The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) is celebrating five years of operating as a combined organization with the former Canadiana.org. The two organizations merged on April 1, 2018, after nearly two years of strategic discussions.
CRKN began merger discussions with Canadiana in June 2016 with the goal of bringing together two of Canada’s most impactful national organizations supporting digital research content. In October 2017, at CRKN’s Annual Meeting of the Members, the CRKN membership voted to merge with Canadiana.org as a combined organization under the leadership of CRKN. The removal of the paywall on the Canadiana collections was an exciting first milestone after the merger. Thanks to the financial support of our members, CRKN was able to make Canadiana’s millions of pages of digitized historical content accessible at no charge.
As CRKN continues the core work of enabling access to journal content, we have also:
- Developed and implemented an ambitious five-year strategic plan (2019-2024) for the combined organization
- Grown our membership with the founding members of Canadiana (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Library and Archives Canada, and Toronto Public Library)
- Implemented a cohesive rebranding of CRKN and Canadiana
- Implemented new user features on the Canadiana interface
- Started the process of removing problematic Canadiana subject headings
- Improved Canadiana metadata, including the creation of new MARC records and KBART files
- Created reference guides and a citation guide for researchers
- Expanded the range of content available on Canadiana, including maps
We are proud of our achievements to date, and our work is just beginning. As we move towards a large scale, transformative vision for the collections, we are exploring new technologies such as Intelligent Character Recognition, and adopting a standards-based approach to preservation through improving our implementation of IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) and Archivematica. To support this vision, we are developing an application to the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Innovation Fund to evolve Canadiana into open scholarly infrastructure enabling cutting-edge research. Looking forward to the next five years, we are eager to carry out this vision while collaborating with our community to better serve researchers.
With sincere appreciation, CRKN would like to thank our membership for their continued support of CRKN’s heritage program, the Preservation and Access Committee and all our committees and task groups for their guidance, and our staff, particularly the Heritage Services team and Infrastructure and Development team, for their service and expertise. Without our community, the accomplishments of the last five years would not have been possible.
For more information on CRKN’s programs, please contact Francesca Brzezicki, Communications Specialist, at email@example.com.