Presentation on the challenges of historical newspaper digitization & research, tonight!

Tonight at 7pm Walter Lewis will be presenting to the Uxbridge Genealogy Group at the Uxbridge Public Library.

Walter’s interests lie in both the intricacies of digitizing old print & microforms, and in navigating historical newspapers’ own idiosyncrasies. The presentation will cover the accuracy and biases of local journalists, the many interesting ways to find birth, marriage, and death information, things all researchers should know about microfilm and OCR, tips & tricks to navigate conflicting stories, and the ways local coverage changed over time (and slowly got replaced with syndicated stories).

If you’re in the area, stop by the Uxbridge Public Library and enjoy the talk!


April is #MysteryMonth!

All month long, we’ll be sharing Mystery items from our VITA members’ collections. A mystery item is any record tagged with a question – often a request to help organizations complete their metadata about a piece of local history.

Our count of mystery items in VITA collections right now is over 11,000. That’s a lot of unsolved mysteries!

Often we’re looking to identify people in photographs, or get a more accurate idea of when a picture was taken. Occasionally we want to know who made an object in our collections. Sometimes we need help figuring out what handwriting means, or knowing more about the long-term history of a business or group.

And sometimes we just want to know – What the heck is this thing?

“Unnamed object circa 1900,” from the Huron Shores Museum collection.

Continue reading April is #MysteryMonth!

OurDigitalWorld’s 2018 Year In Review

odwbutton-largefontWe’re so excited to present to you our very first Year In Review!

Every year our team and our members accomplish wonderful things, and we want to celebrate our work and theirs. Please take a moment to look back on 2018 with us and read about what we’ve done – and what we’re working on for 2019. Continue reading OurDigitalWorld’s 2018 Year In Review

West Vancouver Memorial Library’s “Research to Remember” project

logoIn November, the West Vancouver Memorial Library commemorated the 100th anniversary of Armistice by releasing their “Research to Remember: In Their Own Words” project – a collection of three new video interviews with veterans.

The library held a screening and live discussion with veteran Ted Langley on November 11th, and launched the online collection on November 1st. All the interviews are edited into short topical segments, fully transcribed, and text-searchable. This part of the project follows upon the library’s educational resources work developing primary-source packages about some of the soldiers whose names appear on the West Vancouver cenotaph. Continue reading West Vancouver Memorial Library’s “Research to Remember” project

We’re Speaking at the Archives Association of Ontario Annual Conference

AAO Logo - no backgroundIn Belleville, from May 8 to May 10th, the AAO will be holding their Annual Conference. We’re on the program speaking about our efforts to work with archives, libraries, and newspaper publishers to ensure the ongoing stewardship of Ontario’s local news. Our session is on Friday at 10:45am: Continue reading We’re Speaking at the Archives Association of Ontario Annual Conference

Waterloo Public Library’s digitized historical newspaper collection

logoWe’re so delighted to present the Waterloo Public Library’s digital newspaper collection. In the past few months we’ve help them digitize and add 125,000 pages of publications including the Waterloo Chronicle, the Chronicle Telegraph, and the County Chronicle. You can now see complete ranges from 1893 onward, and partial issues dating back to 1868! Continue reading Waterloo Public Library’s digitized historical newspaper collection

Read our report on digitization in Ontario public libraries

OurDigitalWorld-DigitizationReport-2019Jan-Web.pngWe’re delighted to announce the publication of our report on digitization in Ontario public libraries! The report is now available for download.

We asked eighty questions over the summer of 2018, and our obliging survey respondents gave us some great answers about how they’re tackling community history, heritage collections, and the demands of the digital age. Thank you to every public library in Ontario that responded!

Now you can read all the results before you join us at our OLA SuperConference presentation next week.

Continue reading Read our report on digitization in Ontario public libraries