Category Archives: Archives

Digital Access, Pandemic Responses, and the Future of Archives

Two people in wheelchairs speaking to someone crouched in front of them

Jazmine Aldrich Anyone who has been conducting historical research (or attempting to do so) over the past two years, has likely faced challenges ranging from closed facilities to limited hours due to COVID-19. Archives, museums, historical societies, libraries and all manner of cultural heritage institutions have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as the fog lifts and some… Read more »

A Chain of Events: Creating an Archive of Winnipeg Cycling History

Jon Benson  From its early embrace as a recreational activity upon its arrival in the 1800s to hosting a world champion at a race downtown in the 1990s to a community of folks working diligently to build up and maintain an infrastructure making commuting here safe and enjoyable for everyone year-round, Winnipeg has a long history with the bicycle. But… Read more »

“We’re bringing picnic baskets, not water beds”: The 40th Anniversary of the Gay Picnic in Moncton, New Brunswick

by Meredith J. Batt On Wednesday, July 1st, 1981, Dominion Day, a group of 250 gays and lesbians met in Centennial Park, in Moncton, New Brunswick. All attending as individuals, some hanging out near the fringes of the park in case any trouble kicked-off, while police officers looked on, surveying the crowd. This gay picnic was the cause of huge… Read more »

Food First, Then Archives: Precarity and Community Memory

This post by Lilian Radovac and Simon Vickers is part of the “(In)Security in the Time of COVID-19” series. Read the rest of the series here. Alternative Toronto is a DIY digital archive and exhibition space that documents the history of alternative communities in the Greater Toronto Area from 1980 to 1999. As archive director and volunteer coordinator for Alternative… Read more »

Racial Prejudice in the Argentine and OAS Archives

This post, by David Sheinin, is a response to Krista McCracken’s Anti-Racism and Archival Description Work, published on June 7, 2021. Krista McCracken makes excellent, compelling points in “Anti-Racism and Archival Description Work.” In addition to supporting what they outlined in their post, I offer two cases drawn from my own research that demonstrate the importance of the racist archival… Read more »

Accountability for the Roman Catholic Church’s Role in the Residential School System: Urgent Actions Needed Immediately

Here, I outline 3 urgent actions that need to be addressed by the Roman Catholic Church immediately as part of taking responsibility for its significant role in the residential school system. The 3 urgent actions are: 1) an apology from the Pope, 2) a statement by the CCCB outlining how they have engaged and will continued to engage with TRC’s Calls to Action 59, 60, and 61, and 3) payment of $21.3 million by the Roman Catholic entities to Indigenous healing programs that was not paid to the IRSSA.

Anti-Racism and Archival Description Work

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by Krista McCracken In May as part of the Archives Association of Ontario conference I was able to participate in a workshop on Anti-Oppressive Description and Re-Description Workshop. Facilitated by Aaron Hope, Catherine Falls, Renee Saucier, and Danielle Robichaud, this workshop discussed records which contain racist, sexist or other discriminatory content and potential ways archivists can call out problematic materials… Read more »

Miss Canadian History: An Archive Story

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Donald Wright Archive stories are stories about, well, archives, the things that we find in them, and the things that we know we will never find. They are also invitations to reflect on how and why archival evidence – from a routinely-generated source to a single photograph – was created and what it can and can’t tell us about the… Read more »

Lay-offs at the Sulpician Archives – An Open Letter

For researchers, but especially for the broader public, how could we allow “a kilometre of textual documents, 75,000 iconographic items, more than 8,000 geographical maps and technical specifications, as well as sound and film recordings” to be put at risk?

The Canadian Mosaic, Archival Silences, and an Indigenous Presence in Banff

Daniel R. Meister Given that Canada is a settler colonial society, it is unsurprising that the lasting metaphor used to describe sociological diversity in the country – that of a mosaic – was popularized by a settler and child of empire: John Murray Gibbon (1875-1952). Gibbon was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to parents of Scottish descent. Prior to… Read more »