Proposal Title

SESSION 2.2: Digitized Okanagan History: A Regional Approach to Archival Digitization in B.C.’s Southern Interior

Presentation Type

Individual paper

Location

IB 1020

Start Date

3-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

3-5-2019 10:30 AM

Disciplines

Archival Science | Canadian History | Cataloging and Metadata | Collection Development and Management

Abstract

This practice-focused paper outlines the genesis and development of a digitization project coordinated by UBC Okanagan Library in partnership with memory institutions located throughout British Columbia’s Okanagan region. This project is represented in the Digitized Okanagan History web portal (http://doh.arcabc.ca>). The increasing ubiquity and sophistication of the web environment has changed research by making information more available, both in terms of volume and in the breakdown of obstacles to its access. This change has also led to shifting expectations among researchers for an immediate electronic connection to resources and a proportionally lowered tolerance for time investment into the research process. This, along with a lack of public familiarity with nature, goals, and charactertistics of archives leads to a situation of chronic underuse and understudy of primary source documentation of British Columbia’s past at the local level. Compounding this, many repositories lack the tools to bring a project to completion alone, even when they do recognize the inherent value of digization for access. Digitized Okanagan History lowers barriers to research interactions with community-held archival resources by providing a centralized model of resource allocation. Resources in this context include funding, conduits to technological infrastructure, dissemination of training and best practices, professional support, and increased stability over extended time horizons, as afforded by the University structure. Primary among guiding principles to this project is a strengths-based methodology which contributes to the constructive rupture and redefinition of archival space, and depends on a radically regional, human-oriented strategy for building and sustaining a functional, collective digital repository.

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May 3rd, 9:00 AM May 3rd, 10:30 AM

SESSION 2.2: Digitized Okanagan History: A Regional Approach to Archival Digitization in B.C.’s Southern Interior

IB 1020

This practice-focused paper outlines the genesis and development of a digitization project coordinated by UBC Okanagan Library in partnership with memory institutions located throughout British Columbia’s Okanagan region. This project is represented in the Digitized Okanagan History web portal (http://doh.arcabc.ca>). The increasing ubiquity and sophistication of the web environment has changed research by making information more available, both in terms of volume and in the breakdown of obstacles to its access. This change has also led to shifting expectations among researchers for an immediate electronic connection to resources and a proportionally lowered tolerance for time investment into the research process. This, along with a lack of public familiarity with nature, goals, and charactertistics of archives leads to a situation of chronic underuse and understudy of primary source documentation of British Columbia’s past at the local level. Compounding this, many repositories lack the tools to bring a project to completion alone, even when they do recognize the inherent value of digization for access. Digitized Okanagan History lowers barriers to research interactions with community-held archival resources by providing a centralized model of resource allocation. Resources in this context include funding, conduits to technological infrastructure, dissemination of training and best practices, professional support, and increased stability over extended time horizons, as afforded by the University structure. Primary among guiding principles to this project is a strengths-based methodology which contributes to the constructive rupture and redefinition of archival space, and depends on a radically regional, human-oriented strategy for building and sustaining a functional, collective digital repository.