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Nelson Local History

We would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Sinixt, the Ktunaxa, and the Syilx peoples, and is home to the Métis and many diverse Indigenous persons. We honour their connection to the land and rivers and respect the importance of the environment to our strength as a community.

Nelson was an important part of the area’s Gold and Silver Rush, and was officially named in 1888. Today, it is a top tourist destination known for its restored downtown heritage buildings. (And outdoors things too.)

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Online Newspapers & Vital Stats

In recent years there have been projects to digitize old newspapers, and the Digitization Centre at the University of British Columbia has been focusing on local newspapers to this province! Notably, check out this blog article about the Nelson Daily News!

Microfilm (in-library use only)

Indexed records from BC Vital Statistics Agency

  • Birth Registrations 1851 – 1903
  • Marriage Registrations 1872 – 1933
  • Death Registrations 1872 – 1988
  • Overseas Death Registration 1940 – 1945
  • Delayed Death Registrations 1872 – 1945
  • Indian Marriage Registrations 1873 – 1933
  • Indian Death Registrations 1917 – 1956
  • Indian Delayed Death Registrations 1916 – 1950

Non-digitized newspapers

  • Nelson Daily Miner: 1890 (1891+ digitized)
  • Nelson Daily News: 1902 – 2010 (early years digitized)
  • Nelson Tribune: 1905 (1892-1904 digitized)
  • Nelson Weekly News: 1902-1913
  • BC News (Kaslo): 1897-1898
  • New Canadian (Kaslo): 1943-1947
  • Kaslo Claim: 1893-1896
  • Kootenaian of Kaslo: 1895-1969 (1898 is digitized)
  • Slocan Herald (New Denver): 1932-33
  • Slocan Enterprise: 1926-1933
  • Outcrop (Canterbury now Invermere/Wilmer): 1900-1907
  • Trout Lake Topic: 1897-1898
  • District Ledger (Fernie): 1918-1919
  • Camborne Miner: 1904-1906

Local Resource: Touchstones Nelson, Museum and Art Gallery

Shawn Lamb Archives– The archives holds an extensive collection of original sources including: City Directories (1901-) Obituary Files, People Files, High School Yearbooks, and property/housing information. Some of these can be accessed for free in-person, or an electronic copy can be emailed for a nominal fee. See website for details, including how to make an appointment.

Chamber of Mines of Eastern British Columbia – located close to the NDCC building on Hall Street, has an extensive library related to, you guessed it, mines.


More Nelson History…

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