Indigitization recently announced the launch of its new redesigned website, along with a new style guide, which was developed for this web project. The site facilitates digital storytelling to showcase the work of the Indigitization team and its community partners.

As part of our efforts to make our collections more easily accessible during this time, UBC Library is excited to announce our participation in the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS).

Through this service, UBC students, faculty and staff will have access to nearly 750,000 digitized items from UBC Library’s print collections, as well as continued access to more than 6.7 million public domain and Creative Commons-licensed works in the HathiTrust Digital Library.

HathiTrust is a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries that provides access to a digital preservation repository with lawful access to more than 17 million digitized items. Earlier this spring, HathiTrust introduced its Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), which allows students, faculty, and staff from eligible member libraries to have online reading access to materials that are physically unavailable due to restrictions accessing print collections during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service is a huge benefit for UBC Students and Faculty continuing their research and studies, providing digital access to approximately 750K items held in UBC Library’s print collections unavailable anywhere else,” says Sheldon Armstrong, UBC Library’s Associate University Librarian, Collections.

How does this service work?

  • Only those books that HathiTrust has verified as belonging to UBC Library’s print collections will be accessible through the service.
  • While the ETAS is operational, physical copies of UBC Library books held in ETAS will not be available for order through UBC Library’s Materials Pick-up service. The number of copies available through HathiTrust for each book coincides with the number of print copies UBC Library owns in its print collections.
  • When checking out an item, users will have 60 minutes of access to the book during any session. If users remain active in the book during any session, access time will be extended.
  • HathiTrust enables reading access to the book online, within a web browser. Books checked out through HathiTrust cannot be downloaded in full; however, individual pages may be downloaded.
  • Only UBC Library students, faculty, and staff are permitted access to eligible items when logged-in to HathiTrust.
  • Once access to UBC Library’s print collections is fully reinstated, access to in-copyright materials through this service will end.

How to access the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service

  • The Library has incorporated HathiTrust ETAS links to digitized copies of print titles into its catalogue.
  • Click on the orange Online Access button in a record for an item, this will lead to a CWL Authentication login page. Once the login is successful (duo authentication is required), the user will proceed to the title in HathiTrust ETAS.
  • Click on either “Catalog Record” or “Temporary Access.”
    • If more than one volume or copy has been digitized, “Catalog Record” will need to be clicked first. From the following screen click on “Temporary Access” (the Institution where the digital copy was created will be listed).
    • If only one item has been digitized, “Temporary Access” appears right away, and you can click there immediately.
  • From the next screen a yellow banner at the top of the screen will read “Access to this work is provided throught the Emergency Temporary Access Service.
  • Click the “Check Out” button.


  • From anywhere on the HathiTrust website, click the yellow LOG IN
  • Find and select “University of British Columbia” in the list of partner institutions.
  • Log in with your CWL login and password.
  • When you have successfully logged in, you will be returned to the HathiTrust website.
  • Enter your search terms in the search bar and select the “Search HathiTrust” button to submit your search.

Get started by visiting the HathiTrust website now. If you have questions about the service or require support, please contact Sheldon Armstrong (

This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to inspire with innovative spaces and services.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.

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Library service updates

Visit us for research help, to see our  collections, or to find a place to study. At Xwi7xwa Library everyone is welcome!

Being able to tell your own story is powerful. Below, we have pulled out a few memoirs we have at Xwi7xwa Library and available online through UBC catalogue that illustrate the power of Indigenous People telling their own stories.

Halfbreed by Maria Campbell depicts the realities that Campbell endured and, above all, overcame. Maria was born in Northern Saskatchewan, her father the grandson of a Scottish businessman and Métis woman–a niece of Gabriel Dumont whose family fought alongside Riel and Dumont in the 1885 Rebellion; her mother the daughter of a Cree woman and French-American man. This extraordinary account, originally published in 1973, bravely explores the poverty, oppression, alcoholism, addiction, and tragedy Maria endured throughout her childhood and into her early adult life, underscored by living in the margins of a country pervaded by hatred, discrimination, and mistrust.

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma.

From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way by Jesse Thistle is the winner of the 2020 Indigenous Voices-Memoir category. It is an heartwarming and heartbreaking exploration of what it means to live in a society surrounded by prejudice and racism and to be cast adrift, and in the end, about how love and support can help one find happiness despite the odds.

Bobbi Lee, Indian Rebel by Lee Maracle is a gritty portrait of a turbulent home life and harrowing adventures on the road, from the mud flats of North Vancouver to the farm fields of California and the fringes of the hippie subculture in Toronto. Renowned author Lee Maracle’s groundbreaking biographical novel captures the spirit of Indigenous resistance during the Red Power movement of the 60s and 70s, chronicling a journey towards political consciousness in the movement for self-determination.

In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience by Helen Knott is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption.

Creating Space: My Life and Work in Indigenous Education by Verna J. Kirkness reveals the challenges and misgivings, the burning questions, the successes and failures that have shaped the life of this extraordinary woman and the history of Indigenous education in Canada.

One Story, One Song by Richard Wagamese invites readers to accompany him on his travels. His focus is on stories: how they shape us, how they empower us, how they change our lives. Ancient and contemporary, cultural and spiritual, funny and sad, the tales are grouped according to the four Ojibway storytelling principles: balance, harmony, knowledge and intuition.

Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl by Anahareo; edited by Sophie McCall captures Anahareo’s and her husband Grey Owl’s extensive travels through the bush and their work towards environmental and wildlife protection. This autobiography covers the daily life of an extraordinary Mohawk woman whose independence, intellect, and moral conviction had direct influence on Grey Owl’s conversion from trapper to conservationist.

Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir by Ernestine Hayes is told in layers that blend Indigenous stories and metaphor with social and spiritual journeys, this enchanting memoir traces the author’s life from her difficult childhood growing up in the Tlingit community, through her adulthood, during which she lived for some time in Seattle and San Francisco, and eventually to her return home.

The Library has launched an on-campus pick-up service to enable UBC students, faculty and staff to access items in the collection that are not available in electronic formats.

As we come to the end of Indigenous Peoples’ History Month, Technical Services and Xwi7xwa Library are pleased to announce a recent step undertaken in the Library’s effort to decolonize Indigenous subject headings. You may have noticed that many thousands of Xwi7xwa records previously containing the term “First Nations” now use the broader heading Aboriginal Canadians. For many years, Xwi7xwa Library’s own thesaurus has rejected the LCSH term “Indians of North America” in favour of local alternatives. As Sarah Dupont, Head of Xwi7xwa Library states, “When Aboriginal Peoples go looking to find representations of our many diverse knowledges in the Library collections, we should be able to search using terms we use to describe ourselves. We should not feel the sting of antiquated, colonial, and racist words that perpetuate negative connotations of us, especially when we and our Allies go to do the work of lifting academia and broader society out of these shadows through our scholarly efforts.” Adolfo Tarango, Head of Technical Services, adds, “While we know terminology that attempts to group Aboriginal Canadians is fraught with problems of historic, contextual, and personal challenges, new words to both represent them as a group and replace the most prevalent, problematic phrase Indians of North America were needed to signal a shift in how we think about our roles as professionals in the continued mis-treatment of ‘othered’ peoples.” Sue Andrews, Principle Cataloguer, adds, “Our choice of the new phrase, Aboriginal Canadians, has helped us to correct earlier interpretations and uses of the term “First Nations” in our records, and to instead provide a term that is more inclusive of the different groups that represent our rich heritage of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples in Canada. By selecting a term used widely in Canadian contexts by Aboriginal Canadians themselves we uphold our principle of “cultural warrant” for our choices of terms in our FNHL thesaurus.”

We commit to being responsive to changing this term as needed, and look to our First Nations, Métis, and Inuit colleagues to advise us along this journey. Congratulations, Xwi7xwa and Technical Services!

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