We enjoy receiving your comments, questions, and stories! Before sending us a message, please take a moment to read through our frequently asked questions.

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What is Digitization?

Digitization is the process of creating a digital replica of a page from a book or microfiche, which can in turn be used in web sites, and other educational and community tools. The process of digitization involves the following steps:

Copyright Clearance: If materials are not in the public domain, permission must be granted by the creator and/or their estate prior to digitization.

Sourcing: This is the process of obtaining the materials to be digitized. This may involve borrowing a collection or obtaining books via inter-library loan.

Scanning/Photography: Using a scanner or digital camera, photographs, books, microfilm, and/or microfiche are turned into digital form. The resulting images are then saved on a server, which acts as a virtual file cabinet and safely stores the material.

Metadata/Cataloguing: This is the process of "tagging" the scanned images. This tagging process makes it possible for the images to later be searched on web sites by keyword, title, author, or subject.

Quality Assurance: At this stage, completed work is double-checked prior to being uploaded onto the sites.

Uploading: This is the final stage of digitization and involves putting the completed material online.

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Can I purchase the following...?

Unless specifically stated, we do not have copies of the materials on our web site for sale. We generally borrow books and other items for digitization from libraries, archives, and individuals across Canada.

Here are some suggestions to help you purchase rare and out-of-print books:

Contact the publisher directly. Titles still in print are often available to purchase through the publisher. Older or rare titles may have been published by small committees, which often have extra copies available.

Check with your local bookstore. If the book you wish to purchase is still in print, but not on the shelf, you may be able to special order a copy.

Try visiting a used bookstore. Abebooks (, for example, is an online bookstore that connects users to 12,000 booksellers selling 50 million new, used, rare and out-of-print books.

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Where can I get more information for my research?

Unfortunately, we are not able to conduct research for our site users. If you require assistance with your topic of interest, we recommend you contact your local library, archives, or museum.

If you are having difficulties using our web site to find the information you are researching, please send us a note via feedback and specify where on the site you encountered difficulties.

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Do you accept content suggestions?

Currently, we only accept content suggestions for books and other published materials. If you would like to see a particular title become a part of our online collections, please send us a message via feedback with as much information about the item as possible.

Even if we are able to obtain copyright permission to digitize a particular work, due to funding restrictions and Editorial Board rulings, we cannot guarantee we will be able to place a specific publication on our web site.

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I am experiencing technical difficulties.

If you experience technical difficulties with our web site, please send us a message via feedback. When reporting technical errors, please try to send us as much of the following information as possible:

URL (web address) of the page where the problem occurred.

For books and journals, the title of the work in question.

Detailed description of the problem (a page is missing, a link did not load, etc.).

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May I promote and/or link to your web site?

Yes! We're thrilled to have you promote our site and link to our site. If you decide to promote any of our projects, please send us a message to let us know where you are writing from!

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Digital Initiatives
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T2N 1N4

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