OurDigitalWorld’s highest priority is the preservation and sharing of community heritage. That means not just old photographs, maps, letters, and government records, but creating conversations, social impact, and opportunities to collaborate and build on what’s shared.
We’ve created a unique and needed service in Ontario and Canada: a one-stop search portal for multiple heritage organizations’ collections. The award-winning OurOntario.ca collects not only the items uploaded through our customizable VITA platform for digital heritage collections, but any organization that shares their metadata with us.
Genealogists, heritage specialists, students, historians, scholars, designers, and researchers of all ages use the portal to discover and connect with content that traces Ontario’s history back to before the War of 1812 and up to the present day.
OurOntario.ca has been steadily growing and adding new features and content since 2006:
- Since 2009, we’ve served over 150,000 searches every year on OurOntario.ca. That’s a search every three seconds!
- OurOntario.ca currently searches over 2 million items, not including another 2 million newspaper and book pages!
- More than 8,000 comments have been posted on items – the public clearly loves interacting with history, and heritage organizatons are improving their metadata based on the information shared
- We have almost 300 heritage organizations indexed in OurOntario.ca, including more than 200 VITA platform users, who have created over 200 exhibits
- Our newspaper portals cover over 2 million newspaper pages – Ontario’s largest online collection of newspapers!
- We won the 2008 Ontario Library Information Technology Association Award for Technological Innovation.
- We won the 2017 OLA Archival and Preservation Achievement Award for the VITA platform!
We’re always looking to grow more: to add more digital collections to our portals, or work with new members on digitization and hosting in VITA, or hear from the community about how Ontario’s shared heritage has made a social impact. Get in touch if you’d like to be involved – or start browsing Ontario’s rich culture and history!