Welcome the Cobourg Museum Foundation to VITA!

logoWe are excited to welcome new VITA members the Cobourg Museum Foundation. Thanks to summer student funding, they have begun to populate their VITA collection with past years’ exhibit panels, photographs of artifacts, and metadata to help you learn more about Cobourg’s prominent people.

The Cobourg Museum Foundation has just released its new VITA website, making available to the public, for the first time in a searchable way, its growing collection of almost four hundred story panels and many of its collection of artifacts.

During the summer, two students were kept busy uploading the material into the VITA platform which is specifically designed for not-for-profit organizations to upload, describe and display their digital collections. It is the same platform as used by many institutions throughout the country, including the Cobourg Public Library (for its Cobourg and District Images) and Brighton Digital Archives.

The story panels, which have been the basis of the annual exhibits at the Sifton-Cook Heritage Centre, had previously been uploaded to the CMF website. They were viewable there but not searchable. Now significant words from all panels can be found through a simple search engine on the new VITA website.

You can find their press release here. We asked a few questions of Stanley Isherwood, Cobourg Museum Foundation treasurer, about the project:

Continue reading Welcome the Cobourg Museum Foundation to VITA!

OurOntario.ca temporarily offline

This week we’re upgrading our infrastructure! Some of our services will be offline while we improve our services, including the OurOntario.ca search portal.

While this is happening, you can still access our VITA members’ sites and our aggregate collections: news.ourontario.ca for Ontario Community News, ink.ourontario.ca for full-page newspaper content, govdocs.ourontario.ca for Ontario government publications, and our new Abolitionists newspaper collection at news.ourontario.ca/abolition. These sites bring you province-wide materials from our VITA partners and other collaborators – much of the content you would normally find on the OurOntario.ca search portal.

If you’re a VITA user, remember that you can log in to your VITA account from data.vitatoolkit.ca and access documentation and resources at help.vitatoolkit.ca.

Thank you for your patience as we improve our services!

 

Announcing the Abolitionists Collection

Today we’re offering a new free resource brought to you by the OurDigitalWorld team:

The Abolitionist Newspapers of the 1850s digital portal.

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Click to visit our VITA collection of Abolitionist resources!

As one of the first places for fugitives from slavery to end up after their travels on the Underground Railroad, and a place where many people called for a new black utopia, Ontario has a rich history of black publishing. This new site, built with our VITA Digital Toolkit, offers full-text searching and browsing of three publications:

  • The Voice of the Fugitive
  • The Provincial Freeman
  • The True Royalist and Weekly Intelligencer

Along with digitized microfilm of the Provincial Freeman and the True Royalist, we are delighted to announce that, for the very first time, low-quality microfilm of the Voice of The Fugitive has been replaced with high-quality, full-colour digital photographs of each and every page still available.

Continue reading Announcing the Abolitionists Collection

Check out our updated digitization resources page

We’ve recently updated our well-loved and frequently-used digitization resources list. We’ve removed a number of outdated resources, and added new sections on Indigenous materials, privacy, and general industry resources.

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As always, if you have anything to recommend for inclusion on this page, we’d love to hear from you. Continue reading Check out our updated digitization resources page

Applications are open for the Virtual Museum of Canada Exhibits Investment Stream

The Virtual Museum of Canada has opened up its annual call for applications for its Exhibits Investment Stream. This funding, up to $250,000, can pay for digitization, metadata, research, curation, writing, and creating virtual exhibits on a subject of your choice. This is a great opportunity to digitize a special collection that will benefit from contextualization, research, and wider public engagement. Continue reading Applications are open for the Virtual Museum of Canada Exhibits Investment Stream

Spring-clean your VITA site with these design resources

logo-hor1It’s spring, and that means spring-cleaning time. If you’re thinking about refresing the look and feel of your VITA Digital Toolkit site, we can help!

Our helpsite has tons of useful resources we’ve written about how to navigate and customize the front-end of VITA. We’ve also added some example resources from other VITA members who have graciously shared templates, posters, event plans, and other documents you can learn from. Continue reading Spring-clean your VITA site with these design resources