Libraries and Archives Canada Introduces Co-Lab, a Tool to Collaborate on Historical Records

Wikipedia defines crowdsourcing as “… a sourcing model in which individuals or organizations obtain goods and services, including ideas and finances, from a large, relatively open and often rapidly-evolving group of internet users; it divides work between participants to achieve a cumulative result.”

Crowdsourcing seems to be a great tool for genealogists to work together for the benefit of all. I have written often about the use of crowdsourcing in genealogy. See for a list of my earlier articles about crowdsourcing.

Now Libraries and Archives Canada is inviting everyone to “transcribe, add keywords and image tags, translate content from an image or document and add descriptions to digitized images using Co-Lab and the new Collection SearchBETA.”

The new project is described this way:

“Imagine transcribing handwritten letters like the one that Louis Riel wrote the day before his death to his wife and children, asking her ‘to make them pray for me,’ or tagging the names of soldiers in photographs from the First World War. You can help to unveil a great part of our history by using Co-Lab.

“Transcribe, tag, translate and describe digitized records from our collection. The more work we collaborate on using the Co-Lab crowdsourcing tool, the more accessible and usable our digital collection will become for everyone using the Library and Archives Canada(LAC) website.

“Start by taking our short tutorial to learn how to contribute to the ‘challenges’ that we have put together, or dive right in and learn as you go; you can always refer back to the guidelines for assistance. You can now also contribute to any of LAC’s digitized images when you do research using our new Collection SearchBETA.”

You can learn a lot more about this worthwhile project in the Library and Archives Canada Blog at:

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