Monday, 15 December 2008

Trillium Grant allows OGS to Preserve At-Risk Heritage Documents

The following is a press release from the Ontario Genealogical Society, dated 12 December 2008:

The Ontario Genealogical Society has received a grant of $179 400 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation as starter funds for a project to help Ontario heritage organizations digitize parts of their collections. The funds, granted over two years, will enable OGS to hire a technician, obtain equipment, and travel to the heritage organizations to scan the material.

This project will:
  • provide a digitized version of one-of-a-kind records, increasing security
  • allow small organizations access to digitizing they otherwise could not afford
  • increase the exposure of small organizations
  • increase access to records significant to Ontario's heritage
  • allow an income stream to heritage organizations if they wish
    provide a Canadian not-for-profit portal as an alternative to foreign commercial portals

OGS is working in partnership with Ristech Company Inc, a Burlington, Ontario company that specializes in scanning equipment. Additionally the funds will enable OGS to make improvements to its website so that it can put some of the digitized material online. If it is genealogical material, the heritage organization can choose one of three options on the OGS website: free to everyone, free to OGS Members only, or pay-per-view, the last permitting a royalty stream back to the heritage organization. Non-genealogical material could go on the heritage organization's own website or they could get assistance from Knowledge Ontario.

OGS President, Don Hinchley said "I believe this grant will give many more genealogists throughout Ontario and the world access to materials without the necessity of traveling to the museum or local archive."

This project will help protect the culture and heritage of Ontario some of which is in delicate condition and could be lost if it is not copied.

This project makes the programs and services of many Ontario heritage organizations more accessible to the world. By placing material on a website well-known for Ontario genealogical material, small heritage organizations will themselves become better known. This is particularly true for heritage organizations that are currently little known, such as those relating to specific cultures, religions, or ethnic groups, or those in more remote parts of the province. The OGS website can act as a portal leading to an organization's website. The presence of material on the OGS website makes the heritage organization more interesting to the public.

For more information about the Ontario Genealogical Society, the services available online, or to find one of the 30 local Branches near you, please visit the OGS website.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For over 25 years, the Foundation has supported the growth and vitality of communities across the province. It continues to strengthen the capacity of the volunteer sector through investments in community-based initiatives. For more information, please visit www.trilliumfoundation.org.

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