Congratulations to the recipients of the Documentary Heritage Communities Program grants

Congratulations to our two VITA member organizations who have received grants through the Library and Archives Canada DHCP funding opportunity this year.

The Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario have been receiving a multi-year grant to digitize Tweedsmuir histories and other WI documents.

Our new member, the Canadian Heritage Photography Foundation, will be digitizing and sharing the work of George Hunter, one of Canada’s most celebrated photographers.

The recipients of the Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP) for 2019–2020 were announced today at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. Twelve projects submitted by organizations from Ontario will receive funding. They include:

  • Images of Ontario by George Hunter, RCA – Digitization and Preservation Project (Canadian Heritage Photography Foundation), Mississauga, $24,906
  • The WI Historical Documents: A Legacy to Canada (Federated Women Institute of Ontario), Stoney Creek, $100,000

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!


Mystery Month: The Bell and Sloman Families

A few years, Rick Bell donated to Brock University a trove of photographs found in his mother’s house in St Catharines. While many of the later photos are of his family members, there are a number of late 19th century studio portraits depicting unidentified people. We wrote about these mysteries in our virtual exhibit about black history in Ontario:


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Continue reading Mystery Month: The Bell and Sloman Families

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