Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Victoria Times Colonist archive now digitized up to 1950

The following is sourced from a Facebook post by Dave Obee.

Digitized issues of Daily Colonist now cover Depression, war years

Researchers interested in Victoria during the Depression and Second World War now will be able to search digitized back issues of the Daily Colonist from 1920 to 1950.

The historical British Colonist website — — was launched in 2008 with searchable images of the first 100,000 pages published by the British Colonist, the Daily British Colonist and the Daily Colonist from 1858 to 1910. It was extended to 1920 a couple of years ago.

The latest expansion means it will be much easier to do research about Victoria during the tough Depression years and the Second World War, said Dave Obee, editor-in-chief of the Times Colonist.

“This digitization work changes the way our history can be researched. It will be easier than ever before to find stories and advertisements in what was, for many years, the largest newspaper in the province,” Obee said.

“It also makes the back issues much more accessible. Until now, a person would have had to visit a library and use a microfilm reader to read these old issues.”

The Times Colonist is the oldest newspaper in Western Canada. In the past 157 years, it has published a massive storehouse of information about Victoria and Vancouver Island.

Lisa Goddard, head of digital scholarship for University of Victoria Libraries, says the 1941-1950 batch of newspapers includes 67,148 page images. The next batch, not yet online, will cover 1951-1960 and has 101,604 images.

“There are actually substantially more pages because, of course, the issues get bigger and bigger over time,” she said. “You can see the exponential growth of the issues over those decades.”

The first issues of the British Colonist had just four pages. “Now we’re getting into a mature newspaper with a large number of pages per issue,” Goddard said.

The site is complete for the 1940s, but not all issues from the 1930s are available yet. They will be added to the site when they become available.

The website is hosted by University of Victoria Libraries, which is the project’s primary sponsor. Other sponsors include the Times Colonist, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, the Greater Victoria Public Library, the B.C. Electronic Library Network, the Libraries and Literacy branch of the Ministry of Education and the Legislative Library.

1 comment:

Susan Gail Roger said...

Oh please! I'm trying to get work done here! A quick check pulled up a lengthy 1931 review of the"Lyric Players" production of Peter Pan with my third cousin once removed Mollie Bigwood in the title role, playing to a "packed house" during the Christmas season at the Royal Theatre! The reviewer said that Mollie (who was twenty at the time) "infuses [the role] with just the right admixture of the mystical and the three-dimensional, the genuine boy and the 'fey' thing of the imagination, making it consistently intelligible by virtue of a clear and attractive speaking voice." I knew Mollie when she was a grandmother in the 1970's -- this past triumph never came up....