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Last Updated: Jul 5, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Northwest History Index

This card index provides access to the Northwest History Collection, a heritage collection covering the early history and exploration of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.
The collection includes:
  • magazine and newspaper articles
  • pamphlets
  • books
  • chapters in books
  • many other resources
As of August 1998, no new material has been added to the Northwest History Index. It is continued by the British Columbia Index.

Other Research Guides



VPL Photo #508 - H.T. Devine, photographer - First Vancouver City Council Meeting after the fire - 1886

The Vancouver Public Library has extensive primary and secondary resources on the history of Vancouver. This guide is designed to help you begin your research on this topic and use library resources effectively. The guide focuses on political and social history. Most materials are located in the Special Collections Department (Level 7) and the main collection at the Central Library. Articles on topics such as the history of publishing or sports in Vancouver are found in other units.

Recommended Books

Cover Art
Historical Atlas of Vancouver and the Lower Fraser Valley - Derek Hayes
Publication Date: 2006
More than 370 original maps chart the region's development beginning with the years of discovery and exploration. They depict its days as a fledgling colonial outpost, its appearance on the world scene after the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway, through to its emergence as a postwar Pacific metropolis.

Cover Art
Sensational Vancouver - Eve Lazarus
Publication Date: 2014
A fully illustrated history book about Vancouver's famous and infamous, the ordinary and the extraordinary, filtered through the houses in which they lived.

Cover Art
The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver - Chuck Davis
Publication Date: 2011
The story of how Vancouver grew from a ramshackle tumble of stumps, brush and crude wooden buildings to today's urban metropolis turns out to be interesting, complicated, frequently rancorous and occasionally even funny. And the book is, as the late author hoped, "fun, fat and filled with facts."

Cover Art
Three Faces of Vancouver: A Guide to First Nations, European and Asian Vancouver - Douglas Cameron Aitken
Call Number: 971.1004 A31t
Publication Date: 2009
A historical and pictorial look featuring three diverse ethnic groups. Also includes a walking tour that encompasses different neighbourhoods.

Cover Art
Vancouver: A Visual History - Bruce MacDonald
Call Number: 971.133 M1351v
Publication Date: 1992
Full-colour historical atlas brings to life Vancouver's first fourteen decades.

Cover Art
Vancouver in the Seventies - Kate Bird; Shelley Fralic (Introduction by); Douglas Coupland (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 2016
This striking pictorial history offers insightful views of Vancouver, B.C., and the issues with which its citizens were wrestling year by year during the 1970s, a decade of social upheaval.

Cover Art
Vancouver Is Ashes - Lisa Anne Smith
Publication Date: 2014
On the morning of June 13, 1886, a rogue wind fanned the flames of a small clearing fire-and within five hours, the newly incorporated city of Vancouver, British Columbia, had been reduced to smoldering ash.

Cover Art
Vancouver: Stories of a City: A History of Vancouver's Neighbourhoods and the People Who Built Them - Lisa Smedman
Publication Date: 2008
Award winning collection of articles on the history of Vancouver, neighbourhood by neighbourhood. Includes historic photographs, maps and illustrations.

Cover Art
Vanishing Vancouver - Michael Kluckner
Publication Date: 2012
Vanishing Vancouver explores the origins of our landmark buildings and public spaces, working harbour, shops, houses, apartments, urban farms and gardens, and bears witness to the recent dramatic changes that have taken place in them.


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