The Ottawa Jewish Bulletin celebrates our 80th anniversary in 2017 and the entire collection of Bulletins in the Ottawa Jewish Archives has been digitized and is being made accessible online free of charge.
The Ottawa Jewish Archives is pleased to announce the completion of a digitization project providing online access to the complete run of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin from 1937 to present.
“Ottawa Jewish Bulletin Online” is a digitization project with the goal of providing free universal online access to the Ottawa Jewish Archives collection of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin. The project was undertaken in the lead up to 2017, Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation and the Bulletin’s 80th Anniversary year.
The first issue of the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin was published on October 22, 1937. The Bulletin has since become the voice of the Ottawa Jewish community, its leaders, and its organizations. It has educated, informed, entertained, consoled, at times aggravated, and moreover unified its readership. The newspaper has strengthened religious and ethnic identity; served as a forum for generations of Jewish thought; and chronicled the development of a small immigrant community into a vital group contributing much to Ottawa life.
Currently, 924 issues of the Bulletin spanning 1937 to 2009 are universally accessible online for free. Issues dating from 2010 to the present will be added to the digital library in the coming months. Cover-to-cover scanning was completed at the Internet Archive Canada (IAC) Regional Digitization Centre in Toronto. As part of the scanning process, IAC utilizes optical character recognition, or OCR, a technology that enables the content of scanned documents to be word searchable, greatly increasing the collection’s research potential.
The IAC will host the digitized Ottawa Jewish Bulletin collection at their publicly accessible digital library for perpetuity, with the end result being that the Bulletin archive is accessible online in its entirety with provisions to add digital issues as they are published. The digital collection may be accessed at www.archive.org/details/ottawajewisharchives.
Through recent modernization and collections accessibility projects, the Ottawa Jewish Archives has made efforts to make its collections accessible and open to the community-at-large. The Bulletin collection is an unmined treasure of the Archives, which has in the past only been accessible through on-site consultation. Now, anyone with an internet connection can access the news stories, columns, features, editorials, and advertisements that document the cultural, social, and civic growth of Ottawa’s Jewish community and will allow for local, national and international access to the depth and richness of our local area’s Jewish heritage and history as recorded through Ottawa’s Jewish community newspaper.
The project also has great potential to impact children and youth attending Jewish day schools and public schools as access to the collection may allow students and educators to use this previously “hidden” and underutilized collection of local newspapers to inform and supplement their local history curriculum.
The project was made possible by funding from the City of Ottawa Heritage Funding Program 2016 and by the Ottawa Jewish Historical Society.