Thursday, 31 July 2014

I almost fell out of my family tree

It just about blew me away, an e-mail from Library and Archives Canada announcing a post on its blog – Newspaper Collection website launched.

Anybody could be excused for thinking that LAC had forgotten it had a newspaper collection. It's been neglected, no newspaper specialist on staff, no newspaper digitization initiative.

The blogworthy news about newspapers at LAC is a new version of its Newspaper Collection website. What's to write home about?
"Highlights of the new version include links to other websites offering free online digitized copies of newspapers, direct links to the AMICUS descriptions, and other improvements that make the website easier to navigate."
Let's take a look at each of these; first links to free online digitized copies of newspapers. Click on Canadian News Online and you'll find links to a sampling of news resources not part of LAC's collection. The important word is sampling. Lack of an entry is no guarantee a resource doesn't exist.

Second, direct links to the Amicus descriptions. I went to have a look at the Amicus description for the Ottawa Citizen. Find it here. Interestingly the link beside E-LOCATIONS leads to the image reproduced above. Perhaps someone from LAC would be kind enough to explain the relevance.

Third, easier navigation; perhaps when you get used to the content but I didn't find the navigation intuitive.

Notice that the most recent source cited is 20 years old! Is this the best LAC can do and all we can look forward to from LAC for its newspaper collection?

3 comments:

M. Diane Rogers said...

Another snooze announcement, as I already commented. The image is Ethel Catherwood. Great athlete and more. I doubt she read the Ottawa Citizen but maybe in her scrapbook! She was likely mentioned in the paper. Oddly, I did a search at LAC and found nothing. Surely I erred. And no helpful meta data with the image. Try Google for addl info- http://sasksportshalloffame.com/inductees/ethel-catherwood/

M. Diane Rogers said...

Well, I never. She is sort of there at LAC - described as Ether [!] Catherwood. And apparently LAC gave her away!
"Credit: Hockey Hall of Fame / Library and Archives Canada / PA-050248
Restrictions on use: Collection no longer in custody of the National Archives of Canada
Copyright: Expired "
http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=3653306&rec_nbr_list=3715844,3653307,3653306,3213869,2266494,3191812,2067296,3623316 Other strange catalogue mistakes there - for her stamp, it gives the date of her jump pictured as 1828!

Laura O'Grady said...

Although this site was designed for academic research it may be of some use to those searching for archival material:

CCRI Contextual Data

Referred to as the "Census in Context: Documenting and Understanding the Making of Early 20th Century Canadian Census" it was intended to create a searchable database of newspaper articles and census data. As such the time period is limited to 1911 to 1951.