Victoria and Vancouver Island

These collections highlight local history of the City of Victoria and Vancouver Island. See also:


Early watercolour image of UVic campus
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.


Detail of Victoria Community Map
Detail from the Victoria Community Green Map

Community Mapping Project

This collection consists of digital versions of several print community maps produced through a collaborative process between various community
groups and the Common Ground Community Mapping Project and later with the Community Mapping Collaboratory (CMC) at the University of Victoria.

These maps are part of the Green Map movement which began in 1995. Since then, 900 communities in 65 countries have mapped their home places.
Green Maps use standard icons to identify community-minded sites and activities.


Detail from watercolour
Detail from a watercolour

Curious lives, harmonious gardens: the Peggy and Nicholas 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.


Water Supply Map
Water supply map from Victoria Water Supply report, 1872

Greater Victoria Public Library Local History Collection

This collection was drawn from the local history holdings of the Greater Victoria Public Libraries (GVPL). Among the works included are a transcript of a talk given by Emily Carr about modern art, the Reminiscences of Bishop Cridge, a volume on Vancouver Island farming, and a report on the Victoria water supply from 1872.

Browse collection


K.E. Maltwood portrait, detail.
Detail from K. E. Maltwood portrait

Katharine Emma Maltwood (nee Sapsworth)

Katharine Emma Maltwood (nee Sapsworth) was an artist and author who held a life-long fascination with ancient history, folklore, mythology, spirituality, and the occult. This collection of digital surrogates represents items from the University of Victoria Libraries’ Katharine Emma Maltwood Fonds. It is of note that many of the seemingly unrelated items in the archive are associated with zodiacal symbolism in some manner.

Browse collection


Mathew Ko Colour Films
Scrap iron protest, 1939

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

The amateur films of Mathew Ko date from the late 1930s to early 1950s and are examples of the popular home movie genre. As historical documents, Ko’s films are exceptional: in their record of family and community life in Victoria and the region during this time, for the number of events represented in each film, and for the use of colour film stock. Though they contain no sound tracks, his films vividly document significant social, cultural and political events in Chinatown and other areas of downtown Victoria and surrounding neighborhoods, Vancouver Island, the City of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.


Provincial Normal School - image ref 006.0608
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.


campus construction 1965, cropped thumbnail
Detail, aerial view of Campus Services under construction, 1965 (046.0108)

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.

Browse or search collection


cropped image of the first graduating class from Victoria College
First graduating class from Victoria College

Victoria College student life

See the life and times of students during the Victoria College era (1902-1963).

The selections from the Victoria College fonds provide evidence of student academic and social life, student journalism and student activism.

Completed as part of the Schoolnet digital collections program.


chargebook thumbnail
Detail of Victoria Police Department Chargebook, 1875

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.


Government Street, ca. 1910
Government Street, ca. 1910

Victoria's early history collection

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

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