Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

New Brunswick Newspaper Directory

“We strive to paint the manners and the mind” was the objective stated in the masthead of the first issue of the Fredericton Telegraph (August 6, 1806) by the editor and publisher, Michael Ryan. Whether or not newspapers have explicitly stated such grand purposes, throughout their history they have reflected, if not influenced, both manners and minds. The recording of the important events of the day as well as the reaction of the masses, the actions of the great and the notorious and also of the ordinary individual (if only in birth, marriage, death), make newspapers a vital source for an understanding of the facts and the feelings of the present and of the past.

Newspapers have always played an important role in the life of New Brunswick. The Royal St. John’s Gazette and Nova Scotia Intelligencer was published in Saint John in 1783, even before New Brunswick’s creation as a separate province. The first Acadian newspaper, Le Moniteur Acadien, was published in Shediac in 1867, and was a symbol of an awakening nationalism. New Brunswick’s political factions, religious denominations, communities, universities, schools and service clubs have all represented themselves with newspapers that provide a myriad of detail and opinion.

Libraries and archives within the province have strong holdings of New Brunswick newspapers and the record of attention to their identification and preservation has been good. In 1961 an Historical Directory of N.B. Newspapers and Periodicals listed these holdings and provided information on their publishing history. This guide, researched and prepared by J. Russell Harper, has remained an essential tool for researchers, archivists and librarians, and has provided a bibliographic basis for microfilming projects which Harper urged to ensure the preservation of these deteriorating volumes. Mindful of Harper’s admonitions, librarians and archivists have worked since 1968 as an ad hoc committee of the Council of Head Librarians of New Brunswick to compile, preserve and microfilm the province’s vital newspaper resource.

The National Library of Canada’s Decentralized Program for Canadian Newspapers and the accompanying financial support provided an impetus for the accelerated bibliographic research which has resulted in this publication.

An editorial committee formed from the ad hoc newspaper committee laid out parameters of the project and provided ongoing direction for it. Helen Craig, assistant librarian in the Education Resource Center within the University of New Brunswick Libraries, was seconded from regular duties to assemble data. With comprehensive knowledge of New Brunswick newspapers and persistent research skills she tracked down unknown titles and located missing issues. The data was turned over to the editorial committee and Muriel Daniel, Administrative Secretary, University of New Brunswick Libraries, developed a computer program and supervised the input of data.

A further subsidy from the National Library of Canada financed the preparation of a master plan which provides direction for the future management of New Brunswick newspapers. It recommends responsibilities for various libraries and archives in collecting and filming newspapers; a central control point for collection of bibliographic data; retrospective, corrective and on-going microfilming; and storage of master negatives at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.

A mark of the importance accorded newspapers, a paramount primary resource, is the energy and cooperation that has been extended to both the preparation of the Directory and the master plan. Members of the library and archives community and individual researchers are asked to continue this cooperation. New titles, missing issues that have come to light, newspapers requiring microfilming and existing microfilms that have been identified as inadequate should all be reported regularly to the Newspaper Project, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 5H1. Work will continue to discover, preserve and make accessible the newspapers of New Brunswick. It is hoped that the next edition will also include newspapers which cross Provincial and State boundaries in their coverage, e.g. titles such as Quoddy Tides which is published in Maine but is the newspaper for the Fundy Islands of New Brunswick and the surrounding area.

A publication such as the Directory is based on the contributions of a large number of people whose advice and assistance I wish to acknowledge. These include the directors and staffs of the many repositories who submitted information on newspaper holdings and corrected entries, Helen Craig who compiled the data, Diana Moore who prepared the master plan and assisted in the Directory’s preparation at several stages, Fred Farrell who assisted in selection and reproduction of the illustrations, the National Library of Canada for advice and financial support, Eileen Travis, Saint John Regional Librarian, for advice and encouragement and my fellow committee members, Sheila Laidlaw, Director of Libraries, UNB(Fredericton); Ian Wilson, Librarian, Saint John Free Public Library; and especially to Muriel Daniel, Administrative Secretary, UNB Libraries for her careful, competent, and constant work.

At the time of the publication of the Directory of New Brunswick Newspapers plans were made and procedures set in place to keep the information it contained up to date. Acquisitions of newspapers, reels of microfilm produced by newspaper filming projects, corrections and new information relating to titles already included in the Directory were registered with the assistance of librarians and archivists throughout the province and entered into the newspaper data base. The number of additions and changes grew to warrant the publication of a second edition of the Directory. In the realization of this project particular thanks are owed to Muriel Daniel who directed the updating process, and verified the information received, managed the data base and produced the manuscript of this publication. Her commitment to the undertaking, her ability and her careful work have provided an up-to-date tool of proven value to users and custodians of newspapers.

The Newspaper Preservation Committee which coordinates work to identify, preserve and make accessible New Brunswick newspapers will continue its efforts including the investigation of new technologies such as imaging and the development of an on-line directory to assist in these tasks which will ensure that the vast and varied information appearing as daily news is available in the future.

Marion Beyea
Provincial Archivist of New Brunswick