21 September 2018

National Heritage Digitization Strategy News

The Fall update from the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) issued on 20 September included detailed results of a survey. More than half the respondents self-identified as genealogists.

Major input from genealogists came on the 19th and 24th of March. On the 19th this blog had a post Help determine priorities of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy. The 24th saw the survey included in the OGS eWeekly Update.

The NHDS update summarizes the survey results:
Despite(!) the high representation of genealogists, responses by profession show that priorities were fairly consistent.
Newspapers were by far the most highly prioritized material. Although most often cited by genealogists, newspapers appeared to be a priority regardless of profession.
Many respondents said they appreciated being asked their opinion and over half (57%) offered their email address to be contacted later, if needed.
Respondents gave many reasons for why they would prioritize the material, most often citing broad interest, unique value and preservation issues. 
NHDS expect to announce the successful recipients to a funding call in the coming weeks. It received 213 applications, requesting almost $10M in funding with $1M available. An external advisory committee evaluated the proposals. It will be interesting to see if, despite there being no genealogical representation on that committee, genealogical interests are reflected in the projects funded.

Other content in the update is a draft business plan with information on goals, activities and tasks. The plan also articulates the vision and mission to engage the Canadian library, archive and museum community and Canadian creators in sharing expertise, to facilitate the digitization, preservation and discovery of Canadian documentary heritage.

There's also a call for nominations for members of the NHDS Steering Committee and Technical Working Group with an application deadline of 4 October, 2018. Given the high participation of genealogists in the survey it would be good to have qualified representation from the community.  However, while most meetings will be by teleconference any costs incurred to attend in-person meetings with be paid for by the Steering Committee members and/or their organizations, not by NHDS. There's further information at https://nhds.ca/2018/09/20/call-for-nominations-nhds-steering-committee/.

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