Victoria

The Irrepressible James Carswell of Hibben & Carswell, Victoria

I just received this image of James Carswell, Thomas Hibben’s early bookselling partner in Victoria, from the Royal BC Museum and Archives. Newly digitized from a plate glass negative, it is the only one I have found so far of James. I felt a rush at finally seeing the face of someone from the distant… Continue reading The Irrepressible James Carswell of Hibben & Carswell, Victoria

Victoria

Thomas Napier Hibben Starts One of Victoria’s Longest-Running Bookstores

When Thomas Napier Hibben opened his bookstore in Victoria in October 1858 (buying out William Kierski’s establishment on Yates Street), he likely could not have imagined that he was starting one of the longest-running bookstores in Victoria’s history. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1827, Hibben had already amassed several years’ experience as a bookseller in San Francisco… Continue reading Thomas Napier Hibben Starts One of Victoria’s Longest-Running Bookstores

Victoria

W. F. Herre: Victoria Bookstore and…Gambling Den?

Appearing in Victoria at almost the same time as William Kierski, W. F. Herre’s “book and paper stand” was located on Yates Street between Wharf and Government (1). A Jewish Frenchman who came to Victoria after first operating a book store in San Francisco (2), he announced his presence in Victoria on August 3, 1858: While… Continue reading W. F. Herre: Victoria Bookstore and…Gambling Den?

Books for Sale · New Westminster · Victoria

At the Bookstore, 1861: Chambers’s Information for the People

Chambers’s Information for the People, one of the volume sets featured in an 1861 ad for Seth Tilley’s Colonial Book Store in New Westminster, offered everything “that is requisite for a generally well-informed man in the less highly educated portions of society”—or so claimed the book’s preface. “Designed in an especial manner for the People, though adapted… Continue reading At the Bookstore, 1861: Chambers’s Information for the People

Victoria

William Kierski: First Bookseller in Victoria

“The first bookstore in Victoria was Kierski’s,” wrote Glennis Zilm in her 1981 thesis about the history of trade book publishing in BC in the nineteenth century (1). “Little is known about Kierski’s,” she added, and with that, Kierski’s story seems to have rested in silence ever since. And little wonder. Unearthing anything about Kierski… Continue reading William Kierski: First Bookseller in Victoria