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The Robertson Library at UPEI is building a comprehensive
ecosystem for cultural and historical artifacts that we call IslandArchives.ca.
That includes digital books, magazines, newspapers,
historic videos, historic audio.
IslandLives is a collection of what are called "local histories."
So these are four hundred
histories of a lot of the communities and groups on the island.
So what we do is we get the books, we seek permission
from the publishers of the books,
we have a special book scanner
that scans the book,
and then those digital images go into a very
complex software process that puts a special
tag around personal names, place names, dates
and that allows us to take that rich
data that we've lifted off the page and then we can create special interfaces for browsing.
One of the other exciting projects is called IslandImagined.
With this project we're digitizing about two thousand maps of Prince Edward Island.
Another project is IslandNewspapers, where we'll be digitizing
all of the historic newspapers published on Prince Edward Island.
And then we're really excited about projects such as IslandVoices with digitizing a thousand
oral histories created by Dutch Thompson.
So one of the other exciting aspects of the IslandArchives.ca project and
the Islandora software
is the community participation part.
So the software we're building has a lot of functionality that allows
members of the community not only to find information
but also allows them to write their own comments, pieces that reflect on the history,
upload their own images, maybe they got some audio they did of their own grandfather.
So the system will be a very participatory
type of environment. Students will be able to access a much richer collection
of images, newspaper pages, historic books, maps,
photos, a lot of the information
that they would use in their studies
and whenever you have that kind of artifact come to life
and it's easy to find it
then the educational experience is much richer.