About the Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers

This index contains four integrated collections, drawn from a number of newspapers published in Victoria between 1858 and 1921. If you use this database for research please acknowledge in your bibliography or notes: Leona Taylor and Dorothy Mindenhall, “Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers,” Victoria’s Victoria , , 2007.

About the General Index

The general index of 21,850 records focuses on the social history of Victoria and surrounding areas, and Comox, Campbell River and Discovery Islands. It does not include political news or newspaper editorial opinions. Not all vital events are recorded in this index as the collection was initially viewed as research material for Old Cemeteries Society tours. This index is limited to all incarnations of the Colonist newspaper including the British Colonist, the Daily Colonist and the Weekly British Colonist -- from the beginning of publication, Dec. 1858, to the end of 1921.

About the West Coast Vancouver Island Index

This index of 6,114 records includes any articles that mention events on that coast (generally from Sooke to Quatsino Sound). Because to this date there have only been patchwork histories containing the same misinformation and lacking most of the rich events that shaped the personality of 'West Coasters' it is hoped that people will use it to eventually write a definitive history of that area. This index is limited to all incarnations of the Colonist newspaper including the British Colonist, the Daily Colonist and the Weekly British Colonist -- from the beginning of publication, Dec. 1858, to the end of 1921.

About the Boer War Index

This index of 455 records honours the 'Soldiers of the Queen'. It began as a Boer War centennial project, and ended as an attempt to keep alive the memory of those servicemen who though promised eternal remembrance, were eventually swept under the 'politically correct' carpet. It includes any mention of Vancouver Island citizens involved in that military action. This index is limited to all incarnations of the Colonist newspaper including the British Colonist, the Daily Colonist and the Weekly British Colonist -- from 1899 to the end of 1915.

About the Built Environment Index

This index of 6,686 records is of references to buildings, architects, builders, building trades, building material suppliers and manufacturers, building owners – indeed, anything connected, however tenuously, to the built environment of Victoria, and other places mentioned in newspapers, published in Victoria. It includes non-building references to people connected to buildings, e.g. the item about a phone call to the home of George Mason, the brick maker. The index was created, initially, in order to catalogue the work of John Teague, architect (City Hall, Masonic Temple, etc.) and set his career in context; as Teague was involved in City politics, in 1885, and 1893-94, references to politics and civic matters were collected for those years. Other items were collected just because they appealed to the compiler, or because they offered valuable contemporaneous information about the daily lives, concerns, and dramas of Victorians in the late-nineteenth century.

The index includes:
Colonist -- from the beginning of publication, Dec. 1858, to 1901 for all incarnations of the Colonist including the British Colonist, the Daily Colonist and the Weekly British Colonist.
Victoria Gazette -- from the beginning to end, June 1858 to July 1860
Victoria Daily Chronicle -- for full run, 1862 to 1866
Victoria Daily Standard -- June 20 1870 till 1873
Evening Express -- April 1863 to Feb. 1865
Victoria Times and Evening Express -- from Feb 1865, then sporadically

About The Compilers

Leona Taylor

Leona Taylor came to Victoria with her parents in 1942. She was raised here but after marriage, was a resident of Halifax, Levis, QC, and best of all, Tofino [for 19 years]. It was in Tofino that she learned to appreciate true eccentrics and a well-told story. When she returned to Victoria in 1989 she began collecting newspaper clippings of the west coast for her Tofino friends, and the indices grew from there. She now lives happily in Oak Bay, and some say, at the BC Archives.

Dorothy Mindenhall

Dorothy Mindenhall is an architectural historian with a particular interest in the Victorian era, as well as the City! She contributed a number of chapters to the 2003 publication Building the West about the architects and architectural environment of early British Columbia; is a researcher for the Victoria Heritage Foundation's books This Old House; has written numerous Statements of Significance for sites on Vancouver Island and the Mainland for inclusion in the Canadian Register of Historic Places; and is involved in various projects for heritage conservation. She has a PhD from the University of Exeter, England.

About the Development Team

The indices have been edited by Chris Dawson, Justine Durrant, and John Lutz of the Department of History, University of Victoria. The data normalization, database and search interface were created by Stewart Arneil of the Humanities Computing and Media Centre, University of Victoria, based on work by David Badke for the VIHistory site.

If you have any questions on the content of this site, please email jlutz@uvic.ca. If you have technical questions, please email sarneil@uvic.ca.

For a history of the earliest Victoria newspapers see Hugh Doherty’s "The first newspapers on Canada's west coast: 1858-1863".