Collection Spotlight: June is National Indigenous History Month

June is National Indigenous History Month, a time to honour and celebrate Indigenous peoples’ diverse cultures, histories, and contributions. This month provides an opportunity to reflect on the rich heritage, resilience, and enduring traditions of Indigenous communities across the land. Join us in recognizing and appreciating the invaluable impact of Indigenous peoples on our shared history and future.

Below is a small sample of the newest books in our latest Collection Spotlight, “June is National Indigenous History Month.”

Click on the title or image to take you to the catalogue record for the item:














New Books at Education Library: June 2024

Welcome to our June book roundup at UBC Education Library! We’re excited to share a fresh selection of new arrivals for readers of all ages.

Click on the title for more information:

F1234.V17 S25 2023 Jovita wore pants: the story of a Mexican freedom fighter / by Aida Salazar; art by Molly Mendoza.


PZ7.1.O4425 Fu 2022 Funeral girl / Emma K. Ohland.


PZ7.1.S4755 Gr 2019 Gratitude dude / Shadi Shakeraneh.


PZ7.1.F75478 Re 2023 The reunion / a novel by Kit Frick.


PZ7.1.H4314 We 2023 We’ll never tell / Wendy Heard.


Discover the New Seed Lending Library at Asian Library

Now is a good time to plant! Come get some seeds for your garden or a windowsill pot at the Seed Lending Library, newly opened in Asian Library.

The process is simple:

  1. “Sign out” seeds by writing the date, your name, and which seeds you are taking in the Visitor’s Log
  2. Take the seeds with you to plant and grow.
  3. When your plants have grown and you have harvested them, please save some seeds to bring back to us, “returning” the seeds for the next user.

Anyone can borrow the seeds and you do not need to have a UBC Library Card.

Asian Library is UBC Library’s fourth seed lending library location. Each branch location has slightly different seeds. Asian Library’s seeds include Bok Choy, Cilantro, and many more.

Find out more about seed lending libraries, the other branch locations, saving seeds, etc., here.

Come check us out!

New Persian Journal Database: NoorMags

Launched by the Computer Research Center of Islamic Sciences, NoorMags (Noor Specialized Magazines Website) provides access to over 660,000 articles from over 2,800 humanities and social science journals. In addition to Islamic studies, the database includes articles on literature, language, political science, education, art and architecture, management, library and information studies, and more. Articles are predominantly in Persian (Farsi), Arabic, and English.

To access the database, please go to


UBC Library awarded Toshiba International Foundation grant

Photograph of the playing card from the Japanese Special Collection

UBC Library has been named as the successful recipient of a Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO) grant to support the conservation and digitization of select Premodern Japanese materials in UBC Asian Library’s collections.

TIFO is a non-profit, grant-making organization dedicated to promoting an enhanced international understanding of Japan through international exchanges, while contributing to local and global community development. UBC has previously received TIFO grant funding for several other projects, including the digitization of a rare collection of World War II-era kamishibai propaganda plays in 2021, and the One Hundred Poets project in 2014 and 2015, both of which were collaborations between UBC Library and the UBC Department of Asian Studies.

“I feel incredibly excited and very honoured that the library is receiving the Toshiba International Foundation Grant for this year. UBC Library’s Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era collection has been digitized and used all over the world, but our [Japanese] rare book collection has been somewhat hidden and under-utilized,” says Tomoko Kitayama Yen, Japanese Studies Librarian at UBC Asian Library.

With this grant, the library will be able to provide necessary conservation and preservation treatment for these materials, working with the team at the library’s Conservation Space, to safeguard these rare works for many years to come. The materials will then be expertly scanned at the Digitization Centre and added to the Japanese Special Collection in UBC Open Collections.

“It has been my cherished dream to have [these materials] digitized and made openly accessible for [scholars] interested in traditional Japanese art, design, literature, religions, and popular culture,” adds Kitayama Yen.

“These types of projects could not be completed without external funding such as the TIFO grant, yet they offer so much value to our collections. Once completed, and once made available to our students, faculty and community members, we will struggle to imagine these rare items hidden away,” says Shirin Eshghi Furuzawa, Head of UBC Asian Library.

Unlike previous digitized Japanese collections that follow a theme, the Japanese Special Collection covers a broad range of topics, and includes fictional stories and illustrated material, notes Furuzawa. “We expect scholars and students here at UBC, in Japan and elsewhere to use these works within many different fields, and we also expect that community members will enjoy looking through the digitized collection and will find something of interest regardless of Japanese-language expertise.”

The project is currently on track to be completed by Spring 2025.

Learn more about UBC Library’s most recently acquired rare Japanese materials.

Mining in British Columbia

In this week’s blog post, we’ll take a brief look at the history of coal mining in British Columbia and its impact on the region’s industrial landscape. All the materials featured in this post can be found in our open collections. Please feel free to click the captions underneath the photos attached to this blog post to access the materials directly!

Coal mining in British Columbia has a rich history that dates back to the mid-1800s. It began on northern Vancouver Island, then expanded southward to the Nanaimo coalfields where underground mining continued until the 1960s.

Postcard with annotation “Coal Mining at Nanaimo, BC., “Digging””

Diverse in its composition, coal is classified primarily by its carbon content and volatile matter. From Anthracite, the highest coal rank, to lignitic coal, and Bituminous, the predominant type mined in the province, each variant has played a significant role in shaping BC’s industrial landscape.

This rich history of coal mining and exploration is reflected in our BC Historical Newspapers Collection. Offering a glimpse into the past with issues dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s, these newspapers contain articles discussing coal-related topics, including the discovery of different coal types. For instance, an excerpt from the December issue of The Advance in 1901 highlights the confirmation of significant deposits of lignitic coal:

The Advance, December issue 1901

These historical records not only shed light on the development of coal mining in British Columbia, but also provide evidence of its economic importance. This significance is further validated by government endorsements. For example, the 1931 Government Bulletin emphasized the efficiency and reliability of coal in British Columbia, reinforcing its importance as a vital component of the province’s energy supply:

Herald, November issue 1931

However, behind the economic benefits brought by coal mining lay significant challenges for the miners themselves. Despite the employment opportunities it provided, miners often grappled with issues such as low pay, substandard working conditions, and safety concerns. These challenges led to the formation of labor unions and the organization of strikes to advocate for betting working conditions.

One notable example is the Vancouver Island Coal Miners’ Strike from 1912-1914. As reported in the article below from the August issue of the Abbotsford Post in 1913, approximately 11,000 workers in Nanaimo and Ladysmith initiated a strike, which was led by the United Mine Workers of America (U.M.W.A.), attempting to seek recognition from mine owners on Vancouver Island:

Abbotsford Post, August issue 1913

In the following year of 1914, as reported in a passage from the July issue of the Kelowna Record, miners decided to continue their strike after a year-long standoff:

Kelowna Record, July issue 1914

In response, during the same year’s Baptist convention in Vancouver, a recommendation emerged calling for the Dominion government to appoint a royal commission to inquire into both the coal strike and mining conditions on Vancouver Island:

Kelowna Record, July issue 1914

Despite their resilience, miners were met with significant opposition from strikebreakers, special constables, and the militia, leading to numerous arrests. By 1914, as the challenges grew overwhelming, the miners felt they had no choice but to reluctantly return to work. Nevertheless, their two-year strike laid the groundwork for future generations, eventually leading to Vancouver Island miners achieving union recognition in 1938.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s brief introduction to coal mining in British Columbia. The Canadian’s mining history is rich and intriguing, involving not only the coal industry, but also the copper industry and even the iconic gold rush era. If you are interested, we have also covered the gold rush period in our blog and we encourage you to explore that topic as well.

Thank you for reading!




BC Labour Heritage Centre. (n.d.). The great coal strike 1912-1914.

British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines. (2015). Coal in British Columbia: British Columbia geological survey information circular 2015-4.

Meet Diana Andrews, recipient of the UBC Undergraduate Prize in Library Research

About the prize

The UBC Undergraduate Prize in Library Research is a way to showcase students’ effective and innovative use of library services, information experts and resources provided by the UBC Library. Applications for these prizes also provide students with an opportunity to reflect on their information-seeking experience, showcase their research beyond the classroom, and promote scholarship excellence at the undergraduate level at the University of British Columbia.

The Prize was established by UBC Library to encourage more and deeper use of its resources and collections, to advance information literacy at UBC, and to promote academic excellence at UBC.

Q: Could you tell us a little bit about your project?

Written for my English honours seminar on World War I literature, my paper reads Mary Borden’s fictionalized memoir, The Forbidden Zone (1929), as an unlikely addition to the Weird tradition, a genre of horror flourishing during the early twentieth century. A nurse writing behind the Belgian frontlines, Borden’s text offers a perspective of World War I shaped by her care of fragmented bodies and an endless tide of the dying. Because the project is so closely tied to historical events, extensive research was key to the writing process.

Q: What does winning this prize mean to you?

“Scholarships like this one, which recognize that research is something undergraduates can perform, are incredibly validating.”

I’m planning on pursuing an academic career, and so professionalization is something I’m thinking about a lot. Scholarships like this one, which recognize that research is something undergraduates can perform, are incredibly validating.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

After I finish my degree in English literature, I hope to attend graduate school and then eventually teach and research in the field. My research interests include Weird fiction and depictions of feminine monstrosity and disability in ecogothic literature.

Q: Do you have a favourite research spot at UBC Library?

“The immediacy of the actual physical books and the old archival publications is inspiring and helpful.”

This may seem like an odd answer, but I like Koerner’s florescent-lit first floor, down with the stacks. The immediacy of the actual physical books and the old archival publications is inspiring and helpful. I understand the need for storage solutions, but browsing physical collections is a genuinely valuable part of research.

New Books at the Law Library – 24/05/21

LAW LIBRARY reference room (level 2): KE250 .M328 2024 Moira McCarney, Ruth Kuras, Annette Demers & Shelley Kierstead, The Comprehensive Guide to Legal Research, Writing & Analysis, 4th ed. (Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications Limited, 2024).

2024 UBC Undergraduate Prize in Library Research award ceremony

Award recipients with Dr. Susan E. Parker.

Alexei Villareal, Kyla Terenzek, CJ McGillivray, and Diana Andrews with Dr. Susan E. Parker, University Librarian.

On May 15th, winners of the 2024 UBC Undergraduate Prize in Library Research celebrated their awards with family, faculty, donors and other members of the UBC community. The event was hosted by Dr. Susan E. Parker who was joined by other speakers including Aleteia Greenwood, Associate University Librarian, Research & Scholarship.

Diana Andrews speaking about her project.

Diana Andrews speaking about her project.

This year’s winners include:

  • Diana Andrews, 3rd year Faculty of Arts student, won a $2,000 prize for her statement on her project A Machine Inhabited by the Ghost of a Woman’: Nonhuman Agency in Mary Borden’s The Forbidden Zone.
  • CJ McGillivray, 3rd year Faculty of Arts student, won a $2,000 prize for her statement on her project The Ideal (Ro)man: How Portia Balances Violence and Integrity in Julius Caesar.
  • Kyla Terenzek, 4th year Faculty of Arts student, won a $2,000 prize for her statement on her project No species-level evidence of thermophilization in microclimates of the Mytilus edulis species complex in the Pasley Island Archipelago after the 2021 Pacific Northwest Heat Dome.
  • Alexei Villareal, 3rd year Faculty of Arts student, won a $1,000 for his statement on his project (Extra)ordinary People: Familial Memory and Heterotopia in the Visual Chinatown of Yucho Chow.
Guests meeting the winners and asking them questions about their project.

Guests meeting the winners and asking them questions about their projects.

Students and their instructors provided short presentations about their projects, highlighting their effective and innovative use of library services, information experts and resources provided by UBC Library. The ceremony was followed by a reception for guests to meet the winners and learn more about their projects.

Aleteia Greenwood (Associate University Librarian, Research & Scholarship), Dr. Susan E. Parker (University Librarian), and Dr. Sabina Magliocco (Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Chair of the Program in Religion)

Aleteia Greenwood (Associate University Librarian, Research & Scholarship), Dr. Susan E. Parker (University Librarian), and Dr. Sabina Magliocco (Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Chair of the Program in Religion).

Congratulations to Diana, CJ, Kyla, and Alexei!

Learn more about the UBC Undergraduate Prize in Library Research and how you can apply for the 2025 prize.

Closed for Victoria Day – Monday, May 20, 2024