“The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.” — Albert Einstein, Astrophysicist


It is thrilling to announce the new arrival of a collaborative report which just archived in cIRcle, UBC`s Digital Repository!

This report was “submitted to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Space Advisory Board in response to a call for input into the development of Canada’s Space Strategy”. It echoes the voices of its contributors who wanted to respond to the call in an efficient and timely manner and, in conjunction, they welcome feedback about the report.

One of the primary authors of this report is UBC’s Jeremy Heyl, a Canada Research Chair in Neutron Stars and Black Holes whose research background includes theoretical physics, astronomy and astrophysics (high-energy astrophysics) as well as research topics on compact objects, cosmology, dynamics, and strong-field QED. His co-authors include UBC Doctoral student, Ilaria Caiazzo and Western University’s Associate Professor, Sarah Gallagher, whose research areas include active galaxies, black holes, and compact groups of galaxies.


Developing the technology required for space exploration missions (space astronomy, planetary science, and space health and life sciences) represents one of the most challenging engineering opportunities of our time and an economic driver for advanced technologies. This leads to prosperity through innovation and the associated use of technologies developed for space exploration (e.g., surgical robotics, telemedicine, remote mining, imaging), strengthening Canada’s international reputation as an advanced nation in science and technology research, and raising literacy by inspiring Canadian students to pursue higher education in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) areas critical to developing tomorrow’s technically capable Canadian workforce. Indeed, space exploration, perhaps uniquely, ignites interest and motivates young minds to pursue careers in the sciences, engineering and high-tech sectors. Consequently, Canadian universities have made and continue to make substantial investments in faculty, students, cutting-edge laboratories and infrastructure related to space exploration.


View/Download the full report here


“In the second century of Confederation,

the fabric of Canadian society will be held together by strands in space

just as strongly as railway and telegraphy held together the scattered provinces in the last century.”

John H. Chapman


Check out a stellar list of Canadian Space Milestones here


Meet Canada’s newest astronauts by visiting these links directly below:





Find more on Astronomy and Astrophysics

Learn more about Science and Technology Studies

Explore Science Guides


Hon. Sir. Hector Louis Langevin, M.P. by William James Topley, via Wikimedia Commons

The diary of Hector Langevin is one of the highlights of the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection. It describes Langevin’s journey across the United States by rail, and up to the B.C. coast by boat, on his journey to scope out the appropriate place to end the Canadian Pacific Railway. Ultimately, of course, Vancouver was chosen as the terminus, and in this diary you can come to understand the reasons why Langevin, as Minister of Public Works (1869–73), recommended a site on Burrard Inlet instead of the former front-runner, Port Moody.

Naturally, Langevin also describes his travels along the way to B.C., including a description of Chinatown in San Francisco, and in B.C. he describes the climate, natural resources, existing nations of indigenous peoples, their treaties and Chinook “trading language”, potential for settlement, business activity, public works required, postal, communication, and transportation arrangements, as well as potential railway termini on Burrard Inlet, Esquimalt, and the Skeena River.

You can access a full digital version of the Langevin diary, as well as a French transcription and an English translation here:

Langevin diary (digital version)

Langevin diary (French transcription)

Langevin diary (English translation)

The Langevin diary is also on display in the Chung Collection exhibition room. If you’d like to see it in person, visit Rare Books and Special Collections and join one of our weekly tours of the Chung Collection. The weekly drop-in tours are held every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Rare Books and Special Collections on Level 1 of UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre!

If you are unable to make the drop-in tour, you are welcome to browse the exhibition anytime RBSC is open, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the general public, as well as the UBC community. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at 604 822-2521.

Photo courtesy: Pixabay


It is a pleasure to announce the arrival of a new item recently added to cIRcle, UBC’s digital repository resulting from the collaborative efforts between a world-renowned scholar and several of UBC’s academic research units and community partners – School of Music, Hong Kong Studies Initiative, Centre for Chinese Research, Museum of Anthropology, and St. John’s College.


Nancy Yunhwa Rao is an Associate Director of Academic Studies who is both the Head of the Composition Program and the Head of the Music Theory Program of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. As “one of the leading scholars in Chinese American music studies”, she has amassed award-winning research which focuses on the “musical history of Chinese in the United States, Canada, and Cuba” which she “mined [from] immigration files” and so forth.


Examples of her published research are found in a variety of journal publications such as the “Cambridge Opera Journal, Journal of the Society for American Music, Journal of 19th Century Music Review, as well as several collections of essays”. Interestingly, she has published ‘a book on Chinatown Opera Theater in North America via the University Illinois Press’ which is completely filled with the “analysis of playbills, performing networks, opera arias, stage spectacles, and more”.


Watch Parts One and Two of her talk here


Explore the Chinese Special Collections‘ Library Research Guide




Image: cIRcle Graduate Non-Thesis Research Submission Workflow Overview


The GSS (Graduate Student Society) cIRcle Open Scholar Award was a lottery based award held twice a year for graduate students at UBC Vancouver which went live on July 9, 2012.

Graduate students were eligible to submit exemplary non-thesis manuscripts or projects related to graduate coursework to the GSS (Graduate Student Society) cIRcle Open Scholar Award, with approval from their course instructors.

A random selection was made from items submitted to cIRcle during the previous 6 month period – four awards will be made per annum, two in April and two in October.

The GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award was a five-year (2012-2017) collaboration of the Graduate Student Society and cIRcle/UBC Library.

The first two awards were presented on October 18, 2012 and the last few awards were presented before the Award ended on May 1, 2017.

Congratulations to the 2016 & 2017 Award winners – Victor Ngo and Ali Hosseini* (April 2016); Jean-Paul Andre Joseph Benoit and Amy Myring (October 2016); and, Keilee Mok and Alejandra Echeverri** (April 2017)!

* Note: Co-authors are faculty members and were not eligible for the award.
** Note: Co authors had graduated prior to the award period and were, therefore, ineligible.


Over the course of its five-year term, the Award was presented to the randomly-selected UBC graduate students for their exemplary non-thesis research work in either traditional and/or interdisciplinary fields of study:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies (CENES)
  • Community and Regional Planning (SCARP)
  • Computer Science
  • Educational Studies
  • Forest Resources Management
  • Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS)
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES)
  • Physical Therapy
  • Theatre and Film

“I am grateful for the efforts of those responsible for cIRcle

because I see it as a positive alternative that facilitates sharing of research and work.

cIRcle catalyzes the sharing and building of ideas, motivating students to

improve their work and to give back to the research community that provides so much for them.”


    – Robert DeAbreu, GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Award Winner, April 2013


While the Award officially ended on 1 May 2017, the Award collection was aptly renamed and became the new UBC Graduate Research collection in cIRcle, UBC’s digital repository which now incorporates exemplary non-thesis research work from UBC Okanagan graduate students too. Hooray!


The UBC Graduate Research collection welcomes exemplary graduate student non-thesis research such as the following:

  • Essays or papers
  • Graduating papers or projects (Capstone, etc.)
  • Manuscripts
  • Presentations (including research posters)
  • Publisher-permitted versions of journal articles, conference papers, etc. based on course-related research
  • Software code
  • Technical reports
  • Video and audio based projects


With too many benefits to list, below are just a sampling of such when making your UBC graduate student non-thesis research openly accessible via cIRcle:

  • Create/enhance your academic and professional scholarly profile
  • Track views and downloads from cities and countries around the world
  • Openly disseminate your UBC research with scholars locally and globally
  • Your work is regularly indexed by web search engines (Google, Google Scholar, etc.)
  • Preserve your UBC scholarly legacy with a DOI (persistent link)


UBC graduate students are encouraged to upload their own work (subject to course instructor or supervisor approval) to the UBC Graduate Research collection anytime.





Edith Stewart, Librarian at the Extension Department Library, in 1950 (UBC 3.1/314)

The Rare Books and Special Collections reading room will be closed on Wednesday, July 26, for staff training, and the 11 a.m. drop-in “Get to Know RBSC” tour will be cancelled that day. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to seeing you on Thursday, July 27, when the reading room will be open as normal, and our new drop-in tour of the Chung Collection will be starting at 10 a.m.


There is excitement among researchers both nationally and internationally on the recent U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities’ statement. Why? It focuses on sustainable publishing.


As a collaborative body of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities, the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities’ works to “foster the development and delivery of long-term, sustainable higher education and research policy, in Canada and around the world”.  These Canadian universities are “home to world-class researchers using state-of-the-art research infrastructure to make ground-breaking discoveries” as they “train tomorrow’s citizens, entrepreneurs and leaders, and work with partners from the public, private and government sectors to mobilize knowledge and capitalize on it”.


The message by Suzanne Corbeil, U15 Executive Director, states in part that “[w]e know investing in research and science pays dividends for all Canadians. It spurs innovation and fosters the curiosity and creativity that our best and brightest minds direct towards solving society’s greatest challenges. It also enables us to ensure we are developing the best and brightest talent for the workforce of tomorrow, and are able to conduct research in world-class facilities that can drive growth of innovative companies.“


In its preamble, the U15 Statement on Sustainable Publishing emphasizes that, “Access to research and scholarly outputs is essential for scientific discovery, innovation, and education. To maximize knowledge transfer and impact, our researchers’ work must be made readily available around the globe. Research-intensive universities also require timely and continuing access to international research results and scholarship in order to advance and disseminate knowledge, and to develop the next generation of researchers.”


The five key principles and their highlights found in the U15 statement are briefly listed directly below:


  1. Open Access – a necessity for an accessible and sustainable model of scholarly publishing
  2. Public Interest – disseminating scholarly publications and other research outputs as widely as possible
  3. Quality – rigorous peer review processes and effective research impact measures in all forms of academic publishing
  4. Accountability – highest possible proportion of public dollars invested in research and education
  5. Innovation – collaborative development of new models of scholarly communications benefit the academy and the public in the digital age


Download the full U15 Statement on Sustainable Publishing here


Explore Open Access and more at UBC


Browse UBC’s digital repository for research and teaching materials



Above logo is courtesy of U15


Photo: Susan Parker Don Liebig / UCLA Photography


In the News: UBC and Abroad


UBC appoints new University Librarian – Susan E. Parker

“Being named University Librarian at UBC is an honour, and the highlight of my career,” says Susan Parker. “I look forward to partnering with UBC’s excellent library staff, students, and faculty as we continue to develop and deliver outstanding services, scholarly resource collections, and welcoming library facilities for the UBC community.”

Read the full announcement here




Compute Canada & CARL-Portage – Beta Testing of FRDR

Check out the new research management tool by The Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR). ‘A joint initiative led by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and Compute Canada provid[ing] Canadian researchers a place to deposit large data sets and to improve the discovery of Canadian research data’.

Visit the FRDR beta testing site



OA journals & Canadian universities

Canadian Universities Support Publication in and the Launching of Open Access Journals

“As Open Access journals gain in recognition across scholarly communities, Canadian universities voice increasingly vocal support for Open Access journals…”

Continue reading here



New Research Data Centre opens at UNBC

Why are the graduate students and approved researchers smiling? It definitely has something to do with the new University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) Research Data Centre.

Learn more about UNBC’s Research Data Centre



Increase the Impact

Beyond the Beyond: Can we Increase the Impact and Reach of Scholarly Research?

From stakeholders to voters, many folks are in need of greater access and transparency when it comes to research and research outcomes.  As noted by Vicky Williams, “with increasing funder mandates for research to demonstrate broader impact – on society, policy, the economy, or the environment – research has to reach a broader audience.”

Continue reading here



OA in the Humanities

Why Is Open Access Moving So Slowly In The Humanities? By Peter Suber

While OA has made strides over the years via open access repositories (in physics) and open access journals (in biomedicine), Peter Suber provides some insight on the “nine differences between the humanities and the sciences”.

Read the first and second of his blog posts from the new series on Open Access in the Humanities” by Blog of the APA (The American Philosophical Association)



Upcoming OA/OE Conferences



OpenCon 2017 in Berlin, Germany

OpenCon affords a unique opportunity for “students and early career academic professionals from across the world” to learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data” as well as to “develop critical skills, and catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information—from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital research data”.


OE Global 2018 in Delft, the Netherlands

The Open Education (OE) Global Conference is an “internationally diverse [one] devoted exclusively to open education, attracting researchers, practitioners, policy makers, educators and students from more than 35 countries to discuss and explore how Open Education advances educational practices around the world”.



New BCcampus Annual Review

BCcampus 2016/17 Annual Review

Highlights of faculty and instructor partnerships and projects on the future of post-secondary learning and teaching in British Columbia

Read the review here



At the end of May, UBC Library held its first annual croquet tournament for staff! As part of the contest, there was also a contest to recreate historical croquet images from the Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection (inspired by these amazing photographs staged by our friends in Digital Initiatives a couple of years ago). As the custodian of the collection, RBSC was asked to put together a panel of “celebrity” faculty judges for the contest. We were delighted to have the artistic and period expertise of Dr. Kathie Shoemaker (Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program), Dr. Sarika Bose (Department of English), and Dr. Laurie McNeill (Coordinated Arts Program) on the panel. Last week the winning photograph was announced, and the winners are: The Croquet All-Stars, a team made up of Sheldon Armstrong, Allan Bell, and Lea Starr, three of our assistant university librarians. You can see the original photo, as well as the recreation photo below. Congratulations to Sheldon, Allan, and Lea! Thanks for bringing our collections to life!

The Croquet All-Stars (left to right): Allan Bell, Sheldon Armstrong, and Lea Starr

One of more than 1400 digital images available in the Tremaine Arkley Croquet Collection





The ‘Whose 150?’ display case.

The fifth annual Aboriginal (Un)History Month exhibit is now on display at UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Across the nation June is recognized as Aboriginal History Month, but the tradition of (Un)History Month is a celebration and acknowledgement of the importance of Indigenous Peoples – not only in history – but in the present and future. This year the exhibit asks and responds to the question “Whose 150?” with eight cases from local organizations and First Nations.

WHOSE 150?

“This year, many Canadians are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada. For them, the development of Canada from a colony to an independent nation is the story of the emergence of a democratic nation exceptional in both its history and promise. That is, however, a history that looks very different to many Indigenous people in Canada, who view the growth of the nation of Canada and its people as a story of dispossession, repression, and hardship. Throughout this history, Indigenous people have seen all but 0.2% of the lands upon which they have lived for millennia pass from their control, and they have seen their traditional economies, governance, and ways of life destroyed or suppressed and their basic human rights restricted or denied. For much of that history, Indigenous people in Canada could not vote, form political organizations, hire lawyers, or, in some cases, leave their tiny reserves without permission. For over a hundred years, until 1996, they saw their children removed, often forcibly, from their communities and placed in residential schools designed to break their spirits and connection to their families, communities, and traditional culture, while offering them little for their future survival. Many survived horrible forms of abuse, and many died there schools, with mortality rates at times in some schools exceeding sixty percent. Today, many communities still struggle to contend with the aftermath of these systems and with their ongoing manifestations, and health and other outcomes for Indigenous people continue to be significantly worse than those for most Canadians, and yet, because until very recently, Indigenous people and history have been so invisible in Canadian education, few Canadians know or have a way to understand.

Many Indigenous communities are, however, working as they always have to survive, rebuild their resiliency, and maintain and restore the strength of their cultures, and through opportunities such as university education, long denied Indigenous people, many are finding new forms of strength. Canada is, of course, in many other ways, a great country. By truthfully and directly addressing the history and current circumstances of Indigenous people—and acting upon what we come to understand—we can work together to make Canada a country and a society we can all more fully join in celebrating.”

Introduction by Linc Kesler, Director, First Nations House of Learning

UBC is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people.

The exhibit is open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. on the second floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre until August 30.

Featured Cases include:

A satellite book display at the Woodward Library celebrates Aboriginal (Un)History Month

Híɫzaqv Language and Culture Mobilization Partnership

A partnership between the Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre, the Bella Bell Community School and UBC’s First Nations and Endangered Languages Program, HLCMP creates opportunities for speaking, writing, and reading the Híɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) language. This display highlights the importance of language revitalization as a means of resilience against the legacy of colonialism.

The HLCMP case, located on the 2nd floor of Irving K. Barber.

The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre

The IRSHDC case addresses the nation’s history of Indian Residenital Schools which imposed the forced removal of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis chidlren from their homes and families, and sought to strip them of their language and culture. The History and Dialogue Centre -set to open its doors this summer- will hold copies of the Truth and Reconciliation Commision of Canada’s records.

Maps and historical photos of Indian Residential Schools are some of the items on display.


The Indigitization display looks at the legacy of Indigenous cultural material embedded within cassette tapes. The program offers grants to communities and organizations to support them in their digitization efforts.

This case contains tweets, photos, and news stories relating to the Indigitization program.


Musqueam: our history

This case highlights Musqueam’s history and legacy through place names and sχʷəy̓em̓ (e.g. transformer stories), showing traditional and ancestral village sites and place names in conjunction with the current geography of Vancouver.

Musqueam: our teachings

This exhibit case looks at ways in which Musqueam is actively educating and trying to change public perceptions around Aboriginal history in general – specifically highlighting a project for the UBC community, and a project for K-12 educators and children.

Musqueam: c̓əsnaʔəm

c̓əsnaʔəm, located within Musqueam’s traditional and unceded territory in what is now the Marpole neighbourhood, is an important, ancient Musqueam village and burial site. This case shows replicas of ancient belongings and the process by which these replicas and were created as part of the c̓əsnaʔəm exhibit.

The Native Youth Program at the Museum of Anthropology

NYP is a summer program for urban aboriginal youth that provides training and employment for high school students. Watch and listen to two digitally animated stories interpreted and narrated by NYP members.

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