Victoria and Vancouver Island

These digital collections feature materials about Victoria and Vancouver Island held by UVic Libraries and our community partners.


Abkhazi Archives
Detail from a watercolour

Abkhazi Archives

This digital exhibit includes selections from the records of Peggy and Nicholas Abkhazi held in the University of Victoria Archives.

It includes material relating to the interwar period, World War II and the design and creation of the Abkhazis' internationally renowned rhododendron garden on Fairfield Road in Victoria, now owned by The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC). The material digitized includes diaries, postcards, photographs, objects and watercolours.

See also: Peggy Abkhazi fonds


Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

This collection contains exhibit catalogues published by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. The gallery possesses notable works by artists such as Emily Carr, and has one of Canada's most significant collections of Asian art.


The British Colonist 1858-1920
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.


The Changing Face of University of Victoria Campus Lands
Early watercolour image of UVic campus

The Changing Face of University of Victoria Campus Lands

Virtual exhibit of the history and development of the University of Victoria campus to 1999.

This website holds the content of the pamphlet The Changing Face of University of Victoria Campus Lands (ISBN 1-55058-204-6), edited by Jane Turner and Don Lovell, published by the University of Victoria Archives, Copyright © 1999.


Mathew Ko Colour Films, Victoria's Chinatown and Region, c.1939-c.1950
Japanese scrap iron protest, 1939

Mathew Ko Colour Films, Victoria's Chinatown and Region, c.1939-c.1950

This collection contains amateur films of Mathew Ko from the late 1930s to early 1950s and are a record of family and community life in Victoria and the region during that time.


Pacific Opera Victoria Poster Collection
Detail of The Merry Widow poster

Pacific Opera Victoria Poster Collection

In 2013, Pacific Opera Victoria (POV) staged its 100th production, Verdi's Falstaff. This collection of posters was gathered to celebrate that milestone.

The posters show as much variety as the productions they advertise, drawing on local illustrators, photographers and typographers to convey the flavour of each opera.


Provincial Normal School Oral Histories
Provincial Normal School

Provincial Normal School Oral Histories

These sound recordings are part of the Provincial Normal School Oral History Interview collection, held at the University of Victoria Archives. The Provincial Normal School (PNS) was established in Victoria, BC, in January 1915, to provide preliminary and advanced courses in teacher training.

In 1978, Judith Windle conducted 19 interviews in which former instructors and students discussed their experiences while at the PNS.


Samuel Maclure Architectural Drawings
Drawing detail

Samuel Maclure Architectural Drawings

Architectural drawings and plans by Samuel Maclure (1860-1929) for homes in Victoria, and other British Columbia locations.

Maclure received commissions from many prominent Victoria and British Columbia businessmen and politicians.

See also: Samuel Maclure fonds


UVic Archives' Historical Photograph Collection
Detail, aerial view of Campus Services under construction, 1965

UVic Archives' Historical Photograph Collection

The UVic historical photograph collection consists of photographs acquired by the University of Victoria Archives of the University of Victoria and its predecessors, the Provincial Normal School and Victoria College.


Victoria Fire Insurance Plans
Victoria fire insurance plan detail

Victoria Fire Insurance Plans

The fire insurance plans (FIPs) from 1885 to 1916 were created by Charles E. Goad and Company to assist insurance underwriters in determining fire insurance risk. 

This digital collection, drawn from the BC Archives collection, contains all of the 1891 plans, the full set of 1903 plans (with revisions to 1909 indicated), and the surviving plans from 1911 (revised to 1913). The number of plans required expanded to cover the city grew from 31 in 1891 to over 170 in 1913.


Victoria Police Department Charge Books
Detail of Victoria Police Department chargebook

Victoria Police Department Charge Books

Nineteenth Century "charge books" from the Victoria Police Department. The handwritten charge books are a record of the arrests made in Victoria, British Columbia, and surrounding areas between 1873-1876.


Victoria to Vimy
Victoria to Vimy

Victoria to Vimy: The First World War Collections at the University of Victoria Libraries

Victoria to Vimy, sponsored by a World War Commemorations Community Fund grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage, is a digital collection of First World War materials held at the University of Victoria Libraries. For this exhibit, the University of Victoria Libraries has selected a range of archival and historical items from our Special Collections and University Archives in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada that provide diverse perspectives on the lives of ordinary Canadians during the First World War.

See also: Victoria to Vimy: The First World War Collections at the University of Victoria Libraries


Victoria’s Chinatown, a gateway to the past and present of Chinese Canadians
Chinatown gate. Image courtesy of City of Victoria Archives M00422

Victoria’s Chinatown, a gateway to the past and present of Chinese Canadians

This digital exhibit originates with a website, Victoria’s Chinatown: A Gateway to the Past and Present of Chinese Canadians, a partnership project between the Asian Canadian Working Group at UVic and community partners including the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, the Chinese Public School, and the McPherson Library.


Victoria's Early History
Government Street, ca. 1910

Victoria's Early History

A selection of early Victoria and Vancouver Island maps, books, pamphlets and ephemera, together with archival material drawn from the Frank and Cecilia Sylvester family fonds.

Frank Sylvester was an early Jewish settler to Victoria, involved in the fire department and the negotiation of labour contracts.