Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

Records of the City

Dec 13, 2015

Courtesy of Sam Sullivan and Lynn Zanatta, I was fed a very nice meal at the Pacific Rim Hotel one day last week.

The occasion was a luncheon, hosted by the dynamic duo, to celebrate and publicize their "Documents of Early Vancouver" project. The project is a website containing transcriptions of the minutes of early council meetings in the city. Sam, a former mayor and current MLA, is also an enthusiastic student of Vancouver history. Using volunteer transcribers, the project makes the minutes available online for the first time.

So, for example, at the council meeting held on June 22, 1886 it was "Moved by Alderman Northcott seconded by Alderman Cordiner that Mr. Ronald's Fire Engine be purchased." No surprise there; most of the city had burned to the ground nine days earlier.

At the moment the project is focussed on city council minutes but I expect other documents will follow.