Digitization of BC Sessional Papers, from 1933-1952,
 is on its way.

Phase 3 of Sessional Papers has been approved and digitization will start this summer! This phase will look at 41 bound volumes from the British Columbia Sessional Papers. It will increase our current collection by 19 years – and as an added bonus there will be fold out maps and charts to check out.

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More maps like this are coming to you soon!

The Sessional Papers are important provincial legislative documents that capture the economical, historical, political, and cultural atmosphere of British Columbia history. The Sessional Papers include 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.

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There’s tons of historical content! – For a belated celebration of International Women’s Day – Sessional papers has women petitioning for the vote in Canada

Click here to visit our digital collections page to view the volumes we have digitized.

Click here to read more about what sessional papers are and how they can be utilized for research.

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Right now digitized content in Sessional Papers runs from 1878 to 1931

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You can find all sorts of things in Sessional Papers – take a look now and keep your eyes peeled for more coming soon!

Forget watching Star WarsAvengers, and Lord of the Rings on your cellphone– if you are looking for a larger-than-life story delivered to you in a small container check out our newly digitized epic poem Orlando Furioso in Western Manuscripts. The full size of the book is only 11 by 5 cm.

This preciously small package packs a punch though! Orlando Furioso is an Italian epic poem written in 1516. With 46 cantos (or chapters) this is one of the longest poems in literature. Our version, one of the earliest, was published in 1577.

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Orlando Furioso – when translated in to French became “Roland” – so a more apt translation of the title into English is “Raging Roland”

The poem follows Orlando, a singular knight involved in the war between Charlemagne’s Christians and the Saracen army that attempted to take over Europe. The setting ranges over the whole world, with a trip to Hell and the moon thrown in! As befitting any epic there are also soldiers, sorcerers, gigantic sea monsters, and even a hippogriff.

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This is the Canto where the main characters go from Hell to the moon. Hard to tell which one it is from this picture!

The poem focuses romantic chivalry, especially on Orlando’s love for a princess, which among other things drives him into a mad killing frenzy – romantic enough for Valentine’s day?

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A female knight is also one of the main character of the poem. Here she she is taking down a foe!

For us the tiny, tightly bound book was a challenge to digitize. Not only was it old, small, and fragile- the print often goes very close to the center binding, making it difficult to get a complete picture of for digitization.

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Can you spot the sea monster in this canto?

However here at the Digitization Centre we are nothing if not dogged in our pursuit of world digitization. To bring this epic poem to you in a digital format we used our ATIZ machine, shifting the book cradle from side to side as we digitized. It may have taken a few tries and a long while but, and this is a direct quote from our main digitizer, Leslie Fields “all in all it was really worth it”

So check it out for your self to see what all the fuss is about!

One of the best things about Open Collections is the amazing amount of images and items focused on the local area. It’s easy to look back in time. Our Now & Then blog for example is a fun way to see how the UBC campus has changed.

We’re turning our time machine to another beloved local landmark, Stanley Park. The park, which was dedicated over 125 years ago in 1888, has been a gathering spot long before settlers arrived.

Originally home to First Nations peoples the park land has evidence suggesting habitation up to 3,000 years ago. At the turn of the 17th century the settlements of Whoi Whoi and Chaythoos were removed to make was for the development of the area.

The landmark of Siwash Rock, located near  Third Beach, was once called Slahkayulsh which translates to he is standing up. Oral histories relate to story of a fisherman was transformed into the rock by three brothers as punishment for immorality.

No. 63 - Siwash Rock, Stanley Park, Vancouver, B. Taken 1912

No. 63 – Siwash Rock, Stanley Park, Vancouver, B. Taken 1912

Much of the park is still densely forested. With half a million trees it’s close to what it was in the late 1800s. Some of the trees, which stand as tall as 76 meters (249 ft) and can are hundreds of years old.

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Can you spot the men in these pictures? They are worthy of a ‘Where’s Waldo’ photo!

Many trees tourist attractions and have been for over a hundred years. Take for example the Hollow tree- which still exists in the park! Here’s a photo from over 100 years ago!

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One famous tree landmark that is gone now but can still be seen in our photo collections is the Seven Sisters, a grouping of seven enormous trees. Legend has it that the trees were seven kind souls lined up to protect visitors from an evil soul embodied in a white rock.

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So, if you have an hour or two get dressed in your Sunday best and see the park for yourself! Or explore the history of Stanley Park through Open Collections.

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Learn more about Stanley Park, learn about the history behind the park

Happy Holidays everyone!

Hope you are all enjoying the holiday break. We compiled a few items for your to peruse from our collections that run in the holiday spirit. Click on any image to see it closer or download it. Hope you enjoy!

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Sequoia tree with Christmas lights in front of Library

 

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Prospector Christmas 1902

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The British Columbia Mining Record supplement. Christmas 1900

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Thesis Christmas Sheet music

 

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And last but not least… Angry Santa Disrecorder

 

 

We’ve got a special treat for the blog today! An advance peek at new digitizations:

Vintage Vancouver circa.1925-1933

This hand tinted shot of Vancouver taken between 1925 and 1933 is from some of the Uno Langmann Collection items awaiting digitization. It is a panorama taken from the Capitol Hill area over the Burrard Inlet showing much of Vancouver proper as well as North Vancouver.

From the photo you can see a clear view of the Lions mountains. In the lower righthand side you can see what is today known as the Second Narrows train crossing bridge. It is one of the few things that date the photo. The original bridge was constructed in 1925 mainly for train travel, and was the first to connect Vancouver to the North Shore. After being hit a number of times by ships passing through  it was bought in 1933 be the government, and had a lift section added- which is not seen here.

Here’s a video of the image being scanned. Curious? Learn more about our scanners!

 

 

On the left side of the photo you can see the Giant Dipper, a rollercoaster built in 1925, in what is now the PNE, but was then known as the Vancouver Exhibition. It  was demolished in 1948 to make room for an expanding Hastings Racecourse track.

There is also something missing from this photo. The Lions Gate Bridge isn’t hidden behind the clouds, it wasn’t built until 1938.

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This photo has been edited to make the image easier to see – It is extremely faint in the original scan.

Other cool things to note about this image – it was printed on the back of “Empress Jam” cardboard. Empress Manufacturing Co., Ltd.,  imported coffees and made local jams and jellies and one of the earliest and most successful of the local food supply companies.

This week we are going give you a sneak preview of one of the coolest new machines coming soon to the Digital Initiatives, and even better a new collection we are partnering with Woodward Library!

The machine sounds about as futuristic as it gets—a 3D imager. But not to worry, it is far from HAL territory.

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The imager is made up of small tent, turntable, some light boxes, an image program, a Canon EOS camera.

Currently the 3D imager is being used to digitize the Memorial Artifact Collection at Woodward. The collections of 450 medical artifacts are from mainly the 19th and 20th centuries (though there are a few from as early as the the 18th century and as last as the 21st century). People from the British Columbia area, including retiring doctors and antiques collectors, donated the bulk of the collection. The items range from brass microscopes, to cough syrup bottles – with cough syrup still in them, to electroshock therapy machines

 

 

 

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Check out one of the first items to be digitized: a Whitehead mouth gag. It was once used to hold patient’s mouths open during mouth examinations. The camera snaps each item as it rotates on the table 16 times.

It allows for cool gif’s like this! [here’s hoping this works on wordpress]

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Having a bit of fun! We hope you are too!

 

It’s time again for another “Exploring Open Collections” installment! This week we’re taking a look at one of our biggest collections (and one that’s featured) B.C. Historical Books. Previous to the Open Collections launch B.C. Historical Books was known as B.C. Bibliography and was a standalone site associated with Digital Initiatives – now it’s been incorporated into Open Collections for even more amazing search capabilities!

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Click on me to see more!

Combining the tools of a bibliography (published work description) with the tools of a digital library, the we are offering a searchable database of the Bibliography of BC by digitizing as many works from this traditional print bibliography (and some additional materials) on the area.

If that’s a bit of a mouthful for you, think of it as an astonishing assembly of resources on British Columbia.

The collection is made up of everything, from the obvious (almanacs, guide books, government reports) to the surprising (albums, printings, diaries) to the downright bizarre (poems, scores!). But that’s not the most amazing part… keep reading to find out the best-kept secret of B.C. Historical Books!

To get into the collection there’s a lot of fun ways to explore including looking at the cornerstone works. All of which are clickable on the collections’ main page.

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The 1,158 items began with three cornerstone works: Volume I-Laying the Foundations 1849-1899 Volume II-Navigations, Traffiques & Discoveries 1774-1848. Volume III-Years of Growth 1900-1950.

Or you can click through a visual representation of the collection!

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Browse through the item covers by genre on the interactive nifty timeline.

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Use it too see maps or or books of poetry

Plenty to see remains even if you stick straight to the books. Take the Klondyke souvenir a photograph book published in 1901. It has amazing high quality scans for you zoom in, check out, and even download if the fancy should strike you.

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But that’s not the best-kept secret about B.C. Books, not by a long shot.

The best secret is that you can search the text entire collection- all 1,158+ items- in the main search bar. Any text you see has been input into the system and can be accessed at a moments’ notice. If that doesn’t define the information age, I don’t know what does.

What is your favorite thing in B.C. books? Let us know in the comments!

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