12 July 2020

Disappointing Update from the Archives of Ontario

The OGS eWeekly for 11 July included news from the Archives of Ontario by Jay Young, Outreach Officer.

Regarding reopening of the physical facility:

Although a re-opening date is not set, we have been working proactively on a plan for returning to the AO. For instance, renovations are underway at our public facility to ensure the safety of staff and visitors.
The lack of even a tentative date for reopening is disappointing. How is working proactively different from just working? Why is reopening an archive building, where an appointment system could be put in place to limited crowding, any more difficult than opening a hairdresser, dentist or store?

Regarding digitization:
Since most staff do not have access to original records, digitization of our collections is not currently possible.
Why could staff that could safely have access not be involved in digitization?

AO has a poor record in digitizing legacy records except for "exhibition" type images. When will AO realize it must change the way it does business — understanding that mass digitization will relieve problems with safe access at the physical facility leading to a more equitable service across the province and beyond? It will also save emissions of climate change inducing greenhouse gasses from transportation as people must presently travel to the site at York University to access materials.


LGLowrey said...

This sums up the situation very well.

Dorothy Kew said...

John I agree with you 100%. There are so many records that the Archives could make available to a wider audience, not only in Canada, but overseas as well. There are many researchers outside of Canada who have family or ancestry in Ontario. And as you say, it would certainly save the environment by cutting down on trips to the Archives, which really are only available to people who live in the GTHA.

Gail B said...

I love your thoughtful erudition. So much of what organizations put out is 'bureau-speak.' "Why is proactively working not just working?' Love it. Organizations I deal with use it all the time --- covering mistakes they say 'we can do better'. Uh, yes. Or 'Moving forward' means what? Not falling backward? You get the drift.

best regards, Gail B

K said...

I just happen to be reading this post now, and what is sitting right beside me?, a letter I am about to put in the mail, asking them to get some certain records on-line, and then there would be no need for the 'queue' they were talking about.