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Length: 3:26

Library and Archives Canada Description title screen

On-camera starts at 0:08

(Commentator is standing in the Preservation Centre Hallway)

Narrator: Our ongoing video series now shifts to another major aspect of our raison d’être, make our rich documentary heritage available to Canadians.

Narrator: Whether we deal with specialists or ordinary citizens searching for information, our goal is to make this experience as easy as possible. And with the possibilities offered by new technologies, we want to maximise our presence for all Canadians.

(Employee looks at map on computer screen. Employee turning pages of old manuscript. A document is seen through the lens of a magnifying glass)

Narrator: There are vast amounts of content to be discovered, not just here at Library and Archives Canada, but also in other Canadian memory institutions that we partner with.

Narrator: For that reason, we’ve developed a new approach to description and discovery that is faster, more client-focused, collaborative and integrated.

Narrator: The aim of our new approach is to describe in plain terms as much of our material as possible, and to provide easy on-line access to it.

Narrator: Our model will also utilize descriptions created by third parties such as publishers, creators and donors.

(Man and two women shown looking at collection of Henry Larsen photos. Various photos of Henry Larsen expedition are seen. Woman looking at photo through microscope lens. Woman starring at computer screen. Screen image of Henry Larsen)

Narrator: Take the Henry A. Larsen Fonds for example. This highly valuable record of Canada’s role in the Arctic, which dates back to the 1940’s, consists of pictures from the collection of the former RCMP Captain that were, until now, un-described.

Narrator: Working in partnership with the Larsen family, who have offered to describe this historical collection, we will provide access to digital copies of close to a thousand photographs that otherwise would have remained undiscovered.

Narrator: Also, with our approach to description, we will provide integrated access by subject, person, organization, type of material, or geographic location for both our holdings and, where appropriate, the holdings of other institutions.

(Woman shown turning pages of photo album and transferring information onto a computer)

Narrator: This will substantially decrease the amount of time and effort for Canadians to find items in our collection. Thanks to new technologies, we will now be able to improve our approach to description and discovery. This will allow users to rapidly find ever-growing amounts of information on-line.

Narrator: For a timely and important example of how the new model works, I strongly urge you to view the “Out of the Trenches” video, a proof-of-concept project commemorating Canadian soldiers who fought in the First World War.

(Screenshot of the Out of the Trenches video)

Narrator: This work on descriptive approaches is just beginning. It will have to continue as technology and searching habits evolve. To ensure the endless discoverability of our holdings, our descriptions will also evolve with how people speak and the vocabulary they use as well as how search engines function.

Narrator: These are the types of improvements we will forever continue to make at Library and Archives Canada. We will then remain actively involved in the cultural development of Canada by enriching the discovery experience of Canadians with their documentary heritage.

(Commentator is standing in the Preservation Centre Hallway)

Audio ends at: 3:11

(Screen fades to black and shows the web address and social networking pages of Library and Archives Canada, Facebook, and Twitter)

Social media addresses: Facebook, Twitter

Library and Archives Canada corporate identifier

Government of Canada corporate identifier

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