For the last year, we have been working hard on a project funded by Library and Archives Canada’s Documentary Heritage Communities Program, entitled ‘Daniel McLachlin’s Legacy: Exploring the Lumber Era of the Ottawa Valley.’
Our project was focused on digitizing and making accessible the important records that document Daniel McLachlin and the McLachlin Bros. during the lumbering era of the Ottawa Valley in the 19th and early 20th century.
These improvements have created the framework for a much higher capacity for digitization in the future.
Funding allowed for us to send many McLachlin Bros. business ledgers and some smaller maps to our partner, Image Advantage, for external digitization. It also allowed for us to purchase in-house digitization equipment, including a new flatbed scanner and a digital camera. All in all, we were able to digitize:
Almost all of these digitized items are now available online. Still to come is an 1890-91 Shanty Accounts Ledger, and more of our larger and more fragile maps that couldn’t be sent offsite.
In order to show off our newly digitized material, we partnered with Andornot, our online services provider, to update the look and feel of our website and add some exciting new features. Highlights include:
Our new online exhibit is a portal through which you can look at all of the digitized material, including records that were already digitized before the project but that relate to the theme. We have divided it up by type of record and made them available for you to peruse.
These maps have been digitized at such high resolution that we implemented a way to better show them off. They can now be viewed in close detail. On the record for each map, there is a button labeled ‘Zoom In.’ Here is a great example of just one of them, a McLachlin Bros. fire insurance plan from 1905. A full list of all of the zoomable maps is available as a new 'quick access' link.
Our search site now has more features and is easier to use. You can:
In addition to digitizing our historical maps, we created a few of our own. We now have the ability to create themed maps with pins based on our historical records, photographs, local buildings and historical events. It’s an interactive and engaging way to connect with your local history.
Right now, we have one map about the lumbering era, and one with general local historic sites and locations. This is just the beginning, as new pins will be added on a regular basis!
We now have a better way to keep you updated on our news and events, as well as a place to spotlight items, write about our heritage, and generally deliver historical content to you!