Sunday, 21 August 2011

Canadiana.ca

The Spring issue of the Canadiana.org newsletter announced an initiative to involve individuals.

In response to numerous requests by the general public, Canadiana.org has announced a new individual membership fee of $100. The fee has been reduced from $400 per individual and will enable much greater participation by the public in Canadiana.org activities. Also, subscribers are eligible to receive a $50 tax receipt.
Members benefit by obtaining a subscription to the entire text corpus of Early Canadiana Online(ECO), a database containing over three million pages of material published from the time of the first European settlers to the first two decades of the 20th Century. The subscription also allows members to download PDF copies of the documents.
In addition, joining Canadiana.org lets people play a more active role in the organization. Members become part of a vibrant community of memory institutions, government departments, galleries, local history societies, genealogical societies and like-minded individuals committed to digitizing, preserving, and providing access to Canada’s documentary heritage online.

There are two main links from the home pageEarly Canadiana Online and the Canadiana Discovery Portal which remains in beta.

The Early Canadiana Online (ECO) collection is available to subscribers with limited open access to non-subscribers. Highlights are Early Canadian Periodicals to 1920 and Early Official Publications as documented at http://www.canadiana.ca/en/eco


The Canadiana Discovery Portal lets you search the digital collections of libraries, archives and museums from across Canada from http://beta.canadiana.ca/. Access is free.

The organization's Board of Directors consists primarily of university representatives and government managers from so called memory institutions. One wonders how the organization will be responsive to the interests of individual researchers from the family and local history community. It's not apparent from the information on the web site just how individual subscribers will be able "to play a more active role" in guiding the organization development.

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