Tamils have taken the initiative to archive in Canada


Photo: wikipedia

«Tamils in Canada», an Tamil organisation in Canada contacted DsporA Tamil Archive on 27th August 2020. They have taken the first initiative to find out the opportunities and procedures to archive their organisational archive in Canada.

DsporA Tamil Archive assisted the particular Tamil organisation by sending an email to the Library and Archive Canada. The email contained a request for information and procedures for archiving organisational archive (private archive), digitalising documents, and archiving website and social media in Canada. We received an automated reply with a reference number. Due to the worldwide pandemic situation, the Library and Archives Canada have begun the gradual reopening of its public service points and consultation rooms, and more of its services. They also assured that they will respond to our question as soon as possible, but that it can take up to 4 months to respond to more complex queries.

DsporA Tamil Archive had a communication with the particular Tamil organisation and they are now going to make direct contact with the Library and Archives Canada and refer to the email. In addition, it will be appropriate to ask the legal formalities about ownership of archiving private archives in Canada. According to Norwegian archival law, a private archive (all kinds of archive except archives created by governmental bodies) can be preserved at an archive depot under two different ownership formality.

  1. Handing over (Avlevering)
  2. Depositing (Deponering)

In the “handing over” formality, the ownership of the archive is given away to the archival institution. The institution will have full authority to consider access based on protecting any confidential or personal details (confidentiality and privacy policy/ taushetsplikt og personvern) in the archival materials. On the other hand, “depositing” means that the archive creator (the organisation or a person) holds the ownership while the archive is preserved at an archival institution.
(Read more about “Two ways to preserve archive at an archive depot/ archive institution

The main consideration in archiving at an archive depot in your residential country should be based on the history of migrated Tamils. Their long history of oppression in all kinds of way includes the prohibition of the right to inform and to get information. The burning of the Jaffna library in 1981 is an example of cultural genocide to erase the capability to present the historical evidence of Tamil existence. There have been many other incidents in the homeland as well as in the diaspora, where cultural and historical information and evidence is trapped, hidden, destroyed and prohibited consciously and unconsciously.

Complete preservation means to take good care of cultural and historical archive from any kinds of natural, man-made or technological destructions. Preservation also includes public access. That is the only way to enable history to continue to live even after one´s life is ended.

“Archives are pieces of evidence of the existence.”

DsporA Tamil Archive

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Updated: 01.12.2020