Grants/History Digitization Project

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History Digitization Project

Applicants: Squamish Public Library
Affiliation: British Columbia Library Association, Canadian Library Association, Pacific Northwest Library Association
CC affiliated? No
Contact: Jesse Horn, Kayli Wilkinson, Marie Palmer
Coordinator: Jesse Horn, Kayli Wilkinson, Marie Palmer
Project Start: 2010/05/31
Project End: 2010/08/06
Download budget Discussion

Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences.

The main objectives of our project are to convert the Squamish Public Library's historical materials (photos, newspapers, audio, video etc.) into electronic formats and upload these materials to a database that is searchable and accessible via the Internet. This will ensure that the history of our town and surrounding area is preserved and easily accessible to the public.

Detail the tangible project output (e.g., paper, blog post, written materials, video/film, etc.; this would be in addition to the final written report that successful grant recipients will be expected to deliver to CC at the conclusion of the project).

The output of our project will be the digital historic files that will be accessible to the public regardless of their physical location. Our database will be searchable, and our project guarantees convenient and straightforward access to the unique history of Squamish.

Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community?

Our project will be online, so it could potentially benefit anyone who has access to the Internet, but the groups of people that will benefit most from our project will be the people of Squamish. Squamish citizens will be given, for the first time, easy access to their heritage. Any person, academic, or historian interested in the history of British Columbia will also benefit from this project, as it would no longer be necessary to travel in order to access our resources. Not only will this project provide greater accessibility to the historic materials, but it will also allow more users to view the items without damaging the original />

What is your relationship with the community you are targeting? Why are you the best individual/organization to lead this project? Do you have prior experience in related projects?

Through the years, the Squamish Public Library has been the unofficial holder of much of Squamish's history. It is not uncommon for people to bring in historic photos and artifacts in the hope that the library can preserve them. The library has very much been a part of this community through offering its services and protecting the heritage of the community. We are the best organization to take on this project because the community already knows of our collection and comes to us looking to add to it or explore what is already here. Currently there is a portion of the historic photos that are available on the in-house computers, but this will be the first project at the Squamish Public Library to put materials online for the public.

How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact - on your main participants? Other contributors? On the larger community?

Many small libraries and Museums in British Columbia are looking to create online databases for their historic materials. We are hoping that here at the Squamish Public Library we can be leaders in this project. We are documenting our project every step of the way, and will produce a report that we will freely distribute to the other groups that want to take on their own similar projects. We will attentive to the input of our staff and patrons in order to evaluate how successful the project is and what improvements need to be made.

How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement?

The digitization, cataloging and storing of the historical materials will have few participants, two or three employees of the library and possibly a few volunteers. There are several memebers of the community, as well as a few societies, who are dedicated to the preservation of Squamish history, and who are therefore willing to lend us their support. The beauty of this project is that once the materials are digitized and online there will be little upkeep in the library.

Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons".

This project directly benefits Creative Commons' mission to increase creativity in "the commons" by providing free access to the history of Squamish and its surrounding areas. These materials will benefit everyone from authors, artists, historians, and people interested in their past. The potential for who else will be affected by this project cannot be predicted. This project may inspire movies, tourism, or education programs; the limits are not set.

Describe what technologies and tools your project will use. What kinds of technical skills and expertise do you bring to the project? What are your technical needs?

The technologies and tools that our project will use are:

  - Scanning of photos, newspaper, art and other documents
  - Transfering VHS and cassets to a digital format for internet use
  - Hosting of an online database to house the digital materials

What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them?

One of the challenges we are already dealing with is the preservation and storage of the originals that we wish to digitize. We are overcoming this challenge by contacting other organization to compare ideas and acquiring new storage facilities. Another challenge is the time it will take to scan and digitize items. With this comes the challenge of ensuring that our project has adequate funding, so that enough employees are able to work on the project. As you see, we are currently working hard to create a budget and acquire enough funding to sustain our project.

How do you plan to sustain your project after the Creative Commons funding has ended? Detail specific plans. How do you plan to raise revenue to continue your efforts in the future?

The greatest costs for this project are one time start up costs and ongoing Internet hosting. To deal with these costs, we have approached other organizations in the area who are dedicated to the preservation of our history and are working out partnerships and possibilites for sharing funding. We are planning events and fundraisers that will both raise public interest and help fund our project. We have also researched other provincial, federal, and local foundations that we will be able to contact and apply for funding.

How can this project be scalable, or have a scalable impact?

The final report produced at the end of the project will greatly increase the ability for other groups to take on their own digitization projects. We hope to be the "go to" people for small libraries and museums to answer their questions about sharing their materials online. By helping other groups do similar projects of their own we hope the greatly increase the historical materials that are available to the public over the next few years.

What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)?

Support from Creative Commons would be greatly appreciated and would greatly increase the qualitiy of our final outcome for this project. Funding to help us achieve our goals of digitization and proper storage would be most beneficial to our project. Posting information about our project once it is complete would also help other organizations contact us if they wanted any help or information.

Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)

Currently the Squamish Public Library communicates with the community through a number of different options: via our website, community bulletin board, and weekly newspaper updates.