Project Naming began with the digitization of approximately 500 photographs taken by Richard Harrington. Dating from the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Harrington photographs depict individuals from the communities of Igloolik (Iglulik), Kugluktuk (formerly Coppermine), Taloyoak (formerly Spence Bay) and Padlei. The images were transferred to CD-ROM and taken north on laptop computers by Inuit youth. The youth met with Elders from the four communities to identify the individuals portrayed in the images. Overall, these meetings were a great success, as more than three-quarters of the photographed subjects were identified. Many Elders were able to identify their parents, other family and community members, and, in some cases, even themselves.
During the summer of 2003, the project expanded to include other photographic collections at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), focusing on communities from the Baffin region (Qikiqtaaluk). The majority of these images are from federal government collections at LAC, including those of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, the National Film Board of Canada, and the Department of National Health and Welfare; they date from the early 1920s to the mid-1960s.
In December 2003, Nunavut Sivuniksavut Training Program students from the Baffin region brought laptop computers and CD-ROMs with scanned images home with them during their school break to show to Elders. Although the identification process was not nearly as successful as with the Richard Harrington photographs, Elders from the communities of Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq) and Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik/Tununiq) were able to name individuals in almost 100 images, some of which dated from as early as 1922.
When the website launched in October 2004, the database featured approximately 1,300 images from both the Richard Harrington collection and the Baffin (Qikiqtaaluk) area research. Since the launch, LAC has received more than 90 identifications through the naming continues.
Photographs that were identified from "the naming continues" page during Phase I of Project Naming
Atuat Nujaaqtu (left) and her sister
Arctic Bay (Ikpiarjuk/Tununirusiq), 1950
Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik/Tununiq), 1923
Portrait of Mallikee