Digitization may include scanning or photographing records, or transferring content from obsolete media to the newest available formats.
At least two digital copies of the records must be created: a high resolution copy for long-term preservation and a lower resolution copy for access. Staff ensure that the appropriate identification, descriptive and copyright metadata is captured and linked to the digital object to ensure it is contextualized.
Once digitization is complete, the digital copies are assessed to ensure they are complete and accurate. These copies are then stored on our internal servers. The preservation copies must be maintained in perpetuity as these versions may be required to replace the originals if the originals are unstable or deteriorating. Digitization is an ongoing process, as it involves migrating outdated electronic files to the newest digital formats to ensure the files remain readable.
When possible, records are uploaded to one of our online repositories. Due to legislative, donor or copyright restrictions, some digitized records cannot be made publicly available. If the records cannot be made available online, they may be available at our onsite kiosk in the reference room or may need to be requested through our privacy office.
In certain instances, we partner with other institutions that then digitize our collections and make them freely accessible online. You can access these collections through External Links.