Everything we do is a story, that becomes our history. The story of this website started as a Facebook page, “Archive of Tamils in Norway”, on 23rd April 2020. It was meant to be a platform to gather or get familiar with archival publications by Tamils in Norway. As well as to gather historical facts about Tamil education services in this country. Soon it was realised that there is a primary need to raise awareness about documentation and archive.
As a result, the Facebook serial post “What is ‘ஆவணம்’ (aavanam)?” was started on 13th June 2020.
Based on a piece of advice from a Tamil enthusiast in Norway, the Facebook page, “Archive of Tamils in Norway”, started to evolve as a website. As a first step, the Facebook page changed its name to “DsporA Tamil Archive” on 07th July 2020. Then on 22. July 2020 this website was launched.
The name change was made to include all migrated societies in Norway, as well as worldwide Tamils from Fiji to Canada. And from Norway to South Africa.
Even though the archival awareness posts are based on Norwegian archival law and convey archives of Norwegian Tamils, the content might be useful for all migrated societies as well as diaspora Tamils to find out about the archival law in their residential country and apply accordingly.
According to Norwegian archival law, there is no obliged duty for private organisations to create or preserve archives. So the archival duty is at organisations´ responsibility. Thereby the history of the society around private organisations, especially migrated societies, are at high risk to fall out of the sphere. The archival activities on language, culture, history, migration, social structures, their life back home and their life in the diaspora are much needed. However, there are few archival activities carried out by private Tamil individuals and Tamil organisations in Norway, as well as around the world. They are much appreciated and has a social role for the present and future generations. But there is a lack of knowledge about record keeping/ documentation and archive.
The purpose of keeping records and archive is to make them available for public access. When the archival materials are accessible and available for public use, the history will be remembered and will continue to live. Otherwise, the archive will remain unknown and hidden at private homes and lost forever. History will then be forgotten.
“Archive is a love note for the future”an adaptation of the quote “Metadata is a love note for the future” by activist-archivist Jason Scott