Thursday, 2 April 2015

Searching Ottawa's History

Monday saw the official launch of the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Museum Network virtual collections catalogue. Partners are the City Archives, City Museums, and the Bytown Museum, Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum, Goulbourn Museum, Mus√©oparc Vanier Museopark and the Osgoode Township Museum.

It's promoted as "a shared Collections Catalogue providing researchers and the public easy online access to historical records, images and artefacts."

From http://ottawa.minisisinc.com/scripts/mwimain.dll?get&file=[ottawa_web]index.html
I tried a few searches.  Initially the response was S L O W, as if the server had to be woken up. Eventually the first search found four hits, all from the City Archives, only two being unique hits which were photographs and displayed alongside the Catalogue reference. A nice feature is a magnifying glass so you can examine detail.

Subsequent searches were much quicker. The second search returned eight hits, four of them unique and again all from the City Archives. One, hit, with two repeats, was to a book available free online from the Internet Archive. It would be helpful if the catalogue provided a link to that. It was the same experience with the third search with returned 100 hits including a few from the Bytown Museum. There's an advanced search with lots of options.

Kudos to the City Archives and museum partners for making this facility available.

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