Collection MsC-160 - Pacific Tribune Photograph collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Pacific Tribune Photograph collection

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  • Photographic materials

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  • 1972-1992 (Creation)
    Pacific Tribune

Physical description area

Physical description

40,000 35-mm photographs: negatives
709 photographs : b&w prints
5 photographs: colour prints
1 optical disc

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Administrative history

Originally established by the Communist Party of Canada as the B.C. Workers’ News in 1935, the newspaper began publishing weekly under the name Pacific Tribune in 1946. Pacific Tribune was owned by the Tribune Publishing Company and widely known in the province as “B.C.’s only labour weekly.” For most of the paper's history, it relied on photographs borrowed from other publications for illustration. 1972 marked the first time that staff was specifically assigned to photography. Associate editor, and later editor, Sean Griffin shot photographs for the paper throughout the twenty years, and he was later joined on staff by another writer-photographer Dan Keeton, who began work in 1982. Tribune Publishing became part of the Pacific Socialist Education Association (PSEA) in 1992, and Pacific Tribune ceased publishing.

Custodial history

Records were in the custody of the Pacific Socialist Education Association (PSEA) prior to their acquisition by Simon Fraser University Library Special Collections and Rare Books.

Scope and content

The Pacific Socialist Education Association’s Pacific Tribune Photograph Collection comprises over 40,000 35-mm images taken for the weekly Vancouver labour newspaper Pacific Tribune. The images cover a twenty-year period, from 1972 to 1992, one of the most active periods in British Columbia’s labour history.
Included in the collection are images from some of the most tumultuous events involving British Columbia’s labour movements:

  • the province-wide campaign against insurance rate increases introduced by the new Social Credit government in 1976
  • the opposition to federal wage controls that culminated in a one-day national work stoppage in 1976
  • the historic Solidarity movement in 1983
  • labour’s campaign — that also included a one-day work stoppage in 1987 — against government legislation that severely curtailed the right to organize unions and bargain collectively

The collection is also a rich source of images from political and other social movements, including:

  • rallies and campaigns for human rights
  • internationally recognized Vancouver walks for peace during the mid-1980s
  • anti-poverty and housing movements
  • womens' rights
  • First Nations' movements
  • environmental campaigns

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Digitized materials are available for research in SFU Digitized Collections:

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Created January 20, 2016. SS
Photograph prints described by Kayla Gourlay (December 2023)

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