A Library of Excellence
As one of the largest academic research libraries in Canada, with 19 branches and divisions, 5.6 million volumes, hundreds of thousands of electronic resources, and nearly three million visits per year, UBC Library is an institution of provincial, national and international importance. UBC Library’s reputation is founded on outstanding information resources and services, cutting-edge technology and creative innovations.
UBC Library began with modest collection of 20,000 books purchased in Britain and France in 1914. The collection was temporarily housed in a wing of the Vancouver General Hospital before it moved to its permanent home on the new Point Grey campus in 1925. The Main Library held the entire collection and was the intellectual hub of the University.
UBC Library now consists of 21 branches and divisions, 5.6 million volumes, and hundreds of thousands of electronic resources. The Library welcomes nearly three million annual visitors and nearly four million to its website. More than 400 Library employees field almost 200,000 annual queries about countless subjects.
A Library for Tomorrow
Today’s university library provides access to an array of vital materials in traditional and online formats. The challenge is to continue preserving traditional materials while developing innovative ways to grow digital collections. As our community of users grows, we are committed to ensuring that UBC Library offers the space and resources to share ideas, insights and possibilities for future generations.
UBC Library’s legacy is fostered by the generous and spirited support from our community of donors.
For a list of UBC Library endowments, visit the Giving section of our website.
About UBC Library Vault
Discover the Treasures
Special collections are the heart of UBC Library. The Chung Collection offers an unparalleled glimpse into the history of the CPR, early British Columbia and the Chinese-Canadian experience. The H. Colin Slim Stravinsky Collection is the largest of its kind in Canada and contains autographed scores by the ground-breaking composer. The Lewis Carroll Collection holds a first edition of the beloved children’s classic Alice in Wonderland. Hundreds of historical photographs documenting the proud past of British Columbia, and rare prints by renowned Japanese ukiyo-e artists such as Hiroshige and Hokusai, are just some of the Library’s treasures.
Preservation and storage requirements have limited access to these exceptional materials – until now.
UBC Library Vault brings the magic of rare books and special collection to your fingertips. Our ever-growing online gallery showcases extraordinary images from books, maps, manuscripts, prints and scrolls that are often hidden from the public eye. These images are accompanied by intriguing stories revealing the item’s history in tantalizing details.
Awarded the prestigious Gold Medal in Best E-Innovation in University Advancement from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education, UBC Library Vault offers a unique approach to building awareness of UBC Library’s collections. Initiated and sponsored by UBC Library Development, UBC Library Vault also offers a range of gifts from card sets to matted prints, all featuring images from our online gallery. Each time you purchase a gift from UBC Library Vault, a portion of the proceeds is directed to one of UBC Library’s funds and endowments.
We invite you to browse the exhibit, visit our gift shop and learn how to join our community of supporters. Visit ubcvault.ca to unlock the treasures.