Nova Scotia Archives

Nova Scotia Historical Newspapers


Four of the newspapers presented below are early 20th century Gaelic newspapers published in Sydney, Cape Breton. They were designed to appeal to Gaelic-speakers and readers in eastern Nova Scotia, who were at that time frequently only two and three generations removed from the original Highland settlers.

A petition submitted to Premier G.H. Murray in 1920 noted that 29.8% of the population were of Scottish descent, and that "The great majority of Nova Scotians belonging to the Scottish race still preserve the Gaelic language and are deeply attached to the traditions embodied in its literature."

We are pleased to present these four Gaelic newspapers in partnership with the Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University, and Nova Scotia's Office of Gaelic Affairs.


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


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


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


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