Vancouver Hospital is the province’s major referral, teaching and research hospital and employs close to 6000 full-time, part-time, and casual employees. The hospital, one of the largest in Canada, has more than 1000 beds and consists of 29 buildings on a 35 acre site. As a teaching hospital VH trains close to 800 medical, nursing and paramedical students each year. In 1993 there were 1,100 medical and allied professional staff working in the hospital.

The role of the Biomedical Branch Library is to provide library service to that community of health care workers, researchers, and students who work and study at VH and at the B.C. Cancer Agency (BCCA). The Biomedical Branch is the principal library of the VH employed staff and the staff of attending physicians, and provides a more comprehensive backup library service to the special library operated by the BCCA. The Biomedical Branch serves the UBC affiliated professionals who work in institutions in the immediate vicinity such as the Arthritis Center, and the B.C. Provincial Laboratories. It provides a basic collection on site and provides access to other UBC Library resources via the Health Sciences Network for its users.

Current areas of collecting

The biomedical selector covers the following topics: anesthesiology, cardiology, dermatology, emergency medicine, gastroenterology, hematology, infectious diseases, medicine, microbiology, neurology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, pathology, radiology, general surgery (and neurosurgery, thoracic and cardiovascular surgery), urology, and podiatry. Other notable areas include organ transplantation, hemodialysis, hyperbaric oxygen, lithotripsy, bum care, palliative care, forensic medicine, and geriatrics.


The branch collects primarily monographs and serials. Government publications, pamphlets, and ephemeral materials are collected minimally; software and audio-visual materials are excluded.


Only English language material is added to the collection.

Geographic origin

Canadian, American, and British publications are emphasized.


Most research and experimental material, conference proceedings, translations, dissertations, programmed textbooks, workbooks, laboratory manuals, yearbooks, most annual reviews, cumulative indexes, bibliographies, narrow or esoteric works.

Collections in other UBC Libraries/ Areas of overlap

Health Sciences Libraries: Material on the health sciences.

Woodward Library: Material on health and life sciences.