In the words of Mary Norton, the Chief Librarian of Cramahe Public Library, “an online presence is critical for areas like Cramahe Township to attract visitors – virtual and on-site – and to communicate and maintain their identity as part of the social fabric of Ontario.”
The Cramahe Public Library and Heritage Cramahe obtained a grant to digitize local collections including maps, photos, postcards, documents, letters, biographies, reports, artifacts, the Colborne Women’s Institute scrapbooks, and the only existing copies of the now-defunct Colborne Chronicle Newspaper.
As a result, the library:
- was shortlisted for the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport’s 2014 Ontario Public Library Service Award for Innovation;
- received additional grant funding from the Trillium Foundation;
- was recognized for its value to the township by the Town Council;
- received additional funds from the town to support an ongoing digitization program.
The Cramahe Digital Archive received over 15,000 hits from around the world in its first year online. They reported more young people coming to the library and asking for historical material, public school teachers including digital materials in the curriculum, and higher circulation figures of the print copies in the archives. Their series of “Cramahe History” events brought volunteers and the local community together to foster awareness of local history and pride in the community’s heritage.