Some 2,000 images covering 150 years of Esquimalt history are now available for viewing online through the township’s Capturing our History digitization project.
The project, which is partially funded by a $9,000 grant from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of B.C., increases online access to historical images while also preserving them digitally.
“The B..C History Digitization program is pleased to have provided support to the Esquimalt Municipal Archives to help create photographic content for the Capturing Our History website,” said Chris Hives, project coordinator, B.C. History Digitization program.
“The goal of our program is to partner with memory institutions throughout the province on projects to digitize and provide enhanced access to important local historical resources.”
No longer restricted to archival file folders, print boxes and family albums, the images – depicting the township, its people and its history – are now available for free online viewing by anyone from anywhere in the world.
“It is gratifying to see so many of our photographs come to life for the first time in a digital format,” said municipal archivist Greg Evans.
“The image bank will be of interest not only to residents and the general public, but also to authors, educators and historians, among others.”
The four-month project entailed scanning and posting historical images to the web along with information on the images.
Museum and archives consultant Patrick Craib and digitization consultant Emma Hughes scanned the original photographs – many of them in a fragile state – and created a database of information for all of the images.
The images and database were then input into a specialized archives software program.
The final step was to upload the data to the web and link to the township’s website. Images will be added to the online collection on an ongoing basis.
Go online toesquimalt.ca to access the township’s online collections.