Jess and Frances will be hosting a series of live Q&A sessions for anyone learning about VITA this summer. Whether you’re a first-timer, a summer student or intern, a long-time user looking to brush up, or an advanced user with ambitious questions, Jess and Frances will be providing demos and walk-throughs upon request.
ODW was represented at the British Columbia Library Conference at the end of April 2017!
Matt Barry, our Digital Library Developer, has been working with Dan Sifton on the Provincial Digital Library Project, a collaboration between OurDigitalWorld and the British Columbia Library Association.
Our partners at the Grey Roots Museum & Archives sent us some great news: their photograph of Agnes Macphail, the first female MP, is being featured on the #Canada150 commemorative $10 bank note available June 1st! This will be the first time that a Canadian woman appears on our money.
Earlier this year, we were able to get funding for a Digital Library Developer position to work on the Provincial Digital Library collaboration with the British Columbia Libraries Association. Our amazing DLD, Matt Barry, has been working with Dan Sifton of Vancouver Island University, on a proof-of-concept using Supplejack to ingest heritage content from a variety of institutions and platforms.
You may have noticed a few changes lately if you’re on Twitter. Linking to items hosted in VITA now expands to a beautiful full-sized image preview, or a small image preview with some descriptive text:
After we released our report on Creative Commons, Rights Statements, and traditional knowledge labels for digital cultural heritage, our practicum student Mark Fellin was invited to present on that information in front of the Ontario Government Libraries Council.
We’ll be presenting on Friday April 28th at the Creative Commons Summit, about moving cultural heritage into the Digital Commons. We’ll be talking with staff from the Internet Archive and people working on projects across the world!
Perhaps you work with a local history collection that deserves more worldwide exposure. Perhaps you’re wrists-deep in a fonds that contains fascinating correspondence with a variety of public figures. Perhaps you’ve run across a number of BMD entries of a famous family. Have you thought about using Wikipedia and Wikimedia to expose these pieces of cultural heritage?
ODW will be leading a discussion at the Creative Commons Summit in Toronto from April 28-30th, 2017. Our session is about Canadian Cultural Heritage in the Commons, and we’ll talking about sharing options and issues for digital heritage collections, from CC to RightsStatements, from orphan works to born-digital acquisitions.
ODW’s VITA collections management toolkit offers the option of applying Creative Commons licenses, but we know that sometimes they don’t cover the breadth of complex scenarios, constraints, and permissions on heritage materials. Creative Commons is for rights-holders, and there are lots of other issues for standardizing permissions for cultural heritage aggregations.
We are delighted that heritage organizations across the world find our tools useful. Along with a few Canadian institutions outside Ontario, we have a group of libraries in Illinois working to build individual and collaborative search portals for their digitized materials.
Way back, even before we were Knowledge Ontario, we got started with our first Illinois members, the Algonquin Area Public Library District and the Wilmette Public Library.
Now we’re up to six contributors, with the addition this month of the Downers Grove Public Library and the Highland Park Public Library. These organizations are working to get their local newspapers digitized and searchable, in the collaborative Illinois Newspapers portal.
We’ve uploaded the slide-decks from our two sessions at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2017:
Speakers: Irene Robillard, Cindy Preece, David Bott, Melissa Redden
Speakers: Stacy Allison-Cassin, Sheila Carey, Danielle Robichaud
165 years ago, on February 12th, 1852, Henry Bibb published an announcement in his newspaper, The Voice of the Fugitive, calling for donations to his Homes For Refugees Fund. This was the latest in a long line of advocacy and activism by Bibb; his most notable was the founding of the Voice in 1851.
Henry Bibb was born in 1815, in Louisville, Kentucky, into slavery. He married a free black woman named Mary Miles in 1848. He escaped when he was 22 and made it to Cincinnati, but returned for his wife Mary and was recaptured. He escaped again – with Mary this time – and they made their way to Detroit, crossing over to Windsor after the Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850. They immediately began taking in refugees who had arrived in Canada through the Underground Railroad.
On January 1st, 1851, the first issue of the Voice was published in Sandwich (now Amherstburg). Bibb had also self-published his autobiography by this time – Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, An American Slave. The Bibbs’ Refugee Home Society was also set up in 1851, and during its tenure settled refugees of slavery in approximately 2,000 acres in the Sandwich area. The Bibbs were often available to greet and settle newcomers personally.
Back in 2010, Brant County‘s use of VITA in their local-history digitization projects was featured in an amazing anthology: Digitization In The Real World. This book (free in PDF and other formats from the Internet Archive) is “written by practitioners for practitioners on lessons learned from small to medium-sized digitization projects.” Brant County is the only Canadian organization that contributed to the book, and does a great job of representing the process for small organizations. Archivist Misty de Meo wrote about the challenges of small budgets, the clever tactics used to circumvent it, and the importance of collaboration and partnerships with local organizations. And, of course, we love hearing people talk about their positive experiences with our VITA tools: