DAILY NEWS Feb 6, 2014 7:44 AM - 0 comments

Canada's Online Archives Expand with Digitization Project, NFB Content Deal

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Rare motion picture films from the early 20th century, radio shows from the 1920s, TV broadcasts from the ‘50s, and much more modern media are part of the country’s expanding online heritage.

The digital collection provided by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is expanding its collection of media assets that document Canada's audiovisual heritage.

LAC has just formalized and extended its agreement with the National Film Board to increase efforts to showcase that heritage in both virtual and physical formats. The organizations have signed a three year Memorandum of Agreement, with options for further extension.

Library and Archives Canada has also released a new video series showing what it means to acquire, preserve and make Canada’s documentary heritage available to the public.

The first of the series takes a look at the migration of half a million hours of audio and video recordings from obsolete and at-risk formats to a standard digital file format.

The first project to result from the NFB/LAC collaboration is already online: a comprehensive playlist of films, an educator’s guide, and fact sheets on each of Canada’s 22 prime ministers.

Another focus of the extended partnership is on educational resources, and to increase the amount of material, in a broader range of formats, made available to Canadians.

This will expand the current NFB offerings in its Campus section, a streaming video service from the NFB that makes videos available to the public online, via NFB.ca, as well as specialized content, available only for educators.

Campus subscribers have access to over 2000 National Film Board titles, plus over 500 Campus-only films; over 8 million Canadian students and their teachers have accessed Canadian content through the online resource.

The LAC collection also includes feature films, short films, and sponsored films from production companies such as Crawley Films and Associated Screen News (ASN), as well as animation and documentaries. Newsreels created by the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit (CFPU) and major news outlets including ASN, Pathé and Fox; radio and television programs; home movies; and oral history interviews further enhance the collection.

“The NFB and LAC will work together to identify other projects that respond to needs in the education sector and that feature the rich and vast collections of both institutions. Future projects will focus on Canada’s Aboriginal and Inuit peoples, important events in Canadian history, and Canada’s cultural communities, among others,” said Claude Joli-Coeur, Acting Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson, NFB.

The NFB has produced over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 4 Canadian Screen Awards, 7 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies; NFB content is available online, and via apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.

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