Since its earliest days, newspapers have played an important role in chronicling Port Moody’s local history. Last year, many of the museum’s newspapers were sitting in a closet, anxiously waiting to be properly catalogued and put in the museum’s collection. Sorting through the newspapers proved to be a substantial task but that was only the first step. Within these stacks of newspaper was a veritable treasure trove of information waiting to be discovered.
This summer our Collection Assistant, Bronwen Bird took on the task of going through each newspaper and pulling out key words from important stories and entering them into the museum’s database. With this completed, it means that if you wanted to find an article about Port Moody’s first ambulance, the database would show you that the December 20, 1957 edition of The Advance newspaper has an article that may contain the information you seek. Now there are over 1000 newspapers that have searchable terms!
Among these 1000 newspapers are a variety of publications that have covered Port Moody over the years. These include:
Port Moody Gazette – 1883 – 1887
The Advance – 1936 – 1960s.
The Herald (a.k.a. The Coquitlam Herald, The Herald Enterprise, Sunday Herald) – 1960s – 1980s.
Even with all these papers, we did not have copies of all the newspapers that covered Port Moody. Working with the Port Coquitlam Heritage Society and their Community Archives, Bronwen was able to find more information from three of the earliest newspapers: The Coquitlam Star (1911-1915), The Coquitlam Times (1917-1918) and the Coquitlam-Moody News (1925). Using these resources, Bronwen created additional databases for each paper and printed out articles of particular importance.
After nearly a year, the museum’s newspaper collection that was once a mountainous pile in a closet is now a historically valuable force to be reckoned with. All together the papers comprise the history of Port Moody from 1883 to the 1980s with few gaps in between. This collection and Bronwen’s hard work has already proved its worth in the information it has provided in the creation of the history book the Heritage Society is currently working on. Having these databases available to research an aspect of Port Moody’s history will be a valuable asset for years to come.