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Online archives of Moshe Safdie

Published: 5 Mar 1999

Minister of Industry John Manley attends the launch of a web site created at McGill University featuring over 2000 images from the archives of renowned architect Moshe Safdie.

Canada’s digital collections: McGill students build home for Safdie on information highway

John Manley, Minister of Industry, today announced the launch of a web site created by youth interns at McGill University featuring over 2000 images from the archives of Moshe Safdie, a renowned architect who studied in Canada.

"I congratulate the creative work of these students who have made the unique architectural archives of Moshe Safdie available worldwide to researchers, students and professionals via the Information Highway," said Minister Manley. "Industry Canada supports these students’ efforts to build Canadian content on the Internet. Not only does this project support the Government’s Connecting Canadians Strategy, it provides an opportunity for students to learn important information technology and web-page design skills."

Mr Manley viewed the Hypermedia Archive web site and its over 2000 holdings during a reception at McGill University in Montréal. He joined Mr Safdie and John Rae, Executive Vice-President, Power Corporation of Canada, to unveil the site and announce the upcoming retrospective exhibition of Mr Safdie’s career and work. The web site is a digital component of the exhibition, sponsored by Power Corporation, which is set to open at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in November 2001.

The Hypermedia Archive is an interactive exhibit of photographs, drawings and models, some in 3D, digitized from the architect’s complete repository at the Canadian Architecture Collection at McGill. "As one of the world’s elite architects practicing in the world today, Moshe Safdie is, beyond question, an architect of great cultural importance," noted McGill University Rare Books Curator-in-Chief, Irena Zantovská Murray. "One of the primary means of understanding Safdie’s singular contribution to contemporary architecture is the archival record, and we are extremely pleased that through this project, we are able to make this material so openly available to people in Canada and the world."

Born in Haifa, Israel and educated at the McGill School of Architecture, Mr Safdie has designed numerous projects of Canadian cultural significance, including the National Gallery of Canada and Habitat ’67 in Montreal. In 1990, Mr Safdie donated to the Canadian Architecture Collection his university papers and holdings which reflect his 25 year career as an architect -- one of the most significant architectural collections in Canada.

The project was funded by Canada’s Digital Collection program. This initiative gives young people aged 15 to 30 entrepreneurial and technology-based job experience digitizing collections of Canadian material for display on the SchoolNet web site. Since it began in 1995, Digital Collections has become one of the largest single sources of Canadian content on the Information Highway. The Safdie Hypermedia Archive is located on the McGill University web pages.

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