World Day for Audiovisual Heritage: University Archives Releases Footage of “University of the Air” TV show

The University Archives is celebrating the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage! The United Nations created this day “as a mechanism to raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken and to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of national identity.”

This year’s theme is “Archives at Risk: Much more to do.” It’s a fitting theme for the University Archives, which has been working with Preservation Technologies to digitize select obsolete audiovisual media such as 1/4 inch and 2-inch audio reels, Betacam, U-Matic, and other formats (check out this post about a Dutch Mason master recording). We’re also hosting Young Canada Works Intern Dave MacLachlan on an audiovisual archives internship. Dave has been assessing our audiovisual collections for preservation and access, and helping us develop procedures for working with obsolete media.

To celebrate World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, the Archives is releasing 20 archived episodes of a television program called “University of the Air.” University of the Air was a distance learning initiative started by CTV’s regional television affiliates. Production of University of the Air started in 1966, and continued until 1983. Episodes were produced by university faculty members across the country.

The University of the Air courses were structured into series of five episodes based on a central theme. This collection of videos from Dalhousie comprises four such series: “The Oceans,” “The Structure of Sound,” “20th Century Latin America: Why Revolution,” and “Textiles: Their Development and Effects.”

Dave MacLachlan worked with Joan Chiasson and Archives Student Assistants Laurie Chase and Andrea Kampen to make the videos available online.  You can view all the episodes in one playlist on our YouTube channel. The videos are also embedded into the “University of the Air” finding aid in our archives catalogue.

Wondering where to start? Andrea Kampen produced a short trailer for the playlist. Enjoy!

Trial Database: Times Literary Supplement (TLS) Historical Archive 1902-2009

TLS trial

From October 20 to November 19, the Dalhousie Libraries has trial access to the Times Literary Supplement (TLS) Historical Archive 1902-2009.

The TLS is a literary weekly offering essays on a wide range of subjects, book reviews, as well as theatre, cinema, music, and exhibition reviews. The TLS Archive trial can be accessed on and off campus.

The Killam Library receives the current year of the TLS in paper format only and purchases back issues in microfilm annually. The TLS offers online subscriptions to current content to individuals, but not to libraries.

Please send comments about the trial to by November 21st.

Dal, NSCC reach agreement with Esri Canada to promote GIS work

Recently, Dalhousie University and Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) entered into an agreement with the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) Canada Limited. This agreement, as part of Esri Canada’s new Centres of Higher Education Excellence (ECCE) program, will encourage more sharing of resources in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS helps address many business, socio-economic, and demographic challenges from a spatial context and presents solutions visually using interactive, digital mapping technology.

Esri Canada’s ECCE program involves only seven higher education institutions in Canada. The ECCE program will foster new and innovative uses of GIS in both institutions. Dalhousie and NSCC’s Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) & Applied Geomatics Research Group (AGRG) will see several benefits from this agreement including support from Esri for GIS activities and research with in-kind support for training, software, technical support, and scholarships and awards. This program will open up opportunities with a network of post-secondary institutions across the country that educate students in GIS, strengthening existing relationships in a way that will benefit students, faculty, and researchers.

The ECCE program is the next step in Esri Canada’s support of educational institutions across the country and complements their long-term, ongoing support of NSCC-COGS and Dalhousie. The Esri agreement with NSCC and Dalhousie will encourage innovation in GIS research and excellence in teaching in the field.  It will help promote GIS education and course options for future students, pool resources to help increase the creation of custom software application development, promote the sharing of information around student availability and employment opportunities, and encourage collaboration with research funding. The agreements are in place for two-year terms.

NSCC-COGS has worked closely with Esri Canada since the company’s inception in the early 1980s. Since 2005, Dalhousie has received an annual scholarship from Esri Canada through the GIS Centre. Esri Canada creates software and tools that allow people to distribute GIS services through the web, desktop, and mobile applications.

Dr. Brent Hall, Director of Education and Research at Esri Canada, says, “We are very pleased to recognize the outstanding contributions of Dalhousie and COGS through their GIS education and spatial data research programs. Bringing the two institutions together through the new ECCE will serve to create a hub in Atlantic Canada that will allow students, researchers, and the regional spatial information technology information industry to continue to thrive.”

“Programs like this offer a chance for greater information and idea sharing which will help to inspire more real-world solutions for our communities and additional resources for our faculty and students,” says Dennis Kingston, Academic Chair for NSCC’s COGS at its Annapolis Valley Campus.

Dalhousie’s provost and vice-president academic, Dr. Carolyn Watters says the university is very pleased to take part in the ECCE program. “The opportunities the agreement opens up will not only benefit our students and faculty but will be instrumental in connecting us more closely with a national network within the GIS sector.”

“The ECCE that includes Dalhousie and NSCC provides further incentive for the institutions to work closer together in the field of GIS,” notes Mike McAllister, computer science faculty member and Dalhousie’s chair of ECCE. “There’s much to be learned from both institutions, in terms of how each is using GIS technology. Dalhousie has elements of spatial scholarship that underlie research and education in many of its faculties, while NSCC, specifically COGS, has been providing its expertise in geospatial work to industry nationally for years. The ECCE will allow us to identify more opportunities for innovation and partnership.”

“This ECCE is a win-win-win scenario for students and faculty at Dal and NSCC and for Esri,” adds Dave MacLean, GIS faculty and chair of ECCE at NSCC-COGS. “It opens up avenues for all involved to share resources locally and work more collaboratively across the board.”





Happy Canadian Library Support Staff Day!

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Today is Canadian Library Support Staff Day and we just want to say thank you to all of the support staff at the five Dalhousie Libraries. Thank you for your hard work and commitment to excellent library service!

Proclamation about Canadian Library Support Staff Day by Canadian Library Association President, Marie DeYoung.

Canadian Library Month

canadian library month 2014

What is Canadian Library Month?

Canadian Library Month is the time to celebrate the inspiration created in and by libraries. Canada’s libraries help to inspire us to celebrate our culture while playing a role in preserving our heritage. Libraries give Canadians equitable access to information and they support lifelong learning. 

Did you know over 21 million Canadians hold a public library card, making public libraries the most popular cultural institution in Canada? Over 97 per cent of Canadians live in communities served by a public library. Academic libraries, school libraries, and special libraries add to the creativity and personal, professional, and academic growth of Canadians, serving students and faculty and those in the corporate, government, and non‐profit sectors. (Source:

Fittingly, this year’s theme for Canadian Library Month is “Libraries Inspire.” So, how do libraries inspire you? The Canadian Library Association wants to know, have libraries inspired in you a sense community belonging? a new friendship? an idea for a great creative work? Share your story here:

 And if you want to share how the Dal Libraries inspire you, please comment here too!

Two Archives staff complete certificates from the Council of Nova Scotia Archives

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Jennifer MacIsaac (left) and Joan Chiasson in the Dalhousie University Archives, fifth floor, Killam Memorial Library.

Congratulations to Jennifer MacIsaac and Joan Chiasson for being awarded certificates from the Council of Nova Scotia Archives. Both Joan and Jennifer completed six courses to earn this certificate, including: introduction to archives; preservation of archival materials; acquisition, appraisal, and accessioning materials; description and arrangement of materials; an introduction to rules for archival description standards; and accessing and providing reference to the archival collection.

Joan is based in the Dalhousie University Archives at the Killam Library and Jennifer is based at the MacRae Library, where there is also an archive.

Well done, Joan and Jennifer!

Thanksgiving Hours at the Dal Libraries 2014

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Monday, October 13 is Thanksgiving Day. Because it’s a holiday, some of our libraries will have reduced hours that day.

W.K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library
10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Killam Memorial Library
1 p.m.–9 p.m.

Sir James Dunn Law Library
9 a.m.–10:45 p.m.

MacRae Library
10 a.m.–10:30 p.m.

Sexton Design & Technology Library
10 a.m.-6 p.m.


New Hours in the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room

new hrs sp coll arch reading room

If you love to spend your study time in the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room, you’re in luck. Extended open hours for this space started this week.

Now, the room is open during regular Killam Library hours, from 8 a.m.–midnight Monday to Friday, and from 10 a.m.–midnight on Saturday and Sunday. Reference assistance in this space will still be available from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

And if you want to check this space out, it’s on the fifth floor of the Killam Library.



GISciences Centre’s Lunchless Learn Series, Fall 2014

GIS lunchless learns

What is a Lunchless Learn? It’s a hands-on tutorial, held around lunchtime, open to all on campus (without the food).

A GIS, or Geographic Information System, is “a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, integrating, manipulating, analyzing and displaying data relating to positions on earth’s surface.” In other words, it’s an easy and fun way to look at the world differently.

This series gives people a taste of what GIS is and how it can be used. We are offering the same session at different times and locations, so choose the one that fits your schedule best. These sessions are meant to be self contained; after the intro session–take only the topics that are of interest to you.

Due to the high level of interest in these sessions, we ask you to sign up for each session. To sign up, contact

Intro – First Encounters of the GIS Kind
Tues., Sept. 16/11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.          Room G70, Killam Library, Studley Campus
Wed., Sept. 24/noon–1:30 p.m.              Room C300, C Building, Sexton Campus
Thurs., Oct. 2/11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.            Room G70, Killam Library, Studley Campus

Data: So You Want to Make a Map – where and how to find data
Wed., Oct. 8/noon–2 p.m.                          Room C300, C Building, Sexton Campus
Tues., Oct. 14/11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.         Room G70, Killam Library, Studley Campus

Raster – How to Become a Raster Master
Wed., Oct. 22/noon–1:30 p.m.                 Room C300, C Building, Sexton Campus
Tues., Oct. 28/11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.            Room G70, Killam Library, Studley Campus

Carto: Maps – the good, the bad, and the ugly
Tues., Nov. 4/11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.            Room G70, Killam Library, Studley Campus
Wed., Nov. 12/noon–1:30 p.m.              Room C300, C Building, Sexton Campus

New this year! ArcGIS Online – GIS that’s in the Cloud(s)!
Tues., Nov. 18/11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.         Room G70, Killam Library, Studley Campus

And don’t forget, the GISciences Centre is located on the second floor of the Killam Library.

Intern Profiles 2014: Andrea Kampen, Dalhousie University Archives

andrea for blog
Andrea is from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her undergrad is a double major in film and German studies. While still living in Winnipeg, Andrea volunteered with the Winnipeg Film Group organizing their film collection. She also volunteered at high school library. “I really enjoyed the process of searching for information. I am particularly interested in film archiving.”

She came to Halifax to go to school and to pursue a professional career. She feels that Halifax is a kindred community to Winnipeg because it’s small and has a great culture scene.

This summer, one of the projects Andrea is working on involves working on digitizing some of the paper files from the collection of materials in the Archives from the Centre for Art Tapes.

Andrea still doesn’t know exactly what she’d like to do upon graduation, but she’d be interested in staying in Halifax, while being open to going anywhere in Canada.