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Irish-Canadian Documentary Heritage at Library and Archives Canada

Archived Content

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Gallery

Flickr Album

Frequently Asked Questions

Project Overview

Images on Flickr.com

Contribution and Participation

Project Overview

1. What is the Flickr project about?

As part of the 2008 Irish Studies Symposium, a selection of digital images related to Irish-Canadian documentary heritage have been made available for the first time on Flickr.com, a popular photo-sharing community, where you can comment on, tag and share content.

For the image album, we have added a sampling of 84 images related to Irish-Canadian documentary heritage. This includes a number of images from the James Topley collection as well images from James Ballantyne, George Heriot, and many others. Images on Flickr are tagged with specific geographic information to allow users to explore the collection and Irish-Canadian history on a virtual map of the world.

The objective of the project is to explore new ways to improve access to and increase interaction with Canada's documentary heritage. Library and Archives Canada is excited about the opportunities that social media-sharing communities provide for Canadians to discuss and contextualize an important selection of our collective history.

2. What are the objectives of the project?

The Flickr project has three objectives:

  • To test new ways to improve online access to Canada's documentary heritage
  • To explore how users interact with digital collections in environments that encourage the contribution of comments and tags
  • To foster dialogue and increase interaction with Canada's digital documentary heritage

3. Why use Irish-Canadian material?

A large number of Canadians share Irish ancestry. Between 1825 and 1845 over half of all immigrants to Canada were of Irish descent. Today, up to one fifth of Canadians claim Irish heritage. We believe that the stories of migration and settlement of this land are common and can be shared by all Canadians. We will be closely monitoring activity during the project and we look forward to using what we learn to evaluate how best to share other areas of the digital collection.

Images on Flickr.com

4. What types of images are you adding to Flickr.com?

We have added a sampling of 84 images images related to Irish-Canadian documentary heritage. This includes a number of images from the James Topley collection as well images from James Ballantyne, George Heriot, and others. Some examples include a portrait of the Late Honourable Thomas Darcy McGee, a drawn image of the Battle of Ridgeway, and photographs of Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, and other locations in Canada and Ireland. Many of the photographs were taken between 1860 and 1920.

5. Are there any copyright restrictions for images added to Flickr.com?

All images have no known copyright restrictions. Anyone can view the images, share them with others, and redistribute freely under the condition that the user of the image credits the image source.

6. What type of information is included with each image on Flickr.com?

All images are uploaded with English and French information including the title of the image, creator, date published, reference number, location, and source.

7. Why was Flickr.com specifically chosen for the project?

We chose Flickr.com after a review of a number of photo-sharing Web sites. We selected Flickr.com given that (1) it provided a fully-bilingual interface, (2) we could add images with bilingual information, (3) Canadians were already sharing their images in large numbers within this community, including images from our collection, and (4) given its ease of use and the ability to easily add comments and tags, tools that help to improve the accessibility of the collection among those searching for content online.

8. Have you considered joining the Flickr Commons?

Yes. We understand that some national libraries and archives have decided to join and some have not yet become members of the Flickr Commons. To join the Flickr Commons [www.flickr.com/commons], cultural institutions provide a rights statement noting that they have reasonably concluded that an image is free of copyright restrictions and that it will be shared under a usage guideline stating that there are "no known copyright restrictions." All images used in the project have been assessed by Library and Archives Canada to have no known copyright restrictions. As a result, we are evaluating membership. For the launch of the project we have joined Flickr.com but are not yet members of the Flickr Commons.

9. How can I view the Library and Archives Canada Flickr.com album?

Visit www.flickr.com/photos/lac-bac/sets/72157606336243875/

Contribution and Participation

10. How can I contribute to the project?

We welcome and encourage participation from both Canadians and non-Canadians. We understand that Canada's documentary heritage affects people from across the globe. All of us have a story to tell and a unique perspective. You can contribute to the project in a number of ways:

  • Leave a comment. If you see an image on Flickr.com and have a comment about what you see, let us know by leaving a comment on that page. To leave a comment, simply log in to the service you are viewing, navigate to the historical object you would like to comment on, and follow the instructions as noted on the page. Registration is free for Flickr.com. If you notice that (a) one of your ancestors is shown, (b) you are related to someone in the image, or (c) you like or dislike the image, let us know. Please be aware, we will be monitoring for and may remove vulgar or inappropriate comments.
  • Add a descriptive tag. Tags are short descriptors that help others find the object (image in the case of this project) when searching online. For example, all content for the project is tagged with "LAC-BAC" to identify it as associated with the project. If you search for "LAC-BAC" on either service or on most popular Internet search engines you will find all materials related to this term. If you notice that one of your ancestors is shown, let us know that ancestor. On Flickr.com, you can select parts of an image for location-specific tagging. If you can describe any part of what you see, feel free to add a descriptive tag. Please be aware, we will be monitoring for and may remove vulgar tags.
  • Send to a colleague or friend. The images on Flickr.com can be shared with others. You may want to share with someone for a research project or simply out of personal interest. To share an image, simply log in, navigate to the historical object you would like to share, and follow the instructions as noted on the page.
  • Link to the object from another Web site. If you write a blog or have an online presence and like the objects you see, we encourage you to share them with others by linking to the Library and Archives Canada albums or to the specific images. The greater the number of links to an object, the more likely it will be found on popular Internet search engines when an individual enters search criteria describing the object.

11. How will Library and Archives Canada use the information I contribute?

One of the primary objectives of the Flickr project is to test new ways to improve online access to Canada's documentary heritage. As such, we want to explore the information provided on the objects we share online and consider how it can be used to potentially become a greater part of what defines a digital historical object in our collection. While we have no current objectives to resubmit comments or tags from this project on our primary Web site we understand that the simple act of allowing comments and tagging to occur on these communities improves accessibility to this content when searching for a historical object on today's popular Internet search engines.

We may at a future date consider adding this information to our records. Alternatively, we may continue to allow it to remain exclusively on these communities. We encourage you to provide your feedback. To reach us, e-mail innovation@bac-lac.gc.ca.

12. Who do I contact if I have additional comments or questions?

For questions or comments related to the project, ask us at innovation@bac-lac.gc.ca.