Back to School with OurDigitalWorld

SS#7 – Humphrey-Rosseau 1946 School Bus with Bill Gates and girls
courtesy of Rosseau Historical Society Digital Collections

Whether you’re homeschooling, heading back to class or helping others with their research, ODW has school project resources for librarians, teachers and students of all ages…


Ontario Community Newspapers and INK
Two major gateways to hundreds of digitized Ontario newspaper titles, full text and index records, over 200 years of publishing history, ranging from Windsor to Waterloo, Thunder Bay to Petawawa!
See a full list of regions covered here

Illinois Newspapers
One place to search digitized newspapers with index records for access to dozens of Chicago-area publications from Algonquin Area, Downers Grove, Glenview, Highland Park, Libertyville, McHenry and Wilmette.

Local History portal
Search across 2.5 million photos, documents, oral histories, paintings, postcards, exhibits, newspapers, scrapbooks and more!

Contributions from 300 heritage organizations in Ontario, including more than 200 VITA Toolkit partners

Community collections from Canada & the US
Explore local history collections, heritage and current newspapers covering military, maritime, women’s and multicultural histories, built heritage and community contributions from the past and current day.

Special Collections & Exhibits

Three virtual exhibits highlighting items from the VITA Toolkit user collections, arranged and researched to tell the chronology of multicultural experiences in Ontario. Both the Exhibits and Curriculum Resources are a great starting point to learn about topics like the Abolitionist Movement, Japanese Internment, Women’s Rights, and the evolution of Ontario as the home and product of our multicultural histories.

Explore the site and download Curriculum Resources

Agnes Macphail Digital Collection
Explore the life, history and politics of the first woman elected to Canadian Parliament.

Indigenous Histories
Community collections from Six Nations and Kanhiote Tyendinaga Territory Public Libraries.

Italian-Canadian newspapers
Search across 12 publications in Italian and English for news covering 1930-1946.

Holodomor Digital Collections
Learn more first hand history and about the impact of the Famine in Ukraine, 1932-1933.

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.

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.


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

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

Oral history project resources

CaptureOne thing we heard a lot during SuperCon was an interest in creating new heritage materials in communities in Ontario and across Canada. Many of our VITA members (and some new organizations too!) are looking into local activities like digitizing borrowed material from residents, and conducting oral histories.

We’re compiling a list with some guides and tools for running an oral history project. Here are some of our favourites: Continue reading Oral history project resources