Waterloo Digital Library written by Alyson Fleming

Digital LibraryWhat is the Waterloo Digital Library?

The Waterloo Digital Library (WDL) contains many scanned images and documents from the Special Collections & Archives department located in the basement of Dana Porter Library. This online resource contains digitized photographs, letters, artwork and advertisements, allowing you to easily access these archival materials for papers and projects.

The WDL is an excellent resource to utilize, especially during this term while we are all learning remotely :) 

What can be found within the WDL?

The WDL holds a great deal of information and photos of important historical people and movements as well as many University of Waterloo images and documents. Some interesting materials include:

  • All issues of The Imprint newspaper since 1958
  • Aerial photos of the University of Waterloo throughout the decades
  • Records of student groups, clubs and organizations on campus
  • Kitchener-Waterloo Record Photographic Negative Collection

The WDL makes it easy to access many rare and fragile materials that you may be unable to handle in person, or that would require an archival appointment to view.

How can I access the materials within the WDL?

The WDL has organized the archival materials alphabetically allowing you to easily find what you’re looking for! Collections of information, such as the Women’s Domestic Work Advertisements, can be found within the alphabetical list as one grouping but will lead you to a page which contains all information and material related to that specific subject.

Once you’ve clicked on your chosen collection or individual, the WDL produces all related materials as well as a short notes section detailing what information be found within the collection as well as the approximate age of the materials.

If you know exactly what or who you’re looking for, the WDL also allows you to search by keyword or name!

Key Features within the WDL

  1. The WDL has included a notes section beneath each photo and document with all information needed to ensure proper citation, even including a preferred citation! This makes citing way easier and ensures all sources and materials are given proper credit. 
  2. Photographs include an Alt-Text description ensuring you know who is in the photo and what they are doing.
  3. Images and Documents include a note as to who supplied the Archive with the materials, as well as how the material was originally published (ex: within a specific section of a specific newspaper)!

Still Need Help?

If you’re looking for more information or need help finding a specific piece of information, the WDL has a “Contact Us” button! Don’t hesitate to send an email to those at the Special Collections & Archivse if you need more help or are interested in a certain document or image. :) 

  - Alyson Fleming