Library news


Experts on Indigenous language revitalization

UVic News

The stories of two Chinese-Canadian community newspapers

Launched in October 2020, Glimpses into Chinese Immigration history in Canada: The New Republic (1911?-1984) and the World Journal Vancouver (1991-2016) is a digital exhibition of selected articles, video interviews, historical photos, and documents. All content has been transcribed and translated into English to reach a broader audience.

Father Charles Brandt's enduring legacies

Hermit priest, environmentalist, spiritual teacher, and prominent bookbinder, Father Charles Brandt leaves behind many enduring legacies following his death on October 25, 2020, at the age of 97. Among them is his bequest to the University of Victoria Libraries of equipment, tools, and materials from his Hermitage’s conservation lab and bindery, located on the Oyster River at Black Creek on Vancouver Island.

Exploring Holocaust trauma through visual art

"Initially, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this project," says UVic Humanities student Kästle Van Der Meer. "It was my first opportunity to work side by side with the relative of a survivor, so I was very excited. At the same time, I was nervous about conveying their story, because telling your own story is easy, but it is a huge responsibility to speak about someone else’s life using your own words."

Amplifying voices to fight for justice

"Working with Micha on this project has been an absolutely amazing experience, " says UVic Humanities student Linnet Chappelka. "I am so thankful to him for sharing with me so much of his personal history, and of his own experiences of the Holocaust. Often in my work it feels so isolated, and it’s a struggle to see the importance of the work. Collaborating with Micha has shown me the effect my work can have."

Approaching Decolonization in our Classrooms

Work study student Paula Raimondi Cantú talks to Reconciliation Librarian Ry Moran about approaches to decolonizing our classrooms. Cantu writes: "As students and community members settled on the unceded Coast Salish territory of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples, it’s our obligation to challenge colonizing structures and educate ourselves about the importance of memory and Indigenous knowledge in the path towards reconciliation. Through decolonization, we can start addressing the barriers Indigenous members of our community face, and starting in our classrooms."

Celebrating Typographer and Designer Elizabeth Friedlander

While the name Elizabeth Friedlander may be unfamiliar today, it is likely many readers will have encountered her designs, which were influential in British book production over the course of the 20th century. A talented calligrapher, typographer, and graphic designer, Elizabeth Friedlander (1903-1984) designed borders for Monotype and Linotype, Penguin Books, and pattern papers for the Curwen Press, which can be found on many bookshelves. starting in our classrooms."

Metadata ages like fine wine, systems age like fish

Read about a day in the life of Librarian Dean Seeman: "It’s also very easy to get lost in minutiae when dealing with metadata and standards. But when I walk into the library and through the stacks, I don’t see books but instead I see people, places, events, material objects, and ideas in conversation with each other. I see the role of metadata to reveal those conversations so that people and machines can also enter into that realm, discover each other, and enter that conversation."

Statement from UVic Libraries: Lynn Valley Public Library

On behalf of all of us at UVic Libraries, we wish to offer our condolences and concern to the families, staff, and communities affected by the horrific incident at the Lynn Valley Public Library. We recognize the important front line role that library staff play and the essential part that libraries play in their communities. Our thoughts are with all those affected in this time of healing.

Victorian scrapbooks digital exhibit

Although scrapbooking has a long history, the term “scrapbook” was first used in the nineteenth century. The activity became highly accessible during the Victorian era; as printing technologies improved, ephemeral print materials became more widely circulated. People began cutting these materials up and gluing them into what would become personally meaningful books. The pastime was enjoyed by many people, regardless of age, gender, vocation, or socioeconomic status.

Indigenous Approaches to Holistic Wellness

In partnership with the UVSS and over 15 campus partners, The Office of Student Life presents UVic's 7th annual Wellness Week. This year, with many of us isolating and disconnected from our normal support systems, building community and supporting wellness is more important than ever. Our theme for 2021 is ‘Pathways to Wellness’. From January 18-22 we will explore five different ways to support individual and community wellbeing through virtual, passive and active workshops, activities, events and discussions. On Monday, we will explore how to build, support and maintain community wellbeing. Tuesday offers an opportunity to reflect on our Emotional Wellbeing during this unsure time. Wednesday centers around Spiritual Wellbeing, as we explore meditation, mindfulness and visioning from an anti-oppressive and equity-based lens. On Thursday, we focus on Physical Wellness, supporting each of us to feel good in our bodies. Finally, on Friday we take a look at how we can support our academic and intellectual wellbeing as students, faculty and staff. Although we may be physically distanced, this week reminds us we can still find points of connection and community building.

Reconciliation 2020: Looking Back, Moving Forward

In looking forward, we are embarking on an exciting journey. Initiatives being imagined within the Libraries will help realize many of the important Calls to Action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Library support to the newly established Indigenous Law program is a fantastic example of the work that lies ahead. Complex questions need be explored as we collectively embrace the vital role Indigenous legal traditions will play in furthering this country’s journey of establishing respectful relationships.

Trailblazer Librarian cuts a path for others to follow

Read about a day in the life of Librarian Christine Walde: "Being the first Grants and Awards Librarian allows other libraries, librarians and institutions —as well as students, faculty, and the larger community —to gain a deeper understanding of the competencies of my role, while providing insight and opportunities in the new ways that they might evolve to collaborate and align with them."

Decolonization Reading Groups

UVic Libraries recently launched the Decolonization Reading Groups, an initiative from the Libraries’ Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, spearheaded by former co-chair, Carmen Craig. The reading groups were inspired by the reading groups at Camosun College and the good work they have been doing towards decolonizing and indigenizing their institution.

Providing library support during the pandemic

Read about a day in the life of Librarian Aditi Gupta: "The members of the engineering and science faculties are very engaged in trying to align their research to address issues related to COVID-19. At the moment, I’m providing support to researchers who are writing grants or require valuable information resources for their research related or unrelated to COVID-19. I am currently part of a team from engineering and science that has submitted an innovative proposal to secure funding from the recently announced NSERC Alliance COVID-19 grants."

Narrative art and visual storytelling of the Holocaust

Rolf and Nico Kamp are two brothers from the Netherlands who were hidden away by farmers in the countryside after the Nazi invasion until the Canadians liberated them in 1944. The brothers partnered with Israeli graphic novelist, Gilad Seliktar, to co-create a graphic novel that tells their remarkable childhood story for a new generation of students, in both Canada and abroad.

Exploring the academic and learning benefits of graphic novels

Read about a day in the life of Librarian Justin Harrison: "One graphic novel I would recommend would be The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, a visually arresting mystery story written and illustrated by Jacques Tardi. Set in an atmospheric Belle Epoque Paris, it’s translated from the French, if you can find it, and it is about weird science and horror."

Get a hold of the yearbook holdings

Spend some time immersed in Victoria’s post-secondary student life from decades gone by. With the Libraries’ Digitization Centre’s assistance (2019 Innovator winners of the President’s Extraordinary Service Award) and the hosting of the Internet Archive, the University Archives invites you to remotely explore the many digitized yearbooks in our holdings.

Artist and Librarian Tad Suzuki reflects on Picasso and book box-making

Read about a day in the life of Fine Arts and Humanities Librarian Tad Suzuki: "I don’t have a “typical” day concerning my Hispanic & Italian Studies portfolio. But learning about Spanish/Latin American and Italian cultures opened up a lot of new frontiers to me, especially with my art history and theatre connections."

Obsolescence leads to unique computing and media lab

Read about a day in the life of Librarian John Durno: "Other devices such as phones and tablets have encroached on the territory of laptops a bit. However, it’s still hard to beat the combination of a physical keyboard, screen and pointing device when you want to get work done. When you kit out a tablet to replace your laptop, it winds up looking a lot like a laptop."

Interview with Poet, Novelist and Essayist Theresa Kishkan

The Theresa Kishkan fonds provide researchers with so much more, including a wonderful array of her writing projects. Through the archives, you can see Kishkan’s writing taking shape, in how she draws from her research and as pieces progress through various drafts. Correspondence relating to her writing projects and reviews of her work also provide a picture of the shift from writing to publishing. "My university classes taught me how to think, but my reading taught me how to be a writer, I think, and it’s a route I’d highly recommend to others."

Law Librarian Emily Nickerson talks about balancing a dual role in business and law

Read about a day in the life of Law Librarian Emily Nickerson: "Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been busy helping students and faculty from both departments (law and business) identify and access alternative resources for their final assignments, research projects, and summer instruction."

New role at UVic Libraries, first of its kind

Ry Moran, a member of the Red River Métis and founding director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, has been appointed by UVic as the inaugural Associate University Librarian – Reconciliation. It’s the first position of its kind at a Canadian university and will help further educate and inform Canadians about the importance of memory and Indigenous knowledge in the national journey to reconciliation. Moran will join UVic this fall. He grew up in Victoria and is a UVic alumnus.

Library Love: An interview with Librarian Tina Bebbington

"Earth, air, fire, and water are the elements of physical matter. Curiosity, perception, courage, service, and dedicated belief are the elements of a good librarian." - Lawrence Clark Powell, founder of the UCLA library school. Librarian Tina Bebbington is the embodiment of all those elements and takes inspiration from her love of libraries: "What inspires me every day is learning new things, helping people in meaningful ways, and connecting anyone with the information they need, when they need it."

BC Legislative Assembly Sessional Clippings Books

In British Columbia, Hansard was instituted in 1970, in a limited fashion, with the publication of full debates starting in 1972. Between 1891 and 1970, newspaper reports were relied on for accounts of the debates of the legislature. The Legislative Library would clip any such reports from the local papers and preserved the clippings in sessional clipping books. It was the unofficial accounts of various newspapers and other print outlets that covered the highly secretive debates of the legislature.

Bauhaus, Design and the Livable Anthropocene

This event celebrates the innovative approach to design and architecture developed at the Bauhaus Art School, founded in 1919. The aim is to reflect on the historical impact of this approach and explore its potential for addressing the design challenges of the Anthropocene. A colloquium featuring invited speakers will precede the Opening of the bau1haus exhibition of photographs by Jean Molinar, featuring Modernist buildings inspired by Bauhaus from around the world.

Ideafest 2020: Your UVic Library of the Future

Discover the library of the future at this family-friendly event. With over two million books and digital creative spaces providing equitable access to technology, the library is a community jewel. Activities include the tech petting zoo, 3-D printing demos, all-ages story time, button making, and tours of our new Retro Computing Lab! It’s a library open house and everyone’s invited!

Rare Books and Rare Generosity

"My wonderfully eccentric colleague, Dr. Gordon Fulton, has been quietly collecting significant numbers of rare, odd, and often extremely valuable books, and then, just as quietly, donating them piecemeal to the Special Collections of our university library here at the University of Victoria. Gordon is himself is a rare bird; or, to change the metaphor, a walking olde curiosity shoppe, though he grounds himself by being a lively observer of other odd things, like Canadian politics and plight of the Montreal Canadiens. Gordon, who grew up in south-central Ontario, has been a member of the English Department at UVic since 1990, where he specializes in 18th century literature. He studied at the University of Toronto and then at the University of London. Gordon marches—or rather bicycles—to his own beat. He doesn’t own a car, and you have to picture him, rain or shine, cycling up and down the formidable and aptly-named Cedar Hill X-Road to our campus, his backpack often bulging with these books. You’d think he’d be noticed, but Gordon is by nature furtive, and most of us measure his presence by the continuous stream of exotic packages that arrive at the departmental mailbox. If there’s an unusual arrival with unusual stamps, we know these are books are for Gordon. And then they disappear, only to discreetly reappear in our Special Collections. I was lucky enough to get a few words from my colleague about his bibliophilic passion before he once more dematerialized." - G. Kim Blank, UVic Professor of English

Wellness Week 2020

In partnership with the UVSS, The Office of Student Life presents 6th annual Wellness Week, with holistic programming and information to build a more welcoming, connected and supportive university community. We know that wellness takes many different forms and looks many different ways. From Salsa Dancing to Group Counselling there's something for everyone and a place for you here. We invite you to explore different opportunities to find connection and community on our campus by visiting

Poetry, Paper, and Prints

A reading by poet and playwright Jeanne Iribarne (J. Iribarne) from two new poetry chapbooks, Ocean Echoes and Urban Echoes, published in Victoria by Red Tower Bookworks. Following the reading, Frances Hunter will comment on the design, papermaking, printing, and binding of the special and regular editions with a hands-on display of materials and tools used in making the chapbooks. Printmaker Thekla Albrecht-Iribarne will display work made in collaboration with her daughter Jeanne which introduces an alternative approach to integrating poetry and image.

Podcast Curious?

Interested in podcasting about your research and don’t know where to start? This free event aims to introduce faculty, students and staff to some of the resources and expertise we have on campus, and to talk about how we can create a supportive community of podcasters at UVic.

Poetry Reading with Michelle Sylliboy

Michelle Sylliboy, a Mi’kmaq (L’nu) artist/author, was raised on unceded territory in We’koqmaq Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She gathers much of her inspiration from personal tales, the environment, and her L’nuk culture. After living and working on un-ceded Coast Salish territory (Vancouver) for the past twenty-seven years, Sylliboy has moved back to Nova Scotia to work on her Philosophy of Education Doctorate Degree. Sylliboy will combine her artistic background and education by creating an L’nuk Komqwejwi’kasikl (Hieroglyphic) curriculum with L’nuk Elders.

Science Literacy Week 2019

The UVic Libraries, in collaboration with Ocean Networks Canada, Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, Café Scientifique and participating researchers from across campus, presents a 2019 Science Literacy Week program of events highlighting ocean science research. Science Literacy Week is a national week-long celebration of science-based activities that highlights outstanding scientists and science communicators from coast-to-coast.

Statement from UVic Libraries

All of us at UVic Libraries are terribly saddened by the tragic accident that killed two UVic students. Our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of all those affected.

Notes Toward Absolute Zero: A Hypertext Traversal

The Digital Scholarship Commons at the University of Victoria Libraries is pleased to host author Tim McLaughlin and Dr. Dene Grigar for a Traversal of McLaughin's hypertext novel, Notes Toward Absolute Zero. Written in 1992/93, McLaughlin's work dates from the pre-web era of hypertext, when the creative potential of the medium was still largely unexplored. Dr. Grigar, director and professor of the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at WSU Vancouver, will conduct a Traversal of McLaughlin's work; a narrated, recorded performance capturing the experience of the work on period 1990s computing technology.

Main Floor Renovations

The Current Periodicals are being relocated to the main stacks at their title’s call number location. Please ask at the Loan Desk if you have any trouble finding the latest issues. The Reserve Collection will be temporarily located at the Loan Desk. During the period of renovation, the silent piano will be moved temporarily alongside the wall of classroom 130. Watch for an exciting announcement about a new study space that will open in April.

Ideafest 2019

Ideafest is the University of Victoria’s week-long festival, from March 4-9, of research, art and innovation. Browse the 2019 schedule to discover 40 events on campus and beyond. All events are free and open to the public, with no registration required unless otherwise specified. Come and be inspired by ideas that can change everything.

Top Stories of 2018

At UVic Libraries, we place great value on our relationships within the campus and beyond with our role in providing opportunities for lifelong learning. This is why we offer a diversity of resources and services for students, faculty, and the wider community. With 1.3 million visitors into UVic Libraries each year, and many more that engage in our digital spaces, we are the busiest locale on campus, and an inviting and welcoming entry point into all that the University of Victoria has to offer. As we plan and prepare for the beginning of the calendar year, we reflect on some of our accomplishments in 2018,

Embedded Librarianship

The University of Victoria, the wider community, and Canada as a whole have a lot to be proud of in our students and faculty who are working tirelessly to tell the stories of those who came before so that we can be a better community today. It is an honour to be in a profession that seeks to make that work available for tomorrow.

Mountain Legacy Project

From the 1880s through the 1950s surveyors with the Dominion Topographic Survey, the Geological Survey of Canada, and other government departments deployed an effective method of surveying the mountains of Western Canada known as phototopographic surveying. These methods left a legacy of systematic photographs with nearly complete coverage of much of the landscape, offering an unprecedented data set for researchers to analyze landscape conditions during a period of intense development and ecological transitions.

A Day in the Life of Shahira Khair

You have to look no further than pop culture for a bird’s-eye view on humanity’s ongoing relationship with data. Lieutenant Commander Data, an artificial intelligence and synthetic life form character on Star Trek, The Next Generation, has quite a bit in common with our new Data Curation Librarian: they both enjoy helping colleagues, and both have an affinity for data.


FrankenWeek is a series of interdisciplinary events celebrating the history, text, themes, and performance of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. FrankenWeek events are open to the University of Victoria's students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public. For more information, please visit

Science Literacy Week: Free Digital Workshops

The Digital Scholarship Commons assists faculty, students, staff, and the wider Victoria community in learning digital tools and digital research methodologies. We are an interdisciplinary space open to all and encourage cross-disciplinary conversations. We are interested in sparking opportunities for students and faculty from various disciplines to come together and talk about their work.

Science Literacy Week: Ian McTaggart Cowan

During Canada’s Science Literacy Week, visit the big screen digital and 3D exhibit, as the UVic Libraries celebrates the life of former Chancellor and champion of Canadian and BC ecology, Ian McTaggart Cowan. Also visit Special Collections to browse Cowan’s original hand written field notes and browse his extensive BC/Canadian ecology photo collection.

Film Shoot - August 17 and 18

A film production company, EFM3 Productions (VAN) Inc., will be shooting on location in front of the Mearns Centre for Learning – McPherson Library on Friday, August 17. They are shooting the TV movie “An Emma Fielding Mystery: More Bitter Than Death.” Crews will be onsite from 8:00am with shooting expected to begin at 2:30pm. Filming will only take place outside the library. The company will be onsite until the early hours of Saturday morning, August 18. Please be aware that there may be disruption or small delays to staff and library users coming and going from the building during active filming.

UVic Libraries Publication Series

In 2013, the University of Victoria Libraries launched its publishing imprint and released the first in an ongoing series of award-winning publications devoted to our special collections and university archives. Prepared for publication by General Editor Christine Walde, Grants and Awards Librarian at the University of Victoria Libraries, these open-access volumes support the Libraries' commitment to dynamic learning and vital impact.

Research Value and Cultural Influence of Chinese Local Chronicles

Secretary General of the Chinese Local Chronicles Guidance Group (中国地方志指导小组) and President of the Chinese Local Chronicles Association, Dr. Ji Xiangde will speak about the local chronicles, a unique type of resources for Chinese studies. The compilation of local chronicles is a tradition which has lasted for hundreds of years in China. Till now there exist more than 8,000 titles of local chronicles before the Qing dynasty and over 35,000 modern titles. The talk will focus on the origin, history, development, format change and how these sources can be used by researchers.

Bike Lock Rentals

Thanks to the generous support of the UVic Campus Sustainability Fund, UVic Libraries is pleased to announce it is now lending out bicycle locks to the community. This service fulfills an important role of supporting clean, alternative forms of transit to campus. Students and faculty who forgot their lock at home can visit the Circulation Desk in the Mearns Centre for Learning - McPherson Library. Ask us and check out one of our new Kryptonite Evolution locks.

Ideafest 2018

Ideafest is UVic’s week-long festival of research, art and innovation, running from March 5–10, 2018. This year’s festival features over 40 outstanding events on topics ranging from climate change and chamber music to Indigenous law and antibiotic resistance. All events are free and open to the public.

Top stories of 2017

At UVic Libraries, we place great value on our relationships within the campus and beyond with our role in providing opportunities for lifelong learning. This is why we offer a diversity of resources and services for students, faculty, and the wider community. With 1.3 million visitors into UVic Libraries each year, and many more that engage in our digital spaces, we are the busiest locale on campus, and an inviting and welcoming entry point into all that the University of Victoria has to offer. As we plan and prepare for the beginning of the calendar year, we reflect on some of our accomplishments in 2017.

Welcome Videos

Have you ever wandered through the library with a question? These five-minute welcome videos will make you familiar with the library and our key services. Even better, it may be available in your mother tongue. With support from our student volunteers, we have seven videos in frequently-used languages on campus: Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.

An Evening with Julie Angus

National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Award recipient and UVic alumna Julie Angus (MSc ’01), is known for being the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean from mainland to mainland. Julie is a best-selling author who has co-produced two award-winning documentaries all the while continuing to embark on epic adventures, publishing photos and articles along the way. Join us for a presentation and discussion about her life as an explorer, scientist and writer as well as hear about her latest ground-breaking adventure.

Look Again: A Conversation with Guy Berthiaume

Do libraries and archives need a makeover? In the ever-changing world of technology and trends, cultural institutions are continually reinventing themselves to increase their visibility and maintain their relevance. On Nov. 2, a free public event presented by UVic Libraries in partnership with the Greater Victoria Public Library and Royal BC Museum will explore the important role that galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM) play in today’s society.