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.  Our main work has been with the minutes of Vancouver City Council meetings 1886 to currently 1893.

We have also transcribed some significant By-Laws, biographies, and personal documents, and traced maps of the Ward System that Vancouver used until 1931.

Our Friends and Community

This entire initiative would not be possible without our volunteer transcribers. We thank them!

We also thank our sponsors who are also critical to the success of the project.

Our History

Transcribimus was started in June 2012 by former Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan. He wanted to learn more about Vancouver’s second Mayor David Oppenheimer, who had been instrumental in establishing the trajectory of the modern city.

Sullivan spent time in the Vancouver Archives with the Vancouver City Council Minutes but found the microfiche copy was barely readable and the originals were physically deteriorating.

He made a commitment to honour the remarkable legacy of David Oppenheimer by having the minutes of City Council meetings from 1886 to 1891 transcribed and put online in a searchable form for free access by researchers and the general public. 

The first Minutes were transcribed by contractors but over time Transcribimus moved to a volunteer model.

The image to the right shows the launch of the December 2015 Transcribimus volunteer transcriber program.

News clipping from Vancouver Metro December 8, 2015
News clipping from Vancouver Metro December 8, 2015

On April 28, 2022 Transcribmus celebrated the completion of ten years of Vancouver City Council minutes transcription — six hundred and nine documents contained in 4569 pages. Fifty two volunteer transcribers and nine sponsors contributed to this milestone accomplishment.


We are so pleased to have been featured in the following media:

A New City Emerging from the Forest

Published May 1, 2022 by the Vancouver Province reporter John Mackie

If you would like more information, contact us or you can email us at info{at}transcribimus.ca.