The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection exhibition at Rare Books and Special Collections has welcomed its 10,000th visitor!
The Lillooet Room, part of the Chapman Learning Commons in Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, has been renamed the Antonio and Marissa Peña Learning and Events Room.


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. 

Roberto. Photographed by Mihailo Subotic

This summer, students may see some unfamiliar faces on campus, and deliberately so. UBC Library has partnered with local non-profit 2 Paycheques Away.. to bring an exceptional and striking photography exhibit to two library locations. The exhibit aims to bring the campus and Vancouver communities a little closer together and facilitates portrayals of spirited and resilient individuals from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), by displaying their portraits and stories as shared during their visit to the barber.

2 Paycheques Away.. is the brainchild of Vancouver-based barber and musician Alysha Osborne. In her early teens, Osborne learned that her stepmother had run away from home and ended up in Vancouver in her early twenties, addicted to heroin and working as a prostitute in Vancouver’s DTES. Osborne struggled to reconcile how someone she admired so much and who was a beloved family member, mentor, and parent had lived that life. “I came to realize that my stepmother and I were not that different, and that I, with just a little worse luck, could have landed in the same spot,” she explains.

Giving back to the community

Osborne was working in Gastown and had been wanting to give back to the DTES community for some time, but was unsure how she could contribute in a meaningful way. “The idea for 2 Paycheques Away.. came to me during a trip to the North American Hair Awards. I was watching all these pictures going up on the screen and I put two and two together and had an epiphany/meltdown. I turned to my husband and said: ‘I know exactly what I want to do’.”

When Osborne returned to Vancouver, she reached out to portrait photographer Mihailo Subotic, whom she met working in the same building, about the idea. “I explained to Mihailo that I wanted the pictures to be real with no special lighting or crazy editing so you could just really see the people. He showed me the work of a couple of photographers he knew that used a similar style and understood exactly what I was looking for.”

Rebuilding bridges and relationships

The two began capturing community members during their trips to the barber and learning more about their individual stories — stories of people like Roberto who lost his sense of smell when a grenade detonated near him during his home country of El Salvador’s civil war and moved to Vancouver in 1983 or Angie, from Six Nations, Ontario who moved to Vancouver to join two of her brothers and try something new.

The project was eventually developed into a book where it caught the attention of a friend of Subotic, Melany Lund, who also happened to be a circulation assistant at UBC Library. “My friend’s ears perked up when I told her about this project,” he says, “She came to the book launch and suggested we get in touch with Rare Books and Special Collections because it was so unique.”

Mihailo Subotic and Alysha Osborne

Bringing 2 Paycheques Away.. to campus

The library acquired a copy of the book for the university’s rare books collection, but saw an opportunity to do more. Inspired by the UBC Learning Exchange’s two-way learning model that ensures knowledge also flows from the community back into the university, Katherine Kalsbeek, Head of Rare Books and Special Collections and Aleteia Greenwood, Head of the Woodward Library proposed an exhibition of photographs and stories in UBC Library spaces. Their backgrounds and experiences informed their interest in using UBC spaces as a platform to open minds and shift perspectives. “Hosting this exhibition on campus allows these stories to reach a broader audience and reach people who might not see them otherwise,” says Greenwood, “The Library is committed to meaningful engagement and knowledge exchange with the community.”

Osborne and Subotic are just as thrilled to bring their work to UBC, “Young minds change the world and we want them to see these photos and know these people,” says Osborne.

Osborne and Subotic are grateful for the awareness that working on the project has brought them and hope that the exhibit helps to broaden that awareness. “We’ve learned so much about the issues and problems that the DTES community and neighbourhood is facing,” says Osborne, “We hope this exhibit will help raise that kind of awareness on campus.”


The exhibit will run in the Woodward Library and Ike’s Café in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre until the end of 2019 and will move downtown to the UBC Learning Exchange in early 2020.

View the 2 Paycheques Away.. book in the library’s collection.
Copies of the book are also available for purchase at the UBC Bookstore.

UBC Library’s annual Senate Report (2018/19) is now available. Read our highlights from the past fiscal year which include advancing research, learning and scholarship, engaging with communities, creating and delivering responsive collections, inspiring with innovative spaces and services, and stewarding the organization.


UBC Library users now have access to the full digital archives of two of Canada’s major publications: Maclean’s Magazine and the Toronto Star newspaper.

Maclean’s Magazine

Maclean’s, Canada’s leading news and general interest magazine, debuted in 1905 and was founded as a “medium through which Canadians could write and hear about Canadian affairs, Canadian attitudes and Canadian traditions”. Its content is especially relevant to those researching current events, gender issues, politics and culture, the history of business and advertising in the 20th Century. The archive Includes 3,400 issues with more than 100,000 stories by some of Canada’s greatest writers and journalists including Pierre Berton, June Callwood, Peter Newman, Mordecai Richler and Peter Gzowski.  All the content (including covers and advertisements) is fully searchable.

Explore the Maclean’s Magazine archive.

The Toronto Star

The Toronto Star, Canada’s highest-circulation newspaper, was established in 1892 and, during its early years, reflected a highly-personal style of journalism emphasizing human interest and local affairs. It was an advocate of social causes such as the welfare state, old age pensions, unemployment insurance and health care, making it a major influence on the development of public policy.

“The Star is the most socially-liberal of Canada’s major newspapers,” says Keith Bunnell, Reference and Collections Librarian, Humanities & Social Sciences Division, “This acquisition provides a nice complement to the digital archives of the Globe and Mail to which UBC Library users already have access.”

The archive provides full text access to the Toronto Star from 1894 to 2016 and includes editorial and opinion pieces, advertisements, want ads, birth and death notices and even cartoons in addition to news stories. Users can search for keywords, phrases and subjects and cite search results in numerous citation styles, save in multiple document formats, save searches, and export documents to reference management tools.

Explore the Toronto Star archive.

Digital archives are changing what is possible in research

According to Dr. Laura Ishiguro, Assistant Professor in UBC’s Department of History, “When you’re working with a physical source like this in an archive or on microfilm, you’re browsing ¾ you’re reading the whole periodical,” says Ishiguro, “Digitized collections still allow you to browse like this, but their search capabilities also allow you to drop down quickly into particular topics and issues that come up over longer periods of time that otherwise might have taken months or years to identify. They are changing the kinds of research questions we can ask.”

Digital archives like these also make resources increasingly accessible. “Digital archives are really essential for researchers who are not based close to archives, including our students who live all across the region and can’t always make it to campus to do research,” she says, “It also improves access for researchers who have chronic illness or have childcare responsibilities at home, for example, and might not be able to do extended trips to archives regularly.”

Explore the many digital periodical archives available through UBC Library.

The Strategic Framework will guide the future work and strategic direction for the library, in alignment with the UBC Strategic Plan.

UBC Library is pleased to announce that Sarah Blay, Katherine Hill, Paul Lesack and Lorne Madgett are the 2019 recipients of UBC Library Awards. Each year, the Library Awards Program shines a light on those employees who have demonstrated exceptional creativity, innovation, leadership, excellence and a dedication to customer service through their work.

The awards were presented at the annual Library Recognition Luncheon at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre on May 28, 2019. Congratulations Sarah, Katherine, Paul and Lorne, and thank you to everyone who participated by submitting nominations.

Sarah Blay

Sarah Blay (Program and Administrative Assistant, Koerner Library) is the winner of our newest award, introduced this year. The 2019 UBC Library Leadership From Within (aka the Gumption) Award recognizes employees who do not have supervisory responsibilities. Recipients of this award consistently demonstrate leadership through their ability to inspire engagement in others, while exemplifying the Library’s values. They step up to fulfill a need either themselves or by motivating others or teams.

Sarah brings a welcoming team approach and works from a place of inclusion. She ensures everyone in the Research Commons space knows each other and feels welcomed and included. She also stepped up to help out when others were unexpectedly away at a crucial time.

Katherine Hill

Katherine Hill (Circulation and Office Manager, Woodward Library) earned the Employee Excellence Award, which recognizes a Library employee who consistently demonstrates their commitment to making an impact on the Library by making it a better workplace for all through living our values and behaviors.

In everything she does, Katherine works to create an exceptional workplace environment. She is known as a go-to person across the Library, sharing her knowledge widely and helping colleagues in other units get up to speed. She brings patience, creativity, humour, and solution-oriented support to each workplace experience.

Paul Lesack

Paul Lesack (Data/GIS Analyst, Koerner Library) is the winner of the Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes a Library employee or team who keep our libraries running, delivering its services, collections and operations. Their efforts help UBC Library to effectively deliver the stellar service that users have come to expect.

Paul has become the backbone of critical support for UBC’s complex network of campus-wide interdisciplinary data need. His unsung work can be seen at the core of many research projects, including his work with the Vancouver Aquarium to create digital, manipulatable versions of the original paper maps. These maps have become essential to researchers who are currently working to daylight once hidden streams.

Lorne Madgett

Lorne Madgett (e-Resources & Access Library Specialist, Collections Services) is the winner of the Innovation Award, which recognizes a Library employee who has demonstrated new ways of performing existing processes or has introduced a new library service or program that is beneficial to Library employees and/or users.

Lorne has demonstrated the ability to work with people at all levels of the organization and supply chain, earning the respect and loyalty of his unit members, other technical services staff, branch liaisons and Library administration. His curiosity and desire to problem solve inspires an unhesitant quest to ask questions and find answers through peers, online tools and other experts.

The post 2019 employee Recognition Award winners announced appeared first on About UBC Library.

The Puban Collection, one of UBC Library’s collections of rare books, was gathered by Chinese physician Junshi Yao during the 1940s and 1950s. This year we’re celebrating the 60th anniversary of the collection’s acquisition by UBC. Spanning 45,000 volumes, the collection is one of the primary resources for Chinese studies in North America.

The post UBC Library: Home to rare books, found nowhere else—thanks to UBC donors appeared first on About UBC Library.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Library





Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia

Spam prevention powered by Akismet