What DCD Discover can do for you …

What is DCD Discover?

DCD Discover is the open digital archive for Dance Collection Danse [DCD]. It is the product of DCD Labs, a user focused iterative process to produce an accessible archive fit for the digital age.

The intention with DCD Discover is that it is the repository for the archives for DCD AND a hub for performance related archives from individuals and institutions. Whether you have two photographs or 20,000, you are welcome to add them to DCD Discover. 


Teigan Goldsmith from the Ottawa Jewish Archives is very excited by DCD Labs and what they can contribute to it. In fact, Teigan very kindly hosted our Live Lab on the 27th of July 2021, to explain why the Ottawa Jewish Archives want to be involved with DCD Labs and why they have added their digitised dance archive to DCD Discover. 


One of the aspects that is most exciting about DCD Discover, and one of the reasons why the Ottawa Jewish Archives became involved, is the potential of crowdsourcing. Many of the dancers shown in the photographs remain unidentified, as do the locations, performances and costume designers. With these photographs accessible on DCD Discover it is possible that others can help and add their knowledge. This may come in the form of someone browsing, recognising a person and adding the information to the description or in the form of Identathons; days where people come along virtually and identify what is currently unidentified. 

Can you help?

Teigan highlighted two photographs where crowdsourcing help would be particularly useful.

Do you recognise either of these dancers?

Unknown Couple Dancing. Sinclair School of Dancing. ©Ottawa Jewish Archives

Can you identify where this photograph was taken?

Ami Hai Dance Company. ©Ottawa Jewish Archives

If you recognise either the dancers or the location, please tell Lorraine 


Another great way that collaborating together on DCD Discover can help to identify the currently unknown is through its machine learning. DCD Discover uses Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services and Google Vision AI. Early on in the development it successfully identified Noel Coward in a photograph. Noel Coward is well known but the machine learns and the more images it is shown, the more successful it becomes. For example, it recently identified the National Ballet of Canada’s founding artistic director, Celia Franca.

Critical Mass

Collaborative working on DCD Discover, with the addition of more material from individuals and organisations, will also enable more identifications and break throughs because it will allow us to see links between materials. For example, a document from one organisation and a photograph from an individual may show us that a dancer was performing in a place that we previously didn’t know about. 

There are many break throughs and discoveries to be made. The more user generated content that is added to DCD Discover, the more will be revealed. As a Live Lab attendee stated ‘ [There are] so many stories to be uncovered’. 

Get Involved

If you’d like to be involved, pop over to DCD Discover and have a play. You can also sign up to our Newsletter, to get regular updates on our progress, call outs for your help and invites to our Live Labs 

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