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Historical Land Use Research in Northern and Central BC

About Historical Newspapers

Newspapers provide an important primary source of information about historical events. Some of the benefits of using newspaper articles as primary sources include:

  • Seeing how people viewed an event when it happened
  • Providing multiple points of view about an issue
  • Permitting researchers to trace the historical development of subjects over time
  • Examining issues in the context of their time (by seeing how stories about an issue relate to other stories, or by examining the type of coverage provided)
  • Giving a snapshot of a time period detailing how people lived and what they purchased

Because newspapers also contain commentaries or retrospective articles about events, they can also serve as a secondary source.

However, it is important to consider the reliability of the source when using newspapers as a primary or secondary source. Just as today's journalists cannot always be trusted to provide a factual interpretation of events, past journalists could be equally (or more) unreliable purveyors of information.

We have provided a listing of known digitized newspapers for British Columbia communities on this page along with access URLs to assist your research. The majority of these digitized newspapers were digitized and are hosted by other institutions, not UNBC.

Major BC Historical Newspapers

British Columbia and Yukon residents have free online access to three major British Columbia historical newspaper archives:

  • Vancouver Sun (1912-2010)
  • Times-Colonist (1884-2010)
  • The Province (1894-2010)

Access is freely available through the ProQuest Historical Newspapers collection.

Historical BC Newspapers Online