Our team has upgraded the platform and moved all your content and site settings over to the newest version of VITA.

Lots of changes are behind-the-scenes – you’ll notice a faster and easier VITA without having to learn anything new!

Members using the default CSS templates for their sites will see some display changes, as we’ve tweaked our code a bit.

We’ve also introduced some new alternate styling templates that take minimal time to set up and can drastically change the appearance and function of your VITA site!

What’s New

Faster and more responsive indexing

Changes and additions appear automatically on your public site.

Better video uploads

And you can always embed a Youtube video!

Sleeker CSS

VITA’s classic look is upgraded – plus some new looks to choose from.

Responsive search & results screens

Options you don’t use are hidden on Advanced Search and results screens. Long results automatically hide and expand.

Completely separate News from Images sites

No more overlap of content: it’s a clean break!

Bug fixes and tweaks

Stay tuned for more V6 news and support

What’s Gone

Mobile search

Your VITA site will look the same no matter what device you use, so we’ve done away with the special stripped-down version.

Search widgets

Existing ones still work, but you can’t add new ones.

FLV [Flash] video files

We’ve converted any FLV files to MP4 for you!

We love seeing what our member organizations are up to and how they use VITA in creative ways. Here’s a few we’ve profiled on the ODW blog recently:


VITA and the library as publisher

The County of Brant Public Library released their story anthology, Place Settings, using their VITA platform to host the eBook as a PDF and individual audiobook chapters, where each story is read by its author. Each chapter is geotagged to the local area where it takes place.

Waterloo Then and Now

The Then/Now Youth Photography Project is sending shutterbugs through the city to capture updated views of archival photographs.  The Waterloo Public Library created a record group in VITA to host the project online. They’ve used VITA’s multipage document module to innovatively present each pairing, so you can flip back and forth between the Then and the Now!

The Brighton Barns Project

Recently featured in their local paper, the Brighton Digital Archives has a wonderful project photographing and cataloguing local barns. The Project has begun uploading photos to their VITA site and listing them in an exhibit. At this point, almost 200 barns have been photographed, resulting in over 2,000 images, so you’ll see a lot more added in the near future.


Want your awesome community project using VITA featured in the ODW blog, newsletter, and social media? Contact us and ask how we can help!


Jess and Frances will be hosting a series of live Q&A sessions for anyone learning about VITA this summer. Whether you’re a first-timer, a summer student or intern, a long-time user looking to brush up, or an advanced user with ambitious questions, Jess and Frances will be providing demos and walk-throughs upon request.

There’s no sign-up necessary, and everyone is welcome!

Our first brown-bag lunch session is Monday, June 12th with more dates to follow:

  • June 12th, 12pm EST
  • June 26th, 12pm EST
  • July 10th, 12pm EST
  • July 24th, 12pm EST
  • August 7th, 12pm EST
  • August 21st, 12pm EST

See the Training Calendar for dates. If you can’t make it, be sure to check out the webinar recordings on our YouTube channel and the VITA Help site!

We’ve also created a handy infographic for you to refer to when you’re getting started or want to know where to look for more resources:

The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport has released its Annual Survey of Public Libraries and now’s the time to make your VITA collections count!

We’re ironing out a couple of details, but then will provide step-by-step instructions on how to include your VITA content and traffic statistics in the survey.

Follow the links in this FOPL post to start your survey

SOLS is offering a series of webinars about completing your survey.

Stay tuned to our blog and for more information and documentation.

Not from Ontario? Tell us about any similar surveys so we can help you include your collections!


Highland Park Public Library in Illinois: 11,500 newspaper pages (various titles covering 1883-1922) and index


Downers Grove Public Library in Illinois: 8,500 pages of the Downers Grove Reporter newspaper


Kawartha Lakes Public Library: 42,000 newspaper pages (various titles, 1865-1937)


Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library: 5,000 newspaper pages – from microfilm all the way up to born-digital PDFs!

New VITA Training Webinars are now live! Users and the public can now access helpful webinars about the features and workflows of VITA Toolkit. Geared for the VITA Toolkit user, these webinars are great for everyone to learn more in an on-demand environment about interactive features, managing and customizing sites, working with groups of records, newspapers, and more. We also cover other heritage technology, such as our series on using OpenRefine to clean up your data.

Subscribe to our Youtube channel to be kept up-to-date on all of our uploads. We’re always looking for feedback on what else to include, so send us your requests.


Don’t forget about the wealth of other resources on our Help Site – and if you have any questions, try posting in our ….

Community forum

Building digital collections is more than scanning! Everyone has to consider issues like privacy, copyright and personal information then create best practices and policies as part of the process. We wanted to have a shared space for exchanging knowledge and experiences about these and other aspects of building and sharing online collections. The new VITA Community Forum includes threads that range from “copyright on plaques” to “removing audio noise from recordings” and “digitizing yearbooks – personal information issues.” The VITA Community Forum welcomes the public to read and contribute–what are your questions?

OLA "All-in" logo

We’re organizing two sessions at the OLA Super Conference! You can also visit us in the Expo Booth on Thursday and Friday – at booth #536!


When Things Get Personal: Digitizing Your Community History
Thursday, February 2 10:45AM

Join ODW and our panel to discuss examples of personal information requests, policies and management from community newspapers & indexes, school publications, and Tweedsmuir histories. We’ll discuss some real-life experiences of the ethics and challenges of undertaking community digitization projects to start the conversation.
Bridging the Gap: Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives, Museums
Friday, February 3 2PM

Learn more about Linked Open Data and why it is important to/for the LAM Community. Our panel will address issues in collaborating on LOD projects across LAM institutions and the current state of LOD in Canada.

Heading of the Orono Weekly Times

Ontario’s newspaper collections keep growing, plus more from Illinois!

Clarington Public Library

  • The complete set of newspapers from Clarington area are online now
  • Browse & search ~150,000 pages from the Orono, Bowmanville, & Clarington area!

Illinois Newspapers Portal
Coming soon…

  • More Kawartha Lakes area newspaper titles and issues, from Lindsay to Bobcaygeon and Omemee!
  • Highland Park and Downers Grove Public Libraries from Illinois are adding community newspapers & index records


Register now for upcoming training sessions!

See the VITA Toolkit training calendar for upcoming dates and sessions.

Sessions include the basics like:

  • Adding and Managing records
  • Managing your Agency
  • Managing your Site
  • Creating Exhibits

Media-specific sessions for text, newspapers, indexing, audio, & video

Community interaction modules like contributions, favourites, and testimonials!

And advanced features like web pages, batch uploads and using templates.

All our webinars are online, in real time, and they’re free and open to everyone!

Join us November 15, 22, 29 & December 6.