UBC Data Librarians in 1975- current librarians appear in colour.

 

 

 

Not surprisingly, we at the Digitization Centre are a big fan of analytics. Data about how people use the data and images we produce? Our knees are weak. What we’ve learned is that our blog post from 2013 regarding the BC Historical Newspapers Collection is one of the most often used, so an update including the last four years of work seems appropriate. Without futher ado:

 

 

 

 

These titles and date ranges are current as of the publication of this blog post- for the most current list, please see: https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/bcnewspapers

Newspapers Available:

Newspaper Name  Date Range (Not all dates will have newspapers)
Abbotsford Post 1859—1994
Advance — Midway 1897—1927
Agassiz Record 1923—1924
Alberni Advocate 1912—1915
Anaconda News 1901—1927
Armstrong Advance 1903—1096
Arrow Lakes Advocate 1914
Atlin Claim 1899—1913
British Columbia Lumberman 1866—1913
Bella Coola Courier 1912—1917
Bennett Sun 1899—1921
Boundary Creek Times and Greenwood Weekly Times 1865—1935
British Columbia Labor News 1921—1922
British Columbia News 1866—1927
British Columbia Record 1916—1920
British Columbia Tribune 1866
Brooklyn News 1898
Canford Radium 1917
Cariboo Sentinel 1865—1875
Cascade Record 1898—1901
Cassiar News 1919
Chase Tribune 1912—1946
Chilliwack Free Press  1911—1912
Coalmont Courier  1912
Coast Miner  1899—1900
Coast News 1945—1994
Courtenay Review  1912—1918
Courtenay Weekly News  1892—1896
Cranbrook Herald  1898—1927
Cranbrook Prospector  1905—1917
Creston Review 1908—1975
Crofton Gazette and Cowichan News 1902—1906
Cumberland Islander  1910—1931
Cumberland News 1896—1931
Daily Building Record  1911—1920
Daily Telegram 1890—1929
Delta News 1902—1910
Delta Times 1903—1914
Despatch  1904
District Ledger — Fernie  1983—1920
Duncan Enterprise  1900, 1903, 1914
East Kootenay Miner  1897—1898
Echo  1907—1908
Enderby Press and Walker’s Weekly  1908—1921
Evening Kootenaian  1898
Evening Telegraph  1866—1921
Evening World  1884—1930
Express  1905—1912
Fernie Ledger  1905—1907
Fraser Advance  1907
General Conference Daily Bulletin  1910
Glenora News  1898
Golden Era  1893—1902
Golden Times  1907—1909
Grand Forks Miner  1896—1898
Grand Forks Sun  1901—1927
Greater Vancouver Chinook  1912—1917
Greenwood Miner  1899—1901
Hazelton Queek  1880—1881
Hedley Gazette  1904—1917
Hosmer Times  1909—1910
Hot Springs News  1891—1892
Independent — Vancouver 1900—1903
Industrial World  1899—1901
Kamloops Wawa  1891—1918
Kelowna Record and Orchard City Record  1908—1920
Keremeos Chronicle  1908—1909
Kootenay Liberal  1908
Kootenay Mail  1894—1905
Kootenay Star 1890—1894
Labour Star 1918—1919
Ladysmith Daily Ledger 1904—1906
Lardeau Eagle 1900—1904
Lardeau Mining Review 1904—1907
Leader—Advocate 1923
Ledge — Fernie 1904—1905
Ledge — Nakusp 1893—1894
Ledge — Nelson  1904
Ledge — New Denver 1894—1904
Lillooet Advance 1910—1911
Lowery’s Claim 1901—1906
Mail Herald 1905—1917
Marysville Tribune 1901—1902
Massett Leader 1912—1913
Miner — Nelson 1890—1898
Mining Review 1897—1903
Mission City News 1893
Morrissey Mention 1916
Morrissey Miner 1902—1903
Moyie Leader 1898—1911
Mt. Pleasant Advocate 1903—1907
Nanaimo Courier 1889
Nanaimo Mail 1896
Nelson Daily Miner 1898—1902
Nelson Economist 1897—1906
Nelson Weekly Miner 1899
New Westminster Daily News 1906—1914
New Westminster Times 1859—1861
Nicola Herald 1904—1909
Nicola Valley News 1910—1916
Nugget 1903—1904
Okanagan Mining Review 1893
Omineca Herald 1908—1912
Omineca Miner 1911—1918
Pacific Canadian 1893—1917
Paystreak 1896—1902
Penninsula Times 1963—1979
Penticton Press 1907—1909
Phoenix Pioneer 1899—1916
Port Essington Loyalist 1908—1909
Port Moody Gazette 1883—1887
Prince Rupert Journal 1910—1917
Prince Rupert Optimist 1909—1911
Prospector (Rossland) 1895
Prospector — Fort Steele 1898—1905
Quartz Creek Miner 1897
Queen Charlotte Islander 1911—1914
Red Flag 1918—1919
Revelstoke Herald 1896—1905
San Francisco Journal 1884—1888
Saturday World  1903
Silvertonian 1897—1901
Slocan Drill 1900—1905
Slocan Mining Review 1906
Slocan Prospector  1894—1895
Slocan Record 1911
Star 1908
Sun 1907—1908
Surrey Times 1895
The North Coast 1907—1908
The Wave — Victoria 1900
Tribune—Nelson 1892—1903
Vancouver Building Record 1911
West Forks News 1901
Western Call 1909—1916
Western Clarion 1904—1923
Westward Ho 1886
Ymir Herald 1904—1905
Ymir Miner 1898
Ymir Mirror 1903—1904

Please let us know in the comments if you access the papers, and anything interesting that you find! We are still digitizing newspapers from all over British Columbia, with no end in sight.

Cst. Graham Walker

In 2015, Constable Graham Walker of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police was asked to research the force’s history for their 10-year anniversary. His research led him to the City of Vancouver Archives, BC Hydro Archives, the Vancouver Police Museum and to our very own UBC Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections where he discovered that the history of the Vancouver Transit Police in fact dates back more than 100 years – to 1904. In his digging, Walker uncovered something even more intriguing, the 102-year-old unsolved murder of Charles Painter, a special constable for the BC Electric Railway, in 1915.  We spoke to Constable Walker about his incredible journey into the past and the research that has culminated in a provincial memorial for Charles Painter.

How did you first learn about Charles Painter’s murder?

I was part of the event planning team for Transit Police’s 10-year anniversary in December 2015, and I was curious about our origins previous to the BC Transit Special Constables who were first appointed in 1985. My research began at BC Hydro Library and Archives, then UBC Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections. Before long I had learned of a century-long history of railway constables, night watchmen, and security officers on transit in British Columbia. There was even an armed special constabulary which protected the transit and power systems during World War II. Continuing my research, I visited the Vancouver Police Museum. There, the curator was assisting me in reviewing their archives when she discovered Painter’s murder recorded in the Vancouver Police annual report from 1915.

What made you want to learn more about his death?

This was the first anyone had heard of a line-of-duty death in our organization’s history. I also knew that he was not listed on the provincial memorial for fallen officers. Recognizing him was important to me because I felt a personal connection – he did a similar job to mine and I was even the same age as him when he died. It was an especially tragic death because it was caused by another person, and not an accident. He never had a memorial, and wasn’t recognized – possibly because he had no known family at the time of his death. This was a wrong I knew I could correct by collecting the appropriate evidence for a proposal that he be added to the memorial. 

Tell us a little about Charles Painter, his job and how he died.

Back in 1915, the streetcar system was operated by BC Electric Railway, a company which also operated power plants and sold electricity to cities and residents – that company became BC Hydro in 1962. They employed constables, appointed under the Railway Act, for special projects or events. In S/Cst. Painter’s case, during World War I he was assigned to the tracks along False Creek to guard against wire theft. It was 2 am on March 19th, 1915 when he spotted a man carrying a sack on his back near to the tracks. He called out to him and drew his revolver. In the resulting struggle, the gun went off and the suspect fled west along the tracks with Painter’s gun, handcuffs, and baton. He was taken to Vancouver General Hospital via the Police Ambulance, but succumbed to his injuries two days later.

I focused on three things that were required for him to be honoured by the provincial memorial – that he was duly appointed to office, he was acting in good faith at the time of the incident, and his death was caused by an external influence. I first reached out to Vancouver PD to see if they had files on the investigation, but unfortunately, they didn’t. Local historians tell me that back then, detectives would routinely take files and exhibits home after the case was concluded. The provincial archives did have the coroner’s inquest on file, which was of great help. It included witness testimony from the man who found Painter wandering West 6th Avenue calling for help, and how he got him to the hospital. With the inquest file, the UBC Library Rare Books Special Collections records showing how constables were appointed, and copies of the Railway Act of 1911, I was able to put together a proposal. It included an endorsement from Chief LePard and an explanation of how Metro Vancouver Transit Police is a succeeding agency. It was accepted and his name was added to the memorial.

Senior Library Assistant, Felicie de la Parra and Vivian Yan, Public Service Library Assistant work through the BC Electric fonds with Cst. Walker.

Tell us about the sources that you found most helpful at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections that helped you with your search.

I had to refer to the BC Electric fonds. While Painter’s death was one of the most important things I discovered, much what we know about transit policing in BC resides in the RBSC collection.Early records include letters of appointment for constables, lists of locations where they were deployed, and even reports on their activities. Later files include newspaper clippings of transit related crime including robberies and thefts. The most interesting files are from the years 1904 to 1918 and include the names of many of the people who were early protectors of the streetcar and transit system. My favourite item is one describing how a constable was suspected of taking a drink while on duty while posted to the terminal at 425 Carrall Street in 1909. The railway hired a private detective agency to pose as streetcar employees to monitor his activities. Their observations make for an interesting peek into the goings on at Hastings and Carrall during that time period. The constable was followed into the nearby hotel bars and was fired as a result. 

One of several reports Cst. Graham referred to in his research.

Who did you work with at Rare Books and Special Collections and can you tell us a little about how you worked together?

It was by recommendation from the librarian at BC Hydro that I first reached out to RBSC. Through the UBC website I reached librarian Chelsea Shriver, who invited me to attend in person. I had never conducted archival research, so she had to show me the ropes – and was very helpful. I started by asking for a few boxes listed in the BC Electric collection. The library staff walked me through requesting material, and protocols around reproducing information and how to reference my sources. Even when I had questions about the origins of material or was looking for more, they knew right where to look. I’ve returned several times in the hopes of finding more, and I’m lured there still by the chance there are more amazing stories remaining hidden in those boxes.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in the lower mainland to parents (and grandparents) who worked in the justice system. I was an officer with Correctional Service Canada before joining Transit Police, and I have specialized in public relations/communications in policing. A graduate of Thompson Rivers University, I have always had an interest in local history. This project has really piqued my interest though, as it combines my career with my hobby. It was really a pleasure to learn about things which were long forgotten.

What’s next? Any new developments in the Charles Painter story?

Well, S/Cst. Painter’s murder is still technically unsolved. While there was some evidence which surfaced in Steveston in late 1916, the prime suspect was never brought to trial and I’m still searching for a young soldier’s letter which implicated a man with pro-German sentiments as responsible for the murder. In the meantime, our employees have purchased Painter a gravestone which will be dedicated and consecrated at a ceremony on the 102nd anniversary of his death in March.

Cst. Graham Walker at the Provincial Memorial for fallen officers where Cst. Charles Painter’s name has been added.

A private gravestone dedication for Charles Painter will take place on March 21, 2017.

 

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