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Advocate for Archives: Share your Story on the Usefulness of Archives

The Archives Association of Ontario has shared the following request with the research and archival community. As archives are a major source of information for genealogists, you may have a story you wish to share as well. If you do, please send an account of your experience to the President of the AAO at president@aao-archivists.ca .

Here is their unabridged message:

“I have been contacted by the office of NDP MP Pierre Nantel, the Official Opposition Critic for Heritage, in order to gather evidence to advocate for a government commitment to archives. I have summarized the request I received from Mr. Nantel’s office below.

Quebec’s TVA network recently started reporting on the cuts to archives and are covering Mr. Nantel’s related questions in the House. Essentially they are looking to make the issues at hand as understandable as possible to the public. For example, he cites the following story from a TVA news report ” Library and Archive’s website shows internationally-renowned Quebec artists Luc Plamondon accepting a Juno, with a subtitle that says “an unidentified man with a Juno”! (http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/infos/national/archives/2012/12/20121203-210205.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) This is an easy-to-understand issue for the media and the public, and can be directly attached to the Harper Govt’s cuts.”

Mr. Nantel would like positive examples of historically significant items or documents that have been discovered by archivists or in archives. Things that would not have been discovered or celebrated if it wasn’t for archives/archivists (ie. if we’re all suffering cuts, there won’t be anyone to discover, interpret, or preserve this material). As a bonus, if you can provide an example of something related to the War of 1812 this would allow Mr. Nantel to “demonstrate that the Government’s interest in 1812 is all about show and no substance – and that real investment in our history has to involve the professionals that do the research.”

Please don’t limit yourselves to projects that were accomplished through NADP although these examples are still relevant. You can send me your examples by responding to this email (president@aao-archivists.ca). There is some urgency to the matter as Mr. Nantel’s office wants to continue the wave of support generated from the TVA.”

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