This Saturday: From Kanata to Canada – A Journey Through Time

Don’t forget that this Saturday you can catch Jess Posgate talking about all things OurDigitalWorld –, the VITA Digital Toolkit, Ontario Community Newspapers, INK, GovDocs, and other initiatives at the Ontario Genealogical Society Toronto Branch’s full-day event.

Session C2: Searching Ontario’s Family History with OurDigitalWorld
Speaker Jess Posgate

OurDigitalWorld (ODW) is a not-for-profit organization that has a long role in bringing Ontario’s community collections online for free public access. In this session, we’ll look at where to find more than 200 years of Ontario’s local history in photos, documents, genealogical resources, oral histories, and more. Learn about ODW’s three main portals:, Ontario Community Newspapers, and Ontario GovDocs. Plus, we’ll explore some of the 150 local collection sites and how to bookmark “what’s new” search results, add missing information, contribute comments or your personal items to local collections, and share your discoveries with colleagues and family members.

OurDigitalWorld is the recipient of an Ontario Multicultural Community Capacity Grant

Internment workers
Workers at a Japanese internment camp near Schreiber.

OurDigitalWorld is pleased to announce funding from the Government of Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration through their Multicultural Community Capacity Grant program. OurDigitalWorld, through its award-winning VITA Digital Toolkit and its one-stop search portal, is steward to more than 2 million pieces of digital cultural heritage from Ontario. This funding will support our development of educational tools to promote the history of diverse and underrepresented Ontarians and their contributions to the social and cultural life of the province. These stories, sometimes painful, are part of our heritage.

Continue reading OurDigitalWorld is the recipient of an Ontario Multicultural Community Capacity Grant

Our slides from the Creative Commons Canada call

slide1Earlier this week we had a guest spot on the Creative Commons Canada conference call, a monthly-ish event that allows open enthusiasts and practitioners to share their stories. We filled in the Canadian crew on some of the potential activities of the Open GLAM platform and discussed ways in which we can help libraries, archives, and heritage organizations across the country share more of their collections. Continue reading Our slides from the Creative Commons Canada call

Halloween Costume Ideas from

HF0084_Large.jpgOne of the best parts of my job is getting to sift through millions of digitized heritage items (over 2 million in alone – not including individual book and newspaper pages!).

If you’re like me and left your costume planning to the last minute (again!), searching our collections can give you some ghoulish Hallowe’en ideas. (You’ll get the best results if you search for both “halloween” and “hallowe’en”.)

Continue reading Halloween Costume Ideas from

The Brighton Digital Archives Barn project

barns2Recently featured in their local paper, the Brighton Digital Archives has a wonderful project photographing and cataloguing local barns.

Spurred into action by the frequent demolition of these relics, some of which are over 100 years old, this team of volunteer photographers and history enthusiasts are making sure future researchers know what agriculture looked like in the 20th and early 21st centuries.  Continue reading The Brighton Digital Archives Barn project

The Francophone Community Grants Program


Magasin Paul Cadieux, in St. Thomas d’Alfred, Ont., from the collection of the Bibliothèque Du Canton d’Alfred-Plantagenet.


The Government of Ontario has announced $1 million in grant funding this year to support community and cultural development of French communities in the province:

“The FCGP seeks to encourage greater social involvement, learning, innovation, and community engagement for Francophones across the province of Ontario, including at the local community, regional, and provincial levels.”

Continue reading The Francophone Community Grants Program

Kanata to Canada – A Journey Through Time

Mark your calendars: Saturday November 18th is Kanata to Canada – A Journey Through Time.


A daylong event in Toronto, run by the Ontario Genealogical Society’s Toronto branch, it will feature a number of great workshops about how to research and find materials relevant to your own heritage. Jess Posgate will be talking about how to use and our many VITA platforms to discover online heritage from our members!


Continue reading Kanata to Canada – A Journey Through Time

The Ontario Historical Society Honours and Awards nominations are now open!


The Ontario Historical Society has opened up nominations rewarding local heroes in heritage and culture:

In 1967, The Ontario Historical Society established an awards program to honour individuals and organizations who have contributed significantly to the preservation and promotion of Ontario’s heritage. Over the years, new awards have been instituted; sixteen are now offered. The Awards program is intended both to acknowledge the work of outstanding individuals and organizations, and to raise public awareness of Ontario’s history and the people who work to preserve and interpret it.

All recipients of awards receive recognition in subsequent publicity, and a framed certificate accompanied by a copy of the citation acknowledging their contribution to the heritage community.

Categories include:

Carnochan Award: Presented to an individual who has contributed many years of service to the heritage community.

President’s Award: Honouring a corporation, business or individual that has contributed to heritage conservation in the recent past.

Scadding Award of Excellence: Awarded to a historical society or heritage group that has made an outstanding contribution to the field of history.

Joseph Brant Award: Honouring the best book on multicultural history in Ontario, published in the past three years.

Fred Landon Award: Honouring the best book on local or regional history in Ontario, published in the past three years.

Alison Prentice Award: Honouring the best book on women’s history in Ontario, published in the past three years.

Check out all the award categories and get your nominations ready!

OurDigitalWorld and Creative Commons Canada


We were delighted to attend the Creative Commons Global Summit in Toronto back in April (and more delighted that it’ll be returning in 2018!) and to talk about open culture with fellow enthusiasts from around the world.

Since the conference, we’ve kept up the dialogue about a number of issues that affect cultural heritage everywhere: digitization and lending rights, a robust public domain, and usable licenses for galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) that don’t always have clear ownership of the materials they steward.

Continue reading OurDigitalWorld and Creative Commons Canada

Ontario’s Multicultural Community Capacity Grants


We’re excited about a new funding program announced by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. The Multicultural Community Capacity Grant Program focuses on multicultural communities in Ontario – supporting their events and sharing their stories. Small grants of up to $8,000 can get you started on an event series, digitization project, or collaboration with new partners.

Continue reading Ontario’s Multicultural Community Capacity Grants