Okanagan Special Collections acquires books, pamphlets, maps, and archives with relevance to the region.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Special Collections and Archives space is closed. 

Access to Collections

Hours

Located on the lower level of the Commons (COM 004), the Special Collections reading room is open 10am – 3pm, Monday to Friday during the academic session (September to April) and by request during the summer (May to August). Please email osc-contact[at]lists.ubc.ca to request a box retrieval, make an appointment outside of normal hours, or ask a reference question.

Microfilm reader

Contact us at osc-contact[at]lists.ubc.ca for an orientation to the machine, or drop in during our open hours.

Our collections

Our collections include:

Okanagan Special Collections is experiencing a period of growth, and more archival materials will be made available soon. See our installation of AtoM for full archival descriptions. 

Archives which we are currently processing include:

  • The British Columbia Women’s Institute fonds
  • The Allison Family fonds
  • The Kelowna Capital News fonds (photographic)

British Columbia Regional Digitized History (B.C.R.D.H)

Since 2016, the Digitized Okanagan History (D.O.H.) project has cultivated a regional partnership involving the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus Library and numerous community memory institutions located throughout the Okanagan, Shuswap, Similkameen and Boundary regions of B.C. In early 2020, Digitized Okanagan History was joined by a parallel project, Kootenay/Columbia Digitized History. Together, these regional collections form B.C.R.D.H. The project’s overriding objective is to work collaboratively with partner repositories to improve access to a wide range of local historical resources by digitizing photographs, archival records, maps, publications, oral histories and community newspapers and making this information more widely available through a single, integrated online portal.

Go to the portal

Book and Archival Donations

Our collecting activities are informed by geography. Although our collections focus on published materials and archives with ties to the Okanagan region, we also seek materials concerning the Similkameen and the Shuswap. Additionally, we collect materials with pertinence to the Boundary and Kootenay regions.

General Guidelines for Collecting Published Material

  • Books written about our focus geographies
  • Books written by authors located in our focus geographies at the time of publication
  • Books by any author or on any subject published by local publishers
  • Books written by UBC Okanagan Faculty, where primary authorship or editorship is evident
  • Ephemera (brochures, posters, tickets, booklets) concerning our target geographies
  • Self-published works corresponding with any of the above categories, including zines
  • Maps, audio-visual or digital materials with pertinence or provenance tied to our focus geographies

General Guidelines for Collecting Archival Material

  • Photographs
  • Manuscripts
  • Personal papers and family papers
  • Records of business, society, or organizational activities
  • Primary source audio/visual recordings

Collecting Guidelines printable PDF

Gift-in-Kind form printable PDF

learn more 

Contact Us

Questions regarding the collections, possible donations, or access may be directed to our Archivist.

To find OSC materials, search our catalogue (select “Okanagan Special Collections” from the drop down) or browse our archives. For further assistance conducting research, please consult our various historical research guides.

Find out current Special Collections hours.