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Touchstones Nelson presents the story of Nelson’s print media

“The Miner is printed on Saturdays provided the staff is sober.” — Masthead, 1893

Since the Nelson Miner published its first edition in June 1890, Nelson has always had a newspaper (and often more than one) to chronicle its evolution.

Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History presents the story of Nelson’s print media, from a weekly hand-cranked paper to a bustling daily with a circulation larger than the city it served, to today’s online publications.

The exhibition, curated by local historian Greg Nesteroff, runs November 2 to February 17, 2020, featuring an opening reception November 2, 1:30 to 4 p.m., and a panel discussion at 2 p.m.

The exhibition looks at pre-eminent figures in Nelson’s newspaper history, along with notable journalists who got their start here or passed through town en route to prominence elsewhere.

The exhibit presents original pages from each decade, along with photographs and ephemera. It looks at the changing role of newspapers in the community and changes in the industry itself — both technologically and journalistically. Where once Nelson’s papers carried items about promising mining claims and ads for blacksmiths and pack trains, today they are replete with news of the burgeoning cannabis industry and ads for ski shops and car dealerships.

Nelson’s newspaper archive also forms the largest and greatest source of historical information about the city and its environs. The launch of the exhibit and a companion booklet roughly coincides with the recent digitization of the first 20 years of the Nelson Daily News, which became available on Open Collections this month.