We have a very large and rare 1905 map in our holdings that was dirty and falling apart. Last year, we collaborated with the Land Title & Survey Authority of British Columbia (LTSA) and the BC Archives to conserve and digitize it. This is the story of why that conservation treatment happened and how it was done.
Low-resolution version of Map of New Westminster District, 1905. Reference code AM1594-: MAP 138. A high-resolution version is available from our online search.
In nearly every case, “historical geodata” means a paper map. Digitizing that map gives us an image of a paper map. While an image can be useful, historical maps turned into actionable data are much more useful. Moving geodata from paper to electronic data can be complicated and involve many actions, including:
Describe the map accurately, preferably using standard terms
Digitize the map
Georectify the digitized image (associate points in the image with their geocoordinates, for example, so that the image can be positioned on OpenStreetmap or Google Maps exactly where it belongs)
Extract image features—such as polygons, text, or contour lines—as digital layers
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, flagship building of the New York Public Library. Photographer Sue Bigelow.
From November 5-7, 2014, I attended a meeting of 54 people from three continents at the New York Public Library called Moving Historical Geodata to the Web. This meeting, including expenses for attendees, was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. We were the only archives and the only Canadian institution represented. Continue reading →
On January 1st, the copyright expired for some of our holdings: they are now in the public domain in Canada. Digital materials are no longer restricted to being viewed only at the Archives, but are available online to all. Here’s a quick look at some of the digital objects that have become easier to view and re-use.
Tattooed man pulling on rope, by Clixby Watson, 1950s. Reference code AM1562-: 72-633
Charles “Clixby” Watson was a British painter and illustrator. We don’t know if this was a work of imagination or modelled from life or why this was created. Continue reading →
Thanks to funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program, we’ve recently completed a project to digitize over eight thousand images from the Pacific National Exhibition fonds that you can easily view and re-use. In addition, we’ve digitized another 874 images that are under copyright to other parties, but which can be viewed at the Archives. The dates range from 1914 to 1980.
Man and woman eating foot-long hotdogs from P.N.E. Gayway concession stand, 1953. Photographer unknown. Reference code AM281-S8-: CVA 180-2219.
These photographs were either created for the P.N.E. or collected by the P.N.E. staff. They document a wide variety of activities at the fair, including rides, displays, competitions and performances.
Women on Sky Glider chair lift, 1971. Photographer Bob Tipple. Reference code AM281-S8-: CVA 180-6891.
The Archives will be closed from noon December 24 to 9am Monday, January 5.
Card from Charles Marega fonds, AM1416.
This Christmas card was created by the sculptor Charles Marega, who created many sculptures and memorials in Vancouver including the lions at the Lions Gate Bridge. The card is part of a file called “sketches and drawings” in the Charles Marega fonds.
PHOTOgraphie, British Columbia’s only professional photography festival, is coming September 26-29. Amateur photographers are welcome to participate.
Fusion is a separate event that is being presented as part of PHOTOgraphie for the first time.
Organized by Beau Photo Supplies and Vancouver Photo Workshops on September 28, participants can register for one or more speakers and workshops presented throughout the day. Workshop registration includes admission to the trade show.
We’ll be presenting “The Ins and Outs of Donating to an Archives” at 9 am at the Roundhouse, discussing the process of acquisition and what we do with archival materials once they have been acquired.
We look forward to meeting new people at this event and showing them what we do!
Christmas trees were burned at the beach. The Champlain Heights neighbourhood was developed. Vancouver submitted a bid for the 1976 Winter Olympic Games. Civic elections were held every two years. The Georgia Viaduct was replaced. Habitat I was held here. The federal Local Initiatives Program funded many labour-intensive projects.
North side of intersection of Broadway and MacDonald Street, looking east, April, 1976. Reference code COV-S663-4—: CVA 800-286. Photographer Al Ingram.
Now you can easily explore all the issues discussed by City Council in the 1970s. We’ve made the minutes of Vancouver City Council meetings, along with the accompanying reports, searchable online. Continue reading →