The Dalhousie Libraries is very pleased to announce the publication of new finding aids and digital content in its Archives Catalogue and Online Collections: http://findingaids.library.dal.ca/ The catalogue now has more than 250,000 archival descriptions and more than 10,000 digital objects.
What is a finding aid? Finding aids allow researchers to search our collections from wherever they are. For each collection we have, we create a new finding aid. We currently have over 17,000 finding aids.
What is an archival description?
Archival descriptions establish intellectual control over any body of records held in an archive. An written archival description can describe a single file, a piece of correspondence, a photograph, an audio cassette, etc. Having intellectual control over archival records provides information that explains the administrative structure and social context in which the records were created.
What is a digital object?
Examples of digital objects are digital photographs of objects or scans of a letter. Digital objects are added to records (which includes the archival description) of the various items in each finding aid.
How do we decide which objects to digitize?
With all the items we have in the archives, it’s not possible to digitize every single item. We make decisions about which objects we will digitize based on criteria such as the uniqueness of the item; the reflection of the scope and diversity of the collection; the demand for specific material, especially from users with limited ability to access the Archives in person; and to protect objects where continued use of the originals would damage them.
Highlights of this digital content include:
- More than 2,400 digitized photographs in the Dalhousie University Photograph Collection: http://findingaids.library.dal.ca/dalhousie-university-photograph-collection/digitalobject/browse
- Digitized issues of The Dalhousian a student newspaper published in 1914 as part of a campaign for a new student building: http://findingaids.library.dal.ca/the-dalhousian
- Digitized issues of Dal News a newspaper published by Dalhousie University: http://findingaids.library.dal.ca/dalhousie-news-2/digitalobject/browse
- Digitized issues of University News, the predecessor to Dal News: http://findingaids.library.dal.ca/university-news-1976/digitalobject/browse
- More than 900 digitized slides and photographs of Arctic communities in the early 1960s from the Barbara Hinds fonds: http://findingaids.library.dal.ca/barbara-hinds-fonds/digitalobject/browse (this project was funded by Nova Scotia’s Provincial Archival Development Program)
We have been actively digitizing material in anticipation of Dalhousie’s 200th anniversary to be celebrated in 2018, and will continue to add digital content in the coming months. Visit the Dal 200 website for more information about bicentennial celebrations: https://dal200.ca/
Our catalogue was launched in January 2015 and is proudly powered by the open source Access to Memory (AtoM) software. Visit the Archives’ website for more information about our collections and services: https://dal.ca/archives