Category Archives: Theme Week

The Use and Abuse of Boredom

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By David Tough This is the final essay in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. It’s like clockwork. Every time I tell someone I’m writing a book on the history of income taxation, the conversation plays out with eerie consistency. First, they say that the topic sounds painfully dull, and chuckle. Then they say that… Read more »

The Family as Tax Dodge, Again

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By Shirley Tillotson This is the fourth in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. Here we are again. If you’ve studied history or lived a decade or two after forty, you’ve noticed that some battles are fought over and over and over again. Those repetitive, “I can’t believe we’re still debating this!” struggles mark itchy,… Read more »

Canada’s Controversial Income Tax

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By Shirley Tillotson This is the third in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. Calm fiscal reasoning was hard to summon up amidst the intense emotions of 1917. Demands for taxes on profits, high incomes, and wealth were fuelled by anger that was about not only fair public finance,  but also broader patterns in the… Read more »

What does the coming of income tax tell us about “fairness” in 1917?

By E.A. Heaman This is the second in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. Robert Borden’s government introduced income tax in 1917 because Canadians wanted a fairer system of taxation than they had. How unCanadian of them! According to Margaret Wente (writing about Thomas Piketty’s egalitarian economics), Canadians have never been interested in inequality. “They… Read more »

When Income Tax Was Like a Fire

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By David Tough This is the first in a five part theme week marking the centenary of income tax in Canada. This summer, on the 100th anniversary of the passing of Income War Tax, I’ve seen the same fable repeated half a dozen times. No, it wasn’t a temporary tax, and no, it wasn’t introduced to pay for the First World War…. Read more »

Ten Resources to Contextualize Archives and Archival Labour

To encourage further engagement of the issues presented throughout the archives theme week we have compiled ten resources to contextualize archival practice, archival labour, and the work archivists do. There are many colleagues both within Canadian archives and beyond who have been writing and speaking about the challenges of counteracting the ‘why isn’t it already digitized’ question, directly confronting the… Read more »

Collaboration between archivists and historians: finding a middle ground

Anna St.Onge [i] Let’s begin with a story One afternoon, a few years ago, one of our student assistants called me up from the back processing area to answer a patron question. “How can I help you?” I asked. “I’m looking for a diary written by a woman who emigrated from Hungary to Toronto in 1954.” I quickly ran through… Read more »

Changing the Narrative

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Jennifer Weymark Much like the saying “history is written by the victor” history also tends to be written by the privileged elite. Within the archival field in Canada, this privilege is directly connected to the colonial nature of archives. Across Canada, archival collections tend to be filled with documents related to, and from, the perspective of the upper echelon of… Read more »

Archives, Constructed and Incomplete

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Sara Janes Archival collections are put together through many individual actions and decisions made by many individual people, and those people, sometimes without knowing it, have a massive impact on how we understand the past. Records (documents such as papers, correspondence, photographs, maps, recordings, and more) need to get into the archives before they can be available for researchers. Records… Read more »

What makes for an archives? A look at the core archival functions

Roger Gillis Archives is a term that can have many different connotations. In the loosest sense of the word it can be taken to mean a collection of historical records, and what counts as “historical” varies from one setting to the next.  As institutions, archives tend to adhere to several core principles: acquisition, appraisal, arrangement & description, preservation, and access…. Read more »