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New website to make community histories easily accessible

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Manitobia, a resource-rich website that highlights the role of the province in the early history of the country after European contact, has completed phase one of a project aimed at providing internet access to local histories produced by communities across the province.

It will be officially launched Monday at an event from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Legislative Building.

The publication of the histories of towns and municipalities goes back to the 1880s, with an estimated 1,200 known to be in print and more added all the time. These publications, often a labour of love for the communities, were produced in small numbers and are now often hard to find. They record the stories, memories and development of towns across Manitoba. The availability of this information online through Manitobia brings them to the desktops and tablets of genealogists, historians, researchers and former Manitobans anywhere and anytime.

Media and the general public are invited to a launch of Manitobia, with special guest the Honourable Phillip S. Lee, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, and presentation of the site in the historic reading room of the Legislative Building.

The digitization of local histories adds to the over 100,000 pages of historical, rare and unique documents, including rural newspapers, pamphlets, select maps and thematic articles, made available free of charge in full-text-searchable versions on the website. Phase one marks the digitization of about 200 books with plans to have all communities represented in coming years.

Gordon Goldsborough

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The project is managed by the Manitoba Library Consortium Inc., a group made up of government, public, school, college and university libraries across the province and supported by the Winnipeg Foundation. Major partners in this initiative include the University of Manitoba, the Legislative Library of Manitoba and the Manitoba Historical Society.

Gordon Goldsborough of the Manitoba Historical Society notes: "Thanks to the preservation efforts of the Manitoba Legislative Library and the University of Manitoba Libraries, Archives & Special Collections, this project makes an incredibly valuable historical resource more readily available to students, historians, genealogists, and researchers and all those who seek to discover who we are by learning about Manitoba's past."

Visit Manitobia at: http://manitobia.ca/

History

Updated on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 12:32 PM CST: corrects typo in headline

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