For many years, the Red River College Library has been interested in the digitization of historical RRC documents and photos. However, we could not make much headway in this area as our staff lacked proper archiving knowledge, experience and time. Norman Beattie, our recently retired Public Services Librarian, managed to make some progress in developing our archives on his own time, and by using work placement students to help out with document scanning.
In 2019, after being approved for a Manitoba Heritage grant, we began to digitize more materials. Using this funding, we were able to hire an archivist to assess our situation and provide a guiding document, and a term employee to sort through materials, digitize and meta-tag as much as funding would allow. What was discovered is a mountain of historical documents and photos! Still, progress was made, and with additional help from the Red River College Print Shoppe we managed to digitize a full set of yearbooks from 1966-1990 in high resolution, and scan and meta-tag about 6,000 high-res photos.
As our digital archive began to take shape, we began to upload documents to OMEKA.NET, a third-party website that provides a web platform specifically for digital archives such as ours. Our archive is now online, and can be found at the address https://redrivercollege.omeka.net/.
More recently, we have made the yearbooks from 1966 to 1990 available to the public. We feel these documents will garner the greatest interest from the college community, alumni and public in general. In the past, we had already placed historical Staff Newsletters and a selection of photos on the archive site. Again, there is sure to be good interest in these fantastic photos and documents.
There is more work to be done, as there are still thousands of photos that are yet to be uploaded to the site. Also, we are working toward ensuring that visitors to our OMEKA site can search within the documents in the archive. Finally, we soon hope to have our archive records appear in searches via our Library OneSearch feature.
To view the work completed so far, or for a nostalgic voyage back in time, visit our archive site.
Submitted by Mark Nelson