Nova Scotia Archives

Nova Scotia Historical Newspapers

Journaux historiques de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Depuis toujours, les journaux reflètent qui nous sommes, la façon dont sont nées nos collectivités, dont nous vivons notre quotidien et dont nous voyons le monde autour de nous. Les « vieux » journaux ont une valeur particulière parce qu'ils nous permettent de jeter un regard sur le passé et de découvrir le monde d'il y a 20, 50, 100 ou même 200 ans.

La conservation des vieux journaux, qu'ils soient de l'année dernière ou du siècle dernier, présente toujours un risque. Les journaux sont fragiles, ils n'ont pas toujours été conservés dans des conditions idéales et ceux qui ont survécu ne sont habituellement accessibles que dans des salles d'archives ou des bibliothèques. Toutefois, la technologie moderne apporte des changements à tout ça.

Suivent en ordre chronologique, des images de la première page de seize titres publiés dans huit collectivités néo-écossaises très différentes sur une période de 230 ans, depuis le Nova Scotia Chronicle and Weekly Advertiser publié en 1769 jusqu'au Courrier de la Nouvelle-Écosse en 2002. Cliquez sur chaque image pour commencer votre exploration des numéros de ces journaux qui ont survécu dans cette période de temps. En tout, 163 100 pages ont été numérisées et elles sont maintenant accessibles de partout dans le monde.


The Nova Scotia Chronicle and Weekly Advertiser

Newspapers 200908270

This title is one in an unbroken chain of official and semi-official government newspapers published in Nova Scotia, from the Halifax Gazette on 23 March 1752 to the present-day Royal Gazette. The Nova Scotia Chronicle and Weekly Advertiser has been called 'the liveliest journal of opinion produced in Canada' for its time; regular features included tide tables, shipping news, weather reports and advertisements. It had less than 80 subscribers when it began in 1769, and lasted only a year before taking a new title, the Nova Scotia Gazette and Weekly Chronicle.

Selected issues 1769 and 1770


The Royal American Gazette

Newspapers 200909123

Shelburne was founded in 1783 by some 15,000 political refugees displaced in the aftermath of the American Revolution. For a fleeting moment it was the fourth-largest community in North America, and with a population that large could sustain several newspapers in the early years. The Royal American Gazette was the first; begun in New York City in 1777, it migrated north with its publisher, James Robertson, in 1783. It featured local advertisements, reprints of news items from foreign newspapers, and some local content. Its Shelburne life ended when Robertson moved to Charlottetown PEI about 1785-86.

Selected Issues from 1785


The Port-Roseway Gazetteer and The Shelburne Advertiser

Newspapers 200909187

This newspaper began in 1784, as a sort of literary magazine featuring essays, poetry, stories and letters reprinted from English and American periodicals, with occasional local content. The publisher was the nephew of James Robertson Sr., who published The Royal American Gazette. When Robertson Sr. moved to Charlottetown about 1785, taking his printing press with him, the Gazetteer and Advertiser ceased publication.

Selected issues from 1785


The Nova-Scotia Packet and General Advertiser

Newspapers 200909001

The last of the early newspapers in Loyalist Shelburne, this title began in 1785, was printed on new equipment imported from England, and may have continued as late as 1796. It featured shipping and local news, weather reports, and reprints from newspapers in Saint John NB, Quebec, the United States and overseas. The publisher, James Humphreys, returned to his native Philadelphia in 1797, taking his press with him.

Selected issues from 1786 and 1787


Acadian Recorder

Newspapers 201113000

The Acadian Recorder was a weekly Halifax newspaper first published in January 1813 by Anthony H. Holland. He was joined in 1821 by his brother, Philip, who took full control of the publication in 1824. The paper eventually came under the auspices of Mssrs. John English and Hugh W. Blackadar in 1837. The Recorder was what we now call a 'newspaper of record' because of its lengthy publication history (nearly a century) and the quality of its news coverage. In the early days, it printed local, national and international news stories. Other features included a weekly almanac, shipping news, obituaries and wedding announcements, a poetry or story section, and a wide range of advertisements.

Selected issues from 1813 to 1853


Liverpool Transcript

Newspapers 201200001

This newspaper was published weekly, provided there was sufficient ink and paper, out of S.J.M. Allen's offices in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Taking as its motto, "The Friend of All, the Slave of None," it began in January 1854 and continued under Allen until 1867 when publication passed to Silas M. Bryden, who changed the journal's name to the Liverpool Advertiser. The Transcript was a "weekly miscellany of literature, art, science, and popular information" and is a representative example of a small town newspaper in the mid-nineteenth century. It included local news (though much was omitted, based on the assumption that everyone already knew what was happening in town) as well as national and international items. Other key features included shipping news, poetry and story sections, wide-ranging advertisements, and even, on occasion, word and logic puzzles.

Selected issues from 1854 to 1867


The Bee

Newspapers 200907001

Published in Pictou from 1835 to 1838, this was one of the earliest newspapers in Nova Scotia to appear outside Halifax. It was printed on the press of — and may have been the successor to — the Colonial Patriot, Pictou's first newspaper (1827). Like its predecessor, The Bee supported progress and reform, promoted agricultural interests, and was considered so radical that it was banned from the Halifax Exchange Reading Room in 1837.

Selected issues from 1835, 1836, 1837 and 1838


The Atlantic Advocate

Newspapers 201412500

The Atlantic Advocate was Nova Scotia's first African Canadian newsmagazine. Its publishers, Wilfred A. DeCosta, Miriam A. DeCosta and Dr. Clement Courtenay Ligoure, incorporated as The Atlantic Advocate Association Ltd. on 8 June 1916. Only four issues have survived — the first, for April 1915 (held by Nova Scotia Archives) and three others, namely January, April and May 1917 (held by Vaughan Memorial Library, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS). The magazine covered a range of topics — historical, religious, economic, political, military, literary, social and local. Community notes appeared from across Nova Scotia, including Amherst, Digby, Halifax, Hammonds Plains, Liverpool, Shelburne, Westville, Weymouth and Wolfville, as well as from New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario.

Selected issues from 1915 and 1917


English | Gàidhlig

An Solus Iùil - (Guiding Light)

Newspapers 201210000

A monthly publication out of Sydney, Cape Breton, An Solus Iùil was a Gaelic newspaper with English sections relating church news. The focus of the paper was Presbyterian news, including but not limited to, mission efforts, ministerial appointments and church meetings; the occasional wedding was announced as well.

Selected issues from 1925 to 1927


English | Gàidhlig

Fear na Céilidh - (The Visitor)

Newspapers 201210056

Published monthly out of Sydney, Cape Breton, Fear na Céilidh was bound rather than taking the traditional form of a newspaper, and included advertisements, largely in English with images, on the front and back covers. The newspaper itself was published entirely in Gaelic, in an effort to preserve and cultivate that beautiful language. The newspaper promised a "well-edited selection of interesting reading, carefully written and correctly printed." The annual subscription was $1.00 for 12 issues — a small price to pay for maintaining and promoting the language.

Selected issues from 1928 to 1930


English | Gàidhlig

Mosgladh - (Awakening)

Newspapers 201210252

This Gaelic newspaper was published by the Scottish Catholic Society in Sydney, Cape Breton. It appeared monthly, although the first several issues are followed by a gap of five years (1923 to 1928) before monthly publication resumed. In contrast to the other Gaelic papers, Mosgladh was published mostly in English, with a few Gaelic translations of prayers, Gaelic songs, and some Gaelic stories. Most of the news items featured relate to the Roman Catholic Church.

Selected issues from 1922, 1923 and 1928 to 1933


English | Gàidhlig

Teachdaire nan Gàidheal - (The Messenger of the Gaels)

Newspapers 201207086

This predominantly Gaelic newspaper was published monthly in Sydney, Cape Breton. It featured Gaelic poetry and stories, with each issue also including a unique feature that demonstrated the publishers' commitment to preserving the Gaelic language — namely a Gaelic lesson, usually consisting of basic vocabulary and some points of grammar. The first such lesson began with a note that there are only eighteen letters in the Gaelic alphabet, and then explained how to pronounce them.

Selected issues from 1924 to 1929 and 1932 to 1934


The Tiny Tattler

Newspapers 200838019

Billed as 'Canada's Smallest Newspaper,' this unique title was published intermittently in Central Grove, Digby Neck (Digby County) from 1933 to 1943. Printed on a small press with hand-set type, the Tattler began with 18 subscribers and built to over 5,000 at its peak, across Nova Scotia and beyond. A variant title, The Tiny Telegram, was also published by Shortliffe Print in Caledonia, Queens County, beginning in 1938. The issues digitized here were donated by the family and arrived bound in yearly increments, each with a hand-decorated cover. With its own commemorative website at www.tinytattler.ca, the Tattler continues to generate interest in the local news, advertisements and perspective it provided 75 years ago.

All issues from 1933-1936 and 1938


English | Français

Le Courrier de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Newspapers 201561798

Le Courrieri est le principal journal en français en Nouvelle-Écosse et le seul dont la couverture et la distribution s'étendent à toute la province. Publié la toute première fois sous le nom de Petit Courrier (Du Sud-Ouest de la Nouvelle-Écosse) par Désiré d'Éon, le 10 février 1937, il paraît chaque semaine depuis cette date, informant ses lecteurs, défendant les intérêts des Acadiens et des francophones et établissant un pont entre toutes les régions acadiennes de la province. Il présente les nouvelles et les activités des différentes collectivités, des articles approfondis, des publicités, des annonces, des photographies et des suppléments dans le but d'appuyer la populations acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse, qui est nombreuse, dispersée et multiple, ses entreprises, ses industries, son économie, ses activités quotidiennes, ses écoles et ses établissements d'enseignement supérieur, ses politiques, sa vie culturelle et son patrimoine. Le Courrier offre une perspective extraordinaire et sans parallèle sur 55 ans de l'histoire de la population acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse, permettant ainsi la découverte de ses intérêt, de ses activités, de ses réalisations, de ses préoccupations générales et communautaires durant une grande partie du 20e siècle.

1937-2002 tout numéros


The Clarion

Newspapers 201575004

Started as a single undated sheet by Carrie Best in 1946 with an intent to publish every two weeks The Clarion was centered on life around Second Baptist Church in New Glasgow with sections on "Our church", "Our homes" and "Our community". The Clarion was relaunched in December, 1946 as a multi-paged tabloid sized publication featuring the story of Viola Desmond's arrest in New Glasgow's Roseland Theatre. With this issue the paper, edited by Carrie Best, moved from covering the local community to being an advocate for racial equality across the province and covering, in her words, "the progress and achievement of the Coloured people." Later formatted as a broadsheet the paper went national in August 1949 when it was issued as The Negro Citizen. The few issues appearing here survived because one subscriber, Mrs. W.P. Oliver, kept these issues and later loaned them to the Nova Scotia Archives for microfilming. There appear to be no other surviving copies and the location of these originals is now unknown (the Nova Scotia Archives would like to find copies of any of these publications).

Selected issues from 1946 to 1949


The 4th Estate

Newspapers 200909205

From its first issue on 17 April 1969, The 4th Estate established itself as the independent 'second viewpoint….[and] questioning voice in print in our city and province.' Near the end, in January 1977, publisher Brenda Large wrote, 'The 4th Estate really shouldn't exist at all. All the odds are against it and continue to be against it. But it has survived for eight years due to the work of Nick Fillmore and others who have contributed to the paper and have been loyal readers over the years.' Progressive, radical and provocative, The 4th Estate focused on the issues that mattered in late 20th century Nova Scotia — and which continue to matter to this day.

All issues from 1969 to 1977


Nos remerciements vont aux organismes suivants qui ont appuyé divers projets en vue de la numérisation et du téléchargement de ces journaux historiques : Libraries Nova Scotia et C@P Nova Scotia, le conseil d'administration des Archives publiques de la Nouvelle-Écosse, la Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, et les Affaires acadiennes (Entente Canada - Nouvelle-Écosse relative aux services en français). Communications Nouvelle-Écosse et les Affaires gaéliques de la Nouvelle-Écosse ont fourni de l'aide pour la traduction. Le bureau du Courrier de la Nouvelle-Écosse à Meteghan River et le Musée des Acadiens à Pubnico nous ont prêté des numéros du Courrier qui nous manquaient pour compléter la numérisation du titre. Nous vous invitons aussi à visiter nos partenaires de projet, le Beaton Institute de l'Université Cape-Breton et la bibliothèque Angus L. Macdonald de l'Université St. Francis Xavier pour explorer leur sélection en ligne d'autres journaux numérisés du Cap-Breton et de l'Est de la Nouvelle-Écosse.