News Release - March 31, 2011
PROVINCE ANNOUNCES FUNDS TO DIGITIZE HISTORY
Officials from the Ministry of Education have joined with library leaders to announce funding for the Saskatchewan Multitype Digitization Initiative. This initiative will lead to the digitization of historical and cultural materials from across the province and ensure they are easily accessible for students, researchers and the general public.
"This is an exciting opportunity to bring a number of valuable literary items to the public, perhaps for the first time," Education Minister Donna Harpauer said. "The ministry is pleased to be working with the University of Saskatchewan on this important project. Their knowledge and experience will help us create an accessible and convenient place online where Saskatchewan's historical and cultural content can be discovered."
Currently, Saskatchewan libraries, archives and museums have historical and cultural collections that may be inaccessible due to their physical location or being too fragile for public handling. Materials that are already available online must be accessed through separate, individual websites. The Digitization Initiative will allow information providers, as well as educational and cultural heritage institutions, to digitize their heritage and culture materials and make them available online.
The University Library at the University of Saskatchewan is a major collaborator on the provincial Saskatchewan Multitype Digitization Initiative.
"We are very excited to be undertaking this major digitization project," University Library Dean Vicki Williamson said. "This will be an invaluable research tool. We are pleased that the expertise of our library faculty and staff will be helping to enhance access to prairie history for the people of Saskatchewan and beyond."
The Ministry of Education will provide $400,000 up front, with an additional $275,000 budgeted for each of the following fiscal years to bring Saskatchewan culture and history online. This project will improve the knowledge of Saskatchewan's heritage, including First Nations and Métis people, by providing access to a wealth of special collections and primary documents and materials that support the K-12 curriculum, Treaty education, as well as distance education.
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