We’ve recently had three 16mm films in our collection professionally digitized and I am pleased that they have now been uploaded to our Museum’s YouTube channel and added to our Videos page on the website.
The first is a 15 minute black and white overview of the various activities that took place during the Regiment’s 100th Anniversary in 1960 including events conducted by all three battalions which existed at the time.
The second film is a 26 minute black and white “History of The Queen’s Own Rifles” produced by the CBC and featuring then museum curator Lieutenant Colonel William T. Barnard.
And lastly is a four minute silent “tour” of the of the fairly new Moss Park Armoury including the Officers’ and Sergeants’ Messes. (If anyone is able to help us nail down the date by identifying any of the soldiers in the film, we’d greatly appreciate it. Leave a comment below!)
We’d like to thank the Digital Treasury Group for their excellent and professional work on this project and helping us with the cost!
We have almost a dozen more films which we hope to digitize as the funding becomes available. Unfortunately our storage facilities are not ideal for the storage of films and frankly they are virtually inaccessible now in the 16mm format so we’re very excited to be able to make a start on this important preservation project!
Aside from our collection of artifacts our museum has an interesting archival collection of documents, records and other materials dating back to the 1860s. These were created by the Regiment, by regimental affiliates or donated by individuals or their families. The museum itself has also collected a variety of material. We hope to create a catalogue of our archives to make them more accessible to researchers.
Our lack of full time staff to respond to requests for information has led us to consider the benefits of digitizing certain records and making them available online. To this end, we contacted Anne Dondertman of the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, University of Toronto, who is graciously allowing us use of the library’s digital book scanner designed for use with bound volumes. This is a book2net Kiosk for those enquiring minds.
After scanning, we import the individual jpeg images from a book into a single Adobe Acrobat pdf document. We then add books marks, run optical character recognition to create a searchable document (if possible), add metadata and reduce the size of the pdf for uploading to our website.
I can now scan about 400 pages per hour if I resist the urge to read while I’m scanning. As we only have access to the library a couple of hours each week, it may take us some time to process our materials. In the meantime we’re prioritizing so that we`ll be scanning the most useful/interesting first – a rather subjective process!
To date we`ve digitized and uploaded to our new ARCHIVES page:
- one Nominal Roll (1866-1882)
- three volumes of Regimental Orders (1868-1874, 1886-1892 & 1892-1897)
- the regimental Book of Remembrance, 1866-1918,
- three sets of Regimental Standing Orders (1880, 1894, 1925)
We’ve also linked to some previously scanned documents:
- the 3rd Battalion Nominal Roll 1915
- two diaries of soldiers who were in the North West Field Force
- Lieutenant R. S. Cassels
- Rifleman J. A. Forin
We’ll continue digitizing and uploading as documents are completed. We hope you’ll find this material both interesting and helpful!