About Points to the Past

Province-Wide Access to Primary Source Research Materials

British Columbia and the Yukon’s combined 4.6 million residents now have free perpetual access to leading Gale research databases – nearly 200 million pages of digital historical content – as part of a unique agreement arranged by the University of Victoria Libraries, University of British Columbia Library, and Simon Fraser University Library.

“The Points to the Past initiative expands access to a wealth of historical content for students, faculty, and the general public, enabling us to facilitate life-long learning and to contribute to a better-informed society.”
    -Jonathan Bengtson, University Librarian for the University of Victoria.

Through their local public, academic, school, or museum libraries, British Columbia and Yukon residents can access all Gale Digital Collections databases, including digitized versions of periodicals such as The Economist, The Financial Times, and Associated Press content, as well as digitized materials from The Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex.

In addition, residents will be able to explore the North American story through Indigenous Peoples: North America, and make new discoveries with access to Nineteenth Century Collections Online and Eighteenth Century Collections Online, often considered essential resources for the modern academic researcher.

All of the materials will be delivered via Gale’s Artemis: Primary Sources platform, which means the collections are cross-searchable and leverage advanced research features such as graphing and search visualization tools.

“We believe in engaging learners of all kinds and this agreement enables us to offer a wealth of material to residents - whether the K-12 student, the university scholar or the local historian – and we hope it will lead to new research discoveries and life-long learning.”
    -Frank Menchaca, senior vice president, Cengage Learning.

Supported by:

University of Victoria Libraries

University of Victoria Libraries is the second largest in British Columbia, being composed of three libraries: the William C. Mearns Center for Learning - McPherson Library, the Diana M. Priestly Law Library, and the Curriculum Library. UVic Libraries support the learning, teaching and research needs of the university community. UVic Libraries’ combined collections include over 2.1 million books and growing digital collections. The Libraries’ collections of special and unique materials include the largest collection of transgender archival materials in the world, internationally recognized holdings in Modernist British, American, French and Anglo-Irish literature, and one of the largest military oral collections in Canada.

University of British Columbia Library

UBC Library advances research, learning and teaching excellence by connecting communities within and beyond the University of British Columbia to the world’s knowledge. The Library, a high-ranking member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), has 15 branches and divisions, and is the largest academic library in British Columbia. Its collections include more than seven million volumes, over 1.8 million e-books, and more than 920,000 maps, audio, video and graphic materials. The Library provides access to expanding digital resources and houses an on-site digitization centre. For more information, visit www.library.ubc.ca or follow the Library @ubclibrary.

Simon Fraser University Library

The Simon Fraser University Library supports the research, teaching and learning endeavours of the university community. The Library houses a print collection of 2.7 million volumes and 6,000 journal subscriptions across its three locations in Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver. The Library’s rapidly growing electronic collection includes 64,000 journal subscriptions, over 600,000 ebooks, close to 5 million digital files, and the Research Data Library’s expansive collection of maps and datasets. Special Collections and Rare Books (housed in the Burnaby location) is home to a broad range of unique and rare content, including book arts, print culture, Canadian editorial cartoons and British Columbia literary, social and political material.

Cengage Learning and Gale

Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, technology and services company, empowering educators and driving learner engagement through personalized services and course-driven digital solutions that bridge from the library to the classroom. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, serves the world's information and education needs through its vast and dynamic content pools, which are used by students and consumers in their libraries, schools and on the Internet. It is best known for the accuracy, breadth and convenience of its data, addressing all types of information needs – from homework help to health questions to business profiles – in a variety of formats. For more information, visit www.cengage.com or www.gale.cengage.com.