Frequently Asked Questions

Suggest a collection to add to CNDHI:

  • Fill out the CNDHI Collection Form.
  • If you prefer to send the collection information via email, send it to info[@]



Can my institution’s collection be added to CNDHI?

We eagerly welcome suggestions of collections that meet our inclusion criteria. CNDHI indexes digitized Canadian heritage collections, defined as follows:

Digitized – The collection must consist of media that have been digitized; users must be able to see and/or hear the media, not simply read about them.

Canadian – A significant proportion of the media in the collection must relate to Canada.

Heritage – The collection must contain media that could reasonably be used as primary sources for the study of Canadian heritage.

Collections – The media must be grouped together into a collection online in such a way that the media are accessible in a relatively systematic manner.

What types of media can be found in collections indexed in CNDHI?

Media include video recordings, audio recordings, images, e-text, manuscripts, and publications. All of the media in the collections currently indexed in CNDHI fall into one of these categories. This list of media types is descriptive rather than prescriptive; if your institution has a collection of media that does not match either of these media types, we would be glad to consider indexing it in CNDHI.

How large does a collection need to be to be indexed in CNDHI?

To be indexed in CNDHI, a collection must include at least two documents, although most collections indexed in CNDHI include many more documents than two. A single document does not constitute a collection.

Does CNDHI index online finding aids, catalogues, or archival guides?

Because finding aids, catalogues, and archival guides do not provide users with the ability to experience the media online, CNDHI does not index these types of websites.

Does CNDHI index collections of born-digital media?

In rare instances, collections of born-digital media may be included in CNDHI provided that they could clearly be used as primary sources for the study of Canadian heritage. Because electronic journals, data sets, and presentation slides are relatively recent phenomena and are therefore unlikely to be used as primary sources in the near future, CNDHI does not normally index collections of these media.

Does CNDHI index collections of media relating to countries other than Canada?

While all collections indexed in CNDHI relate to Canada, many of these collections additionally relate to other countries. For example, we gladly include collections relating to immigrants to Canada, foreign relations of Canada, and Canadians’ involvement in other countries. For a collection to be considered Canadian, it is not sufficient for the collection to be housed in Canada or digitized by Canadians; the media themselves must have been produced by Canadians or about Canada. We do not include collections solely relating to other countries.

Does CNDHI index collections of current scholarship?

Collections of current scholarship are not indexed in CNDHI, even if the subject of the collections is Canadian heritage. It is not the goal of CNDHI to duplicate the functionality of institutional repositories or journal databases. All collections indexed in CNDHI include media that are themselves usable as primary sources for studying Canadian heritage.

Does CNDHI index online exhibitions or virtual tours?

In order to be indexed in CNDHI, a collection must include media that is accessible online systematically. CNDHI does not normally index online exhibitions or virtual tours as these tend to disperse the relevant media throughout in an individuated manner as a supplement to informational or educational text that is clearly the primary focus of the site. Exceptions are made for online exhibitions and virtual tours that additionally include media gallery pages.

My institution’s website has a searchable database of media from a variety of our collections. Can each of these collections be indexed individually in CNDHI?

In cases where media in a collection are accessible online only via a searchable database that includes media from multiple collections, each collection may be indexed individually in CNDHI only if there is a separate description page for each collection and each description page links to a list of search results limited to the media relevant to that description page. Otherwise, we will treat the searchable database as a single large collection and index it as a whole.