08 May 2018

Collection SearchBETA and Co-Lab at LAC

Thanks to Alex Haggert, project manager, for giving me a guided tour of these two resources last week and to Dino Roberge for facilitating it.

Have you tried the new LAC search? It’s called Collection SearchBETA at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/collectionsearch/Pages/collectionsearch.aspx/. Search the catalogues of Archives, Genealogy, Library, Co-Lab content and Images, either separately or in a combined search. While the search does not have boolean search capability that will be coming. There’s detailed help.

The Co-Lab item is new—it contains items from a crowdsourcing tool allowing users to transcribe, translate, describe and keyword tag items available as images in the LAC collection. See http://co-lab.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/. There’s a short tutorial to learn how to contribute to Co-Lab either through “challenges” LAC has put together, or from any of LAC’s digitized images.  If you’d like to transcribe, translate, describe or tag an image item found found while researching on Collection SearchBETA you can request it be made available through Co-Lab; I was told 100 people already have. Here’s the great thing, not only you can work on it, so can others—ideal for group projects.

During the tour many of my questions were answered. Additional capabilities I would like were noted, in particular the Co-Lab facility would be more useful if material not available as digitized images could be placed online free on demand, especially material already on microfilm. That was something the Australians did years ago.

Also it would be desirable if LAC would issue monthly statistics on Co-Lab (and other) progress, just as has been done for the CEF service file digitization project and the National Library of Australia does with TROVE -  https://trove.nla.gov.au/system/counts?env=prod&history=y

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