Radically Regional: GLAM Partnerships through the BC Regional Digitized History Example
The British Columbia Regional Digitized History (BCRDH) project is coordinated by the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus Library, located in Kelowna, BC. BCRDH is a network of partnerships between the Library’s special collections program and 45+ geographically adjacent GLAM organizations in BC’s southern interior, including museums, archives, and historical societies. The aim of the project is to develop and sustain a shared, regionally-organized digital repository, and to provide open online access to that digital repository as an act of public service.
Begun in 2016, the BCRDH project has grown to now host approximately 90,000 digital objects including photographs, videos, newspaper issues, archival records, and oral histories.
Following five years of project growth, this presentation will share key observations that resolve to operational principles and values that position BCRDH for further sustainment. These principles include assertions that academic libraries can deliver value to communities through the sharing of expertise and infrastructure; that the definition of ‘library collection’ can be flexed in innovative ways toward fulfilment of the Library’s mission; and finally that digital practice is difficult, and collaboration eases the difficulty.
Scaffolded by prioritization of inclusivity, barrier reduction, and cultivation of a more durable digitized historical record, the presentation will discuss the core components that inform the identity of the project, including its shape, direction, methods, and rules, towards proposing a fresh perspective on the potential of a “radically regional” digitization model.