In order to facilitate primary research, Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) acquires archival materials in all media which document the economic, political, cultural, labour, and literary history of British Columbia and Canada. This database contains finding aids for RBSC’s more than 700 archival fonds and collections.If you are new to archival research, the Archival Research Guide will provide you with an overview of doing research in RBSC.
Rare Books and Special Collections acquires books and pamphlets in a number of areas of specialisation. Our main interests are the exploration, history, literature, maps, social life and people’s of British Columbia. We also have strong interests in Canadian history and literature, selected areas of English literature, children’s literature, maps and cartobibliography, the history of medicine, as well as Guangdong Province of China. There is a reference collection covering these subjects. To learn more about RBSC’s collections, explore our Research Guides.
In UBC Rare Books and Special Collections, the main focus of our historical map collection is British Columbia. Our printed and manuscript holdings include historical maps, charts, engineering and architectural drawings, atlases and globes. Geographical coverage includes maps and charts of pre-1900 British Columbia, North America, the Canadian Arctic and the Pacific Rim, pre-1800 world/hemispheres, and Japanese maps of the Tokugawa era.To search for maps or other cartographic resources, please use the archival database, library catalogue, or the inventories to collections in the University Archives.
If you are new to archival research, the Historical Map Collection Research Guide will provide you with an overview of doing cartographic research in RBSC.
UBC Library’s Open Collections include digital photos, books, newspapers, maps, videos, theses and more. These publicly-accessible collections are constantly growing and reflect the research and scholarly interests of the UBC community and beyond.
For a more complete version of the Rare Books and Special Collection’s collection policy see the UBC Library Rare Books and Special Collections General Guidelines for Collecting and List of Major Collections Print and Archival, available in PDF format.