Canadiana.org is a membership alliance dedicated to building Canada’s digital preservation infrastructure and providing the broadest possible access to Canadian documentary heritage. Through membership in Canadiana.org, a Canada-wide network of public and research libraries share tools and capacity, lead innovative open-access initiatives, and plan the future of digital preservation in Canada.
What we do
Canadiana.org works to preserve Canada's print history and make it accessible online. Working closely with major memory institutions, we identify, catalogue, digitize and store documentary heritage—books, newspapers, periodicals, images and nationally-significant archival materials—in specialized research databases.
The organization acts as a coordinator, facilitator and advocate for digitization initiatives, while providing access services and preservation infrastructures. Our flagship service, Early Canadiana Online, delivers 4 million pages of published heritage to Canada’s major research institutions, schools, and public libraries.
IImagine a country where every citizen has the opportunity to access the sum of its cultural heritage online; a country able to harness the will and energy of every library, archive, gallery, museum, historical society or institute of record to create a comprehensive collection of digital resources for the benefit of its citizens; a country committed to eliminating barriers of access, not only physical but geographical. Through the work of our organization, that country is Canada.
• Search Early Canadiana Online, or visit the institutions page for more information on available collections and terms of access
• See all ongoing projects
As a non-profit and charitable organization, Canadiana.org applies all revenues to operating and improving its services.
Established in 1978 as the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (CIHM), Canadiana.org has made substantial contributions to preservation practice and thinking in Canada. In partnership with Canada's major memory institutions, the organization led efforts on two Canada-wide goals: to reverse the rising access costs for Canada’s documentary heritage and to halt its physical deterioration. CIHM pioneered early preservation standards in Canada, producing master reproductions of rare or fragile documents as well as microfiche copies for distribution across the country. Its cataloguing efforts, the CIHM Collection, have developed into a comprehensive index of Canada’s documentary corpus.
Following a 2005 merger with the Canadian Initiative for Digital Libraries and Alouette Canada, Canadiana.org has taken on a leading role in advocating for and advancing digital preservation issues within the Canadian knowledge community.
As a center of excellence in the field of digitization, preservation, and access, Canadiana.org acts in support and provides services for the production and management of digital collections in Canada. These digitization services, funded in part through the membership alliance, allow organizations to preserve records, reduce access costs, and support long-term preservation. Revenue from these services allows Canadiana.org to invest in long-term preservation infrastructure, an approach which helps to keep costs down for everyone.
How it works
High-quality digital masters are produced from any source type (bound or unbound paper, microform, microfiche, etc.). Optical Character Recognition (OCR) then provides for text searching, e-linking, and searchable PDF derivatives. One copy is returned to the client while multiple copies are secured in a network of digital repositories and, if desired, uploaded to the Canadiana Discovery Portal, a federated search platform described as "the Google of Canadian history."
Canadiana Discovery Portal
The Canadiana Discovery Portal aims to connect the sum of Canada’s digital heritage into a single portal by harvesting the object metadata (cataloguing information) and allowing users to searc. Some 40 major memory institutions have joined, providing access to 65 million pages.