Thanks to continued funding from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, and the generous loan of the microfilms from the Sechelt Archives, the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives are pleased to announce the addition of the entire run of the Peninsula Times newspaper to the online database of BC historical newspapers. The ‘Pen Times’, as it was commonly referred to, was published in Sechelt in the Vancouver Coast and Mountains region of British Columbia from the years 1963-1979. For many years, the newspaper’s masthead boasted “The largest circulation of any paper on the southern Sunshine Coast”. In the early 1970s, the editorial masthead included the quote: “I may be wrong, but I shall not be so wrong as to fail to say what I believe to be right”. The Pen Times offered an alternative voice on the Sunshine Coast to the long-running Coast News newspaper which began publication in 1945.
This addition of the Peninsula Times collection marks the completion of the second phase of our Newspaper Digitization Project. The project began in 2012 with the digitization and online launch of 37 years of the Coast News/Sunshine Coast News newspaper. By this spring, the final phase of the project will see the addition of the remaining issues of the Coast News (1978-1982, 1988, 1990-1995) to the database.
Published weekly, going back as far as 1945, the Coast News and the Peninsula Times provide unique and insightful perspectives on life here on the Sunshine Coast over the last half-century. From local politics, gossip, culture, and the comings and goings of a community over time, the newspapers are an incredible source of information. Here at the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives, we have housed these collections in our archives – large bound tomes that required gloved hands and careful attention when being handled. And they have been well used by many researchers who have consulted them for all kinds of reasons over the years.
With the support of the UBC Library Digital Initiatives team, the publications have been digitized and uploaded to the BC Historical Newspapers website. Each issue is searchable using keywords or dates; single pages can be downloaded in JPEG format; and entire issues can be downloaded as PDF files. To access these newspapers, go to Collections on our website and look for Newspaper Archives (http://sunshinecoastmuseum.ca/collections )or go to the BC Historical Newspapers website (http://historicalnewspapers.library.ubc.ca ).
This important project not only protects these archival treasures in digital form, but provides public access to this valuable resource. Now you can easily explore the sometimes familiar and often surprising details of our not-so-distant past. A warning: Be sure to let someone know your whereabouts before perusing the past – it’s easy to lose track of time!