Ontario’s Community Digitization Project

Recently, a woman in British Columbia was doing genealogy research and typed her father’s name into Google. Following a link to the Petawawa Public Library, she was astonished to hear her father’s voice emanating from her computer speakers. He’d passed away a decade earlier.

“I thought that was really extraordinary,” says Maggie Jacques, special collections librarian at the Petawawa Public Library, who helped place the 20-year-old interview online. It was part of a collection of interviews with city’s early residents. When it comes to online research, she notes, “You never know where it will take you.”

The audiocassette recording was digitized thanks to a two-year project coordinated by Knowledge Ontario (KO), a provincial not-for-profit collaborative. The Community Digitization Project (CDP) is an extension of KO’s Our Ontario service, which provides the tools and support for Ontarians to create and display digital content for online discovery.

Genealogists are not alone in benefiting from the CDP, which already has created more than 36,000 digital files of everything from 19th-century photographs to old diaries. In Prescott-Russell, a largely francophone area east of Ottawa, the OPP used heritage photos from the collection for their annual calendar.

Read the full social media release at: smr.newswire.ca.

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