More than 15,000 pages of Okanagan history, covering nearly nine decades, are now available online.

Okanagan Historical Society reportsThe complete collection of the Okanagan Historical Society’s annual reports has been digitized by researchers at UBC Okanagan. The books were first published in 1926, though some reports were skipped because of the Great Depression and the Second World War.

“This is a great way to get Okanagan history out into the wider world,” Randy Manuel, former curator of the Penticton Museum and current president of the Okanagan Historical Society, said Wednesday.

Some local libraries have complete collections of the historical reports, but the volumes cannot be borrowed. Each year the Society produces about 800 hard-bound copies of the newest report, and typically sells out.

“There’s a lot of interest in our Valley’s history,” Manuel said. “This partnership between the Society and UBCO to digitize the entire collection and make it available online for anyone with a computer to access, it’s like a marriage made in heaven.”

“(This) will be a remendous benefit not only to our UBC students, but to all researchers who take an interest in the fascinating history of the Okanagan Valley,” said Heather Berringer, deputy chief librarian at UBC Okanagan.

To access the collection go to UBC Library Digital Collections. A link to the Okanagan Historical Society’s index to these reports can be found on the UBC Library site, or the OHS website.

To order reports or for more information on the Okanagan Historical Society, please visit the OHS website.

Source: Kelowna Daily Courier, August 2, 2013.