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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.