Friday, 19 April 2019

Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies DCHP Funded Project

"Scrapbooks: Preservation and Increased Access" is a newly funded Documentary Heritage Communities Program project. It might be of interest to some in the family history community.

I enquired to the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies for further details. 

What is the source of the scrapbooks?
The scrapbooks can be found in 48 different fonds in the archival holdings of Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. Specific scrapbooks were selected due to their informational significance to the local and national community that the Museum supports and serves. You can see some descriptions of scrapbooks by searching “scrapbooks” in the Word or Phrase field of the Finding Aid here:

What time period do they cover and for what communities or notable people?
The scrapbooks are representative of the Canadian Rocky Mountain community from upper and middle-income families from the 1800s to 1970s covering topics such as ‘pioneer’ life in Banff, travels on the Canadian Pacific Railway, political events, scientific and anthropological studies, family life and events in various communities in and around the Canadian Rocky Mountains etc.

How much material - pages, books?
160 scrapbooks from 48 fonds – a total of ~6197 pages for this specific project, and an ongoing focus on rare books, newspapers, photograph albums.

What will the preservation work involve?
The Bookeye 4V1A book scanner will allow for the digitization of oversize or bound items without disassembling them. They will be preserved in a digital format and described and the originals will benefit from the reduction in physical handling. Scrapbooks present a multitude of preservation challenges due to the quality of papers used, adhesives, acidic newspaper clippings and the book's bindings. Each scrapbook will be assessed separately to determine the appropriate preventative care needed. Preventative conservation may include interleaving with acid-free paper and/or mylar for loose pages and providing supports.

How will that work be carried out - in-house, contract, volunteers, new staff? 
This project provides funding to hire a Digital Imaging Technician for approximately 174 days of scanning, 22 days of embedding metadata in the digital files, 25 days of preventative conservation, and 124 days of metadata description and 1 day to upload digital images to the website for digital access. This technician will follow the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies Archives & Library digitization and preservation workflow to ensure digital archival standards are followed and met.

How will increased access be achieved?
This project will increase access to records of significant historical value both locally and nationally by creating digital surrogates that are placed on the web to be freely accessible to a wide public audience to increase the knowledge of history, encourage research and enhance the user's knowledge and understanding and preserve the original document for future generations. Free digital access allows for individuals and organizations in remote areas to utilize primary materials that would have been previously inaccessible and unknown sources. Scrapbooks are a combination of textual and visual materials that may be useful for those of official language minorities who can gain context and knowledge through visual materials.
The digital surrogates of the scrapbooks will be available on a new online database (coming soon), as well as the Archives Society of Alberta’s database Alberta on Record as searchable pdf’s with associated descriptive metadata and will be featured on our Digital Vault and social media platforms.

Thanks to Lindsay A. Stokalko, Whyte Museum Reference Archivist/Librarian for the information.

1 comment:

Gail Benjafield said...

Wonderful for those of us with Alberta family history. On a personal note, my family has donated much material to the Whyte re: a notable ancestor(our grandfather) so this means much to me. One of my favourite places to visit, obviously. I look forward to using their scrapbook and records.

Thanks for this, John. I will be in touch with the Whyte soon.

Gail B in St. C.