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The creation of the online Canada Year Book Historical Collection was the fulfilment of a dream for Communications and Library Services Division. Presenting a wealth of information about the social and economic life of Canada back to the birth of this country; it is a highly valued reference for historical researchers, academics and students. As a project it has presented many challenges in the three years to completion.
First proposed by Alan Bulley and Patricia Presti in 2005, it was their leadership, research and insight that laid the ground work for the project … finding the financing, negotiating the principal partnerships, determining the best technology and processes, developing a plan, putting everything in motion and, as was most evident when they both left Statistics Canada for “greener pastures” in 2006, keeping detailed documentation on all their work. Diane Leblanc stepped into the breech in 2006 and has capably managed the project since then, adjusting the plan, maintaining the partnerships, finding the resources, dealing with inevitable problems in implementing and delivering on the vision.
Bradley Boileau, Diana Bouchey, Thérèse Brown, Stephanie Chan, Brian Drysdale, Mary Hawkins, Jennifer Hendricks, Elizabeth Hostetter, Christina MacPhail, Monica Nuyens, Juli‑Ann Rowsell, Christopher Simmons
Brian Drysdale briefly managed the project before Diane Leblanc, preparing the second phase business plan and an interim report for the project. He also was instrumental in canvassing libraries for surplus copies of the year books needed for digitization.
Stephanie Chan and Monica Nuyens converted and formatted over 2,000 tables from a digitized format to Excel— a tedious job. They also set up the Excel sheets and converted the file names of all pages of 159 books. In total, they processed 180,000 pages and file names. Monica also converted the books’ chronologies and various selected texts for an additional section, which represented 200 more HyperText Mark-up Language (HTML) pages.
Jennifer Hendricks performed quality control on the tables that had been formatted from digitized format and on the renaming of 180,000 pages. She has a great eye for detail.
Christopher Simmons performed quality control on the conversion of the books from Library and Archives Canada to a digital format so that they could be processed or stored by a computer system. He reviewed all 159 books— 180,000 pages— for accuracy.
Before the website was given to Loui Massicotte for coding, we were given a shell design from Pakobrats and had to populate the content. Juli-Ann Rowsell was instrumental in standardizing the formats of photos, images, charts and maps. As we needed additional development beyond what the designer had delivered for various designs, Juli-Ann used her knowledge of the various software used by the designer to enhance the design.
Bradley Boileau researched and wrote 12 chronologies, which will be loaded as a new section this summer. Jennifer Kerr and Edelweiss D’Andrea of the English editorial group ensured the content reflected the resource material, and they reworked the text. The French editorial group ensured the French content matched the English.
English: Edelweiss D’Andrea, Brodie Fraser, Elizabeth Irving, Jennifer Kerr
French: Paula Gherasim, Jean Héon, Luc Moquin, Julie Morin
Members of the editorial group were involved throughout the project on all levels. They reviewed the format and content of tables, the content and length of the lesson plans, and the web page content. Members of the English editorial group were asked to shorten the lesson plans, which were originally extremely long. They did, but they went even further: they tested the lesson plans and ensured that they followed a specific template given by Elise Mennie of the Education Outreach Program.
Elise Mennie and Mary Townsend were very helpful in giving feedback on all the lesson plans. (20 lessons plans)
Marc Bazinet, Karen Watson
Karen Watson wrote the marketing plan and worked with designers to create a bilingual poster for the 2007/2008 school year before leaving for a new job. Marc finalized the poster design, had mouse pads, rulers and book marks printed, and implemented the marketing plan in time for the 2008/2009 school year.
Louis Bonhomme, David Cahoon, Loui Massicotte, Paul McDermott
David Cahoon contributed to the initial development of CONTENTdm and integrated the software with the prototype design. We learned a great deal when redesigning the website to what it is today.
William Sullivan of Pakobrats Online New Media Design created fantastic designs. As he was not a Common Look and Feel (CLF) 2.0 specialist, Louis Massicotte took the underlying code and restructured the HTML code to ensure the website met CLF 2.0 guidelines.
Louis Bonhomme took over from David Cahoon, restructured the web site and loaded the 159 books— over 180,000 pages— in CONTENTdm on networks A and B.
Paul McDermott developed the programs to convert over 2,000 tables from Excel to HTML with a click of the mouse. The programs that he created ensured the tables were CLF 2.0 compliant and 100% accessible.