Top 10 of 2016

Did you know…

147 staff work at UVic Libraries. Our collections include:

  • 2.1 million volumes
  • 1.4 million microforms
  • 175,000+ journal subscriptions
  • 21,000+ cartographic items
  • 42,000+ sound recordings
  • 35,000+ music scores
  • 16,000+ films and videos
  • 1,900+ linear metres of manuscripts and archival materials

To read more interesting facts and figures, please go to this web page.


Victoria to Vimy

Our virtual exhibit,, sponsored by a World War Commemorations Community Fund grant from the Department of Heritage, is a digital collection of First World War materials held in Special Collections.  The Fund is intended to promote community engagement, build awareness of how the war efforts shaped Canada, and create an important educational legacy that all Canadians can access. Watch for news about our April 12, 2017 public event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Vimy.

The Government of Canada will mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the Battle of Vimy Ridge with commemorative ceremonies on April 9, 2017, at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France and the National War Memorial in Ottawa:

G. Freund

This online exhibit is a digital version of an exhibit held in Special Collections, which was the first time Gisèle Freund's James Joyce photographs had been shown in Canada. Special Collections houses Freund's personal and public material relating to the book, James Joyce in Paris: His Final Years. It is curated by University of Victoria Libraries postdoctoral fellow Dr. J. Matthew Huculak and Kathy Bohlman, MAS. The exhibit is a collaborative effort among the Department of English and the Libraries in order to share our resources with our community:


Starting in the Fall of 2014, the UVic Libraries launched a Personal Librarian Program for 4,500 first-year students:  This program is designed to introduce students to the many resources, tools and services available throughout UVic Libraries.  In 2016, we had another successful year with plenty of media coverage about the program across the country:


For the January-December 2016 time period, we had over 570,000 web users and over 2.6 million page views. Some of the highly frequented web pages were: finding books, journals and articles; searching databases; booking a study room; and viewing the law library home page, to name a few.  Also of interest, the total number of Summon searches for 2016 was an outstanding 3,117,812!  (Summon is the system behind the search box on the Libraries’ homepage).   Web usage is also tracked through social media, where Facebook and Twitter are used daily to direct our followers to the UVic Libraries web pages for more information.

To follow us on social media, please go to:

Special Events

There is also a lot of community activity at UVic Libraries, and we invite you to visit our website on a regular basis for updates, including these two links featuring upcoming events: and


UVic Libraries responded to the University’s Strategic Research Plan by formalizing our commitment to digital information fluency, data management, digital preservation and open collections. As campus experts in knowledge mobilization, open publishing and digital curation, the Libraries have successfully partnered on a number of faculty research grants. Our further integration with the Strategic Research Plan will serve to strengthen the role of librarians as trusted research partners and collaborators.

You can link to UVic’s strategic research plan here:


Matthew Ko

Mathew Ko Colour Films: Victoria's Chinatown and Region c.1939-c.1950

This digital collection launched in conjunction with a travelling exhibit on Chinese Women in Canada (May 2016)

Mathew Ko (1909-2000) was a Victoria-born businessman, the son of Simon Ko Bong and Chui Tong Biing. Simon Ko Bong was a successful retailer and jeweler and a prominent leader in British Columbia's Chinese Canadian community. Mathew's nine siblings Mark, Luke, John, Mable, Ruby, Mary, Peter, Andrew, and Garnet were also born in Victoria. Mathew ran the family business, GB Simon Jewelry and Watch Repair, at various locations in Victoria, including Government Street and Yates Street. The exhibit ran during the month of May 2016:

A May 7, 2016 Times Colonist article captured the essence of the exhibit:

Reflections: Images of Chinese Women in Canada

A travelling exhibit hosted by UVic Libraries and presented by The Multicultural History Society of Ontario

This exhibit is the touring companion of the original 1987 exhibit, "But Women Did Come… 150 Years of Chinese Women in North America.”  The exhibit’s images span several generations and reflect the struggles and victories of Chinese women who forged a path for others to follow.  Chinese women in Canada challenged sexism and fought against racism. They followed, and broke with, tradition. This is a Canadian story.  Families from across Canada generously shared their photo albums and their memories for this exhibit. While the names of many women have been forgotten, their photographs capture what words cannot.

UVic Libraries presented this travelling exhibit in May 2016 in honour of Asian History Month, and the opening reception (May 9) was co-presented with the Mathew Ko colour films of Chinatown digitization project.


The Digitization Centre at UVic Libraries acquired a 3D scanner this year. We have digitized more than 100 biological specimens that were collected by Dr. Ian McTaggart Cowan, a well-known BC environmentalist and former UVic chancellor. Those specimens can be viewed on our Sketchfab site here: These 3D models will be featured in our upcoming digital exhibit that will also include McTaggart Cowan’s field journals, videos from his CBC television series, and a large collection of his photographs of BC wildlife.


This year UVic Libraries launched our Dataverse repository to openly share research data sets that are produced at the university. One of our very first data sets was the specimen database from the UVic Herbarium. We have also partnered with Canada Health Infoway to provide open access to a number of valuable datasets on Digital Health in Canada. We will continue to partner with faculty members, research centres, and government and community groups to openly publish and preserve research data sets.


The launch of the UVic Libraries publication, Fronts of Modernity: The 20th-Century Collections at the University of Victoria Libraries, was the fourth volume published by and about UVic Libraries, edited by Dr. J. Matthew Huculak to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Special Collections: Fronts of Modernity celebrates the diversity of UVic Libraries’ 20th-century holdings and explores their collective histories and origins in a visually stunning book with over 140 pages of high quality images.

The Times Colonist ran a full story on October 2, 2016:


At UVic Libraries, donations, both cash and gifts-in-kind, have almost doubled from 2008-2011 to 2012-2015. For more information about how to support UVic Libraries, please contact Katherine Blake, Development Officer, at or call 250-853-3893.

Ben Franklin: An investment in knowledge pays the best dividend


University of Victoria Libraries was pleased to host the 2016 University Librarian’s Annual Lecture, in partnership with the Greater Victoria Public Library and the Belfry Theatre.  Over 100 people attended an evening of stimulating conversation with Deputy Librarian of Congress David S. Mao from Washington, D.C., who was the Acting Librarian from Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 14, 2016, and UVic Chancellor Shelagh Rogers, host and producer of CBC Radio’s “The Next Chapter.” This informal dialogue explored many themes including Mao’s career path, the challenges and achievements in his current role and his favourite childhood books, among other topics. One particular highlight for the audience included a discussion about the contents of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s pockets on the night he was assassinated. 

Media interest included a CFAX interview and a story in the Times Colonist: