Archivist Adrian Bodgan and executive director Alyssa Gerwing hold up a framed copy of the Peninsula News Review dated Sept. 17, 1986. The museum’s new database, launching Dec. 1, will give the public a chance to search decades worth of Peninsula News Review archives from 1912 to 2002. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Archivist Adrian Bodgan and executive director Alyssa Gerwing hold up a framed copy of the Peninsula News Review dated Sept. 17, 1986. The museum’s new database, launching Dec. 1, will give the public a chance to search decades worth of Peninsula News Review archives from 1912 to 2002. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Digitization of Peninsula News Review improves increased public access, preservation of historical records

Sidney Museum and Archives set to launch new database for archives from 1912 to 2002

A new database launching Dec. 1 will give the public a chance to search decades worth of Peninsula News Review archives.

The Peninsula News Review Digitization project saw the Sidney Museum and Archives digitize 46 rolls of 35 mm microfilm containing nearly 3,800 past issues of the newspaper, spanning 1912 through 2002.

Funding for the project came from the BC History Digitization Program based at the University of British Columbia’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. The program promotes increased access to British Columbia’s historical resources by supplying matching funds to digitization projects resulting in free online access to unique historical material from around the province.

The database, making the archives of the Review accessible, will make its debut on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., when the museum staff will host a live demonstration of the Arca database. Residents can request a link to the virtual event by emailing Sidney Fuhrman, the museum’s education and outreach coordinator at outreach@sidneymuseum.ca. The museum will supply a public link during this event and post it on its website following the event with a recorded tutorial.

RELATED: Digitization of Peninsula News Review by Sidney Museum and Archives preserves historical legacy

The museum said in a release that the Peninsula News Review Collection contains unique materials documenting the agricultural, cultural, economic, historical, political and social history of British Columbia, especially pertaining to the Saanich Peninsula and Gulf Islands. The collection includes increasingly delicate physical copies of the newspapers spanning 1912 through 2018, as well as archival copies on 35 mm microfilm from 1912 to 2002.

The second phase of this project, scheduled to start in 2023, will involve creating an inventory of physical newspaper issues to produce digital and preservation copies to fill any coverage gaps to the previous publishing year. Residents can support the archives and this project by visiting sidneymuseum.ca/support.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com