Kingston Branch Seeks a Volunteer

Kingston Branch Seeks a Volunteer

To Project Manage an Initiative to Preserve the RMC Cadet Records

Background

When an officer/naval cadet first enters RMC, a file is opened to record the individual’s performance until they graduate or leave the College prematurely. Up until sometime in the 1990s, all these cadet records were printed on acid based paper with the result they will deteriorate and become illegible over time. In order to preserve the oldest of the cadet records, the Kingston Branch of the RMC Club undertook a four year project to interleaf all cadet records up until the closing of the College in 1941 with acid free paper. The interleafing is complete but is only a temporary solution that will slow the degradation but will not halt it. A project manager is required to seek a more permanent solution and to lead its implementation. The project is expected to be completed in three phases.

Phase 1 – Scoping

The initial effort will be to become familiar with the background – the key personnel involved, the quantity of records, where and how they are stored, what database to use, etc. Apparently an overzealous employee destroyed a quantity of post World War II cadet records before it could be stopped. There are several people who claim that these records were microfilmed before they were destroyed and the copies are stored in the Ottawa archives. But to date no one at the College that we are aware of has been able to locate them. This needs to be resolved and the mircofilms or whatever located so they can be accessed and hopefully included in a single database.

Phase 2 – Explore the Options

About two years ago, the Massey Library manager did invite representatives of the Kingston Branch to a meeting where the option of hiring a specialized firm was explored to digitize some of the College archives. The cost at that time was considered prohibitively expensive. The RMC Club faced a similar concern since it was storing all ex-cadet records in Panet House. The ex-cadet records differ from the cadet records in that they belong to the RMC Club of Canada and record the accomplishments, significant activities such as marriage, births and deaths of ex-cadets after they leave the College. The Kingston Branch purchased a scanner and provided several of its members over approximately a three year period during which all the ex-cadet records were scanned into the joint data based shared by the Club and the Foundation.

A project similar to that used by Panet House may be the only affordable option. The Kingston Branch can purchase one or more high speed scanners and, based on previous experience; it is not difficult to find ex-cadets who are willing to participate. The College should be able to provide a suitable data base that will improve access as well as backup. However there is still the issue of the original post WW II records that were supposedly destroyed. If they exist on microfilm, how can they be accessed and digitized or whatever so they are stored in a common data base with all cadet records.

Phase 3 – Implementation

The Project Manager will be expected to submit a summary of options and the recommended solution to the College and the Branch for approval. Following approval, he or she will be expected to participate in the purchase of any equipment such as scanners that may be required and to manage the implementation. The Branch has a history of successfully providing the manpower to complete similar projects and the task maybe to setup one or more suitable workstations and to effectively schedule the volunteers depending on the recommended solution.

If you are interested, please contact 5256 Gwyn Griffith at [email protected] or 613-766-2777.