BIRS and UBC Collaborate to Create Mathematical Video Archive

Posted on Tue, Oct 28 2014 11:52:00

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) and The University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Library are pleased to announce their collaboration on a project to preserve, archive and diffuse the lecture videos from BIRS’ weekly workshops at UBC Library’s digital repository, cIRcle.

BIRS is a place where the imperatives of collaborative and cross-disciplinary research in the mathematical sciences are addressed. Another one of its unique features is that it provides a fully-automated live video broadcasting and recording system for most of its scientific activities. On average, researchers record 20 lectures per week for 48 weeks of the year, totaling 1,000 files per year – all of which are freely available on the BIRS website.

BIRS’ collaboration with cIRcle provides robust and long-term preservation for these videos, as well an enhanced accessibility for scholarly researchers worldwide through UBC’s online library service. Their digital archival system will guarantee the content is discoverable and indexed in popular search engines, thus helping to increase the global reputation of BIRS.

“BIRS is delighted to have its lecture recordings at UBC’s digital repository. The UBC Library has the resources and expertise for proper long-term archiving and preservation of BIRS’s extensive scholarly output, so this is a big win for the world’s mathematical science community!” remarked BIRS’ Director and UBC professor, Dr. Nassif Ghoussoub.

The end result is the first large-scale project to digitally preserve and disseminate mathematical science research output in video format. BIRS is one of the world’s most prominent mathematical science research institutions. It maintains strong ties with UBC’s most prominent mathematicians, statisticians and computer scientists– its Board includes UBC President Arvind Gupta. Every year, about 2100 researchers representing 400 institutions from more than 60 countries, participate in BIRS’ scientific programs, creating a content-rich framework for sharing research, knowledge and information.

“This partnership represents an exciting opportunity to develop the kind of unique collections in cIRcle which showcase UBC’s research strengths and global profile,” says Bronwen Sprout, Digital Initiatives Coordinator for UBC Library. “In this instance, cIRcle is the destination for high quality mathematical peer reviewed research.”

The BIRS videos launched in cIRcle this summer and already boast more than 3,500 downloads. New videos continue to be digitally preserved and uploaded.

To view the current inventory of BIRS videos in cIRcle, visit

For more information on UBC Library’s cIRcle visit

For more information on BIRS, visit