Anton Ignatious Joseph (அன்ரன் இங்னேசியஸ் யோசப்) was born on 13-10-1969 in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. He migrated to Munich, Germany in 1991. In a small age he started as a fun to collect stamps. He migrated from Eelam (Sri Lanka) at an age of 18 years old. His travel through many countries gave him the opportunity for his interest to collect coins, notes and stamps. Since he migrated to Germany in 1991, he has been doing archive collection for 30 years. Organised 51 archive exhibitions under the name Avanagam (ஆவணகம்). Books, magazines, newspapers, ancient items, telephone cards, coins, notes, stamps and many more. He tells about his experiences and memories of his own archive activities. As well as other archive activities in Eelam and the diaspora. He also expresses a humble request to Tamil society to donate archival materials to archive collectors. He requests Tamil society to take care and preserve hidden historical materials at each and every home.
Title: Anton Joseph: Tamil archive collection in the diaspora
Creator: DsporA Tamil Archive
Subject: Tamil migration and archival activities.
Contributor – an oral history: Anton Ignatious Joseph, München, Germany. 13.01.2021.
Contributor – interviewer: Baheerathy Kumarendiran. Oslo, Norway.
Contributor – the logger: Baheerathy Kumarendiran. Oslo, Norway. 01.02.2021.
Last updated log: Baheerathy Kumarendiran. Oslo, Norway. 15.03.2021.
Format: Video (Zoom)
Type: Oral history
Rights: DsporA Tamil Archive and the narrator have shared copyright to the oral history interview.
Relation: Cite this oral history archival material according to the appropriate referencing style.
Reference code: 540.0_21_02-07
Note: Time codes in this log starts at oral history interviewee´s answer.
1:1 (13.01.2021. 01:01:48)
|00:00:29||Personalia. Anton Ignatious Joseph – அன்ரன் இங்னேசியஸ் யோசப். From 1991. München. Germany. Married. Two children. Jaffna. Chappel Street.|
|00:00:55||Archive collection activity. Small age. School-age. St. Patricks College, Jaffna. Leisure time. Stamp collection. Interest. Jaffna library. Neighbourhood. 18 years old. Migration. Quate. Letter communication. Work with foreigners. Leisure time. Hobby. Stamp, coin and note collection. Conflict in Quate. Migration. Different countries. Iraq. Jordan. Turkey. Romania. Yugoslavia. Germany. Continued coin, stamps collection. 1991. Germany.|
|00:03:09||Archive collection activity in the homeland. Year 10. 1984. 13-14 years old. Scouts (சாரணர் இயக்கம்). Compulsory activity. Stamp collection. Younger age. Collected stamp for fun.|
|00:04:30||Archive collection in migration. Deportation. Hide in socks. Interest. Start collection. Stamps. Notes. Coins.|
|00:06:03||Archive exhibitions. 1991. München. Germany. Permanent residence. No contact with the outside world. Newspaper collections. 1-2 Tamil radios. TRT Tamil Oli. Radio subscription. 1992-1993. 1997. IBC Radio. Puthiyethoor Ulagam Seivoom (புதியதோர் உலகம் செய்வோம்). 10-15 youths from different countries. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Youth radio program. Anton Joseph 27-28 years. Oldest in the group. Different talents. Literature. Note and coin collection. Built a flight in Ford 2nd car. Botanic. Drawing. Stamp collection. Poem writing. The idea for an exhibition.|
|00:09:33||First Exhibition. Hamm Hindu temple. Hamm. Germany. Meenatchi Amman temple. Small exhibition. 4 feet tent. Albums. Literature. Ford 2nd car. 2nd exhibition. Kevlar Church. Germany. 3rd exhibition. Hamm Meenatchi Amman temple. 4th exhibition. Kevlar Church. After 1-2 years. Youths busy lifestyle. Studies. Radio program gradually stopped. Anton continued with the exhibition. 51st archive exhibitions.|
|00:11:33||51 archive exhibitions. Own initiation. At cultural events. No invitation.|
|00:11:43||1st Exhibition. 1997-1998.|
|00:12:05||Puthiyethoor Ulagam Seivoom (புதியதோர் உலகம் செய்வோம்). Requested for the opportunity. தாசீசியஸ் மாஸ்டர் – Tarcisious master. Bharathiar poem. Youths.|
|00:12:50||About the radio program. Expose youths´ talents. Parents. Support.|
|00:13:36||Participants. 4 women. München. Berlin. Remaining boys. 14-year-old. Stamp collection. Anton 27-28 years old. Lack of public interest. Lack of support. Church. Temple.|
|00:15:04||First exhibition. IBC Radio. Ilangai (Sri Lanka). 10 சதம் தாள். 10 catam note. 10 cent note. 1942. Stamps. Coins.|
|00:15:56||10 catam note. First time 10 catam note. Quate. Wallet. Memory. Souvenir. Friend. Gave to me. Migration to Germany. German exhibitions and markets. 1942-1943 notes and coins. Afterwards 5 catam note. Around 1942. Special. Rip into two parts. One part 2 catam. The other part 3 catam.|
|00:17:08||Avanagam. Name choice. Around 2010 Facebook emerged. Dissemination. Need for a name. Need to do exhibitions. Initial collection coins notes and stamps. After migration to Germany. 1991. Newspapers. Books. Magazines. Reason for broader collection. Jaffna Library. Regain Jaffna library. Donate to Jaffna library. 1995. The capture of Jaffna. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. refurbishment. Perception. Cannot donate to Jaffna library. St. Patrick’s college library. Donate to St. Patricks. Father Francis Joseph. Rector. Fathers and sisters. Contacts. Ethnic conflict. Collect and preserve in Germany. Suggestions for name choice. இளைஞன் – Ilainchan (male name meaning young man). Catholics. Common name. Tamil name. Avanam – ஆவணம். Avanagam. ஆவணகம். Facebook page. Facebook page blockage. Anton Avanagam Joseph Facebook page.|
|00:22:43||Usage of the term avanagam ஆவணகம். Aavanam – ஆவணம். Awareness last 2-3 years. Many involved in many years. ஆவணப்படுத்தல். Archiving. Preservation. Archive collection. Overtime. Telephone cards. Newspapers. Stamps. Last few years. Archive awareness. Usage of the term.|
|00:24:11||First time used Avanagam. 2011-2012. Before that. 1999 no permanent residence. Returned Sri Lanka. Married. Migrated back to Germany. 1999. Newspaper article about newspaper collector. Microfilm. 50 years of collection. Contact details. Called to get help and assistance. Coins and notes. Kandy. குரும்பசிட்டி இரா கனகரத்தினம் Kurumpasiddi Eraa Kanagaratnam. From early Uthayatharakai உதயதாரகை newspapers. Until 2000 newspapers. Archive exhibitions. Microfilming. Visited once. «தம்பி இராசா நீர் சேக்குறதுல…இதால தமிழ் மக்களுக்கு என்ன பிரியோசனம் இருக்குது?». “Dear boy, what are the benefits of your collection to the Tamil people?”. Tamil coins and notes. Historical value. Knowledge. Research.|
|00:27:40||Experience sharing of Kanagaratnam. தனிநாயகம் அடிகளார் Thaninayagam Adigalar, Kanagaratnam and others organised 1st உலகத் தமிழாராய்ச்சி மாநாடு World Tamil Conference (WTC). Kanagaratnam newspaper exhibition at 1, 2, 3 World Tamil Conferences. 1-2 containers of newspapers. Moved to Vanni. Microfilm. Preserved in the diaspora. Museum in Vanni. After 2009. Everything destroyed. Unknown if preserved. Elderly age. India. Continued collecting until death. Published two books. Frustration. WTC abandonment.|
|00:30:00||Anton archive collection demotivation. 1996-1997. Family commitments. Economical challenges. Lack of space and accommodation. 1998-1999. New motivation. Geographical location. Challenges. Lack of access to all publications. «சுகமான சுமை». «Comfortable load». “என் சுமை என்னோடு; என் இனச்சுமை?”. «My load is with me; the load of my ethnicity?».|
|00:32:03||Archive culture in Tamil society. Jaffna library. Other small and private institutions. Burn of Jaffna library. தனிநாயகம் அடிகளார் Thaninayagam Adigalar. Tamil. His history. His voice memoirs. Not archived. Even my father generation history not archived. Doubtful. Shortness. Fault. Tamil Nadu. Eelam Tamils. Lack of archiving. Lack of awareness. Diaspora history. Lack of migration history. Early diaspora publications. Compiled newspaper cuttings.|
|00:35:45||Archive activities in Eelam and the diaspora. Eelam. குரும்பசிட்டி இரா கனகரத்தினம் Kurumpasiddi Eraa Kanagaratnam. The diaspora. England. Patmanaba Ayar பத்மநாப ஐயர். Newspapers and books. «ஆவணங்களின் வழிகாட்டி». «Documentation guide». Nadarajah Selvarajah நடராஜா செல்வராஜா. Library. Librarian. நூல்தேட்டம். Noolthettam. Mullai Amuthan முல்லை அமுதன். Books. Magazines. Newspapers?. France. Vannai Theivan வண்ணை தெய்வன். Writer. V. T Elangovan V. T. இளங்கோவன். Communism. Switzerland. Temple. Library. Books. குரும்பசிட்டி இரா கனகரத்தினம் Kurumpasiddi Eraa Kanagaratnam . முருகர் குணசிங்கம் Murugar Gunasingam. Copied materials. Canada. Old books. Siddha Medicine. Facebook. Eelam and Tamil Nadu. Eelam struggle ஈழப் போராட்டம்.|
|00:39:31||Eelam struggle ஈழப் போராட்டம். Preserve among other topics. Threats. 2002. Ceasefire. Materials from Eelam. People made fun. Lack of contacts.|
|00:40:56||Importance and significance in Eelam. Historical incidences. Social environment. Opportunity. Change of government. Political challenges. No guarantee. Various challenges. Natural disasters. Lack of facilities and equipment. Bias documentation and archiving. Tremendous challenge.|
|00:43:34||Importance and significance in the Diaspora. Fortunate. Planning. Resources. Museum. Library. In every country. Temples. Economical challenges. Storage accommodation challenges. Need to attempt. Can archive in the diaspora.|
|00:32:24||Importance and significance of the record creators. Organisations. Notices. Books. All kinds of publications.|
|00:45:57||Diaspora. Every country. Individuals. United. Not selective topics. Not Eelam struggle only. Religion. Common topics. COVID-19. Everything. Mask. Include every topic. Tamils affected in the corona. Life history.|
|00:47:55||What is documentation and archiving?. Lived life. What we brought with us in migration. Mobile phones. Evolution over time.|
|00:48:57||Anton´s expectation from the Tamil society. Selective collection. Collect everything. Manuscript. Palm leaf ஓலைச் சுவடி. Ancient items. Coins and notes. 30 years of collection. Home library. Valuable items. Historical value. Lost. Thrown away. After May 2009. Materials destroyed. Digital. Donate to archive collectors. Letters by people we lost in the war. Archive items from the Ceasefire period. Hidden materials at homes. Unaware. Give a copy to archive collectors. Employment. 15-16 hours work. Corona time. Collection continues. Future generation.|
|00:53:35||Additional. 1984-1985. 8th – 9th year. Unforgettable. Historical period. People from that period. Document history. Books. DsporA Tamil Archive. Identify archive collectors. Archive knowledge. Resources. United activities like a chain. Share benefits. Share knowledge. Share archive materials. Social media. «ஆவணப்படுத்தலின் விரிவாக்கம் வரும்». «An expansion of documentation activities». Future generation. Digitalisation. Physical achieve. Original materials. Lost what we had in our hands.|
|00:58:04||Anton´s experience in oral history. New experience. Don´t have the habit to write. Focus on collecting.|
|00:58:29||Preserve in Germany. Experience. செங்கை ஆழியான் குணராசா Sengai Aazhiyan Kunarasa. More than 250 publications and newspaper articles. After his death. Sold all materials in the auction. Anton bought 30 kilograms. Need to preserve in living life. Transfer.|
|01:00:32||52nd archive exhibition. 40th memorial year of the burning of Jaffna library. 31st May – 01st June 2021. Attempting. Archive exhibition. Digital archive seminar. Awareness.|