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.

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