New for 2010!

Cycle Babble:  Cycling in 19th Century Victoria

Created by Jason Chisholm,Vincent Gornall and Gavin Neil

There is a way in which we owe the modern world to the bicycle craze of the 1890s.  The bicycle as we know it was invented in the 1880s and by the 1890s it took North America, including Victoria by storm.  Victorians seized upon the speed, mobility, freedom and healthy qualities of the bicycle in great numbers, creating cycle clubs, lobbying to improve roads and have bicycle paths.  It sped up the circulation of goods and people, it helped free women from confining Victorian fashions and people from the travel limitations of their own feet. Through to the nineteen teens when the automobile age grew out of the bicycle era and began to steal the thunder from bicycles, it was the major mode of  private transportation in the city.  

The Freemasons of Victoria

Created by Stephanie Chan, Joelle Hodgins, Kirin McKee and Chris Perry

Over 700 years old since the  founding of the Order, the Victoria Freemasons are celebtrating 150 years of Lodge activity in Victoria and British Columbia.  This fraternal, secret order, provides a social space for men who believe in a supreme being, to meet and network and learn about the history and traditions of this ancient order.  When it was founded it was a rare place for Jews and Christians, rich and poor, local and visitor to mingle.  The connections of the Lodge were a great help in the wider society as most of the early politicians, business and community leaders were members of the lodge.  This site explores the impact of the Freemason in early Victoria.

St. Andrews Church in the Heart of Victoria's Victoria

Created by Jim Kempling, Alison Lindsay, Kim Madsen, and Andrew Reid.

Many of the early immigrants to Victoria were from Scotland and they drew on the church of their homeland - The Presbyterian Church of Scotland - to create foundation for a spiritual home in their new city.   St. Andrew's was built in the heard of the city but its membership extended to include the Province's richest man, Robert Dunsmuir, its most prominent journalist/politicians Amor de Cosmos and John Robson, and many other of the city's elite.  This website looks at the role of the church in the city and the impact of its wealthy membership on the community.

Victoria's History Through its Newspapers

December 18, 2008, 150 years to the day it first published, the University of Victoria Librararies and the Times Colonist with other libraries and partners launched the digital version of the main newspaper in Victoria for the Victorian era.  The British Colonist is now on line and searchable from its first issue through to June 1910.   The search feature is a great boon to researchers but because of the quality of the print and the microfilm from which it was scanned it is far from perfect.

Enter the index to the British Colonist and other Victoria papers prepared by Leona Taylor and Dorothy Mindenhall.   This is the result of reading each issue of the paper, every day and noting all the names and items of interest.   With the launch of our new material for 2010 we are also launching the expansion of Leona Tayor's Colonist index so it now covers the years up to 1926. For the period June 1910 to December 1926 you will still have to seek out a copy of the paper to read an article but at least you know what is in it, on what page and what date.  Thanks Leona!