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BIT students partner with city archives to bring Winnipeg’s history into focus

December 8, 2014

Box-P4-File-5Winnipeg’s rich photographic history is now more accessible than ever, thanks to collaboration between the city and students from Red River College’s Business Information Technology (BIT) program.

Winnipeg in FOCUS is a new web-based application that allows users to search and view photographs and other graphic materials held by the City of Winnipeg Archives. The web app is the product of a partnership between RRC, the city’s Archives, and the city’s Corporate IT department.

In January 2014, RRC students in the BIT Industry Project course began developing an app to improve access to the Archive’s collection of photos. Functional requirements were provided by the Archives; technical mentorship and design services were provided by Corporate IT.

Materials held by the Archives capture moments in the city’s development. Many were taken by civic employees in the course of their work documenting projects or program delivery, though the collection also includes individual photos and collections donated to the Archives.

“[They] have much to show us about ourselves, our government, and the history of the natural and built environment from 1974,” reads the city’s website. “These images are a powerful record of change and growth.”

Currently, Winnipeg in FOCUS includes only a fraction of the thousands of images in the Archive’s holdings, though content will be added as resources allow.

Click here to learn more about the initiative, or to search the database.

Above photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Archives: Winnipeg looking west from the tower of City Hall, September 5, 1900. Present site of Red River College’s Princess Street campus.