Thursday, 15 March 2018

$1 million to support Canadian digitization

The National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) has issued a progress report dated 14 March 2018. Read it here.
A significant announcement is that thanks to an anonymous donor NHDS will be launching a funding program in the near future. The program will distribute $1 million to cultural heritage organizations in Canada to support digitization.
Also the first set of newspapers from the Salamander Foundation funded pilot project has been digitized, almost 600 issues of Windspeaker, a weekly publication or the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta.  They are from 1986-87 to 2015.
At present the issues are available through a spreadsheet listing as searchable pdfs. Each must be searched individually. LAC is developing a search interface to provide better browsing and full-text search of the material. It also continues to digitize another 1000 issues from two other publications in the pilot project.
I wondered how good the digitization is. Here from an issue chosen at random using a search for "weather" are the first three paragraphs from the article found

horseback poker rally
postponed because of the
weather was held on May
24th. It was a wonderful
Organized by the Fishing
Lake Recreation committee,
the rally was the first of
it's kind in the part of the
All 29 riders who participated
in the ride were from
the settlement making this
a good fun community

Looks pretty good.

Finally, the NHDS has released a draft content strategy (3 pages) to help guide potential funding projects, a discovery platform and organizational decision-making. NHDS is seeking feedback to help in determining priorities through response to a survey by April 6th, 2018.

Here are the survey questions and my recommended priority responses. It doesn't take much time.

1. What PUBLISHED MATERIAL most urgently needs digitization in your community?
RECOMMENDED highest priority Newspapers.
2. What ARCHIVAL MATERIAL most urgently needs digitization in your community?
RECOMMENDED highest priority Archival material of genealogical interest
3. What FORMATS most urgently need digitization in your community?
RECOMMENDED highest priority Textual documents followed by At-risk material, then Microfilm and microfiche.
4. Why would you prioritize this material and these formats?
Response: Of most interest to my community.

I recommend priorizing material of widest interest.

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