Library and Archives Canada (@LibraryArchives)

09Apr12

Library and Archives Canada (@LibraryArchives) uses its twitter feed primarily as a discovery tool, posting frequent “#collection fishing” tweets with links to images pulled from the archives. They are often thematically linked to timely events occuring, like this one from April 4, “Making #maple syrup at the #sugarshack, a traditional Canadian#spring activity!  goo.gl/uxprM goo.gl/VxHd6“, linking to the following image:


Making Maple Sugar, Lower Canada. ca. 1837 by Bainbrigge, Philip John, 1817-1881.

The twitter feed is also used to cross-post or promote new posts on the LAC blog and new episodes of the LAC podcast.

The search to find a link to the Twitter feed on the LAC site left me throroughly confused. I ended up at two distinct sites, the “Library and Archives Canada” site housed at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca, and the “Library and Archives Canada” site housed at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/. They have fairly different looks but almost identical information architecture, and most of the links from the former lead you through to the collectionscanada site. Maybe they are in some kind of process of transition from one to the other. Anyway, I searched and searched and could not find a link to the twitter feed anywhere on the collectionscanada site or on the blog, both of which I had been led to by posts in the Twitter feed. The collectionscanada site had links to both the podcast and the blog. I was beginning to wonder whether the Twitter feed was even being produced officially, or whether there was some rogue Canadiana enthusiast combing the collections and posting highlights every couple of days. At last I realized that the link in the Twitter bio was the bac-lac.gc.ca site, which does indeed have a “Stay Connected” section of icon links to Flickr, Twitter, Podcasting and RSS. I think it is safe to believe that it is an official Twitter feed, but not one that is easy to find.

The Twitter feed links in nicely to both the collections themselves, and to the blog, which is only a brief pilot project. They cross-post with new blog posts in a concise, engaging way, such as this post from March 20: “Are you a Canadian #veteran and looking for your#militaryservicefile? Read today’s #blog to know how:http://goo.gl/kahVV“. They link to new episodes of the podcast in a similar way.

I like the collection discovery aspect of this feed, which is enjoyable in a way that has little connection to being a user of the physical space or even the digital collections themselves. I plan to continue following it for that reason, as a little dose of Canadian whimsy here and there. Who knows, maybe they will draw me into the podcast and blog as well!

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