11 January 2017

DHCP Round 1 Achievements: Genealogical Societies Projects

This post will look at achievements focusing on the awards in the first round of the Library and Archives Canada Documentary Heritage Communities Program that went to genealogical organizations.

To recap the program, the objectives were:
Increase access to, and awareness of Canada's local documentary institutions and their holdings, specifically:
- Conversion and digitization for access purposes;
- The development (research, design and production) of virtual and physical exhibitions, including travelling exhibits;
- Collection, cataloguing and access based management; and
- Commemorative projects.

Increase the capacity of local documentary heritage institutions to better sustain and preserve Canada's documentary heritage, specifically:
- Conversion and digitization for preservation purposes;
- Conservation and preservation treatment;
- Increased digital preservation capacity (excluding digital infrastructure related to day-to-day activities);
- Training and workshops that improve competencies and build capacity; and
- Development of standards, performance and other measurement activities.

Awards were announced on 14 December 2015 with 65 proposals funded. Proponents only had until 31 March 2016 to complete the work. Final reports were due shortly thereafter.

Two awards went to genealogical organizations: 

  • The British Columbia Genealogical Society  (BCGS) received $4,609 for a pedigree chart project. 
The award was announced on the society website and Facebook page. BCGS reported on 29 April 2016 having achieved its goal to allow digital access to the pedigree chart collection and thus to preserve the originals. "These are now available to members and the public at our library. Already we have seen new interest in the collection and have received new charts to add.  The collection will be featured in an annual free library week in July and will be available on our website along with its indexes."

All funds granted were reported as spent with 79% categorized as "other costs." A total of 13,500 items were digitized - 34 cents per item.

The availability of the pedigree collection on computers in the society library, with acknowledgement of DHCP funding, was posted on the society Facebook page on 2 July 2016 so confirming availability of the annual free library week. There does not appear to be availability, together with indexes, on the society website.
The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Inc. (SGS) received $8,943 for Preserving Your Roots Through Digital Storytelling.
The award was for training and workshops that improve competencies and build capacity. The final reported dated 21 April 2016 stated that five two-day workshops across the province had been conducted (with two additional cancelled). With a maximum capacity of six per workshop only one place was unfilled. There is a waiting list for more workshops. The activity attracted media interest and publicity for a society conference.
The expenses for the project were $5,033 leaving an amount $3,909 unspent.  The grant expended per workshop participant was $174.
There did not appear to be any acknowledgement of the grant on the SGS website, on the Facebook page or in the 2015 annual report of the society. The amount was included in the 2015 financial statement,

A following post will profile online resources of genealogical interest from other grant recipients.

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