University of Saskatchewan and Ministry of Education unveil portal showcasing Saskatchewan's history online

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Oct. 16, 2012 2012-10-11-LIB The University of Saskatchewan and Ministry of Education unveiled a new online portal that provides digital access to a breadth of Saskatchewan's cultural resources and materials.

In 2010, the Ministry of Education committed $950,000 over three years to support the Saskatchewan Multi-type Digitization Initiative to help bring Saskatchewan culture and history, including First Nations and Métis culture, online in a central location for educational and research purposes. In the past, historical and cultural collections from museums and libraries across Saskatchewan were less accessible due to physical location or were too fragile for public handling. With this new portal, anyone can access these important collections online for free, which helps preserve the past and also helps educators and researchers do their work.
"The Ministry of Education recognizes the importance of improving electronic access to cultural and historical information," said Education Minister, Russ Marchuk.  "With access to a digital collection of history, the learning possibilities for Saskatchewan citizens are endless."
"The University Library at the U of S has led the development of this portal and overall strategy, in collaboration with the Saskatchewan Digital Alliance," said Vicki Williamson, dean of the University Library. "This was a wonderful opportunity to utilize our expertise and infrastructure in the field of digitization and also build important partnerships with libraries, museums and cultural institutions across the province for the benefit of education."
Named "Saskatchewan History Online", this new tool allows users to search collections by keywords similar to searching library catalogues. Researchers, teachers, educators, students and the public will be able to find artifacts they previously would have never seen—including photos, scrapbooks and personal items that tell stories of Saskatchewan's past. Beyond the ability to search, another unique feature is "Historypin" which allows people to view changes in a building, location or landscape from past to present using a map-like application on their smartphones.
Today's event is part of province-wide celebrations of Saskatchewan Library Week and Saskatchewan Education Week, and represents a significant milestone in the three-year project. While the site is now available, the University Library and the Saskatchewan Digital Alliance will continue to work together to add more content over the coming months.
The portal is online and available to the public to search for free at
For more information, contact:
Gillian Galambos, Communications Co-ordinator
University Communications
University of Saskatchewan
Tel: (306) 966-6559
Leya Moore
Ministry of Education
Tel: (306) 787-1069
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