Check out our Illinois Newspapers collection!

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.

Continue reading Check out our Illinois Newspapers collection!

Slides from our OLASC 2017 Sessions

We’ve uploaded the slide-decks from our two sessions at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2017:

When Things Get Personal: Privacy and Access in Online Community History

Speakers: Irene Robillard, Cindy Preece, David Bott, Melissa Redden

Bridging the Gap: Linked Open Data for Libraries, Archives, and Museums

Speakers: Stacy Allison-Cassin, Sheila Carey, Danielle Robichaud 

Follow us on Slideshare!


Fugitive Voices: Black-run periodicals in Abolition-era Canada

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 1851.642px-Henry_Bibb.png

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. 

Continue reading Fugitive Voices: Black-run periodicals in Abolition-era Canada

Brant County’s VITA collections get lots of press!

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:

Continue reading Brant County’s VITA collections get lots of press!

Join us for the #1Lib1Ref campaign in Ontario!

1 Librarian, 1 Reference (#1Lib1Ref) started when someone realized how many claims on Wikipedia were missing citations. Participating is easy:

  1. Find an article that needs a citation (you can even use this handy randomizer!)
  2. Do some research to back up or debunk the claim
  3. Insert the reference, or edit the article to make a factual statement
  4. Add the #1Lib1Ref hashtag to your edit, in the Wikipedia Edit Summary
  5. Save the article – you’re done!

Continue reading Join us for the #1Lib1Ref campaign in Ontario!

What we’re up to at ODW!

2c5658ba-2a52-4ace-acfd-9b72c04cbb32National Digital Strategy

ODW Director Loren Fantin joined leaders from the National Library of the Netherlands, Library & Archives Canada and others at the Canadian National Heritage Digitization Strategy Foundational Assembly in October, to discuss the global digital collaboration strategies and to strike a National Steering Committee to guide Canada in implementing a much-needed national digital strategy.


Continue reading What we’re up to at ODW!

Digital Library Developer Intern Position: Deadline Extended to November 29, 2016

OurDigitalWorld (ODW) is seeking a Digital Library Developer for a paid internship opportunity (500 hours, full-time). The intern will be assisting on a pilot project, Phase 2 (ODW, in collaboration with the British Columbia Provincial Digital Library Initiative) to develop and test solutions for a digital library platform, mainly the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) platform, for use initially in Ontario and BC. Working in a collaborative, virtual environment the intern will help assess, create and modify tools, scripts and applications for access to digital cultural heritage collections from multiple jurisdictions.

Continue reading Digital Library Developer Intern Position: Deadline Extended to November 29, 2016

Social Media/Web Projects Intern Position: Deadline Nov 20

OurDigitalWorld (ODW) is seeking a Social Media/Web Projects Designer (Intern) for a paid internship opportunity (500 hours to March 24, 2016). OurDigitalWorld provides access and discovery to our digital cultural heritage via a number of tools and platforms. Working in a collaborative environment, the intern will help develop a social media strategy and plans to support community engagement and increase awareness of ODW, as well as increase reach and use of ODW initiatives for access to digital cultural heritage collections.

Continue reading Social Media/Web Projects Intern Position: Deadline Nov 20

A Canadian National Heritage Digitization Strategy (Redux?)

On June 3, 2016, LAC launched work on the National Heritage Digitization Strategy:

We’re excited to have the opportunity to discuss collaborative digital strategies at the foundational assembly being held on October 14, 2016 at Library and Archives Canada.

More to follow…