UBC Historical Resources

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The University Archives host digital versions of the principal UBC publications. Please see the following links:

  • UBC Reports, 1955—

    The official news publication of UBC: arts & humanities, business, law and society, science, health & technology, and university news. Also contains announcements on new professors and courses.

  • UBC Calendars, 1909-2008

    Annual publications for students containing important information such as application deadlines, academic year outline, student parking, services & facilities, applicant types/student classifications, course descriptions, enrolment statistics, and admission procedures.

  • The Ubyssey, 1918—

    Scene from “Major Barbara” performed by Players Club in March 1954. UBC Archives.

    UBC’s official and independently student-run newspaper. New issues every week. For students, by students.

  • The Graduate Chronicle, 1931-1948

    A publication dedicated to maintaining connections among alumni/alumnae as well as their relationship with UBC.

  • The UBC Alumni Chronicle, 1948-2000

    A renaming of the above publication.

  • Trek Magazine, 2001—

    A renaming of the above publication. Now a quarterly-published magazine, with the addition of materials that include the community outside UBC.



Other online works of UBC history and biography:                                                                                                                                                                                    

  • The 'Old Sweats', the first UBC Law Class, 1945. UBC Archives

    The ‘Old Sweats’, the first UBC Law Class, 1945. UBC Archives

    UBC Archives Video & Film Collection

    Follow the UBC Library Digital Collections in their initiative to selectively digitize the the University Archives holdings (containing some 8,000 video recordings and 150 films). Tour significant events through silent films such as the opening ceremony of the Haida Section at Totem Park and Princess Margaret’s visit to UBC in 1958.

  • UBC Archives Audio Recordings Collection

    Recordings of speeches and interviews by UBC alumni/alumnae and faculty members. Listen to a variety of files such as the Memorial Service for Walter Gage, interviews with Helen McCrae (former Dean of Women at UBC and advocate for women’s education), and Arthur Laing (former leader of the BC Liberal Party).

  • A Brief History of UBC Continuing Studies (1936—    )

    A brief history of continuing education at UBC, as well as a list of key milestones.

  • Transformations: A History of UBC Continuing Studies (PDF)

    This 2012 book by Dr. Scott McLean and Dr. Eric Damer chronicles 75 years of the history of UBC Continuing Studies, and highlights the impact and influence of adult learning at UBC as well as across British Columbia. If you would like to view a hardcopy, please visit The Legacy Project’s Library.

  • UBC Student Yearbook Collection

    Approximately 1,750 images drawn from the 49 volumes of student yearbooks The Annual and The Totem (1916-1966). Browse photographs and write-ups on student clubs (such as The Livestock Club, Players Club, and Returned Soldier Students’ Club), fraternities, sororities, sports teams (such as ice hockey, rowing, grass hockey), and faculties (Forestry, Law, Commerce, etc).

    The collection includes photographs from the first university-wide yearbooks before the advent of faculty-specific yearbooks.

  • History of The Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS)

    One of the three founding faculties at UBC. Formerly known as the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, and then the Faculty of Agriculture, LFS has a rich history extending back to 1914. Explore how the first four departments (Agronomy, Animal Husbandry, Horticulture, and Poultry Husbandry) have changed. Written by Dr. Robert Blair, Professor Emeritus (Applied Animal Biology) and edited by E. Perriccioli.

  • Fifty Years of Geography at UBC

    Check out two posters by cartographer Eric Leinberger depicting a visual narrative of the Department of Geography. Learn the origins of this department which began in 1915 and see how substantially enrolment has grown since then.

  • History and Achievements of the UBC Faculty Women’s Club (FWC), 1917-2004

    At the request of both UBC’s first president, Dr. F. F. Wesbrook, and the Board of Governors, this club was initially founded to direct boarding homes for women students. Two achievements out of many completed by the club: it established loan assistance to women students during the Depression, and it participated in relief efforts for the Red Cross during World War II.

  • Interview with Dr. Errol Durbach (transcript)

    An interview with the former Department Head of Theatre and Film at UBC, Dr. Errol Durbach, by Gillian Lockitch. Durbach formerly taught theatre in the English Department as a sub-genre (“Dramatic Literature”). Learn how his teaching methods transformed from the theoretical to the art of performance.

  • UBC Professors Emeriti Oral History Project

    A useful compilation of recollections of student days and department changes.

    Click on the “Listen to Recording” links within.

  • History of the School of Kinesiology

    Read about the history of this School (now under the Faculty of Education) from its early beginnings as a voluntary and compulsory physical activity program to its current expanded study of the connection between physical activity and health, society, and quality of life.

  • Composite photograph of Ethel Johns and first ten students enrolled in UBC Nursing degree program in 1921

    Composite photograph of Ethel Johns and first ten students enrolled in UBC Nursing degree program in 1921

    The Way We Were: A Celebration of Our UBC Heritage (PDF)

    A book published in 1987 by the UBC Alumni Association. A compilation of essays, histories, and anecdotes offering snapshots of the history of UBC and its people. Includes entries such as “The First Gymnasium” by J. Ross Tommie, “The Ubyssey Was My School of Journalism” by Peter Shinobu Higashi, and “The Players’ Club: Reflections from the Green Room” by Dorothy Somerset (now: Dorothy Somerset Studio Theatre, 6361 University Boulevard).

  • Cornelia Oberlander Oral History

    Eleven videos in total: Oral autobiography of renowned Canadian landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander. She contributed to the designs of many buildings in North America: Robson Square, The Museum of Anthropology at UBC, and the Green Roof at the Vancouver Public Library (central branch).

  • Margaret A. Ormsby Oral History Project fonds

    41 interviews with 38 colleagues, family, students, and friends of Margaret Ormsby, former Head of the UBC History Department. Learn of her contribution to British Columbia as both an educator and scholar.

    Click on the “Listen to Recording” links within.

  • UBC School of Nursing History

    Brief history of the UBC School of Nursing,founded in 1919, one of the first such programs to be established. Please click here to contact their archivist to view nursing artifacts. See the book Legacy: History of Nursing Education at the University of British Columbia 1919-1994 by Glennis Zilm and Ethel Warbinek, both UBC Nursing graduates.

  • UBC School of Kinesiology: Physical Education & Kinesiology Graduates Profiles (since 1949):

    UBC Athletics Historian, Fred Hume, has collected 60 profiles (and counting) of School of Physical Education and Recreation alumni who made an impact on UBC teams as athletes and/or as builders of sport.

  • UBC Sports Hall of Fame, Inductee’s Profiles

    Located in the main foyer of the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, this collection recognizes over 100 years of athletic history at UBC. Beginning in 1993 the collection has grown significantly in size each year with new inductees, photographs, and sports memorabilia. There are approximately 130 inductee profiles (athletes, builders, and teams) on this website with the vast majority being UBC alumni.

  • UBC Pulp and Paper Centre History

    For a PDF file of the book PPC Early Years authored by Professor Emeritus, Richard J. Kerekes, click here. For a version of the book with Flash feature (i.e. page turn curls), download the zip file here. The Pulp and Paper Centre at UBC is an interdisciplinary (ex. Chemical and Biological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, School of Architecture, etc) and cross-faculty (i.e. Applied Science, Forestry, Science) nexus point for research towards the pulp and paper industry.



Below are links to other interviews with UBC faculty and staff, many concerned with the early history of the University.                                                                                                                                                                       

  • UBC Legacy Video Collection

    Enjoy the reminiscences of over 130 people–staff, alumni/alumnae, and faculty–affiliated with UBC over long periods of time.

  • Allard School of Law History Project, UBC

    An interactive historical archive. Search the project for information on former faculty, alumni/alumnae, and people who have contributed to British Columbia’s legal history. Listen to the memories of many faculty and graduates and learn about their symbiotic relationship with BC/UBC and the legal profession. Find a list of interviews here.

  • The English Department, 1915-2000:

    A detailed overview beginning in 1915 of this department offering courses required of all students (from Arts to Mining Engineering). Developing beyond the traditional field of English studies, the Department oversaw the introduction of creative writing, theatre practice, and Canadian literature courses. Written by Dr. Herbert Rosengarten.

    Much of the Department’s history is contained in the documents stored, arranged, and described by the University Archives at http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/u_arch/english.pdf.

  • The Faculty Women’s Club Oral History Project

    Contains 7 audio tapes from 1988-89 of interviews conducted by Ann Carroll with seven members of the Faculty Womens Association: Bea Wood, Violet Eagles, Alex (Alexandra) Hrennikoff, Marjorie Peebles, Maebritt Jeffels, Helen B. Akrigg, and Jo Robinson.

    Click on the “Listen to Recording” links within.

  •  The UBC Players’ Club: The Early History

    An audio recording made at the home of Jack and Betty Clyne in 1984. A group of Players’ Club alumni and alumnae talk about the history of the club from 1916 to 1926.

  • The Alumni Achievement Award Past Recipients

    From the UBC Alumni Association comes this list of past recipients for various awards, such as the Lifetime Achievement Award, Honorary Alumni Award, Volunteer Leadership Award, Global Citizenship Award, and Young Alumni Award.

  • UBC Psychology at Fifty (PDF)

    In 2014 the Psychology Department turned fifty, and this book documents its formation and subsequent growth. It is separated into four parts: timeline of milestones; individual essays by Psychology Heads; memoirs from students, faculty, and staff; and an appendix with a record of doctoral-degree recipients and award winners. The Legacy Project has a physical copy of this book on its shelves.

  • Neil Bartlett and the Reactive Noble Gases

    Fifty-five years ago Neil Bartlett, Professor of Chemistry, made a discovery that required all existing textbooks to be rewritten. Who knew that combining xenon and platinum hexafluoride would have such an impact? Visit the American Chemical Society’s page dedicated to this historic event, including a commemorative booklet written by Mark T. Sampson. There is a large display of documents dedicated to Bartlett on the third floor of the Chemistry Building (2036 Main Mall).


UBC History Online

Links to the UBC Archives pages with digital versions of histories of UBC.                                                                                                                                                                                                           


Other resources concerning UBC:                                                                                                                                                                 



Last updated: February 20th 2018