Yesterday’s News

UBC Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections has acquired the first item ever printed in the city of Vancouver. The first edition of The Vancouver Weekly Herald and North Pacific News was published on Friday, January 15, 1886.

Printed in seven columns, the front page of the newspaper contains many local advertisements, histories of the Granville and Vancouver townsites, reportage of the meeting of locals to draft a request for incorporation and a column entitled “The Chinese Question.” According to research to date, it is the only surviving copy.

Its publisher, Richard H. Alexander, was an Overlander who came to British Columbia in 1862 and was active in various enterprises, including working at and managing Hastings Mill in the 1870s. He later occupied many influential positions in Vancouver business and politics.

A core mandate of Rare Books & Special Collections is to collect and preserve materials that directly relate to the history of British Columbia. The item was acquired through a private seller and will be added to the library’s Chung Collection, a collection of archival documents, photographs, books and artifacts related to three broad themes: British Columbia History, Immigration and Settlement, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

The newspaper, which is just beginning to separate along its edges and has slight mottling and staining, can be viewed in person by booking a tour. Explore a PDF version below:

The Vancouver Weekly Herald and North Pacific News - January 15, 1886 Preview (PDF)



  1. Robert Melle says:

    I have the first 13 or so Georgia straights all in excellent condition . Would you be interested in adding them to the collection

    1. Duncan Schouten says:

      Dear Mr. Melle,

      Thanks for your offer. I’m investigating to whom your inquiry should be best directed and will update you when I have more information.

      Duncan / Assistant Editor, Trek Magazine

    2. Duncan Schouten says:

      Dear Mr. Melle,

      I’ve been informed by UBC Library staff that you can get in touch with the Rare Books & Special Collections team here: They’re the ones to take up offers such as yours.

      Hope this helps!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please be aware that comments submitted through this form will appear publicly below this article. Comments may also be published in future print issues of Trek magazine.

Comments are moderated, and may take some time to appear.