Congratulations to the Mayor and Council of the Township of Clearview, Simcoe County for voting on April 25th to designate the Bethel Union Pioneer Cemetery (1885) for its cultural heritage and historical significance under the Ontario Heritage Act. The Bethel Union Pioneer Cemetery is perhaps the only totally inter-racial, multicultural, non-denominational cemetery established during the period of history when only individuals of Anglo-European heritage were permitted burial within the boundaries of Caucasian sanctified cemeteries in the Province of Ontario. The OHS salutes the dedicated members of the SilverShoe Historical Society (SSHS) who have tirelessly donated their time and skills the last twenty years to advocate on behalf of this historic cemetery which is an important part of Canada’s history. This impressive accomplishment stands as an example of community involvement many years in the making. Congratulations to everyone involved!
By: Sarah McCabe, OHS Reach Project Manager
March 11, 2016
The OHS is pleased to report on the progress of the OHS Reach project, launched at the OHS Annual General Meeting in June 2015. OHS Reach is the initial one-year development stage of a three-year initiative to transform how the Society interacts with members, subscribers, and other stakeholders, and to furnish the expansion of online services and access. The OHS was awarded a 2015 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant in support of OHS Reach.
Extensive research has been conducted to determine the best method of online delivery for Ontario History, the peer-reviewed scholarly journal published by the OHS since 1899. Several options are being considered in detail by the OHS board’s Ontario History Committee, with a recommendation to be made to the board this spring. Subject indexing of Ontario History will be completed from 1993 to present.
The OHS has commissioned legal counsel to issue an opinion on copyright issues associated with publishing Ontario History online. This information will be of great interest to OHS members who are dealing with similar copyright questions for their own published material.
The OHS membership survey conducted in December 2015 was very successful, receiving individual and institutional responses from across the province. The data collected is being reviewed and analyzed, and will be shared in aggregate with members and heritage sector colleagues. The OHS sends a sincere thank you to everyone who participated! Your very thoughtful comments, compliments, suggestions, and ideas are highly valuable to the OHS, and will assist the Society to enhance its programs and services to better serve its members, and to broaden its role as an advising organization within Ontario’s heritage community.
In January 2016, OHS Reach concluded the stakeholder meetings which were conducted across Ontario, in person and by phone. The OHS was delighted to meet with and discuss the needs of OHS affiliate and member groups, authors and historians, peer organizations, educators, students, archivists, librarians, museum professionals, and many other groups and individuals. Again, the OHS sends its deep gratitude to all for your time and hospitality. A summary of findings will be shared.
A consultant, Kim Pittaway, has been engaged to undertake a review of the deployment of the Society’s human resources, and to update the Society’s strategic plan.
Over 130 other OHS publications have been digitized, on topics including accessibility, genealogy, food and drink, education, Black history, Native peoples, and much more. These are to be made available in the Society’s planned online e-book store.
Exciting things are to come, including planning for computer infrastructure upgrades and expansion of online services.
Just announced: OHS Reach will present a series of three webinars with OurDigitalWorld on “Project Management for Digitization Programs” on March 23, 30, and April 6, 2016. Click here to register for this exciting webinar series! A webinar on information technology management for heritage organizations is also in development for this spring. Stay tuned!