19 March 2009

More nice online newspapers - but not in Canada eh!

Dick Eastman points to a new US newspaper site, for the state of Wyoming -- here. It appears to work very well -- I found far too many hits for several of the names I research, a number than could be reduced by more selective searching.

The Wyoming site "was made possible by the Wyoming Legislature, the support of Governor Dave Freudenthal, and the Library Services Technology Act federal program." Wyoming has a population of 522,830, less than that of the City of Ottawa, yet they can take this initiative where Canada, Ontario and Ottawa remain paralysed.

It's getting increasingly frustrating that Canada is falling so far behind. As was commented by the speaker at Tuesday's OGS Ottawa Branch meeting, the loss of the Canadian papers in Paper of Record, despite its technical problems, is a national disgrace.

LAC, which by mandate has the national lead role, continues to be missing in action. The Ontario Archives, with the mandate to lead for Ontario papers, seems to be totally preoccupied with their move -- the same seems to be the case locally for the Ottawa City Archives and Ottawa Public Library. And OGS seems not to care about the issue -- at least I've read nothing in the material that comes my way.


Anonymous said...

Not so fast about the LAC eh. As you know their "Digitization Strategy
2009-2014" which was approved by the Digital Information Steering Committee in October 2008 (just 5 months ago)states:

Given the strengths of LAC's collection, our current understanding of the national digitization context, and the quantitative and qualitative factors identified above, LAC will focus its digitization program in the period 2009-2014 on the following broad content areas:

* finding aids,
* newspapers,
* audio-visual materials on obsolete supports,
* government publications,
* Canadian books in the public domain, and
* government records and private archives which support LAC services and programs.

Now this is action by a dynamic organization!

JDR said...

However, from the last LAC Services Advisory Board it didn't appear there was any action imminent on newspaper digitization. If so pray tell!

JDR said...

I subsequently received a comment " Ah, now that would be only known to those in the xxxx Division of the XXXX Branch. If you truly want the scoop contact ...."

Names deleted, but I'm following up.

WJM said...

No one ever built a reputation on what they say they will do... or "focus on", as the case may be.

Something else to think about: is it going to be legally and technologically possible for libraries, and others, to preserve digital content that will, according to Cassandra, destroy such quaint notions as newspapers altogether?