News

Esquimalt launches archive digitalization project

Esquimalt municipal archivist Greg Evans, left, and consultant Patrick Craib work on digitalizing more than 1,500 historical images. The goal of the project is to digitize and make available historical images of Esquimalt covering the past 150 years. - Kevin Laird/News staff
Esquimalt municipal archivist Greg Evans, left, and consultant Patrick Craib work on digitalizing more than 1,500 historical images. The goal of the project is to digitize and make available historical images of Esquimalt covering the past 150 years.
— image credit: Kevin Laird/News staff

More than 1,500 images catalogued at Esquimalt Archives are about to get a new life on the Internet with the township’s Capturing our History digitization project.

The goal of the project, which is partially funded by a $9,000 grant from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of B.C., is to digitize and make available historical images of Esquimalt covering the past 150 years.

“This project represents a significant contribution to the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre’s goal of making the province’s history freely accessible online,” said Simon Neame, director of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The historical images will be scanned and posted to the web, providing wider public access to the story of Esquimalt, its history and its people.

“We will exponentially increase online access to our historical images while also preserving them digitally,” said Greg Evans, municipal archivist.

Patrick Craib, a museum and archives consultant, has been contracted to provide project digitization and database expertise. Images – many of them in a fragile state – are carefully scanned based on predetermined criteria and the information on the image is then entered into a database.

Web-optimized versions of the images, along with the data, will eventually be merged into a software program, uploaded to the web, and linked to the township’s website.

“It’s a fun project, and working with so many photographs gives me a deeper appreciation for the history of this community,” said Craib.

The Capturing our History Project is expected to be completed by this fall.

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