02 August 2008

University of Toronto Libraries Local Digital Special Collections

The University of Toronto has been a digitizing partner in the Open Content Alliance (OCA), through which over 50,000 digitized books from the University of Toronto Libraries have been placed online. But I was not aware of the scope of the university's other digitization initiatives -- until I came across a listing of their Local Digital Special Collections.

Collections that caught my eye were:

Books Online 858 titles digitized under the OCA program that are full-text searchable, unlike the texts on the Internet Archive that can only be searched by catalog data.

The Champlain Society Digital Collection consisting of 83 of the Society's most important volumes (over 41,000 printed pages) dealing with exploration and discovery over three centuries. It includes first-hand accounts of Samuel de Champlain's voyages in New France as well as the diary from Sir John Franklin's first land expedition to the Arctic, 1819-22.

Toronto Korean-language newspapers, approximately 7,420 pages.

The Wenceslaus Hollar Digital Collection, over 2500 of the prints of Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677), a great master of the art of etching, the lion’s share produced in and about England. The image shown is on August in a series on the months.

While at the U of T site genealogists shouldn't overlook Canadian Necrology, an index to obituary and death information for both prominent and lesser-known Canadians, covering a time span from the late 18th century to 1977. It contains over 20,000 records; the majority come from newspapers such as the Globe and Mail, Toronto Daily Star, Gazette, and Mail and Empire; an additional 4,000 records were compiled by William Henry Pearson (1831-1920), a Toronto resident with a lifetime passion for necrology.

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