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The company was established in 1974 and is based on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.

Harbour Publishing is well known for the Raincoast Chronicles, a series of anthologies on BC coast history and culture, of which twenty-four have now been produced. Harbour is also the publisher of over nine hundred other titles, including the landmark volumes The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest by Andrew Lamb and Bernard Hanby, The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names by Andrew Scott and Becoming Vancouver by Daniel Francis. Other well-known Harbour authors are Roy Henry Vickers, beloved Tsimshian artist and author of many illustrated children’s books including Ben the Sea Lion; historian Jean Barman, author of Stanley Park’s Secret and On the Cusp of Contact; ethnobotanist Nancy J. Turner, author of Plants of Haida Gwaii; poet Patrick Lane, author of The Quiet in Me; novelist Sam Wiebe, author of the Wakeland detective series; and Anne and Laurence Yeadon-Jones, authors of the popular Dreamspeaker Cruising Guides.

The Canadian Historical Association has cited publisher Howard White as “a tireless promoter and creator of quality British Columbia regional history,” recognizing that Harbour Publishing “has nurtured and brought into being a remarkable range of works that capture the essence of British Columbia.”

Harbour Publishing acknowledges financial support from the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and from the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit, for its publishing activities