Frequently Asked Questions on the Heritage Collection

What is the Heritage Collection? The Heritage Collection includes over 40 million images from over 800 collections of archival material. Collection subjects include personal papers, census data, central registries, church records, first nations, government documents, land, military, photographs and more. It is the first time that this primary source content is being made accessible in open access format. This project is consistent with the Open Access objectives of CARL, CRKN, Canadiana and LAC to provide online access to Canadian documentary heritage in a sustainable way. What’s  new  about  this  project?   This project brings together large-scale digitization, linked open data, crowdsourcing, trustworthy digital repositories and W3C accessibility services to the first large scale open access project in Canada. Using this innovative business model, much greater accessibility will be offered than with Early Canadiana Online (ECO), as well as future sustainability. Why are we being asked to contribute up front? Early contributions will form a $2 million start-up fund to provide resources to digitize the collections and implement a Trustworthy Digital Repository infrastructure capacity and application function to support ongoing metadata creation, content transcription, and an RDA linked open data architecture. What  if  we  don’t  reach  the  $2  million  dollar  goal? Although $2 million is the goal, the project may be able to move ahead with less. This would mean that the project would have to digitize, create metadata, and transcribe at a slower rate. The exact impacts of not reaching the goal will have to be determined based on the actual shortfall, should that occur. How is this project going to be funded? An agreement between Library and Archives Canada and Canadiana provides for 10 years of exclusive rights for Canadiana to monetize the collections in

exchange for making them accessible online. Each year for 10 years, 10% of the collection will be made Open Access to Canadians. At the end of the project term 100% will be Open Access. Users who are not part of the CRKN offer will be charged an annual subscription for non-Open Access content during the 10-year exclusivity term. The largest part of the $60 million project costs are for metadata creation and transcription, assuming all work was for fee. These costs will be reduced through a combination of crowd-sourcing volunteers and transcription technologies. Metadata creation and RDA linking will be done by professional cataloguers. Ongoing creation of metadata, RDA linking and images content transcriptions will be funded primarily by subscription revenues and supplemented by other revenue sources such as derivatives, advertising, licenses, grants, charitable donations and sponsorships. Why  should  libraries  pay  for  this?    Shouldn’t  the  government  of  Canada  be   funding such a project? Although some may believe that the government should be funding these types of projects, the current climate is not supportive of those priorities. As an alternative, LAC has signed an innovative 10 year exclusive agreement with Canadiana to monetize the collection, which advances the objectives of LAC, Canadiana, CARL, and CRKN to create open access content for Canadians. Canadiana pursued various government grants prior to adopting this business model, but no funds were available for this type of project. What benefits do initial funders receive through the CRKN offer? Institutions that participate in the initial start-up fund benefit from: 1. Premium Access to provide enhanced searching and data analyses using the metadata created and content images transcribed during the project. 2. One-time payment (2 tranches) for perpetual access. (Non-participants will be charged an annual subscription fee for Premium Access.) 3. ILL requests for tapes in the collection to be digitized by Canadiana at no extra charge. 4. Makes  the  collections  “usable”  for  scholarly  research  faster.   5. Participate in priority setting for collection loading and metadata creation. 6. Partner  in  Canada’s  largest  Open  Access  initiative.   The Heritage Collection Project includes innovative application technologies including Linked Open Data and Application Program Interfaces to allow other academic research systems to integrate and utilize the collections.


What  is  CRKN’s  role  in  this  project? CRKN will manage the details of fee structure, funds collection and distribution to Commitment forms are sought by May 31, 2013, but payments can be made over one or two years - the first in the spring of 2013 and a second by May 2014. CRKN will provide ongoing communications to members regarding the content available for Open Access, along with the upcoming priorities. This opportunity aligns with long standing CRKN strategic objectives to identify new economic models to advance Open Access in Canada., the foremost Canadian publisher for primary source materials, is an ideal partner with which CRKN could take this important step. Why is this offer being made under non-disclosure? A public announcement is being planned for June 14, 2013 to announce the Heritage Collection. CRKN has been approached to share the offer with members so that the level of support and speed of advancement can be part of the announcement. Until the announcement has been made, members are asked to contain discussion within your institution or on the CRKN listserv. CRKN asks that this non-disclosure request be shared with staff who would be involved with this effort. What risk mitigation has been done? Technology platform stability and performance: In early 2012 Canadiana implemented a modern digital repository that is a scalable, reliable and secure platform with modern curated web portals for collections. With a strong and experienced team and modern datacentres in Ottawa and Montreal, Canadiana is well positioned to provide a robust and reliable service for preserving digital documentary heritage and online access into the foreseeable future. Underestimating costs/overestimating revenues: Metadata creation and content transcription is dependent on net revenues generated during the project term. It may not be completed during the project, however, the required tools and infrastructure will remain indefinitely until it is complete. Lost data: Copies of all digitized content and metadata created, as a minimum, will be given to LAC as a backup. The strategy is to further enhance perpetual access through reciprocal back-up agreements with other Canadian memory institutions supporting a Trustworthy Digital Repository. Sustainability: In order to ensure the sustainability of the system, the model includes provision for a sustainability fund which will maintain the infrastructure


and evergreen the IT components every 3-5 years. In addition, Canadiana is about half way through the process to achieve Trustworthy Digital Repository status, a certification from CDL that will ensure perpetual access into the future.


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