24 June 2013

Ottawa City Archives: setting the record straight

The following is from Ottawa City Archivist Paul Henry in response to a recent posting on the transfer of items from LAC to the Archives, and comments posted.  

1. The transfer agreement between the City of Ottawa Archives and Library and Archives Canada respecting private records has been delayed by LAC's legal team. We expect signature soon.

2. Repatriated civic records should be open to the public soon, if not already, as the original donor to the Public Archives of Canada was the City itself (or its antecedents). These records were stored in a non-climate controlled offsite facility by LAC, and they are presently being triaged by the City Archives for pests, bugs, and mould.

3. The use of non-flash photography has been permitted in the reference room since 2005, subject to the discretion of the archivist on-duty. Scanners are permitted for non-photographic materials, at no higher than 300 dpi resolution. As of December 2012, we have a BookNet scanner which can be used by researchers to scan library materials to flash drives free of charge.

4. Reproduction costs are based on reproduction fees at Library and Archives Canada, and have been frozen (i.e. no inflationary increases) since 2010. Our timeframes, however, are 2/3rds that of LAC, as reproduction is not contracted out.

5. Researchers are always encouraged to contact the City Archivist directly, at 613.580.2424 x13181 or by email at paul.henry@ottawa.ca should they ever feel they have gotten less than acceptable service. We pride ourselves on our service excellence.


Anonymous said...

What a contrast to the way LAC has been handling comments, questions, etc.

D.Allston said...

Interesting post. Amazing that the Ottawa Archives chipped in with comments. Very cool.

As a user of both the Ottawa and National library, and someone who was also caught completely by surprise by the transfer of the documents to the Ottawa Archives, I have to say I see some of the points on both sides. I work full time weekdays in the government, so accessing the city archives is very difficult, whereas the National Archives is open for consultation until 10 pm and on weekends (yes, I know the city archives is open saturdays outside of the summer, thank god for that, otherwise I'd never get in there!). Photos (from my experience) at the Ottawa Archives are allowed, but cost the equivalent of photocopies per photo (whereas at National Library it is free). But the new "booknet scanner" is amazing, and has really made my life easier this spring/summer.