Objectives of the Project
In 2011 a group of professors emeriti, current faculty, and staff set out to explore the University’s rich history primarily from the perspective of those who were part of that history, and to make their stories accessible to the widest possible audience both inside and outside the University.
Unlike other histories of UBC, the Legacy Project doesn’t attempt to provide an overview of the University’s growth and development; instead, its goal is to create an archive of information gleaned largely from the autobiographical memoirs and reminiscences of past and present members of the UBC community, particularly the professors emeriti and the growing number of UBC alumni and long-serving staff members.
The Project comprises four interrelated elements: a collection of oral histories; a collection of written autobiographical narratives; a website to make these (and related) materials easily accessible; and a physical space to facilitate research, displays, and workshops.
Oral histories: Selected individuals are invited to talk about their experiences as members of the University. The interviewees are chosen by the Legacy Project working group to represent different facets of life at UBC as experienced by alumni, faculty, and staff. The selection also takes account of the importance of gender balance and cultural difference. The interviews are recorded and made available through UBC Archives, and also via the Project’s website (see below).
Written autobiographies: Past and present members of the University are invited to share their reminiscences and experiences of life at UBC in written form. The ensuing narratives will be made accessible to all via the Legacies website. Guidelines will be provided with respect to length, format, and content to ensure that these accounts meet the Project’s goal of obtaining first-hand accounts of people and events at UBC.
A website: To bring these materials together and make them easily available, the Project has created a website (https://legacies.alumni.ubc.ca/) to which users are invited to add their own reminiscences. The website, hosted by alumni UBC, also provides links to the wealth of textual and visual material about UBC that is already online, much of it in the University Archives. More information about submitting materials can be found here.
A physical space: The Legacy Project is now housed in Ponderosa Annex C (formerly the UBC Writing Centre) on West Mall, next door to the building that houses the UBC Press. This space will enable us to gather and store the physical materials that will undoubtedly accrue as the Project gathers steam. Once we are well established in our new home, we hope to use the space for displays and for research by historians of UBC and higher education in British Columbia.