Virtual Museum

Discover British Columbia’s history, people and landmarks through the virtual exhibits spread throughout the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.


How to Explore the Virtual Museum

There are 32 rooms at the Learning Centre featuring a plaque with an historical image and QR code. During your visit, simply scan the QR code with your phone or tablet to lean more about British Columbia’s rich history.

Explore online

Can’t make it to our virtual museum in person? Have a look at some historical images and background for each of the 32 designated rooms.


Parliamentary Room

A Holiday for BC

Every August 1, British Columbians celebrate British Columbia (BC) Day, a civic holiday.

The decision to give BC its own holiday was debated during the 4th session of the 30th Parliament in 1974. This debate took place in the chamber of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings.

The explanatory notes prefacing Bill 61, now known as the British Columbia Day Act, state: “The purposes of this Bill is to recognize the pioneers of British Columbia by declaring the first Monday of August in each year to be a public holiday known as British Columbia Day.”

About the Parliamentary Room

The Parliamentary Room in IKBLC was modeled after a room in the British Columbia Parliament. This room is quite different from a traditional lecture hall and is intended to support collaborative student learning and debate.

Ridington Room
Room: 321

The Ridington Room is named after an important person in the history of the University of British Columbia Library: John Ridington.

John Ridington, aka “King John”

Ridington was UBC’s first librarian. He was appointed in 1916 and remained in his position until 1940 when he retired at the age of 72. He had a reputation as an authoritarian within the library walls, which led to his nickname “King John”.

UBC’s University Archives hold the papers of John Ridington and his family. If you are interested in learning more about the life of our first University librarian, take a look at the finding aid (“an aid for finding items in an archival collection”) to the collection that is available on the University Archives website.

About the Ridington Room

The Ridington Room is definitely worth a visit. Students often call it the “Harry Potter Room” due to the winding staircase and the portrait-covered walls. A portrait of John Ridington, painted in 1912 by his brother-in-law Malcolm Charleston, hangs in the Ridington Room.

Keremeos Lounge
Room: 262

Keremeos is a village in the Southern Interior, originally populated by the Similkameen people of the Syilx, or Okanagan First Nation.

The name Keremeos originated from the Similkameen dialect of the Okanagan language word “Keremeyeus” meaning “creek which cuts its way through the flats” in reference to Keremeos Creek.

Keremeos is the only First Nations place name in the Interior that contains the letter “r”. The Okanagan language, Syilx’tsn, is part of the Interior Salishan linguistic group.

Hudson’s Bay Company established a trading post in 1860, after Fort Okanagan (then in American territory) was closed. The Keremeos HBC post closed in 1872. Keremeos was adopted as a town in 1936 by the BC Geological Survey.

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