Soldier Information Card for Alvin Wilbert Gingrich of Hespeler, Ont.
As the summer reaches its midpoint, I wanted to update everyone on the Soldier Card Project. It’s been bit of a roller-coaster ride for the past 6 months with the closure, move and re-opening of the Central Library. Although the blog has been quiet for a while, we are still plugging away on the Soldier Card Project while unpacking and shelving books and almost 50 skids of archival boxes and newspapers, answering reference questions and learning how to operate our new digital microfilm scanner in the Grace Schmidt Room.
Currently, all of the WWI cards that required transcription have been completed. Volunteers are still researching and writing biographies and it looks like this process will be ongoing for the foreseeable future. Ingrid and Meg are looking after the circulation of cards for research.
I have been working on finalizing instructions for staff to begin the upload of transcribed and researched WWI soldier cards to our online site, Our Digital World (formerly Our Ontario.ca). As luck would have it, Our Digital World started a major software upgrade and record indexing project during the last week of July, which should finish by Wednesday this week. Once the dust has settled on the updates to the service, we’ll begin uploading the cards, transcriptions and biographies. I’ll post a link to the collection to let everyone know where they can find the records.
We are still circulating WWII soldier cards for transcription. Karen T. and Becky are looking after the circulation of these cards. We are approaching the alphabetical midpoint of the list, but the thick letters (M, P, S, T) are on the horizon.
Another Karen, in this case, Karen S., has been rehousing the Soldier Cards in acid-free folders and boxes, carefully interleaving acid-free tissue between the cards to prevent damage. The original cards will be kept in our Archives and access to the collection will be made via the digital images and the online collection.
There have also been a lot of work going on with the Waterloo Region Record. I am sure that you have been reading their fascinating WWI retrospective and soldier profiles – the photos for which are coming from the collections of the Grace Schmidt Room. It’s been an honour assisting Jeff Outhit, Luisa D’Amato and Rod Frketich at the Record with their research and photograph requests.
So onward and upward (in a software kind of way) with the Soldier Card Project! We really do appreciate all that you have been doing. If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to contact me.