Thursday, 12 February 2009

LAC opens doors wide for collaborative digitization projects

The Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) has issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) "in order to identify collaborative opportunities for the digitization of its diverse collections. Arrangements could include digitization and/or the creation of nominal indices or other research tools.

This RFEOI is intended to enable LAC to identify the extent of interest by outside parties in non-monetary arrangements. In parallel, LAC may undertake mass digitization projects using its in-house resources or contractors on a fee-for-service basis."

Appendix B of the RFEOI, not available online without registration but copied below, details the range of materials available, which is very wide.

This initiative to open up the collection should appeal to commercial organizations, including Ancestry, whose present arrangement with LAC is probably a model. FamilySearch and a limited number of other not for profit organiztions, perhaps even including OGS with their Trillium grant, could benefit.

I'm wondering if there will be any interest in newspaper digitization.

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Appendix B

Collections available for digitization Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) collection consists of publications and archival records of interest to Canada. It is a national treasure of inestimable value; it spans the entire history of Canada, and comprises materials in all media from all parts of the country, as well as records and publications of Canadian interest from outside the country.

The collections available for digitization are:

Genealogical material: LAC has thousands of reels of microfilm and millions of pages of original material that is of interest to the genealogy community.

Books and periodicals published in Canada, or with content of interest to Canadians: These include volumes from LAC’s general collection and comprise approximately 1.3 million book titles, and approximately 110,000 periodicals titles (e.g. magazines, scholarly journals).

Newspapers: LAC has over 3,300 newspaper titles comprising approximately one million reels of microfilm and an additional 150 newspaper titles in original print format only. This collection includes dailies, as well as Aboriginal, and ethnic titles.

Government of Canada Publications: LAC holds material published by the Government of Canada: approximately 390,000 titles mostly in original book format, and some on microfilms. This collection includes the Canada Gazette, Sessional Papers, Parliamentary Committee proceedings, and Royal Commission reports.

Government of Canada Records: LAC houses government records that document decisions and directions taken pre- and post Confederation. This collection includes Orders-in-Council, Cabinet Conclusions and Residential School records.

Private textual records: LAC holds open private textual records, including the records of former Prime Ministers and other politicians. As well, this segment of the collection includes records of various social, cultural, and ethnic organizations; of unions and businesses; and of musicians, artists and arts organizations.

Audio-visual holdings: LAC has extensive audio-visual holdings in its collection as well, including approximately 50,000 hours of obsolete video recordings (including 2” quads, 1” C tapes, ¾” cassettes, D2 cassettes, Betacam and Betacam SP) as well as audio recordings (including ¼” acetate tape, 78 rpm discs, acetate discs). The audio-visual segment comprises productions from both the private and the public sectors. The audio component includes musical and spoken-sound recordings.

Maps: LAC houses hundreds of thousands of maps, charts and plans, including geological maps, township plans, sectional maps, topographic maps, aeronautical charts, and early cartography; as well as hundreds of atlases and 40 globes.

Photographs: LAC has an extensive photograph collection with millions of photographs from government and private sources.

Theses: LAC holds approximately 300,000 theses on microfiche from Canadian universities.

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