The Early Canadian Periodicals (ECP) project, part of Early Canadiana Online, is a rich source of material in religion and philosophy, tracing the diverse religious traditions of Canada's founding peoples and their influence on the development of Canada. ECP recently added a wide range of 19th-century religious publications which, through their wide and loyal readership, shaped political opinion, regulated social norms, and fashioned communities in urban and rural Canada.
This project draws heavily on microfilm produced by the former Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (CIHM, now Canadiana.org). From 1978 to 2003, CIHM microfilmed early journals and monographs to improve scholarly access and halt their physical deterioration. To learn more about CIHM’s work preserving Canada's published heritage, see History of Canadiana.org.
• The Catholic Register / succeeded The Catholic (187 issues, 1830-4?), Canada’s oldest English-language Catholic periodical, and the Catholic Weekly Review (307 issues, 1887-92), as the chief organ presenting Catholic views on public issues in Canada (518 issues, 1893-1908)
• The Voice of the Precious Blood / English edition of the St-Hyacinthe Catholic paper, La voix du précieux sang, published by the Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood (25 issues, 1895-98)
• The Canadian Messenger of the Sacred Heart / Catholic periodical published by the Jesuit seminary of Montreal as part of an international family of Messengers (including the French-language Messager canadien du Sacré-Coeur de Jésus, Montreal); with a circulation of 20,000 in 1902, Messenger probably reached 80,000 readers monthly, making it the leading Catholic periodical of the early 20th century (17 issues, 1891-92)
• Bible Society Recorder / bimonthly magazine of the Upper Canada Bible Society, a branch of the British and Foreign Bible Society (97 issues, 1870-92)
• The Theologue / student newspaper of the Presbyterian College in Halifax, printing important 19th-century religious leaders including Alexander McKnight and Clarence McKinnon (49 issues, 1899-1900)
• Quebec Diocesan Gazette / Quebec Anglican periodical aimed at laity and clergy, with a focus on regional and community issues (84 issues, 1894-1900) (More information)
• The Standard / published by a thriving Milton Baptist Church and featuring church news, poetry, stories, columns, and local news (3 issues, 1899-1900)
• Le bazar / dedicated to fundraising efforts for the reconstruction of Montréal’s Cathédrale Saint-Jacques (now the Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde) after the original structure was destroyed in Montréal’s Great Fire of 1852; published donor names, Catholic community news, and Church commentary (30 issues, 1886)
• Monthly Letter / missionary reports from the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church, Canada, including letters from Canada and abroad (82 issues, 1893-1901)
• The Liberal Christian / monthly review of Liberal Christianity and Unitarianism, with sermons, essays, and news (24 issues, 1854-58)
• The Missionary Review of the World / highlighting the achievements of mission agencies operating in Asia, Africa, and South America (108 issues, 1888-96)
• The Ontario Evangelist (48 issues, 1886-1890), Canadian Evangelist (112 issues, 1890-95), Disciple of Christ and Canadian evangelist (26 issues, 1895-6) and Canadian evangelist and Disciple of Christ (11 issues, 1896) / Hamilton and London-based periodicals edited by Presbyterian minister, educator, and social reformer George Munro Grant
• The Church Review / Anglican periodical published in Lunenburg, N.S. (1 issue, 1892)
• First Baptist Church Pulpit / Yarmouth, N.S. (2 issues, 1889)
• Missionary Leaflet / published by the Woman's Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, Toronto (37 issues, 1889-1893)
• Bible Society Recorder / published by the Upper Canada Bible Society, Toronto (97 issues, 1870-1892)
• The Cathedral Monthly / organ of the Diocese of Fredericton, Church of England (6 issues, 1897-98)
Religious periodicals were the most prolific genre published in early Canada and have been a traditional area of collecting strength for Canadiana.org and CIHM. The Methodist Book and Publishing House was arguably the leading publishing house in Canada by the late 19th century, based chiefly on the success of periodicals like the The Methodist Magazine (84 issues, 1884-95) and a host of Sunday school supplements: Happy Days (207 issues, 1886-1899), Sunbeam (1891-98), Home & School (208 issues, 1883-90), Pleasant Hours (684 issues, 1881-1900). The Church of England also developed a well-oiled publishing apparatus, printing the Halifax Church Guardian (744 issues, 1879-95), the Ottawa Church of England Magazine (37 issues, 1891-94), and Toronto's Canadian Church Magazine (34 issues, 1895-97), among many others.
Mainstays of Catholic editorial thought in Canada include the Voice (28 issues, 1880-82), Montreal’s True Witness (2,594 issues, 1850-1900), the Catholic Shield (11 issues, 1881-2), Halifax’s The Cross (307 issues, 1843-49), the Catholic Record of London (19 issues, 1881-1910), and Manitoba’s Northwest Review (656 issues, 1885-1906). In Quebec, a staunchly conservative press battled liberal reformers and consolidated its influence in the 19th century. Titles include Les cloches de Saint-Boniface (445 issues, 1902-20) les Mélanges religieux (149 issues, 1840-42), Le messager de la foi et des bonnes œuvres by E. Sénécal (107 issues, 1873-1875), Le propagateur (238 issues, 1890-1900), Le messager de Sainte Anne (204 issues, 1883-1900), La semaine religieuse de Québec (676 issues, 1888-1901), and Revue ecclésiastique (198 issues, 1896-1905).
About Early Canadian Periodicals
Early Canadian Periodicals is our project to digitize all Canadian periodicals published before 1920. To ensure a high level of integrity and to support current research needs, titles are reviewed by the scholars, librarians, and archivists of our Advisory Committee.