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The Alberta Online Encyclopedia

The submission of two applications to the Government of Alberta in the Centennial Legacies program is the culmination of Foundation work in the past seven years. For the 100th anniversary of Alberta in 2005, the Heritage Community Foundation has risen to the Government of Alberta's challenge for excellence in legacy projects. The Foundation applied for funding support for two projects as follows:

  • The Alberta Online Encyclopedia—this was funded through the Alberta Centennial Legacies Program
  • The Alberta Heritage Digitization Program—this was not funded

Launched 29 September 2005, the Alberta Online Encyclopedia is the primary intellectual legacy project for Alberta’s centenary and exploits the full potential of the Web medium by placing issues, people, events, activities, and artifacts within a comprehensive context of historical, environmental, cultural, social, economic, and political meaning. In 2006, the Encyclopediareceived in excess of 60 million hits, with over 1.5 million unique visitors viewing our 73 dynamic websites comprising 6.6 million pages with average visit duration of 24 minutes.

The Alberta Online Encyclopedia, accessible on the World Wide Web at Albertasource.ca, represents the extensive base of Heritage Community Foundation Web sites developed in partnership with museums and other heritage organizations throughout the province; it consists of scores of multimedia books, virtual exhibits, online catalogues, and educational resources that facilitate discovery and learning in the following content categories:

  • Aboriginal
  • Architecture
  • Arts and Culture
  • Civil Society
  • Communications
  • Diversity
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Francophone
  • Government and Politics
  • History
  • Industry
  • Museums and Archives
  • Natural History
  • Natural Resources
  • People
  • Religious Life
  • Science and Technology
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Tourism and Travel
  • Transportation
  • Women
  • Youth and Learning Resources

The gateway to the Encyclopedia is bilingual, as are several Web sites. All Foundation websites are accessible via a common database through various search tools, including text, images, audio, and video.

The Foundation’s Web sites are a huge digital repository of heritage content; its virtual exhibits and other online resources utilize the latest multimedia technologies, ensuring that history truly speaks in an interactive voice to the millions who visit our sites annually. The creation of the Online Encyclopedia, effectively addresses the “content gap” in the Alberta SuperNet and moves Alberta's history into the future.