Welcome to the Transcribimus Homepage. Transcribimus is a network of volunteer transcribers who take hand written documents of our early Vancouver history and transcribe them into a searchable state available for free to the general public and researchers.

This entire initiative would not be possible without our volunteer transcribers and our sponsors who are also critical to the success of the project. We thank them!

What’s New?

Transcribimus has transcribed 5,654 pages of Vancouver’s handwritten history: 788 sets of Vancouver City Council minutes plus by-laws, committee reports and private correspondence.

July 2023

Gerald SoonIncreased Vessel Traffic in Port of Vancouver Creates Dangers – September 19, 1898
Darlene Ochotta400 Cans of Salmon and Condensed Milk Seized as “Unfit for Human Food” – March 27, 1899
Marie-Claude TremblayVancouver to Have A Wiring Inspector – April 4, 1899
Barbara Kearney-CopanCouncil Split over $2,000 Settlement – July 17, 1899

June 2023

Gerald SoonVancouver Sends Sincere Sympathy to New Westminster Following Fire – September 13, 1898
Lynn ShaneCity Hospital Not to House “The Old” – May 23, 1898
Marie-Claude TremblayStreet Railway Supplies to be Bought in Vancouver – Dec 27, 1898
Carole WilsonCity Solicitor to Have Foreshore Inspected – May 8, 1899
Barbara Kearney-CopanSlaughterhouses to Stay on the Shores of False Creek – May 29, 1899
Carole WilsonVancouver to Acquire False Creek, Coal Harbour Waterfronts – Mar 27, 1899

May 2023

Joanne McCormickVancouver “Has No Authority” to Pay for Officer’s Wounds received On Duty – October 17 1898
Joanne McCormickColonel Domville Entitled to Refund for Steamer Access to Bridge – October 14, 1898
Joanne McCormickVancouver Wants Foreshore Rights Adjacent to BC Sugar – October 31, 1898

April 2023

new transcriber Sheila KirkbyMeeting Adjourned to the Next Day – September 12, 1898
Lynn ShaneStempel Fire Extinguishers offered to Council for sale – October 3, 1898
Krystyna RichardsCurfew Bell Contemplated for Vancouver – November 14, 1898
Darlene OchottaPolling By-Law & Water Works Loan By-Laws Complete – January 3, 1899
Barbara Kearney-CopanLease of Deadman’s Island Debated – April 25, 1899

March 2023

Margaret SutherlandCouncil Considers the Estimates – March 29, 1898
Margaret SutherlandCouncil Reviews Conditions for Smelter, Police Magistrate – April 26, 1898
Darlene OchottaHospital Nurses “Shall Obey” Miss Pirk – July 18, 1898
Carole WilsonVancouver Has “No Power” to Authorize Bicycle Parking – July 25, 1898
Gerald SoonCouncil Seeks Power to Remove Buildings from Stanley Park – August 1, 1898
Gerald SoonCouncil Meeting Adjourned to Next Day – August 8, 1898
Marie-Claude TremblayVancouver to Raise $93,300 for Street Paving, Grading – August 22, 1898
Carole WilsonA Few Policemen to Be Available for Night Call – August 29, 1898
Darlene OchottaCouncil Plans More Recreation Grounds, Direct Steamship Service to San Francisco – September 6, 1898
New transcriber Barbara Kearney-CopanCouncil Marks the Death of C. L. Brown – September 20, 1898
Lynn ShaneCouncil Debates the Utility of Dolphins – September 26, 1898
Lynn ShaneStreet Railway Co. May Build Double Tramway on Davie Street – December 6, 1898
Lynn ShaneVancouver Library Premises Found “Unsafe” – December 12, 1898
Carole WilsonOfficer McKeown’s Name Cleared – December 19, 1898
Marie-Claude TremblayFebruary 27, 1898 – Firefighting Equipment Finalized, Three Policemen Hired
Gerald Soon |
Carole Wilson
More Street Numbering to Come in Vancouver – March 13, 1899
Gerald SoonAnimal Cruelty Fines to be Paid to the S.P.C.A. – March 20, 1899

February 2023

Transcribimus volunteers share some of their favourite historical links and resources on our Facebook Page

From Marie-Claude: BC Was Awesome – Camels in the Cariboo

Leah MinukFebruary 28, 1898 – Gold Rush Traffic Jeopardizes Coal Harbour Safety
Hal Bell-IrvingJuly 5, 1898 – Brick Kitchen Approved for Wing Sang & Co.
Joanne McCormickNovember 21, 1898 – City Supports Plan for Steamers North and South from Vancouver
Joanne McCormickNovember 22, 1898 – Council Mulls Over Changes to City Charter
Carole WilsonNovember 28, 1898 – St. Paul’s Church On The Move
Lynn ShaneDecember 5, 1898 – YMCA Building “In Unsafe Condition”
Carole WilsonDecember 13, 1898 – CPR Exemptions and Heatley Wharf Finalized
Carole WilsonDecember 20, 1898 – New Hospital Rules Sent to Medical Staff
Joanne McCormickJanuary 7, 1899 – Hospital Rules Amended
Joanne McCormickJanuary 9, 1899 – Water Works Contract Approved
Joanne McCormickJanuary 16, 1899 – Final Meeting for Council for 1889

January 2023

January 18, 2023 – Transcribimus volunteers have just finished transcribing all the City Council minutes from 1897! City Council minutes continued to be hand written until the middle of 1911, so we still have plenty more discoveries to come.

Joanne McCormickJanuary 28, 1897 – Drill Shed Needed for Vancouver’s Artillery Companies
Gerald SoonJune 28, 1897 – New Medical Health Officer Halts Dumping On To Tidal Flats
Krystyna RichardsAugust 30, 1897 – Vancouver’s First Water Conservation Rules
Joanne McCormickMarch 7, 1898 – Col. Warren Asks for Repairs
Joanne McCormickMarch 14, 1898 – Vancouver Supports Letter Carriers’ Wage Demand of $2 per Day
Gerald SoonApril 18 1898 – Home Phone Approved for Chief of Police
Zak BennettMay 30, 1898 – Consuls Want Improvements to Dunsmuir & Howe
Darlene OchottaApril 1, 1898 – Vancouver’s Estimates (Budget) for 1898 is $404,344.95
Marie-Claude TremblayJune 7, 1898 – Steamer “James Domville” Opens Granville Street Bridge Span
Carole WilsonJune 20, 1898 – Brick Barn Allowed on Hastings Street
Lynn ShaneJune 27, 1898 – John Pace Appointed Cemetery Caretaker

Transcribimus was so pleased to be featured in the Vancouver Sun & Vancouver Provice in John Mackie’s recent article “Handwritten History Online

Sam Sullivan at Vancouver archives November 2022

Vancouver Sun | 4 Nov 2022 | JOHN MACKIE

“The City of Vancouver’s operating budget for 2022 was $1.747 billion. In 1897, it was $363,937. How do we know? Because volunteers for local website Transcribimus have gone through the original handwritten documents at the City of Vancouver Archives, transcribed them and mounted them online.”

Transcribimus founder and former mayor Sam Sullivan displays handwritten budget minutes from 1897 inside the Vancouver Archives.

Volunteer Transcribers

Perhaps you might consider becoming a volunteer yourself. Together our remarkable volunteers have contributed 742 transcriptions of early Vancouver City Council minutes and other documents, as follows:

Master Scribes (more than 50 sets of minutes):

Global Civic Policy Society231
Gerald Soon120
Darrin Pezer/Proactive Building Maintenance87
Joanne McCormick74

Journeyman Scribes (25-50 sets of minutes):

Chris Stephenson45
Krystyna Richards27

Working Scribes (5-24 sets of minutes):

Donna Kynaston24
Lynn Shane17
Carole Wilson13
Martha Hazevoet12
Darlene Ochotta10
L. Ellema9
Bronwyn Cripps7
Christine Cathcart7
Rachel Amanda Hennessy7
Hal Bell-Irving7
Marie-Claude Tremblay6
Cathy Harmer6
Chris Mizzoni – Nitzy’s Hockey Den6
Susan M. Willows6
YVR Mike6
David Laing5
Mary Ann Capistrano5

Apprentice Scribes (1-4 sets of minutes):

Barbara Kearney – Copan3
Brenda Chapman3
Sandra Robinson3
Gent Ng2
Leesa Poffenroth2
Lesley H.2
Sharon Mowat2
Sue Bryant2
Zak Bennett2
Anita Dos Santos1
Cinda Jong1
Devon Harlos1
Jane Edmonds1
Janny P.1
Jenn Ashton1
Jordan Cripps1
John Belshaw – Vancouver Historical Society1
Judy Lam Maxwell – Historical Chinatown Tours1
Lynne Jambor1
Maria Klukova1
Mary Norris1
Michelle C.1
Sara Keay1
Siobhan Devlin1
Tegbir Kaur1