Tuesday, 28 October 2008

New online exhibitions from LAC

The election embargo on announcements is at an end and we can look forward to the appearance of the backlog. Three new panels, one replacing the announcement on the 1881 census, and two announcing new online exhibitions, appeared on Monday on the LAC homepage. One is about Canadian Library Month, now nearly over.

Famous Canadian Physicians celebrates the achievements of Canadian doctors who have gained fame in Canada or internationally: Dr. Emily Stowe, the first Canadian woman to practise medicine and a lifelong champion for women's rights; Sir Frederick Banting and the discovery of insulin; Sir William Osler; Dr. Wilder Penfield; Dr. Gustave Gingras; and Dr. Lucille Teasdale-Corti. Each essay is accompanied by digitized images, textual documents and audio visual material.

An exhibition Reflections on a Capital Photographer profiles the work of William James Topley, one of the most important visual records of Canada during the first 50 years after Confederation. Active between 1868 and 1923 Topley's studio, which started as a branch of Notman's in Montreal, is a vast collection of street scenes in Ottawa and landscapes farther afield, portraits of our political leaders and average Canadians. There are just over 107,000 catalogue entries for the Topley collection, still not the whole collection, of which some 11,000 have digitized images. If you have an Ottawa ancestor you may find a portrait by checking the Topley collection using the Basic Search or the Advanced Search options of the LAC catalogue.

Both exhibits are funded in part by Canadian Culture Online, a funding source LAC is moving away from as it has failed to recognize the importance of funding large-scale digitization initiatives favouring more superficial content.

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