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MHS Aims To Digitize Community History Books

Excerpted fromMunicipal Leader: Fall 2010

Is that community history book that took so long to create now seldom read or gathering dust in a local library?

The Manitoba Histor ical Society, in collaboration with the University of Manitoba libraries, is embarking on a project to digitize these local histories and post them on their website.

Library inventories suggest there may be up to 1,500 works written about Manitoba’s communities which, over the years, have published history books to mark local milestones. Many rural communities also published “sequels” to history books during the year 2000.

Yet, numerous as they may be, many of these books were published in limited print runs and copies are becoming hard to find, particularly works created 40 and 50 years ago.

By posting these works online, the MHS hopes it might create an easily accessible local history inventory and valuable resource for school and university students, genealogists and others.

The MHS would like to contact as many of the original publishers of local histories as possible to explain the project and to ask permission to add the contents of these books to its website. A hard copy of each book will be needed to create the actual digitization.

Approximately 400 titles are expected to be completed this winter in a first phase of the project.

The online history book project is receiving funding support from the Winnipeg Foundation.

If you have history books, know persons involved with creating these history books, or would like to donate a book to this project please contact MHS secretary and webmaster Gordon Goldsborough at (204) 474-7469 or email: [email protected]

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