INK was a pilot project of OurOntario, one of the subprojects of Knowledge Ontario (KO) and has been kept afloat by OurDigitalWorld (ODW). KO ceased a decade ago when the provincial funding was pulled and INK has not seen any investment since that time. Despite this, the collection brings together over 200 years of newspaper titles. 52 community newspapers are presented, representing over 100,000 complete issues, and over 1 million full pages of English and French content. Many of these newspapers have been scanned from microfilm, and are searchable using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology. Although the quality of the sources vary greatly for using OCR and digitization techniques, INK attempts to provide a strong alternative to using microfilm readers to view the content.
We were offline for 2 months and are just getting this server back into operation, many thanks to the folks at Scholars Portal for helping us out. We are determined to find a new hosting option and revamp the underlying system by Summer 2023. And we could use your help! Please contact us if you have some ideas on where we might find support for Canadian newspaper digitization.
This collection includes early Kingston newspapers (The British Whig, The Kingston Chronicle, and The Kingston Gazette), two abolitionist newspapers from Southern Ontario (The Provincial Freeman and The Voice of The Fugitive), and unique titles for topics such as Great Lakes shipping (The Marine Record) and visual sources for 19th century Canadian history (The Canadian Illustrated News).
With support from the Leddy Library and the Southwestern Ontario Digital Archive (SWODA) at the University of Windsor, cloud-based infrastructure from Scholars Portal, extensive software development contributions from Project Conifer, processing equipment from Windsor Hackforge, and early donations of time and material from The Essex Free Press with help from the Internet Archive, as well as countless volunteers from local history groups and others, INK represents one of the largest and most comprehensive digital newspaper collections in Canada.
ODW is very active in training and outreach and has been featured in the many publications and presentations. Resources for digitizing newspapers are featured on the Newspapers section of the ODW site, and some of the technical specs for this work have been described in a video from the Access 2012 conference.
And we want to build and grow! Contact Us if you have a newspaper title that you would like to see online or want to support newspaper digitization.