual and collective efforts to preserve our personal and shared collections.

Digital preservation is the process of managing and storing digital assets (image files, audio files, video files and text files) and their associated metadata so that they are guaranteed to be accessible, available and useable in the future. Digital preservation processes apply to assets that were ‘born digital,’ as well as digitized analogue and physical assets.

We spoke to Bronwen Sprout, Head, Digital Programs and Services and Mimi Lam, Librarian, Digital Projects about some of the greatest challenges of digital preservation and how UBC Library is tackling these challenges in strategic ways. 

What are some of the biggest challenges UBC Library faces with digital preservation? 

In general, format obsolescence (the process of becoming outdated and no longer used), media degradation, planning for long term storage, and resourcing are real or potential digital preservation challenges. Developing expertise in this emerging area is also a challenge, and practically speaking, competing priorities are a challenge for us as well. The sheer volume of material that needs to be preserved is also a challenge — we need to make decisions about what to preserve and then actively manage it, and the volume of material that could be preserved just continues to increase.

How do we overcome these challenges? 

Policies and best practices will help us to make those decisions and we are seeking to address these challenges in a variety of ways. We implemented Archivematica, our digital preservation system, several years ago and are continuing to develop expertise in the Library as well as engaging stakeholders across the Library to increase awareness and knowledge of the issues. We are working with Artefactual (the company that develops Archivematica) to streamline our systems environment and pipelines, documenting all workflows and procedures, and assessing our gaps via TRAC self-audit. We also formed a Digital Preservation sub-committee that oversees and provides expertise on the policies and documentation of UBC Library’s Digital Preservation Strategy. Read more about UBC Library’s Digital Preservation Strategy.

How important is metadata in digital preservation?

Metadata is essential for a number of reasons: it is the main way Archivematica understands the package that is being ingested. i.e. metadata is matched up with the objects (such as image files) Creation of the DIP (dissemination information package) for access is entirely reliant on metadata i.e. Our objects are only as good as the metadata that accompanies it because it is via the metadata that our users can search/access our collections. Without robust metadata, objects are not findable whether they are in archival storage or the access system.

Can you share a little about some of the exciting digital preservation projects ongoing at UBC Library? 

In the Digitization Centre, one of the things we’re working on is a legacy digital preservation project: BC Historical Books is a multi-year digitization project that has been running since the Digitization Centre opened in 2011. It contains more than 1100 books listed in the multi-volume British Columbia Bibliography. This material is currently being prepared for digital preservation because it is a flagship project and one in which we have invested considerable resources and has a dedicated Metadata Student Assistant and Digital Preservation Student Assistant.

UBC Library’s digital repository, cIRcle, is home to a diverse array of digital content produced by faculty and students, including articles, conference and workshop papers, theses and dissertations, technical reports and working papers, books, datasets, learning objects, and multimedia and audio-visual materials including podcasts and webcasts. Currently, 40,000+ items from cIRcle are being preserved in Archivematica via automated pipelines.

Finally, born digital objects acquired by Rare Books and Special Collections are also being digitally preserved via Archivematica. We are currently undergoing a project to define appraisal, digital forensics, etc. procedures for born digital acquisitions for digital preservation via Archivematica.

A bibliography of British Columbia. Laying the foundations, 1849-1899 from the BC Books project.

The school term is over, finals are over, the sun is shining for more than an hour at a time… We’re spotting signs of summer both outside and in our collections!

Hats and tea, between 1895-1905


Dockside poses, 1924


Reading outdoors totally counts as being outdoorsy between 1910 and 1920


1959 family time


Wooded wonderland, between 1900 and 1910


Boating and swimming at Horseshoe Bay during the 1922 UBC Alumni Picnic


Camping at the north shore of English Bay in 1901


Boat snoozing, between 1920 and 1925


Camping and fishing with (furry) friends, 1937


Tennis trash talking, 1910


1912: Ties not optional


UBC Library’s annual Report to the Senate (2015-16) is now available. Read about our milestones from the past fiscal year, which included connecting students to transformative learning experiences, investing in collections and engaging with the community.

View the entire report below or or download the PDF.

Chinese-language materials

BL1920 W354 2016
游刃有余 : 王蒙谈老庄 / 王蒙著

CT1826 Y36 2016
人生这一场盛宴 : 十八位民国大男人的爱恋往事 / 杨萍著

DS778 W766 W8 2016
伍修权传 / 《伍修权传》编写组著

GR335.4 H83 Z43 2016
黄陂木兰传说与风物 / 张静著

HD1698 C52 P46 2016
中国黄河史话 = The stories of China’s Yellow River / 彭镇华, 彭扬华等著

ND1040 T364 2016
中国画的写意精神 / 唐建著

P305.18 T33 X536 2016
汉语避讳研究 / 向熹著

PL2303 F8 2016
四分之三的沉默 : 当代文学对话录 / 傅小平著

PL2924 C533 Q8 2016
去雅典的鞋子 / 叶兆言著

 PL2974 E637 F45 2016
飞满金翅雀的下午 : 曾思艺诗选 / 曾思艺著

Japanese-language materials

BL2225 I82 I82445 2015
伊勢神宮の智恵 / 河合真如

D810 L53 K36 2013
疎開した四〇万冊の図書 / 金高謙二

HD8726 S375 2016
昭和の消えた仕事図鑑 / 文=澤宮優 ; イラスト=平野恵理子

PE1068 J3 K83 2015
グローバル化社会と言語教育 : クリティカルな視点から = Language education in an era of globalization : critical perspectives / 久保田竜子著 ; 奥田朋世監訳

PL839 A7 z656 2016
谷崎潤一郎のディスクール : 近代読者への接近 / 日高佳紀.

Korean-language materials

DS904 .H27684 2015
한국 의 유네스코 세계 유산 / 남 창근, 백 길남, 심 준용, 이 준성, 이 지은, 이 현성, 정 명식, 조 두원, 조 유진 지음.

DS916.594.M36 P334 2016
사진 으로 보는 만주 지역 한인 의 삶 과 기억 의 공간 / 박 환

G2331.S4 C46 2015
한반도, 서양 고지도 로 만나다 : 중세 부터 근대 까지, 서양 고지도 속 한반도 에 대한 총체적 분석 / 정 인철 지음.

PL914.4 P354 2016
외국인 을 위한 한국어 문장 쓰기 의 모든 것 = All about writing Korean sentences / 박 미경, 김 지연, 권 제은 지음

PL930 .Y534 2016
국어 어휘 의 역사 / 이 광호.

PL994.18 M58 A6 2016
머리 검은 토끼 와 그 밖 의 이야기들 : 최 민우 소설

During this period, IKBLC will be closed to faculty, staff and students. The main study areas in the IKBLC, including the Chapman Learning Commons, will reopen at 8 p.m.

Please refer to the Library Hours & Locations to make alternative plans.

Hockey season may be over for the Canucks, but with a long history, the sport lives all year in our collections!


Women’s field hockey team, circa 1898


UBC women’s ice hockey, 1921


Hockey game against Czechoslovakia, 1980


1950s field hockey with Oxford-Cambridge


McGill women’s grass hockey, 1911


Canadian field hockey pioneer Dr. Harry Warren pictured with children (no date)


Smith Falls High School hockey (no date)


Women’s grass hockey, 1944


Ice hockey, 1939


Canadian women’s field hockey champions, 1980/81


If it’s the sounds of hockey you’re missing, we have an hour-long broadcast of a 1974 ice hockey game against Alberta you can listen to here.

Planning a remodel? Want to refresh your decor? You just might catch the renovation bug after checking out these spaces!

Perhaps vintage log cabin is your style: nature-inspired and cozy.

Interior view of log cabin, circa 1933

How about a touch of Spanish flair? Milk glass lighting, plenty of greenery and a mix of stripes with more intricate tile patterns.

A courtyard in Blanes, Spain, between 1940 and 1950

Go glam nerd — but not too glam — by pairing a bold accent color and chandelier with some fresh flowers and books. If it’s good enough for Queen Elizabeth’s visit, it’s good for us.

UBC Faculty Club, Royal visit 1959

Logging camp has a farmhouse vibe that benefits from lots of white paint and using everyday utensils as storage.

MacMillan Bloedel Limited kitchen, 1907

Deep woods and rich leathers are the trademark of nautical smoking lounge style. Also, if you love chevron but hate that it’s out of style, here’s proof that chevron was a thing long before the 2010s. This whole look is #timeless.

Smoking room aboard the first C.P. R.M.S. Empress of Scotland, 1921

If you prefer a more contemporary approach, lab chic has you covered: Open shelving shows some personality, and a table instead of a desk makes the space feel less cluttered. Metal bar stools enhance the modern discomfort vibes.

Laboratory, Fairview campus

Vacation is a graphic style that merges striking patterns in an energizing way that tells others, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!”

Verandah and bedroom suite of the second C.P. R.M.S. Empress of Japan, 1930s

Love all the barn wood wall coverings you see at cafes? How about industrial lighting with exposed bulbs? Early hipster coffeehouse combines both trends.

Cook House, Capilano Timber Company


And, finally, with any design project, the devil is in the details. Here are a few takeaways that you can apply to any decor.

Leggy trough sinks with exposed plumbing and wall-mount faucets – they’re pretty and very practical for hand-washing your clothes. And that fold-out ironing board is just too practical!

Fort Camp laundry room

Wall-mount phones are back! Okay maybe not, but this office offers some advice for your own home workspace, like it’s A-OK to display multiple calendars (who doesn’t love calendars?). Also storage can be sensible and decorative – just check out that mesh letter holder hung on the wall.

View of interior office, 1920, Capilano Timber Company

There’s a lot to take in here, but the faceted door really grabs your attention.

P.S.S. Kathleen smoke room alcove, 1924

And in case you’ve been looking for the perfect place to add that family (or alma mater) crest, doorknobs make a delightful unexpected detail.

University Librarian’s office, 2003





UBC Library is the first institution in Canada to provide access to the South China Morning Post’s digital archives to its users. First published in 1903, the English-language newspaper is a premier publication known for its authoritative, influential and independent reporting on all of Asia.

This acquisition has been a number of years in the making,” says Allan Cho, Community Engagement Librarian at UBC Library, “This is something that UBC Faculty has asked for and we’re happy that after much effort at Koerner Library, we were able to make this happen.”

Perhaps most significant about the South China Morning Post is its editorial perspective and balanced coverage of key events in the development of China throughout the 20th century. “This newspaper is known for upholding Freedom of the Press — it has always managed to escape official censorship,” explains Cho, “It has provided objective, impartial coverage of important events in Hong Kong, China and all of Asia, from the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty in 1911, to the Communist Revolution in 1949, to the Hong Kong riots in 1967.”

The May 7, 1967 issue of the South China Morning Post covering the Hong Kong Riots.

UBC Scholars are excited about research and teaching opportunities that access to SCMP’s archives will allow. “The South China Morning Post is a Hong Kong newspaper, but it has also covered, in great depth, the news of its surrounding regions,” adds Dr. Leo Shin, Associate Professor in Chinese History, “The UBC community has gained access to an important historical archive of East and Southeast Asia.”

The acquisition will have a significant impact on research in Chinese history, Hong Kong studies, British history, Imperial studies, Asian Canadian and Asian Migration studies as well as Vancouver history. “Access to the complete run of the SCMP means that scholars and students alike are now able to make use of an even wider range of first-hand materials to study Hong Kong and its surrounding regions,” says Shin.

Access the South China Morning Post archive.

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