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.

 

staff viewing the document

Katherine Kalsbeek and Richard Pollard admire the Papal bull acquired by UBC Library. Credit: Don Erhardt

 

An extraordinary Papal document that’s nearly 800 years old has become a valuable teaching and research tool at UBC, thanks to a history instructor’s passion and the restoration efforts of UBC Library.

The medieval text, called a Papal bull, was written in 1245. A legal decree issued in Latin by Pope Innocent IV to the Italian convent of San Michele in Trento, it features the signatures of the Pope and 13 cardinals (including future pope Nicholas III). Papal bulls exist elsewhere in Canada, but most are from the 15th century or later, making UBC’s one of the oldest of its kind in Canada.

“UBC has acquired something really exceptional,” says Richard Pollard, an early European specialist and instructor in UBC’s Department of History. “It’s very useful as a representation of medieval documents generally.”

With recommendations from UBC’s English and History departments, the Library acquired the document for approximately $15,000 last May from Bernard Quaritch Ltd., an antiquarian book and manuscript seller in London, England.

image of seal

Detail of the leaden seal, referred to as the “bull”; it features images of St. Paul and St. Peter. Credit: Don Erhardt

 

The bull, although in good condition, had numerous thick creases, small gaps and tears – the result of being stored in a folded fashion for centuries. Over the course of several weeks, the parchment was painstakingly restored by Anne Lama, the Library’s conservator. She dusted, filled gaps, dried, and eventually flattened the bull using a humidification chamber – meaning users can now read the document without damaging it. “The document is like a patient,” explains Lama. “Restoration is like medicine.”

 

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map of vancouver

1983 Land Use: City of Vancouver,” from the Greater Vancouver Regional District Planning Department Land Use Maps collection, courtesy of UBC Library’s Digital Collections.

 

In this month’s issue of LibFOCUS, the focus is on campus and urban planning. We celebrate the groundbreaking of a new Library facility, award a book prize for a bio of a renowned local architect, provide walking tours and explore land use maps from decades past. 

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