Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

New Brunswick Newspaper Directory

It was both a joy and a challenge to receive approval for a 6-month secondment from UNB to work on compiling the data for a directory of New Brunswick newspapers. To me, the project represented an ideal combination of bibliography, historical research and newspapers, the latter being a long-time personal interest of mine. Data gathering began on February 1, 1985.

The National Library of Canada’s definition of a newspaper was used as a starting point:

      A newspaper is printed and distributed daily,
      semi-weekly or at some other regular and short
      interval. It consists of news, editorials,
      features, advertising and other matters of
      current interest.

It was decided to err on the side of inclusion. Alternate, alumni, community, ethnic, labor, military, political, religious, and student publications were included, insofar as they have been identified.

The matter of titles proved a challenge. The use of “successive titles” for this bibliography necessitated a great deal of checking and division of files and records. Titles were often altered to reflect a change in content or emphasis, or for no apparent reason. Some merged and absorbed other titles as the assets of publishers rose and fell. These mergers and title changes have been graphically illustrated in appendices.

In the case of place name changes, references are provided to link place names at the time of publication with current place names. Some places were absorbed into larger communities while others had their name changed or even ceased to exist. The place of printing was disregarded if it was different from the place of publication which appeared below the masthead. A list of the information to be gathered from local collections was developed. This included place of publication, title, dates published, holdings in print by individual repository (New Brunswick repositories and the Public Archives of Nova Scotia), title changes and relationship to other titles, language of publication, and editors and publishers.

In addition, the information about microfilm versions included format, producing agency, agency with sales rights, holdings by repository, and issues missing.

It was agreed that Harper’s work should continue to be seen as an important source of information, especially in regard to his description of each newspaper. Harper and the new publication complement one another and can be used in concert.

A number of sources other than Harper were consulted for information about individual titles. They include Union List of Canadian Newspapers Held by Canadian Libraries, Canadian Newspaper Directory, McKim’s Directory of Canadian Publications, New Brunswick Publications on Microfilm, cataloguing records from the University of New Brunswick’s libraries, and records from an inventory project from the Saint John Regional Library.

A province-wide awareness campaign was launched in order to publicize the fact that a search was on for information about holdings of New Brunswick newspapers. With the assistance of the U.N.B. Department of Public Relations and Information, articles appeared in most daily and weekly newspapers, and radio and TV interviews were given. Lists of possible holders of issues (libraries, museums, archives, historical societies) were developed. These institutions were all contacted by mail and information about their newspaper holdings was solicited. The results were gratifying. I predict, however, that discoveries of newspaper issues presently listed as “missing” will continue to be made.

Following the input of the resulting data, preliminary editing was carried out and draft copies were circulated to provincial repositories for their comments, additions, and corrections.

The success of this project would not have been possible without the assistance of many institutions and the individuals within them. Some gave up a great deal of time to provide me with the requested details. Several researchers also shared their notes and information. To the staff of the Harriet Irving Library and to the following for their advice, information, assistance and encouragement, I am most grateful.

      New Brunswick Museum - Jane Lodge Smith, Carol Rosevear
      Saint John Free Public Library - Deborah Carhart
      Universite de Moncton - Alban Arsenault, Roland LeBlanc
      Provincial Archives of New Brunswick - Burt Glendenning, Ruth Grattan
      Legislative Library - Eric Swanick, Margaret Pacey
      Mount Allison University Library - Margaret Wheeler

Finally, one wish must be recorded here - that of more time to devote to researching the details that are still missing, especially the holdings of repositories outside the province. Hopefully, the publication of the present checklist will raise public consciousness, and more information about provincial newspapers will be documented in the future.

Helen Craig