Librarian Isabella Guthrie-McNaughton and junior member Matt Johnson
have been working diligently to digitally preserve ICS theses and make
as many publicly available as possible.
Most legacy theses exist only as printed books in the ICS library and must be scanned to become digital files. The ICS repository contains both these older theses and newer “born digital” ones.
A bookbindery removes theses from their jackets so they can be scanned efficiently. Once scanned, theses are rebound and reshelved.
Unbound theses are scanned on the photocopier and the image files are sent to a computer for processing into completed “digital objects.”
Matt applies optical character recognition and other finishing touches to the scanned thesis images using ABBYY FineReader software. Completed theses files are saved as PDF documents containing searchable text and an image of the original, thus preserving any illustrations.
Isabella uploads the PDF documents into the repository and makes sure they have accurate metadata catalogue records. The files are uploaded when the author has signed a non-exclusive license agreement. Once uploaded to the repository, theses become visible to a wide range of academic and popular search engines as well as databases such as the Theses Canada Portal, Google Scholar and BASE.