Film fans mourning the closure of Vancouver’s Videomatica can now access the legendary rental store’s collection from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University libraries.
Catalogued and available for borrowing, the unparalleled collection spans more than 35,000 titles, including feature films from more than 75 countries, documentaries, cult and art films, Canadian works and selections from the Vancouver International Film Festival.
UBC and SFU acquired the $1.7-million collection after Videomatica’s 2011 closure, thanks to a donation and purchase agreement brokered by Vancouver philanthropist Yosef Wosk. UBC received about 28,000 movie DVDs, 4,000 VHS titles and 900 Blu-rays and SFU received more than 2,500 documentaries.
“The library is a natural home for our curated collection” says Graham Peat, a Videomatica co-founder and UBC alumnus. Co-founder Brian Bosworth, also a UBC alumnus, agreed: “We’re excited to re-introduce Videomatica to the community and see how it can be enjoyed for academic research and to bring public and campus groups together.”
The Videomatica movie collection is housed at UBC Library’s Koerner branch, on UBC’s Vancouver campus, and the documentary collection is at SFU’s W.A.C. Bennett Library on its Burnaby campus. The films are available for public borrowing with a valid library card from the relevant university.
Videomatica was an institution on West Fourth Avenue for almost 30 years. It is still in business as a sales-only operation located within Zulu Records, just a few blocks away from its previous location.
Visit the Videomatica collection’s website here: videomatica.library.ubc.ca.
For more information about UBC Library’s Community Borrower program: services.library.ubc.ca/borrowing-services/library-cards/unaffiliated/. For more information about SFU Library’s External Borrower program, visit www.lib.sfu.ca/my-library/services-for-you/external.
“From the moment we received the Videomatica collection, we knew how fortunate we were to share it with communities at UBC and beyond,” says Ingrid Parent, UBC’s University Librarian. “The accessibility, preservation and expertise that UBC Library provides will ensure that the collection can be viewed, enjoyed and utilized for generations to come.”
“We are delighted to steward Videomatica’s remarkable documentary collection,” says Brian Owen, SFU’s acting Dean of Library Services and University Librarian. “It’s full of rare and historic titles that are hard to find anywhere else. This is a tremendous resource for the academic community and for the general public. Two thumbs up!”
Videomatica was a long-loved video rental store that opened in 1983 and specialized in rare and esoteric titles. The store was co-founded by Graham Peat and Brian Bosworth, former UBC students (in creative writing, and history and film, respectively).
UBC’s start an evolution campaign is the most ambitious fundraising and alumni engagement campaign in Canadian history with a twin goal of raising $1.5 billion and involving 50,000 alumni annually in the life of the university by 2015.
Watch a 2012 video about the Videomatica collection.