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PEI Legislative Documents Online

  Hon. Carolyn Bertram, Speaker, standing with PEILDO project partners.

 

L to R: Jeff Bursey, Hansard Editor; Laura Morrell, Research Librarian; Jill MacMicken-Wilson, Provincial Archivist; Hon. Robert Henderson, Minister of Tourism and Culture; Hon. Carolyn Bertram, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly; Mark Leggott, University Librarian; Simon Lloyd, University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian, UPEI.


New Online Resource Launched at Province House

Prince Edward Island Legislative Documents Online (PEILDO) presents the Journals of the Legislative Assembly (1894-present), the official record of the business of the Legislative Assembly. Free and open to all Islanders, this exciting new site provides access to a rich collection of material covering almost 120 years of our political, social and economic development. PEILDO is the result of a partnership between the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, the Public Archives and Records Office, Prince Edward Island Public Library Service, and Robertson Library, University of Prince Edward Island.
 
Prince Edward Island Legislative Documents Online consists of over 76,000 pages of keyword-searchable scanned journals (1894-2011), including data-rich appendices (1894-1966) containing detailed reports from departments such as health, education, agriculture and public works. Digitized audio recordings of Legislative Assembly proceedings for the years 1968-1973 are also available for streaming. To provide additional context, biographies (1873-1993) and over 170 photographs of MLAs have been included in peildo.ca.
 
As Hon. Carolyn Bertram, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, observes, “This website is an inclusive resource that brings past members’ contributions to everyone’s fingertips. It’s a fantastic heritage and educational tool for every Islander and Canadian.” The public and MLAs alike can chart the history of their district from the 1890s through to today. Community growth, changes in primary industries, and the expanding importance of local representation, as well as much more, can be discovered through the PEILDO. We predict that anyone visiting this site will soon come to see it as an invaluable and entertaining online resource, free to all. The site, www.peildo.ca, is now available to everyone.
 
“Researchers, government staff and everyday Islanders have always looked to the Journals of the Legislative Assembly for information on the workings of the Legislature and that method of search takes a great deal of time,” said Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson. "With a keyword searchable version available online, what once took hours can be done in minutes. Researchers will find this a treasure trove of names, dates and facts. We were delighted to be able to contribute materials from our collection to the project and make them available to a much wider audience.”
 
Since 2006, the UPEI Robertson Library has committed to an “open” philosophy in developing home-grown, in-house digital collections and services, working with other PEI culture and heritage institutions through its islandarchives.ca program. The PEI Legislative Documents Online initiative is an excellent demonstration of the partnership potential of islandarchives.ca, since it is based on close cooperation between several Island information repositories. The equipment and expertise of the UPEI Library’s digitization lab were shared with staff from the Legislature’s Hansard office, who performed the digital scanning of print volumes sourced from partner institutions. This work, and the design of the digital repository for making the scanned content available online, was overseen collaboratively by these four partners, along with the Legislative Library. The system also uses the Islandora system, developed at the UPEI Library and used all over the world to preserve digital content. The UPEI Library is delighted at this successful marriage of Island-based technology, expertise and content, which powerfully demonstrates the value, and the potential, of locally-driven, open source-based digital solutions. “The Robertson Library is pleased to be a partner in the new PEI Legislative Documents Online project, a resource that will benefit all Islanders regardless of where they live,” says University Librarian Mark Leggott. “It also sets a standard, not just for the innovative use of technology developed on PEI, but also for the development of strong cross-sectoral partnerships."
 
The launch of PEILDO took place at 3:00 p.m. on 14 February 2013 at Province House theatre.
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