Massive repository of Vancouver history made available to anyone in B.C. with an internet connection

Millions of pages worth of B.C.'s history are now online

The repository will include the Times Colonist, the oldest daily newspaper in Western Canada | Times Colonist

Millions of pages' worth of B.C. history are now available to anyone with an internet connection living here or in the Yukon.

The archived contents of the Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province and Victoria Times Colonist are now free to browse and search online, from each paper's inception to 2010. With the Times Colonist being founded in 1884, that's over 125 years of history written by people living at the time it was happening.

Anyone can now "search more than a century of news, features, editorials, ads and images that showcase B.C.’s heritage," says a press release from the BC Electronic Library Network (BC ELN), one of the organizations behind the massive repository.

This means access to everything from first-hand accounts of historical world events to old classifieds to interviews and stories about the people who shaped Vancouver, Victoria and the whole province.

"Archives of these essential historical newspapers offer unique perspectives on the unfolding of B.C., Canadian and world history, and we’re absolutely thrilled to provide these titles to everyone in the province and territory from wherever they live or work,” says BC ELN executive director Anita Cocchia in the release.

There are five million pages of newsprint to browse. The site hosting the archival images does have a search engine, so you can search terms in the actual news print, like the opening day of Expo 86, the 1994 Canucks riot or the Great Vancouver fire of 1886 which destroyed the city. It's best to know the date of the vent you're looking for before wading through the search results.

The papers are part of ProQuest's database, and hosted on their website.