The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) welcomed 124 attendees to SFU’s Segal Building for an afternoon of learning, sharing, and discussion on the future of digitization, access, and preservation of Canada’s documentary heritage.
The Joint Workshop opened with a keynote from Christina De Castell, the CEO of the Vancouver Public Library (VPL). Ms. De Castell highlighted the work of VPL in supporting the community to share ideas and stories in a digital environment. A video recording of Ms. De Castell’s talk is available below and her slides are available on the event page of the CRKN website: https://www.crkn-rcdr.ca/en/joint-nhds-crkn-workshop-documentary-heritage.
Following the keynote, CRKN and the NHDS provided an update on recent work and initiatives, both sharing exciting announcements. That morning the NHDS had announced the 21 projects approved for digitization funding, and CRKN announced that as of January 1, 2019, the subscription paywall to Canadiana content will be removed resulting in access at no charge for users. Both announcements were met with resounding support and excitement.
The event also included a panel discussion with Eugene Barksy, Research Data Librarian, UBC, Lindsay Bilodeau, Digital Heritage Services Specialist, CRKN, Paul Durand, Specialist of Digital Collections Management, Canadian Museum of History, Andrea Mills, Digitization Program Manager, Canada Internet Archive, Dave Stewart, Digital Manager, Royal BC Museum, moderated by Rebecca Graham, University Librarian at the University of Guelph, and Chair of CRKN’s Preservation and Access Committee. The panel explored questions related to the challenges and opportunities of digitization, the need for federated search platforms, and the importance of very good metadata. The panel elicited a group discussion about the role of memory institutions in supporting under-represented and marginalized communities. This discussion centered on the role of institutions working in collaboration with Indigenous communities and organizations. The crucial need for ongoing consultation was highlighted, in addition to ensuring that institutions support communities however the communities define their need for support. In short, “nothing about us without us”. A video recording of the panel is available below.
The day closed with an interactive session moderated by Martha Whitehead, Vice-Provost (digital planning) and University Librarian, Queen’s University and Chair of the NHDS Steering Committee, where attendees were asked to define a user group, including their demographic information, goals, objectives, and user impact story. Interestingly, most of the groups chose to represent the “curious Canadian”, highlighting the need for our websites and systems to speak to the general public and to the GLAM community.
The discussions during the workshop will allow CRKN and the NHDS to better meet community and user needs. We look forward to continuing these dialogues. Join the NHDS newsletter and the CRKN newsletter to stay up to date. In the meantime, participate in CRKN's strategic planning by taking the Canadiana user survey or stakeholder survey or by signing up for one of our online consultations.