Early student periodicals

As part of the Early Canadian Periodicals (ECP) project, Canadiana.org has digitized and published the following student periodicals on Early Canadiana Online (ECO): Vox Wesleyana (1897-1900) from Winnipeg’s Wesley College; Acadia University’s Acadia athenaeum (1874-1900);The McMaster University Monthly (1891-1900); Rouge et Noir (1880-1887) from Trinity College, Toronto; Laval University’s L’escholier (1915-1917); the University of Ottawa’s The owl (1888-1898) and The Review (1898-1915); the University of Toronto’s The Varsity (1880-1912); St. Francis Xavier’s Excelsior (1898-1903) and, from Queen’s University, The Queen’s College Journal (1873-1893) and its successor, The Queen’s University Journal (1893-1914). Many of these publications are extant; the latter two journals, comprising over 400 issues, are early incarnations of the present-day Queen’s Journal, one of the oldest continually-published student papers in Canada.

Drawing on a mix of microfilm and new archival material, this collection represents an excellent resource in the history of Canadian higher education, highlighting the important contributions of college and university journalism to Canadian literature, politics, and society. Before going on to reach acclaim in their fields, many writers, journalists and policymakers earned their stripes in the pages of student magazines; Archibald Lampman, Canada’s finest 19th-century poet, published his first poem, "Verses," in Rouge et noir (Feb. 1882).

Student publications include many of the features found in their modern counterparts: university news, student and faculty biographies, jokes, sports results, entertainment, etc. Typically, these publications serve a dual role, recording and sharing the aims, aspirations, and achievements of the campus community, while also interrogating and debating the wider society whose issues absorb the students’ intellectual energies.

We encourage you to open up any of the student journals on ECO and discover what university life was like over 100 years ago. The earliest student publication currently in the collection is vol. 1, no. 1 of L'abeille (27 July 1848), from the Petit Séminaire de Québec, and the most recent is vol. 2, no. 27 of L'escholier (4 May 1917) from Université Laval.

Early Canadian Periodicals

Learn more about ECP, our project to digitize all Canadian periodicals until 1920: How it got started, how it works, and the treasures to be found in it.