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Primary Sources

This guide to primary sources focuses on collections owned or subscribed to by UBC Library. Freely available resources are also described if they are significant collections or have a Canadian focus.


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The following are special collections digitized at UBC Library or about the institution of UBC. 

  • Open Collections - UBC Library’s portal for digital content, housing over 200,000 digital objects including photographs,maps, videos, books, audio content, newspapers, letters and more.
  • Alice 100 Collection - The collection includes more than 200 editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland accompanied by Through the Looking Glass and displays the work of more than 80 illustrators. 
  • Historical Maps Collection - This guide has been developed to assist students and researchers in searching for resources relating to historical maps and atlases in the UBC Library collection.
  • Historical Photographs -This guide will introduce you to resources for finding and using historical photographs both within UBC collections and externally.
  • Special Collections: Canadian History - RBSC has a number of smaller collections which come together to form the overarching Canadian History Collection.
  • Special Collections: Canadian Literature - UBC's Rare Books and Special Collections Library collects rare and historically significant Canadian literature which is available for you to view and read.
  • Special Collections: English Literature - Rare Books and Special Collections features a number of collections significant to the history, development, and art of English language and literature.

University Publications and Documents

Student and Alumni Publications

UBC historical documents

  • Includes early documentation about the Point Grey campus and its development.