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Rare Books and Special Collections Remote Resources and Services Guide

Reading Room Operations

Due to the quickly evolving situation with COVID-19, the Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) and University Archives (UA) reading room will be closed until further notice. During this time librarians, archivists, and staff will be working remotely to continue to support our patrons to the extent possible.

This guide will provide patrons with information about RBSC and UA operations and services at this time, including access to digital collections and research assistance.

Welcome to Rare Books and Special Collections

RBSC Remote Reading Room

Starting on January 25, 2021, RBSC will be offering a Remote Reading Room service.

The RBSC Remote Reading Room allows patrons to consult rare book and archival materials remotely via a document camera. Scheduled sessions take place via Zoom, and an RBSC team member will be on hand to page through materials for you.

Remote Reading Room sessions can be booked for one hour, and patrons may request one rare book or one box of archival materials per session. Patrons can book up to three appointments per month and may request up to 10 image captures (JPG format) during each session. Requests must be submitted 7 business days in advance and sessions are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. (PT).

In order to schedule a session and for more details, please see the RBSC Remote Reading Room Request Form. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us through the RBSC contact form or by sending an email to

For Instructors

Instructors can make a request for remote teaching and learning support by completing our RBSC Remote Instructional Support Request Form. In order to ensure sufficient preparation time, we recommend completing this form a month in advance of when RBSC remote content / support will be needed for your course.

For more information, please see the Remote Teaching and Learning Support section of this guide.

Contact the Rare Books and Special Collections Team

Katherine Kalsbeek, Head, Rare Books & Special Collections

Krisztina Laszlo, Archivist

Chelsea Shriver, Librarian

Claire Williams, Forestry Archvist

Contact the University Archives Team

Erwin Wodarczak, Acting University Archivist

John Moran, Archivist

Candice Bjur, Archives Assistant

Important Library Information and Updates

UBC Library services available:

Ongoing news, updates, databases and catalogue:

View the Library’s COVID-19 Workspace Safety Plan


Thank you to Kimberly Fama, Reference Librarian at the David Lam Management Research Library, on whose work this guide was built.