During this challenging time, we’d like to share a bit of comfort with you, so we’ve compiled a list of leisure readings from the Open Collection. Enjoy!


For the time being, most of us should stay at home and help to keep our communities safe. But this is also a good time to gather some travel inspiration. The BC Historical Books Collection features a lot of intricately illustrated travel books, with a focus on Canada and especially British Columbia.

Canadian pictures: drawn with pen and pencil, 1884

With numerous engraving illustrations and several maps, this book covers geography, history, and industry across Canada.

Canadian pictures: drawn with pen and pencil, pp. 118-119

Canadian cities of romance, 1922

Written by Katherine Hale and illustrated by Dorothy Stevens, this book includes descriptions and illustrations of major Canadian cities.

Canadian cities of romance, 1922, pp.40-41

Canadian houses of romance, 1926

This book is a companion volume to Canadian Cities of Romance, describing historic houses across Canada.

Canadian houses of romance, 1926, pp. 160-161


For those who enjoy angling and fly-fishing, the Hawthorn Fly Fishing & Angling Collection is a treasure trove of rare and valuable books. The following are just two examples from more than 2,200 books.

The Fly maker’s hand-book, [1886?]

Containing nine coloured illustrations, this book presents 50 artificial flies for trout and grayling fishing.

The Fly maker’s hand-book, pp. 62-63

Salmon flies, [between 1890 and 1899?]

This is a fly-fishing book written by Geo. M. Kelson. With plenty of coloured illustrations, it provides details on the components of each fly, as well as the author’s comments.

Salmon flies, [between 1890 and 1899?], pp. 47-48

Children’s books

It can be challenging to work from home with kids. The Historical Children’s Literature Collection may help to distract your kids, so that you can focus on your work for awhile. Below are some chapbooks from the collection.

The two wealthy farmers; or, the history of Mr. Bragwell. Part I, [1795]

The history of Simple Simon, [1820?]

The butterfly’s ball, and the grasshopper’s feast, 1807

With all the stress and uncertainty around us, take the opportunity to dive into one of these books and relax!

BP MUR SL P B696, [date unknown]

Open Collections has several collections related to fishing. Today, we will introduce a few of these collections and our favourite digitized items!

Fisherman Publishing Society Collection

In the Fisherman Publishing Society Collection, we have digitized around 4,000 photographs taken from 1862 to 1989. The Fisherman Publishing Society formed in 1937 and had published a bi-weekly newspaper, The Fisherman, for the Salmon Purse Seiners Union and its successor, the United Fisherman and Allied Workers’ Union. The paper was about the fishing industry and union events to promote unity among West Coast fishermen. The photographs depict labour and union activity, fish and fishing vessels, and the men and women who worked in the fishing industry. The archival collections are housed in UBC Rare Books and Special Collections, with other correspondence, a scrapbook, meeting minutes, ships’ logs and the Harry Allison papers.


View of Dave Carlson’s boat the Spirit of B.C. at launching June, 1968.


Herring sale by Fishers Union at New Westminster to aid CKNW orphans fund December, 1968.


Hawthorn Fly Fishing & Angling Collection

UBC Library has more than 2,200 books on angling and fly-fishing, known as the Harry Hawthorn Collection. The collection started when a group of UBC professors went fishing for a holiday in 1953. They decided to launch a foundation with the accumulated money from various bets and fines for alleged illegal or non-ethical fishing methods. The current members of the Foundation are continuing this tradition to go fly-fishing in early August, and the increased funding has gone towards developing the collection.

In Open Collections, we have digitized around 50 representative titles as Hawthorn Fly Fishing & Angling Collection with generous support by the Harry Hawthorn Foundation.


Sparrow, Walter Shaw. Angling in British art through five centuries: prints, pictures, books, 1923.


[Lang, Cecil]. The mighty mahseer and other fish : or hints to beginners on Indian fishing, 1906.


Traité général des pesches

Traité général des pesches consists of a digitized book with two volumes, Traité général des pesches, et histoire des poissons qu’elles fournissent, tant pour la subsistance des hommes, que pour plusieurs autres usages qui on rapport aux arts et au commerce, [between 1769-1782]. These volumes, written by a French physician and botanist, Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau (1700-1782) and Jean-Louis De La Marre between 1769 and 1782, were considered one of the finest works on fishing and fisheries.

Duhamel du Monceau, M. Traité général des pesches, et histoire des poissons qu’elles fournissent, tant pour la subsistance des hommes, que pour plusieurs autres usages qui on rapport aux arts et au commerce, [between 1769-1782].

Duhamel du Monceau, M. Traité général des pesches, et histoire des poissons qu’elles fournissent, tant pour la subsistance des hommes, que pour plusieurs autres usages qui on rapport aux arts et au commerce. Seconde partie, [between 1769-1782].

Along with the entire volumes, we also separately digitized all of the illustrated plates in the books:


Duhamel du Monceau, M. Part 1, Section 1, Plate 2, [between 1769-1782].

Duhamel du Monceau, M. Part 2, Section 1, Plate 10, [between 1769-1782].

UBC Institute of Fisheries Field Records

UBC Institute of Fisheries Field Records have more than 10,000 digitized records on fish specimens in the UBC Fish Collection housed in the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, which is the third-largest fish collection in Canada.

The fish records include information about where and what kinds of fish were caught. This data has been used in environmental assessments, conservation efforts and research projects in an aquatic ecosystem.

The oldest record in 1877, for instance, shows the record of Hyperoplus lanceolatus (Greater sand eel) caught in Estonia:

UBC Institute of Fisheries Field Record B.C. 63-943, 1877.


The latest record in 1991 have 13 different types of fishes caught near Helby Island, BC:

UBC Institute of Fisheries Filed Record B.C. 90-191, 1991.


If you want to explore more about these collections, please visit our past blog posts:



We are pleased to present the Digitization Centre Impact and Activity Report for 2016-2017!

This report highlights the Digitization Centre’s key projects, partnerships and user engagement trends for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

In 2016-2017, Open Collections accounted for 15% of the Library’s unique pageviews. That 15% totals 3.9 million pageviews on Open Collections alone!

The breakdown of where those 3.9 million pageviews were spent.

Other highlights detailed in the report:

  • Our work with Archivematica and our continued contributions to UBC Library’s digital preservation program
  • News about our web archiving work, including updates on some of our new collections
  • The Digital Himalaya Project being done in collaboration with Mark Turin (Chair, First Nations & Endangered Languages Program; Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology)
  • Our ongoing partnerships
  • Our efforts on metadata updating and cleaning



New additions to our digital collections included:

BC Sessional Papers

Phase IV of the BC Sessional papers was completed, adding material from the Legislative Council of British Columbia from 1933 to 1952. Phase V began in May of 2017.

Hawthorn Fly Fishing & Angling Collection

A selection of 23 titles from the Harry Hawthorn Fly Fishing and Angling Collection housed at Woodward Library.

Rainbow Ranche

An archival collection from the Lake Country Museum and Archives, chronicling one of the first independent fruit ranches in the Okanagan.

The Pedestal

Canada’s first feminist periodical was fully digitized in partnership with SFU Archives and will be available through Open Collections soon.

Journal of a voyage to the Pacific and American Shores

UBC Library acquired and digitized the journal of Susannah Weynton, wife of the captain of the Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship Cowlitz.

BC Historical Newspapers

The BC Newspapers collection was completed this year. Encompassing 163 titles, these newspapers are utilized by researchers around the world. All pages have been run through OCR (optical character recognition) and are full-text searchable.

To learn more about what we’ve been up to over the past few years, check out all of our Impact Reports dating back to 2011 under the “Reports” section of our website’s Documentation page. Many thanks to all of our partners over the past years. We look forward to continued collaboration on all of our current and future projects!

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