UBC Library users now have access to more than 5,000 books that offer historical perspectives on sex, sexuality and gender through Part III of Gale’s ‘Archives of Sexuality and Gender’. Complementing the recently-acquired LGBTQ History and culture since 1940, the digital archive contains nearly one million pages of unique and rare content that was previously banned and provides a window into how sexuality and gender roles were viewed and how they evolved over centuries.

Part III of the archive includes three unique collections:

The British Library’s Private Case Collection comprised of printed books that were originally held separately from the Library’s main reference collection from the 1850s to 1990 on grounds of obscenity.      

The Kinsey Institute for Sex Research Collection – Special Subjects Units from Sex Research: Early Literature from Statistics to Erotica:  This collection is a portion of Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey’s original library, which he used to study human sexual behavior from multiple perspectives.   

New York Academy of Medicine Collection: A collection of rare and unique books covering a variety of subjects from sex education to erotica, manners to medicine.

The material in the archive covers a wide array of fields, providing multiple perspectives in research areas such as medicine, biology, anthropology, law, the classics, art and erotic literature.

New opportunities for teaching and research

Dr. Joy Dixon, Associate Professor and Associate Head of UBC’s Department of History is thrilled about what access to this collection means for her research. “My own work on the history of religion and sexuality in late 19C and early 20C Britain is given an enormous boost by access to the Private Case materials in this collection – there are a whole series of rare pamphlets in there that aren’t accessible anywhere else. Chapman Cohen’s 1909 Sex and Religion: studies in the pathology of religious development is one of the texts I am really looking forward to working my way through.”

She’s also excited by what access to the collection means for UBC students: “The collection offers incredible resources for students, and allow us to see how the understanding of sexuality has changed over time. There are materials in all the collections that would make a wonderful basis for an honours thesis or a primary source analysis/research paper.” 

Keith Bunnell, Reference and Collections Librarian, Humanities & Social Sciences Division echoes this excitement, “Because this resource is now offered by UBC, Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria means that is it now opened up to all British Columbians,” says Bunnell “Everyone in BC can access this material regardless of academic affiliation.”

Explore Archives of Sexuality & Gender, Part III.

This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to create and deliver responsive collections.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.


Resources and services for UBC Library users

As the UBC campus community transitions to online classes, UBC Library offers expert help and many services that library users can access online. We encourage you to take advantage of these services, listed below.

Current students, faculty and staff should review off-campus access using EZproxy protocols before trying to connect to any of the library’s online resources from off-campus. Computers using a UBC wired or wireless network connection are automatically authenticated. 

Online Resources

General searching – When searching for books, journals and more, the library’s Summon search tool provides information about articles, books, journals and other materials held by UBC Library.

Books and Media – Find e-books, government reports, newspapers, CDs, DVDs, maps, musical scores, microforms, and more in the Library Catalogue.

Indexes and Databases – Find databases by subject or via an A–Z list.

Journals – Search titles and abbreviations of journals subscribed to electronically by the UBC Library and access links to the full text.

Open Collections – Search digital resources created and maintained by UBC Library, including photos, books, newspapers, maps, videos, theses and more.

If you are experiencing difficulty accessing online resources please contact us.

Renew Materials

Renew materials online – Renew books and more through your MyAccounts page. Should you have trouble renewing your loans or have any questions regarding fines, please contact us via the Assistance Form. Note that the library has cancelled late fees from March 16 until the situation changes.

Librarian Consultations

Subject librarians with expertise in specific areas are available to UBC students and instructors for consultations. Once you identify a librarian, you can schedule an appointment with them via email.

Not sure which subject librarian to contact? Contact your branch by email and we’ll point you in the right direction:

David Lam Library: lam.ref@ubc.ca

Biomedical Branch Library: bmb.library@ubc.ca

Education Library: ed.lib@ubc.ca

Koerner Library: hssd.library@ubc.ca

Law Library: law.library@ubc.ca

Music, Art and Architecture: maa.library@ubc.ca

Rare Books and Special Collections: rare.books@ubc.ca

Research Commons: research.commons@ubc.ca

Woodward Library: wd.ref@ubc.ca

Xwi7xwa Library: xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca 

Research Help

Research Guides – Search subject and course guides that compile useful databases, digital library collections, and research strategies.

Find useful information to help you get started with your research, including a library skills tutorial, assignment calculators, information on academic integrity, writing support, skills for class and life, and more.

You can use our chat service, AskAway. The chat service is staffed by UBC Library, but at peak service times or off-hours, you may be connected with a librarian from another academic library.

Ask for library help using the online reference assistance form appropriate to your campus: Vancouver and Okanagan.

Rare Books & Special Collections, UBC Archives and the Records Management Office (RMO) will be closed Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

RBSC librarians and archivists will be working remotely and may still be able to assist with reference questions submitted  through the RBSC contact form or by sending an email to rare.books@ubc.ca or to a specific librarian or archivist. Inquiries for University Archives can be sent through the contact form. Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience.

UBC.ca continues to be the most up-to-date and authoritative source of information about the University’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Student using walkstation


The Chapman Learning Commons has added a walk station to its active workstation located on Level 3 of IKBLC. The new treadmill desk is a pilot project created in collaboration with UBC Recreation. It is a welcome addition to the two stationary bikes and an adjustable-height desk.

The active workstation is well-used by UBC students. Since their introduction, the stationary bikes have clocked more than 1000 kilometers per month. “It is encouraging to see the uptake on the active workstations in IKBLC,” says Julie Mitchell, “they have been used almost non-stop since we installed them.”

Given the popularity of the active workstation bikes in IKBLC (a SEEDS project), UBC Library and UBC Rec partnered to purchase a treadmill desk to add another active workstation option in the Learning Centre. “The Office of Physical Activity within UBC Recreation works to reduce sedentary behavior and get people moving on campus,” says Alyssa Reyes, Manager, Physical Activity at UBC Recreation, Our desire to contribute to providing students with tools that meet their needs and lowers barriers is what spurred the collaboration with the library. Physical activity can come in a variety of ways and we want to help show others that sometimes movement can come in unconventional ways!”

Student using walkstation

UBC student Feyannie Hung gets moving on the new walkstation. Learn about her experience trying the walk station for the first time on our Instagram Stories.

The project addresses UBC priorities around wellbeing and active living, while also providing a direct way to enhance the student learning experience at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and will serve as a prototype for future active workstation initiatives on campus.

This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to inspire with innovative spaces and services.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.

RSVP for events and learn more about what Open Access, Open Education and Open Research means for researchers, students and faculty.


UBC Library users are now able to access Ethnologue, an authoritative encyclopedic resource on world languages.

The database contains datasets, analytics, maps, country profiles, language families, and language profiles of the world’s 7,111 known living languages, enabling users to find in-depth information about maps, dialects, usage, and more.

Dr. Lisa Matthewson, Associate Department Head at UBC’s Department of Linguistics is thrilled to have access to this tool and is using Ethnologue in her research related to vitality and endangerment status for at-risk languages, particularly Gitksan, a Tsimshianic language spoken along the Skeena River in northwestern British Columbia. “It’s important to have accurate information about speaker numbers, as this can inform not only linguistic research, but policy decisions on the part of governments,” says Matthewson, “Given that at least 90% of the world’s languages are at risk, it’s really important to have a database that highlights language status and that reports about that status on the basis of reliable data.”

A language map captures where Gitxsan is spoken.

In addition to providing statistics for a given country, region, or the world, Ethnologue also provides raw data that allows researchers to use their own analysis tools to tease out exactly what they need.

“Ethnologue is an essential resource used heavily by language researchers across disciplines that recently moved from an open access to a paid subscription model,” says Susan Atkey, Humanities & Social Sciences Librarian, “When I heard from UBC faculty and students about how the loss of access to the statistics, maps, and language use information was affecting their research and coursework, I knew we needed to act to provide ongoing access to this key resource through the library to support vital work such as the documentation and revitalization of endangered languages.”

Explore the Ethnologue database.

This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to create and deliver responsive collections.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.

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.
The exhibit runs until February 28 on Level 2 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

UBC Library Changes to hours

UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre will be closed on Thursday, January 9, 2020. Due to a water leak, the heating system has been turned off. No library materials have been damaged or are in danger.


The building is scheduled to re-open on Friday, January 10 at 6 a.m. for regular operating hours.

The following classrooms will be closed for cleanup work January 9 – 12 inclusive:

Closed: Lecture theatre 182. Rooms 155, 156, 157, 158, 185, 192, 193 and 194.

Room 191 and the lecture theatre lobby flooring will require restoration work beyond January 12.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Visit feline and canine themed exhibits at multiple branches of the library throughout January and February.

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