As COVID-19 and the closure of the University of Waterloo campus continues to impact how Special Collections & Archives (SCA) staff interact with on- and off-campus researchers, the SCA team has gotten creative about how it delivers reference and research services. I talked about some of that work in Episode three: Dear Library of the Virtual Library Bunch series back in May.
To expand on that discussion, I've selected some notable and recent additions to the Waterloo Digital Library. The collections outlined below are part of SCA efforts to expand online access to our holdings, the descriptions for which can be browsed online via the Archives Database.
- The Dominion Rubber collection has been expanded to include photos from the Dominion Rubber Company fonds and keyword searchable early editions of The Dominion, a semi-regular publication about the company that included company, employee, and industry news.
- NB: The newsletter includes a content note acknowledging racist and sexist content, which is an example of SCA’s recent formalization of approaches for integrating equity and reconciliation frameworks into language in archival descriptions.
- Since the campus closure in March several new collections reflective of our Local History holdings have also been added to the site. Included are records from the Augustine, Ham, Kaufman family fonds (with a focus on Emma Kaufman); the Clement Bowlby Family fonds; the Rieder and Anthes family fonds; and the Dare Foods Limited fonds (with a focus on the C.H. Doerr era of the company).
- A selection of ephemeral items held in the University of Waterloo Archives Topical files collection are now available for viewing. They include brochures, menus and event announcements reflective of campus life, along with posters from the 1990s related to student activism on campus. Examples include flyers about a Library study-in and a Mohawk crisis solidarity event, and as well an overview of the Anti-Imperialist Alliance.
- There is now a Historical Maps collection on the site. Getting these newly catalogued maps scanned and online will be an longer-term effort, so expect more additions at some point in the future.
As always, SCA welcomes input regarding available descriptive records, as well as suggestions for improvements to our online services. Contact us with any comments, questions or concerns.
Much of what is on the site would not be possible without the hard scanning work of almost every co-op student that's worked with SCA had since 2016 (Asiya! Elakkiya! Sarah! Ryan! Alice! Tahreem! Ishleen! Katie! Taylor!), as well as the dedicated effort by the SCA team to (re)describe and process records within our care. I would also be remiss not to mention Lathangi Ganesharatnam, Graham Faulkner, and Nick Springate for their on-going technical support.