Poets and local writers are rejoicing with UBC Library’s Digitization Centre’s digitization of PRISM international.

PRISM is the oldest literary magazine in western Canada, established in 1959. It is well known for publishing both acclaimed Canadian writing and international literature.

“The digitization of PRISM international’s archives is an important step in preserving and promoting influential literature, both Canadian and international,” says current Poetry Editor, Dominique Bernier-Cormier.

Digitization allows anyone with an interest in literature to look at more than 50 years of work by prominent authors, and provides the opportunity to discover new generations of writers. More than a dozen award-winning writers have been featured in the magazine, from Canadian writers Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje to Nobel Prize winners Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Seamus Heaney.

In 1977, the magazine became a student-run publication, run by graduate students of UBC Creative Writing program. Several of the editors have gone on to become noted authors, novelists and poets, such as Jacob Zilber, Steven Galloway, Madeleine Thien and Sheryda Warrener.

PRISM‘s digitized archives are essential in connecting different communities, and generations, of writers and readers,” says Bernier-Cormier. The PRISM website offers reviews, interviews with authors, and contests for emerging writers – some of which are featured in the magazine itself.

The digitization project was initiated and funded by PRISM staff, and took the Digitization Centre four months to complete. 194 issues of the magazine are now available online, from 1959 to 2015. New issues will be added as they are published.

For more information, visit the PRISM collection in the Library’s Digital Collections portal.



PRISM covers 

Issue 48:2 (2010), Issue 47:2 (2009), Issue 46:3 (2008)

Prism_48_2_001_R Prism_47_2_001_R Prism_46_3_001_R

This fall, UBC Library has new resources available to trial for UBC students, faculty, staff, and on-site Library users.

Cambridge Editions

East View – Cambridge Archives Editions


These resources are available from September 2 to October 2, 2015. Cambridge Archives Editions represents thousands of original documents of the National Archives (UK) represented in facsimile, including numerous maps, on the national heritage and political development of numerous countries.

Sage Video

Sage Video Collection

Available from September 8 to November 6, 2015, this cross-discipline resource combines originally commissioned material with licensed videos in the areas of Education, Media, Communication and Cultural Studies, and Counseling & Psychotherapy.


Feedback on use of these trial resources is strongly encouraged. If additional help is required while using an electronic resource, please contact the subject librarian listed on the resource page.


Over the past five years UBC Library has aligned our priorities with current and future trends. Check out our Community Report: Year 5 for an update on our transformation in discovery, learning, collaboration and research. 

Stories reflect key milestones resulting from the Library’s five-year Strategic Plan (2010 – 2015). Find out how the Library is:

UBC Library’s digital collections are accessed by scholars and students globally, and new content is added regularly. Here’s a glimpse of some recent additions:

  • Puban Collection
    Consisting of 45,000 hand-stitched volumes spanning Chinese history, literature and thought from the 12th to 19th centuries, the Puban Collection was acquired with the help of UBC professor Ho Ping-ti in 1959.
  • Discorder Magazine
    Devoted to in-depth coverage of Vancouver’s independent music scene, Discorder magazine is published by UBC’s student-run CiTR 101.9 FM radio station. All existing issues of the magazine are now available to view online, and new issues will be added as they are published.
  • BC Sessional Papers, Phase 2
    BC’s Sessional Papers document political, historical, economic and cultural history of British Columbia. New additions to this collection include committee reports, petitions, correspondence, maps, voter lists and more from 1887-1911.

image of books

To explore these and other digital collections, please visit the digital collections portal.
Be sure to watch for UBC Library’s new Open Collections website, a new, user-friendly platform for the Library’s digital collections. Launching summer 2015.


This story originally appeared in the Friends 2015 spring newsletter.

Discover magazine cover

The June 2000 issue of Discorder magazine

Since 1983, Discorder, the magazine published by CiTR 101.9 FM, has been a unique and trusted voice for the independent music and culture scene in Vancouver.

Digitization of the 30+ year archive of this publication, has now been completed, in a joint effort between UBC Library Digitization Centre and the Student Radio Society of the University of British Columbia.

The Digitization Centre will continue to add to this digital archive as new issues are published. View the archive here.

Read 20 years of Discorder get digitized in the Ubyssey.

A Discorder magazine cover, circa 1985, featuring Grapes of Wrath.

A Discorder magazine cover, circa 1985, featuring Grapes of Wrath.

Indie music aficionados can now comb through a 30 year online archive of one of Vancouver’s longest running magazines, Discorder, thanks to a collaboration between CiTR 101.9 FM Radio and UBC Library’s Digitization Centre. The Library has completed digitization of the magazine’s entire run, beginning from February 1983 to the present, providing a retrospective look at Vancouver’s independent music and arts and culture scene.

“This project provided a great opportunity for UBC Library’s digitization program to open doors to current and new fans of this important publication and to digitally preserve a key piece of Vancouver’s cultural history, “ says Bronwen Sprout, Head of Digital Programs and Services at the Library.


Dedicated to covering local music, arts and culture, Discorder – published by CiTR, UBC’s student radio society – has chronicled the stories of bands forming and breaking up, venues opening and closing, musician collaborations and jams on different projects, reviews of long-forgotten albums, and shows that describe the grit and glory of Vancouver’s music scene.


“If it’s not online, it didn’t happen,” says Susanne Tabata, a CiTR alumni Susanne Tabata and the filmmaker behind Bloodied But Unbowed, a history of Vancouver’s punk music scene. Tabata is aware of the work involved with scouring archives to tell a story about Vancouver’s past and believes that the digitization of the historical archives will provide “cultural reference points for writers, journalists, musicians, historians, designers, and artists.”


CiTR is currently embarking on its annual Fundrive, to raise $40,000 to launch a new website and continue digitizing its collection of reel-to-reels. This audio includes live performances of local bands throughout the 90’s, including Maow, Destroyer, D.B.S. and more.

The 2013/14 Report of the University Librarian to the Senate is now available. Read about our highlights from last year including our new study and collaboration spaces, additions to our physical and digital collections, initiatives to strengthen our ties with the First Nations and Asian communities and more. Learn about our upcoming plans as we move into the final year of the Library strategic plan.

View the entire report below or download the PDF.


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