Experience history at the tip of your pencil crayons and celebrate #ColorOurCollections week with UBC Library's 'Maps and Landscapes' themed digital colouring book series.
Experience history at the tip of your pencil crayons with our new 'Maps and Landscapes' themed digital colouring book series.


One hundred and six years of British Columbia’s governmental papers are now available to anyone with a wifi connection and a device. The British Columbia Sessional Papers, an annual collection of selected papers tabled in the Legislative Council of British Columbia and the Legislative Assembly is now publicly accessible through UBC Library’s Open Collections.

The collection contains materials that document the political, historical, economic and cultural history of British Columbia and includes official committee reports, orders of the day, petitions and papers presented, records of land sales, correspondence, budgetary estimates, proclamations, maps, voters lists by district, and departmental annual reports.

The multi-year project began as a collaborative endeavor in 2014 executed by five provincial institutions, collectively known as the BC Government Publications Digitization Group. The group made up of representatives from UBC, the Legislative Library of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria and the University of Northern British Columbia aims to increase access to primary source materials.  The project was then carried out by UBC Library thanks to a grant from The British Columbia History Digitization Program and materials provided by the Legislative Library of British Columbia.

Improved accessibility facilitates research

The collection, which now includes over 4,000 items in total, highlights the cultural, economic, social and political atmosphere of their historical era and are being used for research in multiple fields.

“Annual reports within the Sessional Papers have helped answer reference questions about the history of public schools in British Columbia, road and infrastructure policies of the 1940s and 1950s and relations with the provincial government and First Nations Peoples,” notes Susan Paterson, Government Publications Librarian at UBC Library. “The project has also been used by researchers outside of UBC including Canadian federal departments, law firms, and independent researchers.” Digital Projects Librarian Eirian Vining confirms the relevance of these papers to broader researchers: “We also see a lot of genealogists using these materials because of the voter lists contained within them.”

Andrea Lister, Editor of British Columbia History Magazine uses the records regularly for fact-checking and appreciates the increased accessibility, “The collection allows researchers, regardless of location, access to records that allow for analysis of the political, historical, economic, and cultural history of British Columbia.”

An eye to preservation

The project has also enabled UBC Library to better preserve the collection. “This collection is not easily browsed,” says Vining, “So, now it can be accessed more frequently and more widely without the worry of wear and tear.”

The collection is well-used with more than 17,000 item downloads and more than 860K item views since its launch and is being used by researchers globally including France, the U.S., Germany, China, Russia and the Ukraine.

Explore the British Columbia Sessional Papers collection through UBC Library’s Open Collections. 

Digital Repository Librarian

Digital Initiatives, UBC Library | Vancouver Campus

Full-Time, One-Year Term

Anticipated Start Date: March 1, 2019 


The University of British Columbia Library is one of the largest academic libraries in Canada providing access to a collection of over 7M items. UBC Library has 14 branches and divisions on two campuses (Vancouver and Kelowna), including one off-site hospital library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre – a multi-purpose teaching and learning facility.

More than 300 knowledgeable employees – librarians, management and professional staff, support staff and student staff – provide users with the excellent resources and services that they need to further their research, teaching and learning.  The UBC Library Strategic Plan 2015-2017 can be viewed at http://about.library.ubc.ca/strategic-plan/  To learn more about working with UBC Library and to explore our aspirational values visit UBC Library – Why work with us. 


The Digital Repository Librarian is responsible for developing, supporting, and assessing content recruitment activities as well as managing the content in cIRcle, UBC’s open access digital repository.  The role is also responsible for managing the repository software and technical system administration of the cIRcle database; managing the development and implementation of content policies and procedures; ensuring copyright compliance of repository content; and undertaking promotion of cIRcle and open access. The Digital Repository Librarian is responsible for many of the day-to-day activities of cIRcle, including liaising with reference librarians and with faculty regarding content recruitment, assuring the application of interoperability standards for metadata; assisting with ongoing development of an assessment program for the digital repository, overseeing internal records management activities in the cIRcle office, and developing and maintaining the cIRcle web site. May hire and supervise student employees.



  • A graduate degree from an accredited school of Library, Archival and Information Science.
  • Knowledge of digital repository software platforms, as well as other tools in the digital library environment. Knowledge of open access mandates and agreements regarding the deposit of materials into open access repositories.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative team environment.
  • Excellent communication, analytical, organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to make effective presentations to faculty, students, library colleagues, etc.
  • Demonstrated project management skills, both independently and as a team member.
  • Public service experience and demonstrated commitment to customer service
  • An aptitude for entrepreneurial activity in project identification and project development.
  • Excellent analytical, organizational, problem solving and interpersonal skills.
  • Flexibility and willingness to assume a variety of assignments.
  • Ability to recognize, respect and work effectively with individuals and groups with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Takes initiative in learning about language and issues relating to equity and diversity.
  • Ability to develop and maintain cooperative and productive working relationships and engage in workplace culture.
  • Ability to recognize and appreciate the contributions of colleagues.
  • Committed to demonstrating respect for colleagues at every level by trusting in their abilities and knowledge to perform their roles and earning respect through meeting commitments.
  • Models and demonstrates good communication through active listening and appreciative inquiry and open to providing and receiving timely, constructive feedback.
  • Listens to, encourages and expresses creative and innovative ideas. Open to experiment and improvise with new ways of approaching processes, tasks or problems.


  • Working experience with digital repositories.
  • Working experience in a research or other large academic library, and public service experience.
  • Understanding of the changing environment of scholarly communication and of new publishing models.
  • Understanding of copyright and permissions issues.
  • Working knowledge of project management software.


Reports to the Head, Digital Programs and Services. cIRcle is part of Digital Programs and Services (DPS), and strategic direction is provided by the AUL, Digital Programs and Services. A high degree of planning, collaboration and coordination with other staff in the Library and with external partners is required, particularly with Information Technology staff, reference librarians, Central Technical Services staff, and colleagues in other Digital Programs and Services units. Works closely with external software contractors, and may supervise the work of library staff and student assistants.


  • Collaborates with reference librarians and faculty to recruit content that falls within the cIRcle acquisition policy.
  • Manages content recruitment projects and content management workflows.
  • Facilitates support for institutional compliance with open access requirements, including the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy to make resulting peer-reviewed journal articles freely available online within 12 months of publication.
  • Develops project and workflow schedules, overseeing copyright and license management workflows, and creating training materials and procedural documentation.
  • Coordinates educational efforts with other library units and delivers internal and external presentations to build awareness and confidence in repository services.
  • Develops, refines and applies assessment criteria for the digital repository.
  • Collaborates with IT and DPS to maintain digital preservation program.
  • Promotes cIRcle and open access both on and off campus.
  • Manages the implementation, customization and troubleshooting of repository software.
  • Consults with Central Technical Services staff regarding mediated deposit service workflows and metadata issues and works to ensure that appropriate content management support for the cIRcle database is in place.
  • Undertakes and assists with projects and initiatives aimed at the enhancement and expansion of repository and related services.
  • Coordinates reporting of software problems, specification of software customizations and upgrades, and software testing.
  • Performs system administrator functions in the cIRcle database (currently using DSpace).
  • Develops and maintains content for the cIRcle web site.
  • Participates in library committees and works on special projects as assigned.
  • Supervises staff and student employees as required.

The nature and scope of the responsibilities for this position is expected to change as the Library organization and digital repository services evolve. 


This position is a full-time, term appointment for one year.

We are seeking applications from Librarians with up to 2 years of experience.  However, all internal candidates will be considered regardless of years of experience and are encouraged to apply. Salary will be commensurate with experience and academic/professional qualifications.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Applications will include: a detailed and current curriculum vitae; and a letter of application that includes a statement of citizenship/immigration status and indicates the candidate’s education, training and work experience in the areas listed above.  

To view the complete job description and to submit an application, please visit the UBC Careers page at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/careers-postings/faculty.php by midnight on January 21, 2018.

The Digital Initiatives (DI) Unit is a key part of UBC Library’s effort to adapt to the evolving needs of faculty and students, and to support teaching, research and learning at UBC. Its goal is to create sustainable, world-class programs and processes to make the collections and research at UBC available to the world.

The Digital Initiatives team is frequently fascinated and excited by the vast amount of primary-source material that it encounters in its digitization work. Whether a document of historic significance, a beautiful illustration or even a particularly fine typeface, DI is often amazed by the materials they’re working to share with audiences at UBC and beyond. 

Make sure to check out the Digitizers’ Blog to find some of the favourites, hand-picked by DI staff from existing and upcoming collections. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!  

UBC Library’s British Columbia Historical Newspapers Project, which features digitized versions of 24 newspapers from around the province, has received some great media coverage.

Articles have appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Nelson Star, Metro Vancouver (see page 28) and Moncton’s Times & Transcript. A mention of the project is featured in this CBC News article

CBC Radio also interviewed Allan Bell, Director of Library Digital Initiatives, for two programs – Radio West and On the Coast.

You can find out more about the B.C. Historical Newspapers Project in the press release.

A selection of comments from social media regarding the project are available in Storify.


Image courtesy of UBC Library

More than 45,000 pages chronicling B.C.’s storied past are available online thanks to the British Columbia Historical Newspapers Project. Read the press release to find out more about this great UBC Library initiative.

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