This site seeks to provide transcripts of the original incoming and outgoing correspondence of the Colonial Office in London and the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, along with related documents. The transcripts are based on editorial and markup work by Dr. James E. Hendrickson, assisted by a large team of people, in the 1980s and 1990s. The transcripts were originally encoded in a now-obsolete script and were algorithmically converted to XML code by Martin Holmes of the UVic HCMC. Additional editing and markup has been done by Pat Szpak, Kim Shortreed, and Gord Lyall, among many others.
Although the original transcription work was proofed against the microfilm copy—and the British Columbia documents from 1858 against the originals in London—we cannot (yet) claim that the text on the site is a completely accurate transcription from the original handwritten texts, so readers may still wish to check the transcripts against the digitized images of the original handwritten texts. Many of the original documents, particularly viewed on microfilm, are difficult to read; they occasionally defeated the original transcribers, and gave rise to some errors, and the subsequent processes of conversion and rendering introduced more errors, some of which we may not have caught. If you intend to use the content on this site for serious research purposes, please ensure that you check the original microfilms to confirm the accuracy of the transcriptions. If you encounter any errors, please report them to mholmes@uvic.ca.
All of the documents have now been edited at least once, and entities (people, vessels, places, and organization) mentioned within them have been linked to additional information, but many of the biographies and explanatory texts relating to these entities are not yet complete. Similarly, not all documents have abstracts yet.
Martin Holmes
University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Centre