British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest

These collections highlight history of the Province of British Columbia and the area generally defined as the Pacific Northwest. See also Victoria and Vancouver Island and East Asian and Asian Canadian Collections.


British Colonist thumbnail
British Colonist detail

The British Colonist 1858 - 1920

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the British Colonist newspaper, every page of every issue, from December 11, 1858 until the end of December, 1920 -- a total of 170,000 pages, have been made available.


Royal Atlas for Canadian Schools
Royal Atlas for Canadian Schools

British Columbia Historical Textbooks Collection

This historical textbooks collection includes books on a variety of school subjects including science, math, health, English and language arts, foreign languages, history, and social studies, used in British Columbia’s public schools since the province joined confederation in 1871. 


Despatch document thumbnail
Despatch document detail

Colonial despatches

The Colonial despatches were the original correspondence between the British Colonial Office and the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. This project aims to digitize and publish online a complete archive of the correspondence covering the period from 1846 up to the incorporation of B.C. into the Canadian Federation in 1871.

See also: Early BC maps


Ian McTaggart Cowan on horseback
Ian McTaggart Cowan on horseback

Ian McTaggart Cowan Field Journals

The Cowan Collection at the University of Victoria Special Collections includes Cowan’s field journals, photographs, CBC footage and correspondence from his 75-year long multi-faceted career, alternating between high-profile campaigns, such as ending the Canadian bounty system, and cutting-edge field research into species and ecosystems from the Arctic to Haida Gwaii.


detail of the front page of volume 1 number 17
Gazette front page detail

Official Gazettes of the Province of British Columbia

Gazettes are official publications that disseminate government proclamations, notices, and regulations as required by colonial, and later provincial legislation. The collection will ultimately include the first ten volumes of the Gazette, 1863 to 1871.