This monthly publication covered featured illustrations of British Columbian flora, fauna, and geography. In a forward to readers, the editor notes:
”One of our salesmen visited a dentist in the city and was unable to make a sale because British Columbia Digest only published articles about British Columbia and used only materials written by British Columbian authors. We are led to assume from this dentist, although not adverse to enjoying the privilege of living in Vancouver, thanks to the fee paid by British Columbians for his no doubt excellent services, is yet not sufficiently interested in this province or its people to buy local products.
We are neither trying to create sympathy nor to sell more Digests with these observations, although we do feel that a slur on the ability of BC authors is merely a sign of ignorance. . . . But the Digest realizes that only by promotion and sale of its products will British Columbia industry attain an equality with eastern Canada and the United States.”
The private press of Robert R. Reid (1946-1962) is the earliest example of true private press printing in Canada. Founded in Vancouver in 1946, the press's first publication, a reprint of 1858’s The Fraser Mines Vindicated, was issued in an edition of 110 copies in 1949. This book is a wonderful example of the care and interest taken by its creator. In the book's introductory printer's note, Reid describes his excitement about the challenge of private printing:
"Fine books have literary value, and they have commercial value, but it is their value as works of art [that] distinguishes them from other books. This intangible, aesthetic quality is not easily obtained. The designer's use of binding materials, of type, of paper and of inks, all contribute to the feeling of luxuriousness and of fineness. There is another element, personality, without which a book is lost. It results from the designer imparting something of himself — his love for fine books, his consequent sincerity of purpose, his grasp of the elementals of the printing craft — into books."