BC Gay and Lesbian Archives Posters Now Available Online!

We are very pleased to announce that all 1,936 posters in the BC Gay and Lesbian Archives (BCGLA) collection are now available online, thanks to funding from the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS). The B.C. Gay and Lesbian Archives Audiovisual and Graphic Material Digitization Project was chosen as one of 21 national projects that received funding from the NHDS late last year. This funding, made possible thanks to the generous support of a private donor, allows cultural heritage institutions and organizations to digitize and make accessible Canadian documentary heritage materials. The Archives received $71,388 to digitize, describe and provide online access to almost 2,000 posters, 5,400 photographs, and over 200 video and audio recordings from the BCGLA dating back as far as the 1940s.

Celebration ’90 poster, 1990. Reference code: AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.1394

THE POSTERS

The digitization project began by re-housing, describing and digitizing the posters series. With a grand total of 1,936 posters, the collection represents a broad range of events and is an interesting example of the history of graphic design in Vancouver.

International Women’s Day poster, 1988.
Reference code: AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.0811

The posters were used to promote various events including health campaigns, demonstrations, activism, club activities and recruitment, pageants, arts events, theatre and dance shows organized by and for LGBTQ2+ communities in Vancouver and British Columbia. Here is just a small sample of the breadth of subject matter in the posters digitized as part of this project:

Persons with AIDS Coalition benefit poster, 1987. Reference code: AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.1454

Vancouver Gay Games poster, 1984. Reference code: AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.1696

Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society poster, 1995. Reference code: AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.1438

Dogwood Monarchist Society poster, 1988. Reference code: AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.1642

Out on the screen poster, 1993. Reference code: AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.1770

Reproduction and use of the posters is allowed for fair dealing purposes. We have noted the copyright owner when possible, but for most of the posters, the copyright owner is unknown. Further information may be available through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

DIGITIZATION CHALLENGE: HALFTONES

Many of the posters are printed using the halftone technique, which uses dots to create an image.

Detail showing halftone dot pattern. Reference code AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.1853

If the dot pattern has not been digitized with a high enough resolution, then some strange patterns will appear on the digitized image. We have digitized the halftone posters so that our master TIFF files do not show any strange patterns when viewed at 100%. Some of the JPG files seen online could show some patterns depending on the resolution of the monitor or the browser used to view them.

Here are some examples of the patterns produced.

Detail from a lower resolution scan (400ppi) of “HeartLand : the landscape of the soul”. The various crosshatch patterns are not on the original poster. Reference code AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.0842

Detail from a higher resolution scan (600ppi) of “HeartLand : the landscape of the soul”. Reference code AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.0842

Detail from a lower resolution scan (400ppi) of “Hoarse Raven Theatre presents Hedwig and the Angry Inch”. Note the horizontal yellow lines in the face. Reference code AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.0856

Detail from a higher resolution scan (600ppi) of “Hoarse Raven Theatre presents Hedwig and the Angry Inch”. Reference code AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.0856

Detail from a lower resolution scan (400ppi) of “British Columbia Persons with AIDS Society : I have HIV. It’s complicated. We need to talk about it : prevention at BCPWA”. Note the brown diagonal lines. The image is produced from a pattern of lines rather than dots. Reference code AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.0860

Detail from a higher resolution scan (600ppi) of “British Columbia Persons with AIDS Society : I have HIV. It’s complicated. We need to talk about it : prevention at BCPWA”. Reference code AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.0860

Detail from a lower resolution scan (400ppi) of “Home again by David Blue”. Note the brown diagonal lines. Reference code AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.1585

Detail from a higher resolution scan (600ppi) of “Home again by David Blue”. Reference code AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.1585

Detail from a lower resolution scan (400ppi) of “Coronation ’86 : our jaded ways : a state of mind”. Note the brown diagonal lines. Reference code AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.1807

Detail from a higher resolution scan (600ppi) of “Coronation ’86 : our jaded ways : a state of mind”. Reference code AM1675-S3-: 2018-020.1807

We aim to have the BCGLA photographs and audiovisual materials available online by the end of August. For more information about the BCGLA itself, please refer to our previous blog posts announcing the donation and availability of the subject files and the availability of the periodicals, as well as coverage by the Star and Outlook TV (at the 11:10 mark).

This project was realized as part of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy of Canada thanks to the generous support of a private donor. / Ce projet a été réalizé dans le cadre de La Stratégie de numérisation du patrimoine documentaire du Canada grâce à un don généreaux d’un donateur privé.

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