This year the University of British Columbia marks the 100th anniversary of its opening for classes and research in 1915. To help commemorate the centennial, the University Archives has undertaken several social media initiatives utilizing its extensive historical collections. The most recent such project has been to set up an account on the photo-sharing social media site Flickr.
The Flickr account for UBC Archives was established in February 2015 to promote both the centennial and the University Archives’ historical resources by featuring a selection of photographs from our collections. The “ubcarchives” photostream features those images that we feel best document various facets of UBC’s history, including student life, prominent administrators and faculty, the built environment, important events, and the University’s relationship with the broader community.
Selected photographs are uploaded as high-resolution scanned digital images in either TIF or JPEG format. Metadata for each image are derived from the textual descriptions of each image presented in our existing UBC Archives Photograph Collection. Each image is “tagged” with UBC-related subject headings, such as “Main_Mall”, “Basketball”, and “Graduation”. Those images showing a recognizable geographic location are linked to the Flickr “Map” feature. The entire Flickr collection is organized into “Albums” based on broad categories such as “Students”, “World War I”, and “First Nations”.
Our photostream is not intended as a replacement for our existing on-line digital photograph collection, hosted by UBC Library’s Digital Collections. In that database, more than 40,000 digitized images and associated metadata are administered in-house as part of a very rich collection of digitized resources unique to the University. Our Flickr account is primarily intended to showcase the best of our photographic holdings and promote the University’s centennial year to the world-wide Flickr audience.
The ubcarchives photostream was launched with 100 images. In the coming months we will continue to add more images that we feel effectively document the history of our University.