Recent improvements to our online database
We are highlighting a couple of recent improvements to our online database. Our online database https://heritagecollections.elgin.ca/ now includes a flipbook–style viewer for PDFs that is particularly useful for browsing scrapbooks, newspapers, and our Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir Histories. The intention of this feature is to recreate the experience of paging through material as you would with the physical item. An example (from the Crinan Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir History Volume Four) can be seen here: https://heritagecollections.elgin.ca/link/archives163851.
Another improvement that was launched this week is a newspaper finding aid https://heritagecollections.elgin.ca/findingaid/newspapers, which can be easily found from our main search screen. This page allows the user to search the newspapers by key word, and also assists with browsing by presenting the newspaper name, year and issue in a list. As new newspapers are added to the database, they automatically become available in this interface. A screenshot from the newspaper finding aid can be seen below. (If you are not finding what you were looking for with a key word search, it is always helpful to also browse the newspaper issues, since the key word search might miss some words).
In partnership with the Elgin County branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, we have been digitizing our newspapers in various stages since 2019. We have completed the digitization of Elgin County newspapers, and have started digitizing St. Thomas newspapers. The Estate of Donna Vera Evans Bushell and the Blidner Family Foundation have also contributed to this project. We also want to mention the assistance of the Aylmer-Malahide Museum and Archives, who allowed us to digitize and copy early issues of the Aylmer Sun. So far, we have digitized over 500 years of newspapers.