There are five new maps now online. These are fire insurance maps of Victoria for 1903, whch were scanned from slides that were copied from ancient, faded slides of the originals, that were produced by BC Archives a couple of decades ago. There are 72 individual sheets, each about 2700 x 3200 pixels. I have combined these into five images, each containing multiple sheets. The combined images are now online (menu Maps | Victoria | Fire Insurance Maps | 1903). Some parts of the city, particularly (and sadly) the downtown core, are not covered, since the slides for those areas have gone missing.
The images are a bit rough; the slides were fuzzy and badly faded, so much enhancement was required in Photoshop. The maps are readable, for the most part, though the smaller text (house numbers, for instance) are too blurred to read.
The individual sheets are not yet online. That will have to wait until later.
Previously viHistory had 1901 census data only for Victoria (about 22,000 records). Data for the rest of Vancouver Island (about 25,000 records) has now been loaded into the database and is available for searching. This more than doubles the data available for 1901.
The new data covers all of Vancouver Island outside of Victoria (Nanaimo, Comox, Alberni, etc.) Most of the more important fields are included, though a few useful ones (earnings and education, for example) are missing and will need to be filled in later. This data was provided by a genealogy group, who did not enter all of the census fields and used some of their own formatting conventions, so the data needed significant massaging to work with the existing 1901 data.
The new data also required updates to the Location table for the new census districts, and to the Occupation and Religion tables to handle previously unknown occupations (e.g. Fish Tender, Leveller, Rope Rider) and religions (e.g. Christian Zionist, Sinshite, Yinwaa).
viHistory is a web site that is a teaching, learning and research tool. It's principally about the history of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, but it is also a vehicle for exploring the larger field of Canadian history during the late 19th and early part of the 20th century. It allows census, directory and tax assessment roll data from the late 19th and early 20th centuries to be searched in many ways. It also incorporates IMaP to display historical maps. The project director is Dr. Patrick A. Dunae.
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