Canada Newspaper Indexes and Abstracts (National Institute)
The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian: Newspaper Records by Ryan Taylor. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
- 1 Finding and Using the Newspaper You Want (Continued)
- 2 Canada
- 3 Newspaper Indexes or Abstracts (continued)
- 4 Alberta
- 5 British Columbia
- 6 Manitoba
- 7 New Brunswick
- 8 Newfoundland and Labrador
- 9 Nova Scotia
- 10 Ontario
- 11 Prince Edward Island
- 12 Québec
- 13 Saskatchewan
Finding and Using the Newspaper You Want (Continued)
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N4
General enquiries: 613-996-5115 or 1-866-578-7777 (Toll free in Canada and the US) Online Contact Forms
Their preferred method of receiving queries is via email, at either of the above addresses. There is a large collection of newspapers on mf at Library and Archives Canada. It published a union list in book form under the title Union list of Canadian newspapers held by Canadian libraries = Liste collective des journaux canadiens disponibles dans les bibliothèques canadiennes (National Library of Canada, 1977, with a supplementary volume in 1983). Since 1988 it has been published on microfiche only. This title is widely available in Canadian libraries of all sizes. Newspaper holdings for LAC are listed on their website:
Canadian Newspapers on Microform Held by the Library and Archives Canada
Provincial Archives of Alberta
8555 Roper Road
Edmonton, Alberta T6E 5W1
- The Legislature Library has a nearly complete collection of weeklies from 1905.
Both the Provincial Archives and Legislature Library have newspapers.
British Columbia Archives
655 Belleville Street
Victoria, British Colombia
Mailing address: 675 Belleville Street
Victoria, British Colombia V8W 9W2
Telephone Toll Free from Greater Vancouver area: (604)660-2421 (ask the operator for 250-387-1952).
From other areas in British Columbia, excluding Vancouver and Victoria: 1-800-663-7867 (ask the operator for 387-1952).
From everywhere else (250)387-1952
(please see their website for a complex and very firm note on what is required for an email query)
Their catalogue is British Columbia Newspapers on Microfilm.
“The collection does not include the major 20th century Vancouver and Victoria daily newspapers; researchers are advised to contact public libraries, university libraries, or the Legislative Library of British Columbia for these materials.”
For books and publications, researchers are referred to:
They have newspapers from Manitoba dating back to 1859 and make the microfilms available for interlibrary loan.
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (PANB)
Bonar Law-Bennett Building
23 Dineen Drive
University of New Brunswick Campus
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5H1
New Brunswick Newspaper Directory:
- The province’s largest collection of newspapers is at:
Harriet Irving Library
University of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 7500 Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5H5
(Street address: 5 MacAulay Lane)
Telephone: (506) 453-4740
The Legislative Library also has a large collection. They have all New Brunswick newspapers and also make clippings files by subject from the four provincial dailies “concerning public issues and the activities of the New Brunswick government” so it appears unlikely these will be of use to genealogists.
Newfoundland and Labrador
The principal repository for newspapers is the Newfoundland and Labrador Collection, which is part of the:
Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries
Newfoundland and Labrador Collection
Provincial Resource Library
Arts and Culture Centre
St. John’s, Newfoundland A1B 3A3
A good listing of their newspaper holdings can be found in Terrence Punch’s Genealogical research in Nova Scotia (New revised edition, Halifax: Nimbus, 1998).
AO has a large collection of pre-1930 newspapers. In the 1960s, Ontario universities had a cooperative programme to microfilm local newspapers, and these microfilms can be found in many university libraries. The largest collection of post-1930 Ontario newspapers in one place (aside from LAC) can be found at the:
Toronto Public Library
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street (1 block north of Bloor)
Toronto, Ontario M4W 2G8
Telephone: (416) 393-7131
Prince Edward Island
Public Archives and Records Office (PARO)
Hon. George Coles Building, 4th floor
175 Richmond Street
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Mailing address: P.O. Box 1000
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A 7M4
There are many newspapers here and at the:
The Archives nationales du Québec has nine locations, each of which has the materials for its area:
Abitibi-Témiscamingue et Nord-du-Québec
27, rue du Terminus Ouest
Rouyn-Noranda, Québec J9X 293
Telephone: (819) 763-3484
Bas-Saint-Laurent et Gaspésie, Iles-de-la-Madeleine
337, rue Moreault
Rimouski, Québec G5L 1P4
Telephone: (418) 727-3500
700, boulevard Laure, Bureau 190-2
Sept-Iles, Québec, G4R 1Y1
Telephone: (418) 964-8434
225, rue Frontenac, bureau 401
Sherbrooke, Québec J1H 1K1
Telephone: (819) 820-3010
Mauricie et Centre-du-Québec
225, rue des Forges
Trois-Rivières, Québec G9A 2G7
Telephone: (819) 371-6015
535 avenue Viger est
Montréal, Québec H2L 2P3
Telephone: (514) 873-1100, option 4
855, boulevard de la Gappe
Gatineau (Québec) J8T 8H9
Telephone: (819) 568-8798
Campus de l’Université Laval
Cité universitaire, C.P. 10450
1055, avenue du Séminaire
Case postale 10450, succursale Sainte-Foy
Québec G1V 4N1
Telephone: (418) 643-8904
Saguenay - Lac-Saint-Jean
930, rue Jacques-Cartier Est
Chicoutimi, Québec G7H 2A9
The principal repository for newspapers is the:
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ)
475, boulevard De Maisonneuve Est
Montréal, Québec H2L 5C4
Toll free in Québec outside Montréal: 1-800-363-9028
Saskatchewan Archives Board
91 Murray Building, University of Saskatchewan
3 Campus Drive Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A4
The two offices’ collections reflect their geographical location, Regina collecting for the south and Saskatoon for the north of the province, but it is possible to have things sent to the other office if that is where you will be.
This is the best source for newspapers; papers from communities north of Davidson are in Saskatoon, the rest are in Regina. The weeklies on microfilm are available on interlibrary loan.
Department of Tourism and Culture - Yukon Archives
Yukon Place - 400 College Drive
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre - NWT Archives
P.O. Box 1320
4750 - 48 Street
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2L9
Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth
Box 1000, Stn. 800
Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0
Newspaper Indexes or Abstracts (continued)
Here is a Province-by-Province Sampling of Indexes:
Alberta Published Indexes
- Obituaries index of the Barrhead Leader, by Flora and John Stewart (n.d.) and their Marriage index from the Barrhead leader, 1928-1949 (1994).
- Mary Kearns Trace. Birth, marriage and death notices of “the Alberta tribune,” Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 1897-1899. Calgary: Traces, 1986.
- Dates gone by: extracts from Grande Prairie newspapers', 1913-1920. Grand Prairie: Grande Prairie and District Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society, 1997. Grande Prairie obituaries are also available online.
- Jack F. Layton.Vital statistics from the Innisfail free lance and the Innisfail providence, 1902-1925. Innisfail: Layton, 1993.
Some Edmonton indexes currently covering 1903-1908 are available from Rob Milson, 8616-176 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta T5T 0N3. He says they contain, “The original extract or in some cases a paraphrasing of longer extracts, as well as an alphabetized index of all names, that is the name of the person/s about whom the article is concerned as well as other named individuals.”
Alberta Unpublished Indexes
Edmonton: There are film or card files at Edmonton Public Library (from 1961) and the City of Edmonton Archives has manuscript extracts from ca. 1907-1950s.
The provincial archives has index booklets 1880-1900.
Other manuscript indexes are at the Legislative Library of Alberta (clippings from 1971), Alberta Genealogical Society library in Edmonton.
British Columbia Published Indexes
- Birth, marriage and death references from the Campbell River Upper Islander. Campbell River: Campbell River Genealogy Club, 2000-(ongoing). Published so far, v.1. 1964-1975–v.2. 1977-1990.
- Birth, marriage and death references from the Campbell River Courier. Campbell River: Campbell River Genealogy Club, 1998-(ongoing). Published so far, v.1. 1947-1959–v. 2. 1960-1974.
- British Columbia vital statistics from newspapers, 1858-1872: including, in an appendix, vital statistics from diaries 1852-1857, by Brian J. Porter & the British Columbia Genealogical Society. Richmond: British Columbia Genealogical Society, 1994.
- Name index of the births, marriages, deaths published in the Nanaimo Free Press, April 1874 to December 1899. Nanaimo: Nanaimo Family History Society, 1991.
British Columbia Unpublished Indexes
The British Columbia Archives has released a newspaper index on microfilm covering 1900-1990. It uses a subject format giving the headline and page, and seems mostly to be concerned with Vancouver and Victoria publications.
Manitoba Published Indexes
- Kathleen Rooke Stokes. An Index of marriage and death notices from Manitoba newspapers. Winnipeg: Manitoba Genealogical Society, 1986-(ongoing). Published so far, 1859-1881, 1882-1884, 1885.
Manitoba Unpublished Indexes
- The Legislative Library has an index to Winnipeg obituaries since 1975 (ongoing) and a series of scrapbooks of Winnipeg newspapers beginning in 1885 (indexed).
New Brunswick Published Indexes
- New Brunswick vital statistics from newspapers. An extensive abstracting and indexing project, begun by the New Brunswick Genealogical Society, later taken over by Daniel F. Johnson and covering 1784-1896. Available in book form or searches can be done at the Provincial Archives on New Brunswick website. This enormous index is an extraordinary accomplishment, of incalculable benefit to New Brunswick researchers.
- David R. Henderson. Parish of Kars, Kings county, New Brunswick: some births, marriages, deaths, etc. and articles of interest gleaned from the Kings County Record regarding the parish of Kars, Kings County, New Brunswick for the years 1891 through 1965 (1997). Henderson has published similar volumes for the parishes of Norton, Springfield, Wickham, Johnston and Cambridge.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador Published Indexes
- Mildred Howard. Vital statistics and items from newspapers of Newfoundland, 1831-1872. Mildred Howard, 1983. Includes items published separately in earlier volumes,Vital statistics and items from The Newfoundlander of St. John’s Newfoundland (1980), in two volumes, 1834-1854 and 1854-1870.
- Mildred Howard. Royal Gazette and Newfoundland Advertiser: vital statistics and items. Mildred Howard, 1986-(ongoing?) Published so far, 1810-1845, 1846-1862.
- Gert Crosbie. Births, deaths, marriages in Newfoundland newspapers. St. John’s: Memorial University of Newfound, Maritime History Archive, 1986-(ongoing). Published so far 1825-1850, 1851-1859, 1860-1865, 1866-1870, 1871-1874, 1875-1877, 1878-1880, 1881-1882, 1883-1884, 1885-1886, 1887-1888, 1889-1890.
Newfoundland and Labrador Unpublished Indexes
The Public Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador has unpublished extracts from newspapers in Twillingate.
- Extracts of births, marriages and deaths from newspapers in the Conception Bay area of Harbour Grace and Carbonear, circa 1850-1900, a collection at the provincial archives.
There is a newspaper index for the 1840s among E. R. Seary’s papers at the Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).
Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia
- Nova Scotia vital statistics from newspapers. Halifax: Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia, 1978-1988. The volumes cover 1769-1812, 1813-1822, 1823-1828, 1829-1834, 1835-1839, 1840-1843, 1844-1847, 1848-1851, 1852-1854; a full list and details are available at their website.
- Mildred Howard. Early Cape Breton newspapers: vital statistics and items. Cape Breton Genealogical Society, 1992.
- Roger MacPherson. Vital statistics from the Colonial patriot (Pictou), Dec 1827-May 1834. Nepean, Ont: MacPherson, 2001. Another version of this was published on the website of the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia Unpublished Indexes
- Halifax Mail-Star obituary index at the provincial archives (from 1949).
Ontario Published Indexes
Many Ontario Genealogical Society branches have published volumes of newspaper extracts or indexes, too numerous to list. Look at the OGS website for connections the branch sites, where publications are listed.
The largest publisher of extracts, mostly 19th century newspapers but from across the province, is Bur-Mor, 359 West Gore, Stratford, Ontario N5A 1K9 (send large SASE for catalogue). These are high-quality full transcriptions.
- William D. Reid. Marriage notices of Ontario (1980, later edition still available from Genealogical Publishing, 2000) and Death notices of Ontario (1980, later edition Genealogical Publishing, 1997). Both contain extracts from pre-1850 newspapers.
- Mary Kearns Trace. Births, marriages and deaths, “The Globe,” Toronto, Ontario. Calgary: TRACES, 1986. Only the volume for 1844-1847 was published.
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island Unpublished Indexes
Some newspaper indexing has been done, and these names are included in the Master Name Index at the provincial archives. There are newspaper references in the ‘deaths before 1906’ file at PARO also.
There is a list of indexed newspapers in Orlo Jones’Family history in Prince Edward Island: a genealogical research guide (Charlottetown: Prince Edward Island Heritage Foundation, 1981), which must now be considered somewhat out of date.
Québec Published Indexes
- Diana Hibbert Bailey. Extracts from newspapers of the eastern townships (Quebec) 1823-1849: references of interest to the family historian, including births, deaths, marriages, legal notices, news items, etc. Carlton Place, Ont.: Bailey, 1990.
- Index de “La gazette des campagnes”. La Pocatière: Société historique de la Côte-du-Sud, 1985.
- Mathieu Gourdes Vachon. Mariages, anniversaires de mariages, générations et nécrologies parus dans le journal Le Courrier de Frontenac. Société généalogique de la Région de l’Amiante, [n.d.] Published so far, v. 1. 1987, v. 2. 1988, v. 3. 1989, v. 4. 1990, v. 5. 1991, v. 6. 1992.
Saskatchewan Published Indexes
- Laura Hanowski and John Marley. Births, deaths, marriages from Regina newspapers, 1883-1889. Regina: Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, 1990.
- Laura Hanowski and John Marley.Births, deaths, marriages from Regina newspapers, 1890-1899. Regina: Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, 1990.
- Saskatoon newspaper index, birth, death, and marriages, 1902-1907. Saskatoon: Saskatoon Branch, Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, 1996.
There is a lengthy list of published indexes including papers in Craik, Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert, Biggar, Landis in Laura Hanowski’s Tracing your Saskatchewan ancestors: a guide to the records and how to use them (Regina: Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, 2000).
Saskatchewan News Index
The Saskatchewan News Index is a searchable index of stories published in Saskatchewan newspapers 1884-2000.
The Regina Public Library’s index begins 1992. There are paper indexes at the Saskatchewan Archives Board for obituaries, 1930-1976.
The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society collects obituaries which in 2001 numbered 700,000 names. For details see their Bulletin (December 2001 issue).
Some indexes may be available only in the form of a card file or database which is not open to the public, but which the compiler will consult for a fee. It may well be worth your while to pay for this service.
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Canadian: Newspaper Records offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at email@example.com
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