Over the past few months Canadiana.org has successfully obtained access to the extensive digital collections of major organizations. One is Memorial University in Newfoundland whose Digital Archives Initiative (DAI) contains significant holdings of books, maps, photographs, periodicals, video and audio. They provide a unique and fascinating insight into the importance, past and present, of Newfoundland and Labrador's history and culture.
One highly interesting collection is the “Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory” containing a wide range of topics from Boatbuilding to Christmas Traditions to Fisheries, showcasing the history, hard work, and lifestyle of Newfoundlanders.
The “Memorial University - Centre For Newfoundland Studies” has another fascinating digital collection, including magazines, maps, newspapers, images and books.
Some of the Memorial’s digital collections contain very specialized information, such as ship drawings. Many of these drawings are of on-board general arrangements and marine systems. Among the approximately 235 vessels included in the collection are offshore supply vessels, tugs, trawlers, and semi-submersibles. The collection is an important resource for students of naval architecture and marine systems design.
Another digitized publication is the magazine “Decks Awash”, published from 1968 to 1993. Its articles were authored by university employees and freelance writers, who travelled all around the province. The “Decks Awash” collection can function as a history of Newfoundland and Labrador society from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.
The Digital Archives Initiative at Memorial University also contains digital collections from other maritime universities, including heritage documents from Cape Breton, Dalhousie, St. Francis Xavier and UNB.
By providing access to the digital collections held at Memorial University, Canadiana.org has greatly enhanced its ability to provide detailed results on a great variety of Canadian maritime topics. Anyone interested in this part of Canada’s history and heritage will find a search highly rewarding.