BC History Digitization Program – 2020 Projects

In September 2006, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia Library announced the B.C. History Digitization Program. The focus of the program is to promote increased access to British Columbia’s historical resources, including providing matching funds to undertake digitization projects that will result in free online access to our unique provincial historical material.

Below is a list of successful applicants for 2020.

Please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some projects are deferring their start date until further notice.

Valley Voice Digitization Project

Arrow Lakes Historical Society


The Arrow Lakes Historical Society will undertake the scanning and digitization of 275 issues of The Valley Voice newspaper into searchable, downloadable digital files. The Valley Voice is a biweekly regional community newspaper that covers current affairs and promotes local events and businesses in the Slocan, Arrow Lakes and North Kootenay Lake Valleys.

Digitization of the Photographs of British Columbia by George Hunter, RCA

Canadian Heritage Photography Foundation


The Canadian Heritage Photography Foundation (CHPF) will digitize 2000 images of British Columbia by the renowned Canadian photographer George Hunter, RCA. The images reflect the industry, culture and landscape of the province from 1950-2010. The digitized negatives and slides will be rehoused and preserved in the CHPF archive, and the images will be uploaded on-line and freely made available to the public.

Digitizing Microfilm of City Council and Committee Agendas and Minutes

City of Port Coquitlam


The project will digitize approximately 130,000 pages of microfiche that hold the City of Port Coquitlam’s Council and Committee Agenda’s and Minutes from the 1972 – 1989.

Surrey Leader Photograph Digitization Project

City of Surrey Archives (City of Surrey)


The Surrey Leader Photograph Digitization Project seeks to illuminate the transformative decades that led to Surrey’s formation as the second largest city in British Columbia.

In 1992, approximately 95,500 photographic prints and negatives were donated to the Surrey Archives from the Surrey Leader, a local newspaper established in 1929. At present, 25,000 images have been processed, digitized, described and uploaded online. This project will facilitate access to an additional 16,500 negatives dating from the 1970s and the early 1980s through digitization and item level description work that will be uploaded onto the Archives’ online catalogue.

Pender Guy fonds audio records digitization

City of Vancouver Archives (City of Vancouver)


The Pender Guy fonds audio records digitization project will digitize 437 audio tapes containing radio programs and background research material created by the Pender Guy radio collection from 1976 – 1981.

George Mercer Dawson Digitization Project

McGill University (The Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning/McGill University)


The project consists in digitizing the George Mercer Dawson series of the Dawson-Harrington Family fonds. This series contains 3.3 metres of documents that include 86 notebooks and diaries; 13,211 pages of correspondence and writing; 374 watercolours and drawings, spanning the years 1871 to 1901. Most of those documents were created by George Mercer Dawson during his numerous field trips to British Columbia or relates to those. The digitization will result in free online access to the collection via our catalogue.

Vancouver Trades and Businesses Digitization Project

Museum of Vancouver (Vancouver Museum Society)


The Museum of Vancouver holds the history of the city as told through the stories of the artefacts in the collection. This project will digitize 1,440 artefacts related to Vancouver trades and businesses spanning in date from the late 1800s to the 1980s.

The Vancouver trades and business collection documents the socio-economic history of the city of Vancouver and the city’s role in the development of the province. These artefacts hold the unique stories of Vancouver businesses and Vancouverites.

20 in 2020

Nikkei National Museum (Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre)


The 20 in 2020 project will digitize 3,800 photographs & 35mm negatives that capture the life of the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre (NNMCC) from its pre-history in the 1980s to the present day. 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the NNMCC; and 2021 celebrates 40 years of the Japanese Canadian community’s dream to establish a community archives to honour, preserve, and share Japanese Canadian history and heritage for a better Canada. The photographs follow the archives from a small office on Broadway to our purpose-built space today: a journey seen through ground-breaking ceremonies and community gatherings.

Oliver Chronicle Newspaper Digitization Project

Oliver & District Museum (Oliver & District Heritage Society)


This project will digitize, store, and make 4,417 issues of the Oliver Chronicle community newspaper keyword-searchable and freely accessible online. The newspapers span 1938 to 2016 and are frequently-requested by locals and researchers across the province.

Rungh Archive Collection

Rungh Cultural Society


The Rungh Archive Collection is a digitization of the print (posters and ephemera), audio and project files related to the publication of the Rungh Magazine, a South Asian Journal of Culture Comment and Criticism, from 1992 – 1999, as well projects/events produced by the Rungh Cultural Society.

Peninsula News Review Digitization Project

Sidney Museum (Sidney Museum and Archives Society)


The Peninsula News Review (PNR) Digitization project will digitize and make freely searchable online 46 rolls of 35mm microfilm containing past issues of the PNR newspaper, which covered the Saanich Peninsula and surrounding Gulf Islands, spanning 1912 through 2002.

Judith Marcuse Dance Collection

Simon Fraser University Library (Simon Fraser University)


This project will digitize photographs, posters, promotional materials and publications from the archives of dancer, choreographer, director, and producer Judith Marcuse and will make the digital files and accompanying descriptive metadata available online through the SFU Library’s website. The material, held by the Library’s Special Collections and Rare Books division, documents not only Marcuse’s career but the development of contemporary dance in Vancouver over the past four decades.

Punjabi Patrika Digitization Project Part 2

The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford (Abbotsford Cultural Centre)


The Punjabi Patrika, published in Abbotsford, BC, is one of only two bilingual, Punjabi/English newspapers published in Canada and includes unique perspectives into BC’s South Asian community. An archive of the the Patrika was donated to The Reach by owner/publisher Andy Sidhu in 2018. The Patrika archive enriches The Reach’s archival holdings significantly, in that it represents the first local news publication with a specifically South Asian perspective.

Nelson Daily News Digitization Project – Phase 2

Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History (Nelson and District Museum, Archives, Art Gallery and Historical Society)


The project will digitize 16 years of the Nelson Daily News newspaper from April 1, 1920 to April 30, 1936. 60 microfilm master reels of the newspaper will be loaned from BC Archives. The information on these reels will be digitally scanned by the UBC Library Digitization Centre. The digital collection will be hosted on the UBC Library’s Open Collections BC Historical Newspapers Collection.

Okanagan Newspaper Digitization: Kelowna Courier (1950-1968) & Penticton Herald (1954-1959)

University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus Library (University of British Columbia)


This project will result in the digitization and provision of online access to approximately 5,100 issues or 65,300 pages of searchable content from microfilmed copies of the Kelowna Courier(1950 – 1965) and Penticton Herald (1954 – 1959) newspapers. The resulting digital files will be made available as part of the Digitized Okanagan History portal (doh.arcabc.ca) on BCLEN’s Arca platform.

“Coming about”: The films of Karl Spreitz

University of Victoria Libraries (University of Victoria)


“Coming about”: The films of Karl Spreitz will digitize 123 analogue films and 150 accompanying photographic images to promote access to British Columbia artist Karl Spreitz’s extensive film and photography archive, highlight his important work, and provide an enhanced and complete vision of his art and life to both academic and non-academic audiences.

The Gesher Project exhibition records

Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre (Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society for Education and Remembrance)


The Gesher Project was a unique and innovative project undertaken by three Vancouver Holocaust survivors, five child survivors of the Holocaust and ten adult children of Holocaust survivors. They explored these experiences through painting, writing, and discussion assisted by facilitators Dr. Alina Wydra, Linda Dayan Frimer, Dale Adams-Segal and Reisa Schneider. The project culminated with the mounting of The Gesher Project exhibit, which toured to eleven cities across Canada. “Gesher,” the Hebrew word for bridge, reflects the project’s goal of working together to bridge the generations and to use creative approaches as a means of healing Holocaust trauma.

Cirkut Panoramas Digitization Project

Vancouver Public Library


The Vancouver Public Library (VPL) Cirkut Panoramas Digitization Project will digitize and index 50 panorama negatives from our collection. These were produced by the Dominion Photo Co. of Vancouver from approximately 1918 to 1950. The use of the No. 8 model Cirkut camera allowed Dominion’s photographers to produce spectacular panoramic images depicting the emerging urban landscape of Vancouver, its burgeoning commercial interests, and the spectacular geography of the province’s lower mainland. Today, these unique images are seriously at risk due to the fragility of the film base and their physical neglect prior to acquisition by the library.

Vancouver Performance Art Objects

Western Front Society / Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery


Vancouver Performance Art Objects will digitize 175 items from the archives and collections of Western Front and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery relating to performances by Vancouver artists in the 1970s.


2 responses to “BC History Digitization Program – 2020 Projects”

  1. Bonnie Soon

    Is there an application process for the BC History Digitization Program – 2021 Projects?

    Uzume Taiko Drum Group Society is Canada’s first professional Taiko Drum Group which began in 1989. The mandate of the Society is to create and perform new works for taiko (Japanese drums), to collaborate with other performing artists to develop and perform multidisciplinary and cross-cultural works, and to educate Canadian audiences and expand awareness of traditional and contemporary taiko drumming through public workshops and presentations. Uzume Taiko developed a new West Coast Canadian style that their European taiko colleagues called “a new taiko art form.” The core members have strong performance skills with dance, classical percussion, martial arts and theatre backgrounds.

    Uzume Taiko also performs for special and corporate events and acts as Canadian Cultural Ambassadors abroad on their international Concert Tours. They completed their eleventh international tour to Europe in the Fall 2015. Uzume Taiko has self-produced seven CD recordings and one Concert DVD documenting their original taiko works. The core performers have over a 20-year history performing together in the group. We would like to digitize photographs, posters, promotional materials and videos from the Uzume Taiko archives.

    1. Kristen Wong

      Hello Bonnie,

      The application form may be found here: https://ikblc.ubc.ca/initiatives/bcdigitinfo/bchdp-applicant-information/

      For questions about the application process or your particular project, please feel free to contact bc.historydigitization@ubc.ca

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