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BC ELN & IKBLC Partnership Connects Small GLAM Organizations with Essential Digitization Support

Image of a woman posing in front of a hydroelectric dam.
July 6, 2021

A new partnership between the BC Electronic Library Network (BC ELN) and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) at the University of British Columbia Library will offer vital support to prospective BC History Digitization Program (BCHDP) grant applicants seeking to bring their unique collections online. The BC ELN-BCHDP Support Service is a 3-year pilot program that provides small GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) sector organizations including galleries, archives, museums, and historical societies with a range of support services to help them prepare and apply for BCHDP grant funding.

With a $30,000 investment from IKBLC over the next three years and BC ELN’s expert coordination, participating organizations will have access to support that has been designed to meet needs identified in the early stages of digitization planning including grant writing assistance, copyright advisory, connections to digitization partners, project management, securing support staff, and rights management. This partnership builds on the current BCHDP-Arca Hosting Initiative that allows grant recipients to host their digitized collections on the award-winning Arca platform for free. This new Support Service agreement reaffirms BC ELN and IKBLC’s shared commitment to meeting the research and learning needs of those across the province by enriching online historical collections.

“We believe this partnership offers a missing piece in the support we provide for BCHDP grant applicants and furthers the IKBLC’s goal of making British Columbia’s historical resources freely available online. When we lower barriers to funding, those in B.C. and around the world have access to new and engaging collections,” said Julie Mitchell, Associate University Librarian and Director, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

“BC ELN is ready to build on the Arca hosting support currently offered to BCHDP grant recipients and to work with organizations every step of the way through the BC ELN-BCHDP Support Service. This new partnership reaffirms our common vision with IKBLC to share the province’s digital heritage widely, and we look forward to the continued collaboration,” said BC ELN Executive Director Anita Cocchia.

About BC ELN and the Arca Collaborative Digital Repository

The BC Electronic Library Network (BC ELN) is a partnership between the Province of British Columbia and its post-secondary libraries. BC ELN's purpose is to develop, promote and maintain system-wide mechanisms that allow post-secondary libraries to provide equitable access to resources that meet the expanding information needs of the province's learners, educators, and researchers at the best cost. BC ELN provides coordination and support for Arca, a collaborative initiative that puts the development and implementation of a digital repository within reach for every organization, at a reasonable cost, and in a supported environment. The BC ELN-BCHDP Support Service builds on the success of the BCHDP-Arca Hosting Initiative, which provides no-cost, fully supported hosting in Arca to BCHDP grant recipients.

About Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and the BC History Digitization Program

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) is an interdisciplinary environment dedicated to integrating people, knowledge, and innovation to develop solutions for the challenges of life in the new millennium and beyond. The British Columbia History Digitization Program (BCHDP) is a Learning Centre program designed to promote increased access to British Columbia’s historical resources by providing matching funds to undertake digitization projects that will result in free online access to unique historical material from around the province.

About the Photo

With support from BC ELN and with BCHDP funding, the BC Society for the Museum of Original Costume is in the process of digitizing a collection of unique photographs that will be made accessible in Arca to communities in B.C. and beyond.

Photo credit: [Image from a fashion shoot shot on location in front of an unknown hydroelectric dam in the Greater Vancouver Regional District.] (ca. 1980s). Lore Maria Wiener (Designer); Gordon Cornwall (Photographer). BC Society for the Museum of Original Costume.


Anita Cocchia

Executive Director
BC Electronic Library Network 

Julie Mitchell

Associate University Librarian and Director
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
University of British Columbia Library