A virtual talk on the importance of digital access to archival records when studying Indigenous histories is now available for viewing.
Digital Access and Indigenous Histories: Supporting Self-Determination and Historical Research in Community was presented by Heather George, guest curator at Woodland Cultural Centre, and Gillian Dunks, archives arrangement and description librarian, on Jan. 17, 2023.
“When we’re trying to understand the history of our communities, in addition to the oral history that we have, a lot of this information is in archival collections that can be really difficult to access, whether it be due to cost or insufficient digitization of material,” said George.
Featured in the presentation are the century-old papers of Andrew Gordon (A.G.) Chisholm, a lawyer who served Six Nations of the Grand River throughout the early 1900s.
Chisholm’s papers play a key role in George’s curation of an exhibition coming next fall at the Woodland Cultural Centre, which seeks to explore the events that led to the community’s first Elected Band Council in 1924 and better understand the evolving debates about who represents the community and what governance should look like moving forward.
The Chisholm archive is housed at the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections at McMaster University Library.
To view the full selection of Archives Alive event recordings, visit this McMaster library webpage.
Archives Alive showcases the unique holdings of McMaster University Library’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections. A wealth of resources exist which will delight and inform, from rare books created before 1800 to contemporary writers’ archives. Recognizing that archives can feel intimidating, these talks allow staff and researchers to share their knowledge with the community and introduce collection items housed within the library. Archives Alive is presented by McMaster University Library and McMaster Alumni.