Thursday, June 29, 2006

Alouette Canada's Digitization Project

I hope I spelled that right. "Alouette." An awkward word if your first language isn't French.

Alouette Canada is a new digitization project that will include books, historical documents, newspapers, and other items of some value to Canada's heritage. I don't see any digital books or anything else on the Web site yet, but there is--in the best French-heritage tradition--a "declaration" which announces 2006 as the "launch year."

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscribers only) tells me several Canadian universities have signed on to the project, which will be mostly publicly funded. Enough has been collected ($120,000 by my count) to support the effort for the next few months, but after that, who knows.

It sounds like a worthy endeavor, but will the money really be there to keep the thing afloat for a long period of time? No solid long-term funding source has yet been found.

My reaction as a consumer of digital products: Throw a book on the Web site already. Let's see something.

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