While it seems like there’s more print media than you can shake a tablet at in Vancouver these days, a recent acquisition by UBC Library’s Rare Books & Special Collection gives a glimpse into the city’s past, when there was just one paper in circulation.
It’s also the first thing that was ever printed in the city.
The item itself is the premier issue of The Vancouver Weekly Herald and North Pacific News, which, according to the date at the top of the page, was published on Friday, January 15, 1886.
The local piece of history is printed in seven columns, with the front page featuring various items such as ads, histories of the Granville and Vancouver townsites, a report on a meeting to draft a request for incorporation, and a column simply called “The Chinese Question”.
According to UBC research to date, it is the only known surviving copy.
In a release, UBC said the paper was published by Richard H. Alexander, who came to BC in 1862 and held a number of job titles, including manger of the Hastings Mill in the 1870s.
“We’re thrilled to be acquiring this item,” said Katherine Kalsbeek, Head, Rare Books & Special Collections, in a statement.
“One of our core mandates is to collect and preserve materials that directly relate to the history of British Columbia. We are committed to developing this core component of our collection.”
The item was acquired through a private seller and will be added to the Library’s Chung Collection.
Those who are interested in seeing the paper can book a tour of UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections.
The paper is expected to be digitized and available through UBC Library’s Open Collections by the end of January 2018.