Our Story

  •   The Digital Deli Archive  

    The Digital Deli manages a large archive that has been hand crafted over many years to meet tomorrows challenge for an over–the–top visual, spatial and multimedia experience . The Digital Deli Archive™ is a fully indexed, managed archive of ultra-high resolution image, video, audio and geospatial assets captured by well seasoned operators using professional digital imaging equipment for unparalleled quality .

    The Digital Deli Archive is Rare, Unique and Authentic for many reasons: the records in the Archive span a century, oral histories, folklore, customs and ways of life have been captured across historically rich and pristine areas of the eastern United States and Canadian Eastern Maritime – with a special focus on New York State, New England, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Bay of Fundy, Cape Breton, Appalachia, the Adirondack, Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountain regions . Iconic imagery of legendary performers, people, world class events and festivals are all a part of the Digital Deli Archive.

     Personalized for You
    The Digital Deli Fine Art Store allows you to fully personalize your selections by: Aspect Ratio (rectangle, square, pano) • Size (12" to 120" and larger) • Substrate (giclée fine art paper, aluminum, wood, digital-c fine art paper) and finish. One of the largest selections of ready to hang Display Solutions on the web to match any decor for a lifetime of inspiration.

     Creative partners enjoy private galleries, pre-visualization service, content curator and project management. Visual and spatial themes may be created for interior design, public spaces, exhibits and for advertising, marketing and promotion. A full range of vertically integrated services are available to partners from the Opens in new windowDigital Deli Family and the Mixed Media Lab at Opens in new windowDigital Deli Studios.

    The Archive™ is the Source Repository for:
    The National Treasure Series | Edu-tainment Multimedia: Stories Across America • Stories Across Canada • Unique Patterns of Nature • Tales from the Master Storytellers™. Digital Deli properties and brands: smART Media Visual Solutions™ • smART Interior Fine Art™ • smART Event / Exhibit Media™ • smART Advertising / Marketing Media™ • smART Media for Public Spaces™ • smART Health Media™ • smART Health Therapeutic Art™ • The National Treasure Series Gallery™ • Digital Deli Archive Gallery™ • The National Treasure Series | Edu–tainment Multimedia™ • smART Media for the Classroom™ • Digital Deli TV One™.

     The Masters of Light & Sound invite you to come along on a marvelous journey of exploration, discovery and inspiration. Explore the Archive to learn how we create art from the natural wonders of that world the surround us.

  •   Digital Deli Family | B–Corp Philosophy  

    The Digital Deli Family of domains, properties and brands were created to usher in advances in technology that support economic growth and social enrichment using the pillars of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) to harness the global digital information economy in a number of highly productive ways.

    Digital Deli Core Code of Conduct

      Customer 1st
      Employee Care 2nd
      Community Enrichment 3rd
      B–Corp Shareholder Return 4th

    We honor our "Contract with the Web"1 every day. We want a better world and a better Internet. Privacy and data security are central to our beliefs and advanced technology. Digital Deli | Cyber Intelligence watches over the entire Family of domains and our customer digital ecosystems.

    As Digital Deli properties and brands move into their own B-Corporations they will have an extra obligation that investors, shareholders and officers must adhere. By distilling the essence of complex technologies, creativity and innovation can be fostered in a manner that produces profit and value on many levels.

    Your purchases will support:
    The National Treasure Series | Edu-tainment Multimedia Documentaries from the Digital Deli Archive; The Digital Deli Learning Center; smART Media for the Classroom; Digital Deli Expeditions - Geospatial Team One; the GT1 Student Explorer Program; The Digital Deli Archive and Digital Deli Properties and Brands consistent with our B-Corp Philosophy of enriching our world and proving it.

    Corporate, Philanthropic, Technology Partner, Government, Non-Profit, Business and Individual Sponsorship is always welcome from those who share our passion for humanity and our vision of crafting a bright future for our world.

    With change as the only constant, we make the end result very simple: if you do business with the Digital Deli or one of our brands – you will be helping your own world and we will prove it.


    (1) Guiding principles of a ContractfortheWeb.org

  •   Name Origin The Digital Deli
    A Funny Thing Happened In Toronto... [  read]
    Digital Deli

    A long time ago, before Wordstar astonished and Lotus became king, there was solder burning and ribbon cables attaching to circuit boards inside garages and cellars across the land.

    Modems connected isolated systems and the technological age was beginning to sizzle. Woz, Gates, Allen, Dell were all chirping away on BBS's. IBM's firmware was burning into EEPROMs. Clipper and Blinker created the first magic of on demand analytical processing and decision support, surpassing anything practical with a mainframe. Then SQL Client/Server came of age. The old guys in the glass room were flabbergasted.

    One day, the electronics genius and childhood mentor of co-founder Grala arrived from Connecticut. Off they went across the Lake to Toronto to hunt for circuit boards. Unlike the vast electronics district of Akihabara, this small shop with incense, candles and soap had a little sign near the back. It said Digital Deli with an arrow pointing to another room.

    The good Doctor D. had already brought the young computer whiz to AT&T's worldwide switching center, cracking the door to future global communications. Tantalizing tidbits on hyper-reactive AEGIS system revealed super-computing challenges.

    On the way back across the great lake (Ontario), the good Doctor D. and his student debated how the next 20 or 30 years would unfold. The little sign made all the sense in the world – it would be a Digital Deli.

    When ARPANET gave way to the Internet the first Digital Deli domain was secured. There was much to do in the technological age and it is possible a piece of invisible silicon bearing the QCC mark touched your world.

    As we stand in the afterglow of the technological age and on the doorstep of the 4th industrial revolution, the Digital Deli presents new digital ecosystems, with potential for the next 20 or 30 years.

    Today, the three legs of the Digital Deli foundation: technology, media and communications contain many spokes interconnected in a modular global infrastructure designed to harness the mobile digital economy, while enriching our world.


    --Name Origin | The Digital Deli--

  •   The Spark that Created the Archive
    Let us step back in time... [  read]
    Digital Deli Studios Photo

    Let us step back in time to set the stage. The Archivist had travelled many places across America and Canada at an early age. From age 5 he was always equipped with a camera thanks to his mother's life long pursuit of photography.

    The old sea captain’s house near Lake Ontario was a treasure trove of sea trunks containing glass plates from around the world. Soon the boy became friends with the local gurus of film photography and their close attachment to nearby Kodak. They told him about the Bridge and the first news photograph in the New York Times.

    The old cameramen of the day were fascinated with the boys enthusiasm! He wanted to create a "huge repository of still and moving images with sound - but it had to be better than anything before!" That is just what they wanted to hear so they guided the humble lad with his noble dream.

    Around the corner, the young Curator was forging a friendship that would later lead her to the grandest of all Grand Ball Rooms in the world and to our nations (USA) greatest symbol of pride. The wise old Grand Master had given her "The Story of Lady Liberty".

    What the Archivist calls "a gift of genius from Sir Clive Sinclair" permitted him to master advanced programming before the PC while his college class was using punch cards.

    The one called Dai-Sensei whisked the young Archivist under his wing and into the inner sanctum of art, culture and technology in Japan. In his Dai-Sensei's hometown of Kamakura, the young student ‘diplomat’ was brought to the home of Yasunari Kawabata and led to the table where he wrote Snow Country for quiet meditation and to receive his personal copy from Kawabata's family prior to examining the onsite Archive.

    With a tether into NHK Labs and one into Sony R&D, Dai-Sensei Saisuke Ieno kept his promise to his student. Learning to See through many lenses at once was the art beyond expert technical proficiency.

    Just before the World's Fair in Japan, 3,500 high resolution media assets, expertly curated by an international team at the University of Tsukuba, programmed by the Archivist and choreographed with soundtracks on 16 projectors and 8 screens, for dazzling multimedia. Dai-Sensei was 30 years ahead of his time.

    When the Archivist first introduced the Curator to a 45-point, high-speed precision eye controlled continuous focus system shooting 7fps at an Olympic ski jump the ante just got upped.

    Canon was beginning to shine brighter than most and Phase One was getting ready to make waves. A chance meeting with luminary Michael Reichman in Toronto was like two boys with sparklers waiting for the parade to begin, according to the Curator.

    While Kawabata may have been the inspiration for Archive co-creator Grala coining the term "micro edu-tainment multimedia", it is Reichman he credits for the inspiration to push the image capture expedition envelope in what Grala refers to as "Geo-Spatial Archeology". "Reichman and Grala mapped different coordinates, but they sought the same treasures in a rapidly changing world", according to Archive co-creator Barbara Ahart.

    Armed with a digital mobile lab powered by Opens in new windowFord, a seaworthy Zodiac, expert GPS navigation systems programmed with 1,100 waypoints, professional digital imaging bodies, lenses and accessories from Opens in new windowCanon and others, regular outfitting at Opens in new windowL.L. Bean and plenty of good coffee from our friends at Porto Rico Importing – the expeditions began...

    --The Spark | The Digital Deli Archive--

  •   Barbara J. Ahart  
    Photo of Barbara J. Ahart

    Barbara J. Ahart is an early pioneer in SQL client / server with over two decades experience in software design, development, quality assurance and operations support in an enterprise class environment.

    Reactive Internet Multimedia™ (mobile to 4K) technology is the vector based rendering engine from Opens in new windowBITT perfected by Ms. Ahart. The web based systems under her control are some of the most powerful and advanced anywhere.

    Barbara directs cyber security, e-commerce and web development for the Digital Deli Family of domains, properties and brands.

    Ms. Ahart describes her work as "weaving threads from cutting edge open source repositories into beautiful tapestries that connect to the Digital Deli's pure digital pipeline."

    Barbara has extensive knowledge in high level infrastructure operations & support including cloud, servers, network and security configuration.

    Barbara is considered a curator's curator and is co-creator of the extensive SQL multidisciplinary keyword hierarchy associated with the Digital Deli Archive™.

    As smART Media for the Classroom content curator, Barbara provisioned all e-Learning resources for the Geospatial Team One | Educational Nourishment & Knowledge Transfer pilot program.

    Barbara is an expert photographer and explorer. Ms. Ahart is "the golden voice of the Archive" and a Master of Light and Sound at Digital Deli Studios™.

    Ms. Ahart is a writer, producer and director for an edu-tainment multimedia series called The National Treasure Series: Stories Across America, Stories Across Canada, Unique Patterns of Nature and Tales from the Master Storytellers from the Digital Deli Archive™.

    Co-founder: Digital Deli, Global Media and Communications™, Digital Deli Archive™; Digital Deli Cyber Intelligence™; Co-creator: smART Health Media™, smART Media for the Classroom™, Digital Deli TV Regional Content and Edu-tainment Networks™; Inventor: Digital Deli Business Innovation ∴ Think Tank™; Managing Director: Digital Deli Archive™, Digital Deli Global E-Commerce & Web Solutions.

  •   John R. Grala  

    John R. Grala is a technologist responsible for cutting edge designs used in government, healthcare, nuclear and the electric utility industry for over 30 years.

    Mr. Grala studied media, technology and culture in Japan at the University of Tsukuba, where he was provided unprecedented access to technology giants and cultural artifacts across Japan by his Sensei and lifelong friend, Professor Saisuke Ieno.

    John graduated from the State University of New York at Oswego and has spent most of his career as a technology designer, developer, business process optimization and knowledge transfer expert - while always acting as futurist and solution provider.

    John has a deep appreciation for the arts, history and culture. He is an expert in decoding light and sound, digital image processing algorithms and known for flawless execution behind the lens. He has led community projects involving the transfer of knowledge using technology, eco-cultural heritage, geospatial archeology and cloud computing.

    Mr. Grala is a writer, producer and director for the National Treasure Series: Stories Across America, Stories Across Canada, Unique Patterns of Nature and Tales from the Master Storytellers from the Digital Deli Archive™.



    Quick Facts About John R. Grala


    John was given his first camera when he was 7 years old.

    He travelled to 42 US states and across Ontario and Quebec, Canada by age 12.

    Formally trained in photography and darkroom techniques age 13.

    Studied radio and TV broadcasting, audio engineering, instructional media development at State University of New York Oswego.

    Audio Engineering Society Student member, FCC 3rd Class Radio license with Endorsement (WRVO). [Bill Shigley, Lou O'Donnel, Tina Pieracinni]

    Assistant Instructor Technology and Media for S. Ieno, University Tsukuba, Japan.

    Studied culture, art, history, technology University Tsukuba, Japan.

    "Learning to See" - lunch at Yasunari Kawabata's home with Dai-Sensei Ieno.

    Documented the last traditional Native American wedding ceremony believed to have taken place on the Oswego River in upstate New York.

    Built a digital mobile laboratory for remote expeditions to document history, culture, nature, artifacts, stories, lore and customs across the northeast heritage corridor (New York State, New England, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Bay of Fundy, Cape Breton, Appalachia, the Adirondack, Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountain regions) by engaging the locals.

    A deep dive into advanced raw image processing algorithms led to the creation of a fully calibrated media laboratory to push the envelop on professional digital imaging.

    A chance meeting with Michael Reichman in Toronto. It was said "they were like two boys with sparklers waiting for the parade to begin." Two different roads to the same goal - explore our world and document it.

    Tell us your most precious stories and show us the artifacts of your world was a common theme when inviting people to make a deposit into the Archive. Many unanticipated doors opened.

    Before the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor or the Great Lakes Seaway Trail was formed John contacted federal agencies about exposing the area as a national scenic byway.

    John attended the 1st meeting convened of the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor federal commission.

    When Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell declared the Erie Canal a National Historic Landmark John delivered a speech to the Commission at the grand celebration.

    John and his partner Barbara created the GT1 (geospatial Team One) Student Explorer Program to teach middle school children about culture, history, geoinformatics, cloud computing, archival grade research and eco-cultural heritage presentation skill development.

    John is the Chief Technology Architect of the Digital Deli.


    Member: IEEE, Opens in new windowIEEE Computer Society, Opens in new windowIEEE Communications Society (1996-2018), Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY), early adopter Opens in new windowTED.

    Founder: QC Communications; Co-founder: Digital Deli, Global Media and Communications™; Co-founder: The Digital Deli Archive™; Digital Deli Cyber Intelligence™; Creator: smART Media Visual Solutions™, Live Labels™; Co-creator: smART Health Media™, smART Media for the Classroom™, Digital Deli TV Regional Content and Edu-tainment Networks ™; Master of Light and Sound at Digital Deli Studios™; Inventor: Digital Deli Business Innovation ∴ Think Tank™; Chief Technologist: Digital Deli, Global Media and Communications.

  •   The Curator  

    The Curator is responsible for ensuring each artifact taken into the Archive is catalogued using an advanced multidisciplinary keyword system.

    Extended metadata provides technical, legal and media specific terms (rights ready / commercial cleared, releases, fine art classification, IPTC, EXIF, license agreements, etc).

    With knowledge of Archive specific keywords and metadata, the Office of the Curator can precisely scan many thousands of records in a few seconds.

    Hundreds of pieces of information may be associated with a single item. Time, date and geospatial coordinates are standard. Advanced multi–disciplinary keywords are another readily available source. Personal notes, scripts and audio recordings are sometimes associated.

    The Curator always plays a key role within the creative team during media selection and production development. Sometimes extreme Complications (time, date, coordinates, tides, sun, moon, stars) will be plotted. Tried and true scientific methods of the highly structured SQL database permit datasets associated with less scientific methods like feeling, mood or impression to be derived.

    The Curator always provides “the human touch” a machine or advanced algorithm could never completely provide.

  •   The Archivist  

    The Archivist ensures that deposits into the Archive are prepared for ingesting into automated systems and that they are of sufficient quality. Unique identifiers are assigned along with extensive metadata.

    As metadata is injected, secure locations within the Archive repository hierarchy are established. Source repositories contain nondestructive “prescriptions” from the Masters of Light and Sound that always preserve the unaltered original source materials.

    Preservation is always first and foremost for pre–digital analog record conservation. Digital preservation methods are designed using the highest standards to meet or exceed best practices for archival capture and encoding using the fully calibrated and color managed Digital Deli Studios™ mixed media lab.

    Digital conservation is a complex system where provenance is a series of roadmaps that draw a more vivid or complete representation: time, date, location, event, person(s), experience, email, text, letter, oral history, audio recording, old lore and legends, historical facts. STEAM facts (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) are correlated as applicable.

    Just as there are many asset types, associations and classifications – there are many types of Archives within the repository. The Archivist has prime responsibility of placement (in a specific Archive), access, storage location, restrictions and requirements for usage.


  Take a deeper dive into the stories and motivation behind the Digital Deli at The Archivist's Corner



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