Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Alouette Canada

A new national digitization initiative launches today: Alouette Canada.

This project has such a tone of optimism and certainty: I like the spirit. There's even the national library version of a of a St. Crispin's Day speech: a Declaration for it. It begins:

We subscribe to the vision of AlouetteCanada—that by its efforts Canadians will better know themselves, and the world will have the opportunity to know Canadians through equitable and enduring access to Canada’s digital documentary heritage.

It's nice to know that even in today's age of clamping down access in the name of national security, some countries are working to throw the doors even more open. Of course, we all love toast.

Here's a CBC story from December 2005 about the project. The newly-elected OCLC Members Council President, Vice Provost and chief librarian at the University of Alberta, and sometime-neighbour-of-Alane, Ernie Ingles had interesting things to say about the project in a Chronicle article this morning.

He compared Alouette Canada with Google 5 digitization projects at U.S. institutions, which tend to be guarded and secretive. "In some ways, it is the antithesis of a Google approach," he said.

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