UBC Library has purchased temporary electronic access to approximately 200 titles in LWW Health Library to meet the new demand for remote teaching and learning materials for use in health sciences courses at UBC. LWW Health Library is an online portal for materials from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, an imprint of the publishing company Wolters Kluwer.

Because of the health and safety measures and closure of the physical libraries in place due to COVID-19, many of the print textbooks that would be mainstays within Course Reserves for science-based courses at UBC are not currently available to faculty and students. These include titles such as the Bates Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines, basic health sciences textbooks and other specialized subject materials. Compounding the issue, digital versions of these books are simply not available for purchase in standalone e-book format from publishers. In reaching an agreement with Wolters Kluwer, the library is able to provide students, faculty and staff with electronic access to material that would otherwise only have been available in print.

The subscription went into effect in August, just in time for the start of the new term, providing continuity for students, librarians and faculty in disciplines spanning medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, speech sciences and more. UBC Library users can download and print chapters from any of the materials included in the subscription and can also make use of supplementary materials, such as self-assessment tools, video, audio, cases and other materials that can be used in class or presentations. Training is available for these tools through the subscription vendor Ovid. Contact Charlotte Beck (charlotte.beck@ubc.ca) for more information.

The subscription will remain in place for one year, thanks to the support from the Rodger Stanton and Peggy Sutherland Endowment Funds.

Access LWW Health Library materials via Summon and through the UBC Library catalogue.

This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to create and deliver responsive collections.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.

UBC Library users can now use Library Access, a browser extension that provides seamless access to UBC Library subscriptions from anywhere on the web.

The extension, which requires a ‘once only’ installation, automatically detects when users are on a website that contains content the library subscribes to and allows access without having to visit the library website first.

If the content is not accessible, the extension will automatically check for open-access versions.

For Barbara Sobol, Undergraduate Services Librarian at UBCO, the browser extension is making research easier and more intuitive for her students. “For many students, Google is often the most logical place to start,” she says, “This tool prevents them from having to fragment their research between what is accessible through the library and what is available through other sources like government websites etc. It allows them to explore the full scope of sources more easily.”

Library Access is available for most frequently used browsers: Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Microsoft Edge. 

Download the Library Access Browser extension.

Visit the Library guide for FAQs and tips for troubleshooting.

This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to create and deliver responsive collections.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.


UBC Library users are now able to access Ethnologue, an authoritative encyclopedic resource on world languages.

The database contains datasets, analytics, maps, country profiles, language families, and language profiles of the world’s 7,111 known living languages, enabling users to find in-depth information about maps, dialects, usage, and more.

Dr. Lisa Matthewson, Associate Department Head at UBC’s Department of Linguistics is thrilled to have access to this tool and is using Ethnologue in her research related to vitality and endangerment status for at-risk languages, particularly Gitksan, a Tsimshianic language spoken along the Skeena River in northwestern British Columbia. “It’s important to have accurate information about speaker numbers, as this can inform not only linguistic research, but policy decisions on the part of governments,” says Matthewson, “Given that at least 90% of the world’s languages are at risk, it’s really important to have a database that highlights language status and that reports about that status on the basis of reliable data.”

A language map captures where Gitxsan is spoken.

In addition to providing statistics for a given country, region, or the world, Ethnologue also provides raw data that allows researchers to use their own analysis tools to tease out exactly what they need.

“Ethnologue is an essential resource used heavily by language researchers across disciplines that recently moved from an open access to a paid subscription model,” says Susan Atkey, Humanities & Social Sciences Librarian, “When I heard from UBC faculty and students about how the loss of access to the statistics, maps, and language use information was affecting their research and coursework, I knew we needed to act to provide ongoing access to this key resource through the library to support vital work such as the documentation and revitalization of endangered languages.”

Explore the Ethnologue database.

This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to create and deliver responsive collections.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.

Digital archives like these are changing the parameters of what’s possible in research while improving accessibility.


UBC Library users now have access to the full digital archives of two of Canada’s major publications: Maclean’s Magazine and the Toronto Star newspaper.

Maclean’s Magazine

Maclean’s, Canada’s leading news and general interest magazine, debuted in 1905 and was founded as a “medium through which Canadians could write and hear about Canadian affairs, Canadian attitudes and Canadian traditions”. Its content is especially relevant to those researching current events, gender issues, politics and culture, the history of business and advertising in the 20th Century. The archive Includes 3,400 issues with more than 100,000 stories by some of Canada’s greatest writers and journalists including Pierre Berton, June Callwood, Peter Newman, Mordecai Richler and Peter Gzowski.  All the content (including covers and advertisements) is fully searchable.

Explore the Maclean’s Magazine archive.

The Toronto Star

The Toronto Star, Canada’s highest-circulation newspaper, was established in 1892 and, during its early years, reflected a highly-personal style of journalism emphasizing human interest and local affairs. It was an advocate of social causes such as the welfare state, old age pensions, unemployment insurance and health care, making it a major influence on the development of public policy.

“The Star is the most socially-liberal of Canada’s major newspapers,” says Keith Bunnell, Reference and Collections Librarian, Humanities & Social Sciences Division, “This acquisition provides a nice complement to the digital archives of the Globe and Mail to which UBC Library users already have access.”

The archive provides full text access to the Toronto Star from 1894 to 2016 and includes editorial and opinion pieces, advertisements, want ads, birth and death notices and even cartoons in addition to news stories. Users can search for keywords, phrases and subjects and cite search results in numerous citation styles, save in multiple document formats, save searches, and export documents to reference management tools.

Explore the Toronto Star archive.

Digital archives are changing what is possible in research

According to Dr. Laura Ishiguro, Assistant Professor in UBC’s Department of History, “When you’re working with a physical source like this in an archive or on microfilm, you’re browsing ¾ you’re reading the whole periodical,” says Ishiguro, “Digitized collections still allow you to browse like this, but their search capabilities also allow you to drop down quickly into particular topics and issues that come up over longer periods of time that otherwise might have taken months or years to identify. They are changing the kinds of research questions we can ask.”

Digital archives like these also make resources increasingly accessible. “Digital archives are really essential for researchers who are not based close to archives, including our students who live all across the region and can’t always make it to campus to do research,” she says, “It also improves access for researchers who have chronic illness or have childcare responsibilities at home, for example, and might not be able to do extended trips to archives regularly.”

Explore the many digital periodical archives available through UBC Library.

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