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The potential for acquisition of ethnic archives : a case study of five Chinese organizations in Vancouver,.. Liu, Jian Xiang 1993-09-17

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THE POTENTIAL FOR ACQUISITION OFETHNIC ARCHIVES:A CASE STUDY OF FIVE CHINESE ORGANIZATIONS INVANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIAbyJIAN XIANG LIUB.A., Central China Normal University, 1983M.A., Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1991A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS OF THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARCHIVAL STUDIESinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAAugust 1993© Jian Xiang Liu, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature) Department of/7 6The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate ^-e/t. j.e--frt-teet- ^pr3DE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTThis thesis is a study of attitudes towards the finaldisposition of archival records among representatives of fiveorganizations in the Chinese community, Vancouver, BritishColumbia. The findings reveal three different types of attitudetowards the final disposition of their archival records: "closed","fairly open", and "open". Organizations with a political mission,a long history, and financially independent of government supporttend to hold a "closed" attitude towards the final disposition ofarchival records; those with a project-oriented mission, existingfor a limited time, and financially dependent of the governmenttend to hold an "open" attitude; those with missions such ascultural and social services tend to hold a "fairly open" attitude.The size of an organization does not influence the attitudes. Theorganizations open or fairly open towards access of their recordspossess higher potential for acquisition of ethnic archives by apublic archival institution, whereas those closed to access oftheir records hold lower potential for acquisition. It is arguedthat these findings, though preliminary in nature, have significantimportance for the archival community as regards the development ofacquisition policy and strategy in keeping with the situation anddesires of records generators, in this case, ethnic groups. Itsimplications are especially significant in the Canadian setting,being a country widely acknowledged to have many ethnic groups.iiTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract ^  iiTable of Contents ^  iiiAcknowledgements  vINTRODUCTION  ^1Chapter One^The Concept of Ethnic Archives ^ 71) Defining Ethnic Archives in the Canadian Context . . . 72) The North American Literature on Ethnic Archives . . . 203) Efforts in Canada to Preserve Ethnic Archives ^ 36Chapter Two^Selecting Representative Organizations In theVancouver Chinese Community  ^411) Historical Background of the Chinese Community inVancouver ^422) Background Information on the Selected Organizations . 45a. The Chinese Benevolent Association ^ 45b. The Chinese Cultural Centre ^  48c. The Freemasons ^  50d. The United Chinese Community EnrichmentServices Society  51e. The Strathcona Property Owners and TenantsAssociation ^  533) Summary ^  55Chapter Three Case Study of the Potential for Acquisitionof Ethnic Archives ^  581) Description of Methodology  582) Description of the Case Study  623) Data Collected ^  65a. The Chinese Benevolent Association ^ 66b. The Chinese Cultural Centre  69c. The Freemasons  72d. The United Chinese Community EnrichmentServices Society^  74e. The Strathcona Property Owners andTenants Association  794) Data Analysis ^  82a. Major Findings ^  82b. Contextual Analysis  885) Summary 94iiiChapter Four Conclusions and Recommendations ^ 97Bibliography ^  109Appendix^Guiding Questions for Interviews   117ivACKNOWLEDGEMENTSMany people helped in the making of this thesis. My advisorycommittee -- composed of Terry Eastwood, Mary Sue Stephenson, andGraham Johnson -- provided guidance all the way through. Dr.Johnson helped particularly by providing the initial contacts withthe associations interviewed for this study. My supervisor TerryEastwood gave me valuable suggestions, timely counselling, patientediting, and constant encouragement to finish in good time. Myclassmate Francis Mansbridge patiently read and corrected the firstdraft of my thesis. The Chinese community in Vancouver, especiallythose members of the five organizations interviewed, were verygenerous with their time and patience. The government ofNewfoundland provided student loans and grants, which made itfinancially possible for me to devote two years to this program.My ten year old son Danny helped in every small way he could duringthe writing of this thesis. I am deeply moved by hisunderstanding, because many evenings that I was too occupied withmy study could have been spent playing with him. To all the abovementioned, I extend my heartfelt gratitude for their help in makingthis thesis a reality.VINTRODUCTIONThe overarching archival goal is to preserve recordsrepresentative of all spheres of human activity. Wilfred Smith,the fifth Dominion Archivist of Canada, observes that one of theobjectives of total archives is to preserve records bearing on "allsubjects of human endeavour."1 As a nation of many cultures,2Canada has long experience of ethnic groups playing a vital part inits national cultural heritage. Vancouver, British Columbia, hashad a thriving Chinese community in its midst for over a century.2The purpose of this study is to investigate the question ofpreserving the records of the experience of the Chinese communityin Vancouver.Archival acquisition follows the principle of provenance. Inimplementing acquisition policy, which provides "a reference forstaff when assessing potential acquisitions and for donors lookingfor a suitable repository for their records,"4 archivists need toidentify organizations or persons generating records in adetermined sphere. The idea that the attitudes and preferences ofthe donors are significant in this exercise of acquiring recordshas long been recognized. For instance, in 1970, Dr. Kaye Lamb'Wilfred I.^Smith,^"'Total Archives': the CanadianExperience," Archives et Bibliotheques de Belgique 57 (1986): 341.2Jean Leonard Elliot, ed., Two Nations, Many Cultures: EthnicGroups in Canada (Scarborough, Ont.: Prentice-Hall of Canada,1979).3Paul Yee, Saltwater City: An Illustrated History of theChinese in Vancouver (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1988).4Canadian Council of Archives, "Guidelines for Developing anAcquisition Policy" (March 1990): 1.1observed that the donor's preference is one of the factors thatmight upset well-defined acquisition policies. He stated:There is the matter, first of all, of conflictinginterests.... Secondly, there is the matter of the nature ofmaterials.... There may be a question of lack of money.... Wemust also reckon with the personal preferences of the personwho owns a collection that we would like to have. The personmay for some reason prefer to put it in institution "B"instead of institution "A" where we would prefer to see it5go.Kathy Hall raised this issue in her discussion of legalmandates and methods in archival acquisitions in 1984. Shepresented donor's preference as something that escapes even wellconceived policy.Even the most clearly defined collecting mandates and mosteffective communication and cooperation cannot prevent anindividual from offering a collection to a repository that is"unsuitable" to its collection mandate.In some cases, the donor may wish to deposit materials which areoutside an institution's policy. As Hall puts it:Does the archivist accept the donation to ensure preservationat any cost, ... or does he stand firm on a strictinterpretation of the collecting mandate and refuse to acceptthe collection.5This issue was also addressed in 1980 in a landmark study ofCanadian archives.No matter how systematic or rationalized archives may become,the right of individuals and families to dispose of theirpersonal documents as they see fit must be respected. Althoughthe archives system may see one repository as the"appropriate" one for the material, the owner may have otherloyalties. Alumni spirit, identification with a certainorganization, distrust of government and similar factors allplay a role in an individual's decision about to whom he willentrust the unique record of his life's work. The archival5Kaye Lamb, "Acquisition Policy: Competition or Cooperation?"The Canadian Archivist 2, 1 (1970): 21-22.6Kathy Hall, "Archival Acquisition: Legal Mandates andMethods," Archivaria 18 (Summer 1984): 67.2system must respect this right and through the exchange offinding aids or of microfilming can work to serve the needs ofacquisition rationalization....7Disagreements will occasionally arise in dealing withprivately owned materials, as donors naturally have their ownpreferences. No rationalization within the archival systemwill overcome such personal preferences.8This line of argument supposes that the creator or owner is willingto deposit records in an archival institution. There is of coursethe prior question of what causes willingness. Moreover, there isalso the question of whether those acting for organizations, asopposed to individuals acting in relation to their own records, arewilling to preserve records in archival institutions, and whatfactors affect their decision making. As the Wilson report makesclear, creators of archives have the right to make decisions aboutpreservation, and there may be conflict between the goal ofinstitutions to rationalize acquisition and the preferences ofcreators of archives. Despite this acknowledgement of the rightsof creators and owners, there has been little serious study tounderstand the factors affecting their willingness to preserverecords in archival institutions.One factor which lies outside the scope of this study is themonetary value of the records.9 Prospective donors may wish to7The Consultative Group on Canadian Archives, CanadianArchives: Report to the Social Sciences and Humanities ResearchCouncil of Canada (Ottawa: Minister of Supply and Services Canada,1980), 87. [Hereafter cited as Wilson Report]8Ibid., 90.9Wilfred I. Smith, and John H. Archer, "Donors, Taxmen andArchives," The Canadian Archivist 2, 2 (1971): 25-32. Also seeKenneth Duckett, [Modern Manuscripts: A Practical Manual of TheirManagement, Care, and Use (Nashville: American Association forState and Local History, 1975): 79] about the danger of making sucha monetary appraisal in the acquisition process: "it is dangerous3sell material to an archival institution or to receive a taxbenefit. The question of monetary value is best considered on itsown and as part of actual negotiations for acquisition ofidentified materials. In that light, it did not seem to bedirectly relevant to an investigation of donor attitudes andpreferences regarding preservation of records in archivalinstitutions, where the assumption is that no question of monetaryvalue arises, as is the case in most transactions between creatorsand owners and archival institutions. For this reason, the worddonor is used to indicate persons or organizations which eithercreate or own archival material worthy of preservation in anarchival setting.Ethnic groups as such do not generate archives. Personsidentify themselves with ethnic groups, and may form themselvesinto organizations to promote some ends considered to be in theinterest of members of the group. It is the records of thesepersons and organizations which potentially form the archivalheritage of ethnic groups. This heritage may be considered as oneof the "subjects of human endeavour" suitable for the attention ofarchival acquisition.Before any decisions can be made about archival acquisition,some understanding of the ethnic group and the actors in it must beobtained. It is the argument of this thesis that the attitudestowards archival preservation of those responsible for generatingrecords relevant to the ethnic experience should be a paramountfor a curator to do an appraisal because he would set too low afigure for fear that the donor would want to sell the manuscript orwant it back if he knew its true value."4consideration in building effective acquisition policy and strategyfor ethnic archives. This involves making a close study of therecords environment to determine the factors which condition theattitudes towards archival preservation in general and thepreferences with regard to the most appropriate institution forpreservation in particular. The overriding assumption is thatfactors in the records environment are of paramount importance tothe success of acquisition activities, and should be put before andnot after questions about the resources to pursue a chosen policy.Therefore, the goal of this study is to come to some conclusionabout both the attitudes of members of an ethnic community towardspreservation of records reflecting its experience and about theirpreferences as regards the best setting for preservation.To achieve the goal the study adopts a qualitative approachemploying case study interviews of individuals holding responsiblepositions in five organizations acting in the Chinese community ofVancouver. The five organizations are the Chinese BenevolentAssociation, the Chinese Cultural Centre, the Freemasons, theStrathcona Property Owners and Tenants Association, and the UnitedChinese Community Enrichment Services Society, in Vancouver,British Columbia, Canada. Fieldwork was conducted in the month ofMarch, 1993. Personal interviews guided by questions setbeforehand were held with six individuals representing those fiveorganizations.To put the findings in a larger context, the thesis beginswith a consideration of the literature on ethnic archives and onefforts to preserve them in Canada. An aim of this chapter is todefine the concept of ethnic archives, and place it in the larger5context of archival acquisition in Canada and the United States.The second chapter gives an account of the history, functions, andstructure of the five organizations under study to place theinterviews in their proper setting. The third chapter explains themethodology for data collection and details of the fieldwork, andthen analyzes the data. The concluding chapter considers theimplications of the findings, makes some recommendations for thearchival community, and suggests some areas of further research.6CHAPTER ONE:THE CONCEPT OF ETHNIC ARCHIVESThis study of the attitudes of records creators in the Chinesecommunity in Vancouver towards the disposition of their recordsmust be placed against the wider context of the evolution of theconcept of ethnic archives and development of programs to preservethem. The literature on the subject in both Canada and abroad hastended to address questions of defining ethnic archives in thecontext of developing programs for their preservations. A reviewof this literature will make it possible to come to some conclusionabout how best to define ethnic archives in the light of thisstudy's objectives.This chapter therefore examines the concept as it has evolvedin the Canadian setting, then reviews writing about the subject inCanada and the United States, and finally surveys the developmentof programs to preserve ethnic archives in Canada.1) Defining Ethnic Archives in the Canadian ContextSeveral difficulties stand in the way of defining the termethnic archives. Writing as recently as 1990, Eulenberg haddifficulty defining "Jewish archives", arguably one kind of ethnicarchives, because of the popular American view of Jewry as religionrather an ethnic entity.10 Though this question is not applicable1 °Julia Niebuhr Eulenberg,. "The Appraisal of JewishArchives." In Archival Appraisal: Theory and Practice: Proceedings of the Joint Meeting of the Association of British ColumbiaArchives and the Northwest Archives Association, Vancouver, April 26-28, 1990. ed. Christopher Hives (Vancouver: Archives Associationof British Columbia, 1990): 144.7to most other ethnic groups, defining ethnic archives has alwaysbeen a difficult task. In 1985, the Ethnic Archives Workshop heldin Canada took the approach of attempting to define what an ethnicarchival institution is. Tt ran into an unsolvable difficulty.The workshop participants tried to determineby what criteria should institutions be defined as ethnic,particularly within a Canadian setting. The difficulty lay indetermining whether the institutions' collections reflectedthe history not only of an ethnocultural group, but also ofCanadian society at large, or whether they were merelyrepositories for documents from the respective homeland, withno relevance to the group's history in Canada. ... That somegeneral archives contained a certain percentage of ethnicarchival materials compounded the problem of definition.Added to this was the further difficulty of ascertaining thevalue to researchers of the ethnic collections within thegeneral archives and whether, therefore, the latter should beincluded on the list.11The above approach is unproductive. Archival institutionsexist. They have evolved mandates and collection policies. It isthis context into which the issue of ethnic archives must beplaced. Therefore, there is no way to define which institutionsare ethnic. A better way to solve the problem is to reach adefinition of what ethnic archival materials are, which is theapproach to be adopted in this thesis.To begin, two concepts, "ethnic" and "archives", are to beexamined. "Archives" may be defined from three perspectives.1. The whole of the documents made and received by a juridicalor physical person or organization in the conduct of affairs,and preserved.2. An agency or institution responsible for the acquisition,preservation, and communication of archives selected forpermanent preservation.3. A place in which archives selected for permanent1-Ethic Archives Workshop Report, ed. Elizabeth Boghossian(Ottawa: Minister of Supply and Services, 1985), 3-4.8preservation are kept.12This thesis is only interested in the first of the above threemeanings, namely, archives as a complex of documents, notinstitutions or places where archives are preserved.The dictionary definition of "ethnic" is "of or related to aracial, national, or tribal group."13 This definition of"ethnicity" has caught the attention of sociologists. In a 1974article, Isajiw examined 27 definitions of ethnicity advanced in 65different studies,14 which are classified into those delineatingcultural difference, ethnic boundary, subjective, and objectivedefinitions.15While factors such as cultural difference, ethnic boundary,and objective blood relationship, are important in identifyingethnic groups, the subjective definition of ethnic group, whichemphasizes psychological identity and embraces second or thirdethnic generations, seems to prevail these days. Max Weber, Germansociologist, offered this explanation of the subjective approach.He designated 'ethnic groups' as those human groups thatentertain a subjective belief in their common descent becauseof similarities of physical type or of customs or both, orbecause of memories of colonization and emigration: thisbelief must be important for the propagation of group12School of Library, Archival and Information Studies,University of British Columbia, Select List of Archival Terminology(1991), 3.13Paul Procter et al., eds. Longman Dictionary of ContemporaryEn lish: The U -to-Date Learnin Dictionar (London: Pitman Press,1978), 373.14Wsevolod W. Isajiw, "Definitions of Ethnicity," Ethnicity 1,no. 2 (July 1974): 111-24.15Ibid., 115-6.9formation; conversely it does not matter whether or not anobjective blood relationship exists. Ethnic membership(Gemeinsamkeit) differs from the kinship group precisely bybeing a presumed identify, not a group with concrete socialaction, like the latter. In our sense ethnic membership doesnot constitute a group; it only facilitates group formation ofany kind, particularly in the political sphere. On the otherhand, it is primarily the political community, no matter howartificially organized, that inspires the belief in commonethnicity. This belief tends to persist even after thedisintegration of the political community, unless drasticdifferences in the custom, physical type, or, above all,language exist among its members.16Weber makes two things clear in the above explanation. First,persons identifying with an ethnic group do not formally belong toone. This will naturally make it difficult to set clear boundariesas to who falls in the group and who does not, or which actions doand which do not. Secondly, it is the political culture thatdefines ethnic group.Isajiw's own definition of "ethnicity" refers to:an involuntary group of people who share the same culture orto descendants of such people who identify themselves and /orare identified by others as belonging to the same involuntarygroup.17This subjective approach is expressed in official Canadian policy.As a landmark federal document on the subject put it,What counts most in our concept of an "ethnic group" is notone's ethnic origin or even one's mother tongue, but one'ssense of belonging to a group, and the group's collective willto exist.1818Ibid., citing Max Weber, Economy and Society (New York:Bedminster Press, 1968), 116.17Ibid., 122.18Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, Reportof the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism: Book IV, The Cultural Contributions of the Other Ethnic Groups (Ottawa:Queen's Printer, 1969), 7. [hereafter cited as Book IV].1 0As such, it is obvious that "we are all ethnic."19^It isespecially so in a country such as Canada, whose population isestimated to consist of over 90 ethnic groups (6 British, 4 French,3 Native, and over 80 of other origin). 20 The term ethnic groupsin Canada is commonly used to refer to non-French, non-British, andnon-native groups, which make up about one third of the Canadianpopulation, and trace their roots to other countries.21To have a better understanding of the Canadian concept ofethnicity, it is necessary to examine a few historical events thathave a bearing on the question. The concept of ethnic groups inCanada arose from the claims of groups other than those of Britishor French origin for some government recognition. Although peopleof varying ethnic origins existed in Canada virtually from theoutset of European settlement, the modern movement of ethnic groupsfor government recognition began in the 1960s and early 1970s, andis attributable to the existence of forces both inside and outsideCanada.External influence mainly came from the United States ofAmerica, specifically, the civil rights movement. Called the"second reconstruction of the 1950s and 1960s", this movementsought "the political, social, and economic rights of African-19R. A. Schermerhorn, "Ethnicity in the Perspective of theSociology of Knowledge," Ethnicity 1, no. 1 (1974): 1.20 'Appendix 2: Composition of Major Ethnic Categories forCanada, 1986 Census," in Canada Census - Dimensions Profile ofEthnic Groups 93-154 1986 (Ottawa: Minister of Supply and ServicesCanada, 1989), xliii-xlv.21Howard Palmer, "Canadian Immigration and Ethnic History inthe 1970s and 1980s," Journal of Canadian Studies 17 (Spring 1982):36.11American citizens to vote and to enjoy equality of opportunity ineducation, employment, and housing. H22 Broadly speaking, themovement for civil rights in the neighbouring U.S. created aclimate conducive to recognizing other groups in Canadian society.Several internal events contributed to increased recognitionof ethnicity in Canada. In 1947 Canada officially opened the doorto Third World immigration from the Commonwealth, and in 1967removed all racial exclusion provisions from its immigrationlaw.23 These changes had significant effects on the demographyof Canada. The 1981 census shows that those of non-British andnon-French ancestry totalled 31% of the Canadian population.24By this time, immigration from Asia, rather than the Europeancountries, became "the major single source of immigrants toCanada."25 These demographic changes challenged the governmentto rethink policies based on the concept of the two founding groupsof Canada. There was the need to recognize ethnic plurality andcultural diversity as intrinsic components of the Canadian socialsystem. The former preoccupation with notions of biculturalpartnership led to "a definition of a country that deniedrecognition to a quarter [in actuality closer now to one-third] ofthe population or other origins".26 At the same time, Quebec was22Sean Dennis Cashman, African-Americans and the Quest forCivil Rights, 1900-1990 (New York: New York University Press,1991), 4.23William Sheridan, Canadian Multiculturalism (Ottawa:Minister of Supply and Services, 1992), 16.24Ibid., 16.25Ibid., 3.26Carl Berger, The Writing of Canadian History: Aspects ofEnglish-Canadian Historical Writing Since 1900, 2d ed. (Toronto:University of Toronto Press, 1986), 308.12asking for recognition of its special cultural and linguisticneeds.From these concerns, the idea of a multicultural societywithin a bilingual framework emerged. In the 1960s, the termmulticulturalism came to refer to the ethnic, racial and culturaldiversity of Canadian society. This multiculturalism aimed at theultimate goal of fostering a kind of national unity in which theBritish and the French elements were acknowledged as the foundinggroups, while the contribution of people of the First Nations andfrom "ethnic groups" was formally recognized, in framework of "apolitical and ideological doctrine that emphasized the equality ofall Canadians regardless of their socio-ethnic, racial or culturalbackground. ,,27Evelyn Kallen sees the concept 'multiculturalism' used in atleast three senses:1) to refer to the 'social reality' of ethnic diversity; 2) torefer to the federal government policy, designed to createnational unity in ethnic diversity; and 3) to refer to theideology of cultural pluralism (the Canadian mosaic)underlying the federal policy. 28Sheridan proposes two levels in understanding Canadianmulticulturalism, first on the socio-demographic level, and second,on the institutional level. On the former level, the reason forhis proposal isbecause ethnocultural diversity is an inherent characteristicof Canada and because the Canadian government is activelyinvolved in a complex process of social integration through27Sheridan, Canadian Multiculturalism, 2.28Evelyn Kallen, "Multiculturalism: Ideology, Policy andReality," Journal of Canadian Studies/revue d'etudes canadiennes 17(Spring 1982): 51.13the ideal of 'unity in diversity'.29The pressure for government recognition of ethnic groups otherthan the British and French became so intense that the RoyalCommission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, after havingfulfilled its mandate to deal with French-English relations inCanada in 1969, was instructed to "recommend what steps should betaken to develop the Canadian confederation between the twofounding races, taking into account the contribution made by theother ethnic groups to the cultural enrichment of Canada and themeasures that should be taken to safeguard that contribution."30Proposals made by the Commission led to the publication of thelandmark document, Book IV: The Cultural Contribution of the OtherEthnic Groups, in 1969.In Ronald Con's view, Book IV "formally recognizes the 'other'ethnic groups as legitimate and deserving of assistance from thegovernment to help them to survive, caught as they are between thedominant Anglo- and Francophone cultural groups."31 In the eyesof one strong advocate of preservation of ethnic archives, RobertHarney, Book IV was "the first modern, public recognition of thepossibility of cultural rights for minorities and of limits toAnglo-conformity and gallicization respectively."32 It "not only29Sheridan, Canadian Multiculturalism, 1.30Book IV, 3.31Ronald J. Con, "Government and Ethnic Minority Groups: ACase Study of the Relationships Between Federal Adult-OrientedPrograms and Citizen Organizations of the Chinese in Canada,"(Boston University, PH.D. diss., Boston University, 1974), 42.32Robert Harney, "Ethnic Archival and Library Materials inCanada: Problems of Bibliographic Control and Preservation," EthnicForum: Journal of Ethnic Studies and Ethnic Bibliography 2, no. 214brought the question of the cultural persistence of the non-Britishand non-French to the fore, it also firmly identified ethnic andimmigration studies as the new civic or moral science which wouldserve as the legitimating instrument, or handmaiden, for whateverpublic policy was adopted."33This new policy was enunciated by Prime Minister PierreTrudeau on 8 October, 1971 in the House of Commons:We are of the belief that cultural pluralism is the veryessence of the Canadian identity. To say that we have twoofficial languages is not to say that we have two officialcultures; no culture is in and of itself more "official" thanany other.34Therefore, an institutional status for multiculturalism wasachieved. In much more detail, four objectives were elaboratedover the years:First, resources permitting, the government will seek toassist all Canadian cultural groups that have demonstrated adesire and effort to continue to develop, a capacity to growand contribute to Canada, and a clear need for assistance, thesmall and weak group no less than the strong and highlyorganized.Second, the government will assist members of all culturalgroups to overcome cultural barriers to full participation inCanadian society.Third, the government will promote creative encounters andinterchange among all Canadian cultural groups in the interestof national unity.Fourth, the government will continue to assist immigrants toacquire at least one of Canada's official languages in orderto become full participants in Canadian society.J5(Fall 1982): 11.33Ibid., 13.34Pierre E. Trudeau, "Statement by the Prime Minister, Houseof Commons, October 8, 1971" in Multiculturalism and the Governmentof Canada (Ottawa: Ministry of State for Multiculturalism, 1971).35Sheridan, Canadian Multiculturalism, 4.15The formal establishment of a policy of multiculturalismencouraged the establishment of programs for ethnic archives inCanada. These programs were first justified politically. It wasclaimed that the nation's archival repositories have littleevidence of the social diversity of Canada. Walter Neutel speaksof "the dearth of available ethnic source materials."38 It wasthe same with archival institutions at other levels of government.In Neutel's view, the establishment of ethnic archives can support"progress towards national and international brotherhood, towardsocial and economic security."37Secondly, programs for ethnic archives responded to researchinterest in ethnic questions. Government multicultural policyprovided support to academic studies of various ethnic groups. AsBerger points out:In practice this recognition of pluralism meant governmentfinancial support for cultural organizations and for thewriting - and rewriting - of history, a history that wouldgive certain groups a larger place in the country's past.38Interest in ethnic history was part of a larger revolution againstthe previous focus on "nation building and national unity."Historians were urged to "pay greater attention to the more'limited identities' of regions and provinces and the distinctworlds of working people, women, and ethnic groups other than those38Walter Neutel, "Geschichte Wie Es Eigentlich Gewesen or TheNecessity of Having Ethnic Archives Programmes," Archivaria 7(Winter 1978), 106.37Ib1d., 109.38Berger, Writing of Canadian History, 308.16of French or British origin."39 Hence the "new" history of the1970s developed, with emphasis on regionalism and social history.While regional studies approached Canada's past through therecognition that "Canada is a country of regions", social historyin Canada "has been cultivated as series of distinct subfieldsdevoted to the working class, native peoples, women, ethnic groups,urban centres, and education."40 As Palmer notes,before 1970 ethnic history and ethnic studies in Canadaremained a highly neglected field of academic inquiry. Duringthe last decade this situation has been dramatically reversedas a result of the growing importance of social history; arevival of interest in ethnic roots and the research supportprovided by government multiculturalism policies.41Palmer has attributed the causes of this neglect to the followingfactors:the historical profession was dominated by scholars of Britishand French origins whose major preoccupations were politicaland economic history and biography. Archives had very littlematerial dealing with the "other ethnic groups". A viciouscircle of the prevailing ethnocentric attitudes toward theseminorities (they were disappearing anyway throughassimilation, they were small, they weren't important),combined with a dearth of language skills, scholarlyincentive, archival resources and publisher interest,discouraged the Canadian historical profession's involvementin ethnic studies research.42Some of the most significant efforts to write ethnic histories inthe 1970s and 1980s were the writing of the Generation Series, theEthnic Groups Series, and the various Canadian symposia. TheGeneration Series was initiated under the Commission of the39Car1 Berger ed., Contemporary Approaches to Canadian History(Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman Ltd., 1987), 1.40Ib1d., 1-2.41Pal mer, "Canadian Immigration", 35.42Ibid., 36.17Citizenship Branch of the Department of the Secretary of State towrite "histories specifically directed to the background,contributions and problems of various cultural groups other thanBritish, French and Native peoples in Canada."43 It aimed topromote the histories of 25 to 30 different ethnic groups. TheEthnic Groups series was published by the Canadian HistoricalAssociation with the support of the Multicultural Program. TheCanadian Symposia were organized by the related social sciencedisciplines. These efforts succeeded in publicizing certainhistorical events, such as Japanese evacuation during World War II,the Chinese Exclusion Movement, and the Komagata Maru incident.These studies brought those past incidents and experience intocontemporary public consciousness, where, in Peter Ward's words,they acted as "the remembrance of the past" and "as the commonbond" uniting members of the group in their continued culturaladaptation and maintenance. 44 This historical and sociologicalinterest was paralleled in other disciplines such as politicalscience and other social sciences. 45In this climate, archival institutions began to focusattention on acquiring materials bearing on the experience ofethnic groups. As was then common, ethnic groups were conceived asbeing groups other than of English, French, or native origin.Recognizing that the term ethnic archives was "something of a43Jean Burnet and Howard Palmer, general editors of theGeneration Series, "Editorial Introduction" From China to Canada,ed. E. Wickberg (Toronto: MaClelland and Steward, 1982), vi.44W. Peter Ward, The Japanese in Canada (Ottawa: CanadianHistorical Association, 1982), 18.45Berger, Contemporary Approaches, 308.18misnomer," Walter Neutel, first head of the Ethnic Archives Sectionof the Manuscript Division of the Public Archives of Canada,nevertheless felt that "few other terms have the merit of being sodescriptive and brief.""There is some sense in what Neutel says, if we consider thatethnic groups are loose, unorganized groupings of people withcommon characteristics or interests. But when it comes to eitherthe persons or organizations taking part in the group's life, theconcept of ethnic archives runs into difficulties. Very oftenpersons do not act all the time in relation to the ethnic groupwith which they identify. As a result, their personal archives maycontain some documents which bear on ethnic experience and somewhich do not. Similarly, not all organizations acting in ethniccommunity affairs will be devoted solely to the interests of theethnic group. The very looseness of the group and the fact thatits members and member organizations may have wider interests thanthose strictly ethnic in nature makes it hard to identify a body ofethnic archival materials on which to focus acquisition activity.These difficulties do not prevent us from defining ethnic archives;they merely make it necessary to carefully qualify what is meant,because Neutel's "descriptive and brief term" is not clear enough.Therefore, we may define ethnic archives as archival fonds created by organizations or persons identifying or identified withethnic groups other than those of English, French, and nativeorigin, and whose activities in whole or in part reflect overtactions of an ethnic character, regardless of where these fonds are"Neutel, "Necessity of Having Ethnic Archives Programmes",107.19preserved. The definition makes it clear that ethnic archives aresimply fonds generated by persons or organizations which identifythemselves with or can be identified with ethnic groups. Using theterm "English" instead of "British" leaves it open to the Irish,Scottish, and Welsh to claim ethnic status, but not the dominantEnglish culture traditionally given status as predominant in Canadaalong with the French. Because ethnic status in the Canadiancontext tends to denote some connection with immigrant origins,native Canadians are excluded. Finally, to be designated as anethnic archives, a fonds need not be made up of documentsexclusively related to ethnic affairs.2) The North American Literature on Ethnic ArchivesAlthough there is some literature on ethnic archives outsidethe North American context, 47 the subject has been most seriouslyaddressed by writers in the United States and Canada.The concept of ethnic archives in the United States isdifferent from that in the Canadian setting. It emphasizes sourcesdocumenting the immigrant experience of all ethnic groups otherthan the Anglo-Americans. 48 As such, the concept of ethnicarchives in the U.S. has a different application than that inCanada. Ethnic archives in the United States is extended toincluding "sources relating to new thematic areas such as47For example, as regards Australia, see Franca Arena, "EthnicArchives," Archives and Manuscripts: the Journal of the AustralianSociety of Archivists 8, 1 (June 1980): 22-6.48Rudolph J. Vecoli, "The Immigration Studies Collection ofthe University of Minnesota," American Archivist 32 (April 1969),140.20sexuality, food, and street life, within the American ethnicexperience. "49The idea of documenting the immigrant experience in the U.S.dates back to 1927, when Marcus Lee Hansen, in an article inAmerican Historical Review, called for the creation of archives andlibraries of records of the immigrant experience.50 Differentfrom the Canadian experience, and consistent with its sponsorshipof archives with historical society, the systematic preservation ofimmigrant records prior to the 1960s was due to the initiatives ofimmigrant/ethnic historical societies, such as the American JewishHistorical Society, the Norwegian American Historical Association,the Polish Museum of America, and so on. The last three decadeshas seen relatively significant progress in the area of ethnicarchives. By the early 1980s some national and large regionalcollections had been created at the Immigration History ResearchCentre at the University of Minnesota and the Balch Institute forEthnic Studies in Philadelphia. Currently some of the mostprominent examples are: the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati,Ohio, established in the late 1940s; the Immigration StudiesCollection at the University of Minnesota, which concentrated onpeople in the United States with roots in southern and eastern49CDIE Planning Committee. Documenting Diversity: A Report onthe Conference on Documenting the Immigrant Experience in theUnited States of America (Saint Paul, Minnesota: ImmigrationHistory Research Centre, University of Minnesota, 1991), 7.50Cited by Rudolph J. Vecoli, "Why a Conference on Documentingthe Immigrant Experience?" in Documenting Diversity: A Report onthe Conference on Documenting the Immigrant Experience in theUnited States of America (Saint Paul, Minnesota: ImmigrationHistory Research Centre, University of Minnesota, 1991): 42.21Europe and the Middle East; and the Bentley Historical Library ofthe University of Michigan, which mainly collected materialsdealing with the great migrations of Europeans between 1820 and1920.51 The newest, the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration, wasinaugurated on September 9, 1990.52The writing on ethnic archives in the United States saw itsbeginning with Rudolph J. Vecoli's article in 1969 "The ImmigrationStudies Collection of the University of Minnesota."53 Thisseminal article, though casting itself as a description of thecollection, was the first to point out that the regrettablecultural myopia of the historians in writing about multiracial,multilingual, and multicultural societies mainly from an Anglo-American perspective is often shared by the custodians of pastrecords.54 He goes on to express the view that ethnic archivescan play a role in politically stabilizing the country. To use hisown words:only a realistic appraisal of our cultural diversity derivingfrom racial, religious, and national origins will enable us todeal effectively with the American social order anddisorder.55Vecoli's call did not receive any response until the late1970s in the U.S. Between 1976 and 1981, there took place two51Thomas Kreneck, "Documenting a Mexican American Community:The Houston Example," The American Archivist 48, 3 (Summer 1985):285.52Vecoli, "Why a Conference?", 40.53Vecoli, "Immigration Studies", 139-45.54Ibid., 140.55Ib1d., 145.22significant events for ethnic archives. First was the formation ofthe committee on Ethnic Archives by the Society of AmericanArchives.56 Second, there appeared a number of guides on ethnicinformation sources, for instance, Wasserman and Morgan's EthnicInformation Sources of the United States,57 and Buttlar andWynar's 1977 Building Ethnic Collections.58 This rising interestwas reflected in several other publications.Richard Juliani's article gave a researcher's view of thetendencies in the study of immigration. He proposes an expansionof communication and cooperation between researchers and collectorsin order to remove further those obstacles which continue to impedethe growth of our knowledge and understanding of immigration and ofthe role of immigration in shaping the individual character,cultural heritage, and social institutions of modern society.59However, he leaves the creators of ethnic archives out of theequation, which is one important party of the three who may be saidto have an interest in the matter. Articles by Raphael and56 •Nicholas Montalto, "The Challenge of Preservation in aPluralistic Society: A Report on the Immigration History ResearchCentre, University of Minnesota," American Archivist 41 (October1978): 404.57Pau1 Wasserman and Jean Morgan, eds., Ethnic InformationSources of the United States (Detroit: Gale Research Company,1976).58Lois Buttlar and Lubomyr R. Wynar, Building Ethnic Collections: An Annotated Guide for School Media Centers and Public Libraries (Littleton, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, Inc. 1977).59Richard Juliani, "The Use of Archives in the Study ofImmigration and Ethnicity," American Archivist 39 (October 1976),477.23Montalto make similar arguments.60Warner and Blouin's article recounts the experience of theBentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan.61 Theybelieve that records could be acquired both in the United Statesand in the countries from which immigrants have come. ^Theymentioned records from Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, andPoland. The issue of collecting overseas in order to provideinterested archival institutions and programs with comprehensivesources for documenting the great migrations is a dubious one.Warner and Blouin's idea of collecting records of both host andoriginating countries was echoed by Vecoli in 1981 with theImmigration History Research Centre experience, which wasestablished in 1967. He calls for "large scale, collaborativeprojects undertaken by a consortium of institutions," and the"recovery of the archival sources in the countries of origin." InVecoli's view, this involves developing collaborative projects andproducing finding aids or research tools to promote access to thedocumentation already assembled.62The Vecoli/Warner approach runs counter to archival principles60]Marc Lee Raphael, "The Genesis of a Communal History: TheColumbus Jewish History Project," American Jewish Archives 29(April 1977): 53-69. And, Nicholas V. Montalto, "The Challenge ofPreservation in a Pluralistic Society: A Report on the ImmigrationHistory Research Centre, University of Minnesota," AmericanArchivist 41 (October 1978): 399-404.61Robert M. Warner and Francis X. Blouin, Jr., "Documentingthe Great Migration and a Century of Ethnicity in America," TheAmerican Archivist 39 (July 1979): 319-28.62Rudolph J. Vecoli, "'Diamonds in Your Own Backyard':Developing Documentation on European Immigrants to North America,"Ethnic Forum 1 (September 1981): 13.24in two ways. First, it focuses on accumulating documentation on asubject rather than in a well defined sphere of activity. Themassive migrations to America were an event we now study, but theyare not capable of being reduced to even the sensible frameworkthat ethnic archives can be. Beyond that, it violates wellestablished international principles to remove archives from theterritory in which they were generated. If Vecoli and Warner areonly interested in copying archival material, they are still in therealm of building a documentation centre and not acquisition ofarchives properly speaking.In 1985, a special issue of the American Archivist carriedfive articles dealing with acquisition of the records of ethnicgroups. It aims to redress the deplorable neglect in this area.63Jacqueline Goggin describes the activities of Carter G. Woodson inpreserving black culture, and the Woodson Collection of NegroMaterials in the Manuscript Division of the Library of theCongress." Kreneck describes the systematic buildup of acollection of materials relative to the history of Houston'sMexican American populace in the Houston Metropolitan ResearchCentre in the Houston Public Library.65 In both cases, these areartificial collections, not holdings made up of archival fonds.Susan Grigg documents the experience of the ImmigrationHistory Research Centre of the University of Minnesota, which has63Charles Schultz, "The Forum", editorial to AmericanArchivist, 48, 3 (Summer 1985).64Jacqueline Goggin, "Carter G. Woodson and the Collection ofSource Materials for Afro-American History," The American Archivist48, 3 (Summer 1985): 261-71.65Kreneck, "Documenting a Mexican American Community", 272-85.25acquired material relating to twenty-four ethnic groups. Griggconcludes that the literature on ethnic archives consists mainly ofvariations on themes such as "to stimulate better work byidentifying available materials, explaining how to work with ethnicgroups members, or inculcating the importance of ethnicdocumentation. ,,66Anderson describes the experience in the Balch Institute,created in 1971 by the Orphan's Court of Philadelphia, acting onbehalf of trusts established by the Balch Family a half-centuryearlier.67 This is a very large scale repository, with acollection of material on more than seventy different ethnicgroups, covering primarily the mid Atlantic region. Anderson dealswith the methods for developing collecting policies in socialhistory archives. He advocates a cyclical approach to policydevelopment and a careful consideration of acquisition strategies.He accepts the necessity of thematic archives, and believes thatthey offer an alternative to traditional broadly based repositoriesthat will help solve the problem of identifying records valuablefor the study of social history. He believes that flexibility andongoing reassessment are important requirements of an effectivepolicy."66Susan Grigg, "A World of Repositories, a World of Records:Redefining the Scope of a National Subject Collection," AmericanArchivist 48, 3 (Summer 1985): 287.67Joseph R. Anderson, "Managing Change and Chance: CollectingPolitics in Social History Archives," The American Archivist 48, 3(Summer 1985): 299-300."Ibid., 296. Five collecting models have been discussed. Theyare: the research model, which represents the genesis of manyimportant archival collections; developing a network of supportersfrom within the archives' collecting universe, which has been the26Grabowski deals with acquisition from another aspect in hisaccount of the experience at the Western Reserve HistoricalSociety, particularly its Cleveland Regional Ethnic ArchivesProgram begun in 1971. In describing the society's acquisitionpolicy, and the evolution of its practice, he concludes that "thesuccessful implementation of the original policy has dependedespecially on three factors: good working relations with ethnicgroup leaders, selectivity within the scope of the policy, andcooperation among repositories."69 He observes that the recordscreator factor is the most important one in determining the successof the policy. He also notes thatPressure from donors, trustees, and faculty has traditionallywrenched institutional policies off course, and in manyinstances the spirit of interinstitutional competition hasoften lured curators beyond the rational limits of theircollections."The regret is that he raises the problem without giving it seriousstudy or suggesting any way of solving it.All in all, this special issue rather confuses the picture ofethnic archives.^On the one hand, we see that documentationmainstay of traditional, single group ethnic repositories;targeting records to ensure mutually supportive documentation;conducting regional surveys; and creating documents, which hasusually consisted of oral history interviews, and selecting fromamong these five models, three major criteria adopted, namely, touse the collecting strategy or group of strategies which wouldprovide a better knowledge of the universe and create the basis fora long-term collecting program; to achieve initial results in termsof acquisitions quickly; and to choose either strategies whichcould be implemented by existing staff or strategies for which theycould obtain outside funding.69John J. Grabowski, "Fragments or Components: ThemeCollections in a Local Setting," The American Archivist 48, 3(Summer 1985), 304."Ibid., 305.27activities are confused with or intermingled with archivalactivities. This may be the way institutional programs develop,but it does not help clarify how best to go about preserving ethnicarchives as they have been defined for the purpose of this study.On the other hand, discussion of practical matters obscuresfundamental questions about how to develop effective policy andstrategy, for no attempt is made to evaluate the results of any ofthe programs the authors describe. Articles on the American JewishArchives,71 and on the Swedish Community in Chicago fall into thesame category.72A significant and most recent thrust for ethnic archives inthe United States is the 1990 conference attended by a group ofhistorians and archivists to consider the state of ethnic archivesand ethnic history. It aimed to promote a collaborative effort topreserve and interpret the historical record of this basicdimension of the American experience.73 An opening paper byVecoli surveys the history of thirty years's experience of ethnicarchives work.74 Grabowski and Wurl gave papers recountinginstitutional experience along the lines of those in the special7-Kevin Proffitt, "Collection Management at the AmericanJewish Archives," The American Archivist 49, 2 (Spring 1986): 177-9.72Timo thy J. Johnson, "The Swedish American Archives ofGreater Chicago," Illinois Libraries 69, 8 (October 1987): 600-1.Kermit b. Westerberg, "Swenson Swedish Immigration ResearchCentre," Illinois Libraries 69, 8 (October 1987): 601-6.73CDIE, Documenting Diversity, 1.74Vecoli, "Why a Conference?", 40.28issue of the American Archivist. 75 Two papers were contributedby historians with focus on their own need of services fromarchivists, such as for "better analysis and reporting of majorcollections in terms of their ethnic relevance", 76 andidentification of series "less concerned with issues generated bynational, state, or federal agencies and more focused upon issuesgenerated by the immigrants themselves." 77 The last paper by MaryLynn McCree Bryan makes recommendations about the administrativestructures and funding required to achieve the publication of adocumentary history of American Immigration. 78 In sum the papers75John J. Grabowski, "Archivists and Immigrants, Embarking forNew Destinations Together," in Documenting Diversity: A Report onthe Conference on Documenting the Immigrant Experience in theUnited States of America (Saint Paul, Minnesota: ImmigrationHistory Research Centre, University of Minnesota, 1991): 49-59.Joel Wurl, "The Archival Golden Door: Thoughts on Improving theState of Historical Documentation on the Immigrant Experience," inDocumenting Diversity: A Report on the Conference on Documentingthe Immigrant Experience in the United States of America (SaintPaul, Minnesota: Immigration History Research Centre, University ofMinnesota, 1991): 63.76 Kathleen Neils Conzen, "Hunting the Snark; or, TheHistorian's Quest for Immigrant Documentation," in DocumentingDiversity: A Report on the Conference on Documenting the ImmigrantExperience in the United States of America (Saint Paul, Minnesota:Immigration History Research Centre, University of Minnesota,1991): 87.77,Alan M. Kraut, "In Their Own Words: Why Historians Need aDocumentary History of the Immigrant Experience," in DocumentingDiversity: A Report on the Conference on Documenting the ImmigrantExperience in the United States of America (Saint Paul, Minnesota:Immigration History Research Centre, University of Minnesota,1991): 95.78 Mary Lynn McCree Bryan, "Voice for the Voiceless: A Meansto an End," in Documenting Diversity: A Report on the Conference onDocumenting the Immigrant Experience in the United States ofAmerica (Saint Paul, Minnesota: Immigration History ResearchCentre, University of Minnesota, 1991): 108.29at this conference place ethnic archives in the context ofimmigration studies in general and the broader documentation on thesubject.While Vecoli's 1969 article was waiting for response in theUnited States, the Canadian archival community's first article inthe field of ethnic archives appeared in 1972. A. J. Arnolddescribes the difficult birth and development of a Western JewishArchives Program, conceived in the spring of 1967 with the formalestablishment of a Western Region Archives and Research Committeeby the Winnipeg Office of Canadian Jewish Congress.79 However,his article mainly describes the contents of cataloguing results upto April 15, 1972, with a clear aim of promoting access to thecollection. Another similar effort was made by Edward Laine, whosearticle describes some archival resources relating to FinnishCanadians.80A short and forceful article by Walter Neutel appeared in1978. It explicitly expresses the necessity of having ethnicarchives programs.81 He also summarizes the first six years ofthe ethnic archives program at the Public Archives of Canada.Neutel concludes that,If we seek progress toward national and internationalbrotherhood, toward social and economic security, it is not anoptional programme but is an essential endeavour."8279Arnold, "Birth and Development", 24-9.80Edward Laine, "Archival Resources Relating to FinnishCanadians," Archivaria no. 7 (Winter 1978): 110-6.81Neutel, "Necessity of Having Ethnic Archives Programmes",104-9.82Ibid., 109.30An analysis of ethnic archives in Canada was made in 1982 byRobert Harney, director of the Multicultural History Society ofOntario, with a focus on the problems of intellectual control andpreservation of ethnic archival and library materials.83 Whileacknowledging the progress made, Harney regretted its unevencharacter.84 He was especially concerned about the confusion ofacquisition policies and practices in programs at various levels ofgovernment:the problem of provenance, of mandate, of who should locate,collect and preserve ethnocultural material exists, of course,in the United States as well as in Canada, but, in Canada, theproblem is more immediate because of the strong tradition ofstate intervention in culture and because so much governmentmoney has been committed so rapidly to the effort.°5Harney criticizes the "total archives" approach mandate of the NEA,stating that to collect and make available to researchers at thePAC archival material of national significance pertaining to thesecommunities "resembles a privateer's lettres de cachet in thesixteen century, a skimming of the cream." Harney proposes "a morerational collecting effort" at the national level" aimed at athematic, or "a subject approach," to ethnic materials.87An important conference on ethnic archives took place inToronto in 1983.88 As the first national meeting of its kind, itspurpose was to conduct a general investigation into the state of83Harney, "Ethnic Archival and Library Materials", 3-31.841bid., 21-22.851bid., 23.25.871bid., 27.88B0 ghossian, Workshop Report, 1985.31programs to preserve ethnic archives in Canada and to explore waysof improving them. The conference was organized by the steeringcommittee members made up of Michael Batts of the University ofBritish Columbia, Robert Harney of the Multicultural HistorySociety of Ontario, Bohdan Krawchenko of the Canadian Institute ofUkrainian Studies, Ronald LeBlanc of the Centre d'etudesacadiennes, and Hesh Troper of the Ontario Institute for Studies inEducation; the workshop coordinator was Elizabeth Boghossian, withparticipants as representatives from national, provincial, localand university archives, and from ethnic institutes of study. Fivetopics received special attention: the need for a survey of ethnicarchives, acquisition policy, management of ethnic archivesprograms, ethnic archives and research, and the importance ofethnic archives.The question of acquisition of ethnic archives in Canadareceived heated debate, and acquisition policy for ethnic archivesreceived much attention. It was alleged that public archivalinstitutions give ethnic archives a low priority.89 However, itwas urged thatsince public institutions were created to serve the public,and since ethnic groups were part of the public, publicarchivists should not be looking for alternatives for ethnicmaterials. It was further held to be neither historically norsocially justifiable to assign priority to the papers andrecords of politicians over those of ethnic community leadersor of any other segment of the population. Public archiveswould therefore have to prepare themselves to accommodateethnic archival materials.°As for the question of conflicting acquisition policies, it89Ibid., 5.90Ibid., 6.32was advanced that nationally and internationally significantmaterials should be deposited in the National Archives, whilematerials of local relevance should be left in the appropriatelocal or provincial institutions. This could be decided throughmutual good will and open communication between the archivalinstitutions and ethnic communities.It was suggested that the ethnic donors look upon the variousarchival institutions as a marketplace for their materials, whichwould allow them to entrust these to the institution of theirchoice; conversely, institutions would be charged with informingdonors as to where their archival needs would best be served. Aninstitutional structure was proposed to "foster co-operation amongthe ethnic communities, scholars and archivists in this importantenterprise. ,,91The workshop participants advanced two ideas aboutacquisition. First, they concluded that public archivalinstitutions should develop acquisition policies for ethnicarchival materials, and not neglect them as in the past. Second,they believed that the burden of acquisition should fall on publicarchival institutions with materials of national significancepreserved in the Public Archives of Canada and those of regionalsignificance in public archival institutions at the provincial andmunicipal levels. This view of the matter is in accord withSmith's view that archival institutions collectively should striveto preserve a record of all aspects of human endeavour, and withthe prevailing view, as enunciated by the Wilson report, that91Ibid., 7.33Canada's system of federal, provincial, and municipal publicarchival institutions should assume the main burden of developinga rational policy for preservation of materials in the region inwhich they were created and to which they pertain.The participants also acknowledged, if public and otherinstitutions were open to acquisition of ethnic archives andpublicized their policies in that regard, creators and owners wouldbe able to exercise their preference for setting of preservation.This would be the soundest method of promoting better preservationin a pluralistic society. Finally, participants recognized theneed to involve ethnic groups, scholars interested in ethnichistory, and archivists in efforts to preserve ethnic archives. Inprinciple, this approach is a sound one. It recognizes theexisting framework of Canadian archives, avoids recommending theestablishment of thematic repositories like the failed one at theMulticultural Society of Ontario, and firmly includes creators,archivists, and users in the development of awareness andpreservation of ethnic archives. It may only be lamented thatthese deliberations do not seem to have had much direct effect onthe recognition of the need to be more active in preserving recordsof the Canadian multicultural experience.A substantial paper produced after the conference was byEdward Laine in 1986.92 He analyzes the archival sources of theFinnish-Canadian Archives community. He identifies several kindsof archival sources: personal papers, family and business papers;92Edward Laine, "'Kallista Perintoa' - Precious Legacy!:Finnish Canadian Archives, 1882-1985," Archivaria 22 (Summer 1986):75-94.34corporate records; printed documentation by the indigenousCanadian, Finish-language press; and "synthetic research archives"produced by scholars or organizations in the Finnish community. Healso examines the efforts of the Finnish Canadian CulturalFederation to acquire records of local Finnish festivals, andreflects on the role of archival institutions to preserve FinnishCanadian Archives. This article gives a good picture of thecomplex relationships within an ethnic group and with outsideorganizations which must be addressed in any program to preserveethnic archives.To sum up, there are a few points that can be made about theliterature reviewed. First, most writers feel that it is necessaryto sensitize archivists to the special circumstances of ethnicarchives. By definition, the actors in ethnic groups are noteasily identified, and they themselves do not always perceive theimportance of the materials they produce. Almost all observersagree that a rounded archival records must contain a reflection ofthe ethnic experience, but in few cases do they explore theimplications for acquisition policy and strategy in any systematicway. Secondly, little attention is paid to the ideas thoseresponsible for creating ethnic archives have about the process ofpreserving them. Often the matter is regarded as a problem somehowto be solved by archivists and researchers. The creators are leftout of the equation.Therefore, a careful exploration of a single, even restrictedcase in some systematic way might contribute ideas about the bestway to go about identifying and preserving ethnic archives, inshort by putting the creators and their environment first in the35development of archival acquisition for ethnic archives.3) Efforts in Canada to Preserve Ethnic ArchivesThe first ethnic archives program in Canada is recorded tohave been conceived in l967. was conceived by members of theJewish community in Western Canada as a program to preserve recordsdocumenting the Jewish experience. However, the major efforts todevelop ethnic archives programs were sponsored by the publicarchival institutions.In 1972, the Public Archives of Canada established a NationalEthnic Archives (NEA) program by financial allocation from themulticultural program of the Government of Canada. As described byNeutel, the aim of the NEA has been two-fold:to alert ethno-cultural communities to the nature of archivalmaterial and the importance of its preservation, and tocollect and make available to researchers at the PAC [PublicArchives of Canada] archival material of national significancepertaining to these communities. The goal was to make theholdings of the PAC and of other repositories reflect morefully the diversity of Canadian society and eventuallyCanadians might have a better understanding of themselves.94In Neutel's view, the program considerably enhanced publicawareness in saving ethnic archives by acquiring and preserving aconsiderable volume of records.95Other programs specifically devoted to preserving ethnic93A. J. Arnold, "The Birth and Development of a Western JewishArchives Program," The Canadian Archivist/L'Archiviste canadien 2,3 (1972): 24-9.94Neutel, "Necessity of Having Ethnic Archives Programmes",107.95For details, see Neutel, 1978.36archives followed. Some of the most prominent examples are: theefforts of the Multicultural History Society of Ontario toestablish an ethnic archives program; the efforts of severalprovincial archives, notably Ontario, to develop a formal programfor ethnic archives;96 and the efforts of the Jewish and Mennonitecommunities97 to foster archives programs.98 However, existinginstitutions have to decide how to approach this realm. A pointworth noting is that NEA tried to encourage awareness incommunities where there is an ethnic presence.In British Columbia, ethnic collections can be found inProvincial Archives,99 the City of Vancouver Archives, loo96For details, see Harney, "Ethnic Archival and LibraryMaterials", 1982.97Mennonite Heritage Centre in Winnipeg has a program forarchival records and periodicals on Mennonites and Mennonite groupsin Canada. In addition, Mennonite Archives of Ontario in Waterlooholds minutes, correspondence and other records of Mennoniteconferences, congregations, institutions and ministers in Ontario.[See Marcel Caya, et al. eds., Directory of Canadian Archives,Ottawa: Bureau of Canadian Archivists, 1986. 34 & 83.]Canadian Jewish Congress, National Archives in Montreal, holdsrecords of institutions, associations, groups and private paperswhich reflect all the concerns of the Jewish community: immigrationand integration into Canadian society, religious practice,education, anti-Semitism, Zionism, literature, legislation, etc.[See Marcel Caya, et al. eds., Directory of Canadian Archives,Ottawa: Bureau of Canadian Archivists, 1986. 120.]981990 also recorded another project relating to ethnicarchives program, Serbian Heritage Museum, the only Serbian Museumoutside of Yugoslavia, established in 1987 in Ontario with a grantfrom the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture. [refer to"Serbian Heritage Museum, Windsor, Ontario," ACA Bulletin 14, 4(March 1990): 14.]99Frances Gundry, ed. Provincial Archives of British Columbia: Manuscript Inventory Nos. 1-3. (Victoria: Queen's Printer forBritish Columbia, 1976, 1978, 1980). See in No. 1, Add.MSS. 2; andin No. 3, Add.MSS. 906.100yee, "Chinese in British Columbia", 1977.37University of Victoria Special Collections,101 University ofBritish Columbia archives, 102 and Simon Fraser UniversityArchives,103 although none of these institutions claims to havea focus on ethnic archives.Within the Chinese community, there is the Chinese CommunityHistory Room, established in 1983 by the Chinese Community LibraryServices Association with the help of people from all walks oflife. Its mandate is to "collect and preserve materialsdocumenting the Chinese heritage in the province and across NorthAmerica."104 The holdings are classified into four categories:SUBJECT FILE: with more than one hundred and fifty subjectheadings, covering topics and issues such as "head tax","immigration-rules and regulations", "politicians of Chinesedescent", "biographies of the famous", mostly from newspapers andmagazines; ORAL HISTORY: with more than one hundred cassette tapes101A Guide to Non-Administrative Records, Personal Papers andCanadian Manuscripts in the University of Victoria Archives/Special Collections, p. 70 (one item for example).102See "Sources for Researching the History of ChineseCanadians in British Columbia in the Special Collections andUniversity Archives Division," compiled by Christopher Hives,Special Collections and University Archives Division, University ofBritish Columbia Library, May 1992. And also see "Sources forResearching the History of Japanese Canadians in British Columbiain the Special Collections and University Archives Division,"compiled by Christopher Hives with Mary Oh, December 1991.103There are some records of the Sikh community of East Indianethnic group in Vancouver, spread through the research material ofHugh Johnston, author of two books on East Indians: The Voyage of the Komagata Maru: the Sikh Challenge to Canada's Colour Bar.Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1979. And The East Indians inCanada. Ottawa: Canadian Historical Association, 1984.104 Tommy Kwan, "Quest for the Mission of the CCLSA," inChinese Community Library Services Association: 20th AnniversaryCommemorative Special Publication (1972-1992) (Vancouver: CCLSA,1992), 21.38of interviews with senior Chinese Canadians conducted in 1984";VANCOUVER CHINATOWN BUILDINGS PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTION: from aproject in 1985, in which the CCHR commissioned a photographer tophotograph all the buildings in Vancouver Chinatown for historicalreasons; and "PENDER GUY" PROGRAM NOTES AND MASTER TAPES: "PenderGuy", a co-op radio program, with major concern on issues ofassimilation and cultural identity, which was on the air between1976 and 1981, and was awarded the 1980 Media Human Rights Award ofthe B'nai B'rith of Canada.105 As is clear from the aboveinformation, the program of the CCHR is not archival. It is rathera documentation centre where information about the Chinesecommunity's history is collected and organized.In summary, two types of efforts to preserve ethnic archivesin Canada are present. First, institutions have developed specialprograms for ethnic archives, especially in cases where resourceswere made available for the purpose as part of government policy,such as in the cases of NEA and Ontario. Secondly, the existingmandate and acquisition policy simply caught some ethnic archivesin its net, as might be expected. In the scheme of Canadian totalarchives, it could be expected to preserve ethnic archives withoutmounting a special program, such as in the cases of archivalinstitutions at provincial or municipal levels of government. Theone case of trying to develop a freestanding ethnic archivesprogram outside the framework of archival institutions, by theMulticultural History Society of Ontario, failed completely whenthe society could no longer support it and the records acquired105Information abstracted from the brochure on the ChineseHistory Room.39were turned over to the Archives of Ontario. Programs to developa documentation centre on the history of some ethnic group, such asthe one by CCHR, should not be confused with preservation of ethnicarchives. With this review of the general situation, we may nowturn to the study of Chinese organizations in Vancouver to assessthe potential for acquisition.40CHAPTER TWO:SELECTING REPRESENTATIVE ORGANIZATIONSIN THE VANCOUVER CHINESE COMMUNITYThis study assumes that the Chinese in Vancouver form anidentifiable ethnic group. As a means of conducting a study of therecords creating environment, five organizations were selected asbeing representative of the kinds of organization active in thecommunity. They are the Chinese Benevolent Association, theChinese Cultural Centre, the Freemasons, the Strathcona Propertyand Tenants Association, and the United Chinese CommunityEnrichment Services Society.To provide a necessary context, this chapter will brieflytouch upon the historical background of the Chinese community inCanada as a whole, followed by a description of the fiveorganizations, which will also lead to a discussion of therationale for choosing the five. A brief summary at the end ofthis chapter will highlight the characteristics of the fiveorganizations.1) Historical Background of the Chinese Community in VancouverThe Chinese have been part of the Canadian scene at leastsince 1858, the year of the Fraser River goldrush, and the year thecolony of British Columbia was created.106 The Chinese communityin Canada began in the province of British Columbia. Over 130106E. B. Wickberg et al., From China to Canada: A History ofthe Chinese Communities in Canada (Toronto: McClelland and Steward,1982): 5.41years, the Chinese community has grown into one of the largestethnic groups in Canada. The Chinese people spread to almost everypart of Canada. As far as language is concerned, Chinese now ranksas the third most common household language in Canada, after onlyEnglish and French.1"This growth of the Chinese Canadians has not occurred withoutcertain ordeals and hardships. The history of over one and aquarter centuries of immigrant life for Chinese in Canada has foundexpression in a number of studies by scholars of non-Chinese originas well as those within the Chinese ethnic group. 108 Thesestudies show that the Chinese in general and in their variouscommunities constitute an ethnic group in the minds of both theChinese themselves and the populace at large. This sense ofidentity has been forged in a common historical experience, such asinvolvement with railroad building, which contributed to theConfederation of Canada in 1867; the struggle of early immigrantsto establish themselves; and the experience of the "Chinese107Douglas Sagi, "Chinese Tops Italian at Home, StatisticsSay," Vancouver Sun January 13, 1993: Al.108The following publications offer a panoramic picture of theChinese in Canada. They are:E. B. Wickberg et al., From China to Canada: A History of theChinese Communities in Canada (Toronto: McClelland and Steward,1982).A. Chan, Gold Mountain: The Chinese in the New World(Vancouver: New Star Books, 1983).Ching Ma, Chinese Pioneers: Materials Concerning the Immigration of Chinese to Canada and Sino-Canadian Relations (Vancouver: Versatile, 1979).Jin Tan, and Patricia E. Roy, The Chinese in Canada (Ottawa:Canadian Historical Association with the support of theMulticulturalism program, Government of Canada, 1985).Peter Li, The Chinese in Canada (Toronto: Oxford UniversityPress, 1988).42Exclusion Movement" from 1923 to 1947, with its Head Tax, theChinese Immigration Act of 1923, disfranchisement of ChineseCanadians, and stringent barriers on competition in a wide range ofoccupations. Only with the repeal of discriminatory legislation inthe post Second World War period have Chinese immigrants been ableto participate more fully in the Canadian life. Even so, they arenow playing an increasingly active role in the larger society.In Vancouver, the first Chinese came from California in 1858.A community known to be made up exclusively of men, early Chineseimmigrants were merchants, peasants, and labourers mainly fromeight rural counties in the Pearl River delta in Guangdong Provinceof the People's Republic of China. They were engaged mainly asminers, road builders, teamsters, laundrymen, restaurateurs,domestic servants and cannery workers. In Vancouver, they created"Canada's largest and most dynamic Chinese community. u109 Sincethe early days, there have been certain organizations in theChinese community.One study of ethnic organizations classified them intofollowing categories:mutual aid or benefit associations designed to give assistancein crises such as unemployment, illness, accident, or death;philanthropic or social welfare associations through which themore successful and established members of the group mayassist the less successful and newcomers; associations withpolitical aims, either in the homeland or in the new country;social and recreational associations; occupational andprofessional associations; research institutes and learnedsocieties) women's groups; youth groups; and coordinatingbodies. 11UAll these types of organizations are active in the Chinese109Yee, Saltwater City, cover information.110Book IV, 107-8.43community in Vancouver. There are organizations with politicalaims both in the homeland and in the New World; those aiming topromote traditional culture within the Chinese community and tointroduce it to the society at large; those established to renderservices to newly arrived Chinese immigrants; professionalorganizations; research societies; religious organizations;merchants' associations; clan associations; and neighbourhoodassociations. There are over two hundred organizations inVancouver acting to further aspects of Chinese community life. 111Among these organizations, five have been chosen for thepurpose of this study. They are the Chinese Benevolent Association(CBA), the Chinese Cultural Centre (CCC), the Freemasons (FM), theUnited Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society (commonlyknown as SUCCESS), and the Strathcona Property Owners and TenantsAssociation (SPOTA).Each of these organizations is well established in thecommunity, and all are of long enough standing to have made asignificant impact. CBA, CCC, and SUCCESS are three of the mostimportant organizations in the Chinese community. The Freemasonsis the organization with the longest history in Vancouver. SPOTAis best known for its successful opposition to plans for urbanrenewal in the Chinatown area in the late 1960s and 1970s.2) Background Information on the Selected OrganizationsTo understand fully the rationale for choosing these111,A list of Chinese organizations can be found in ChineseTelephone Directory 1991 Vancouver-B.C. Mainland (Vancouver:Chinese Telephone Directories and Chinatown News, 1991): 310-7.44organizations, it is necessary to examine the role each one hasplayed within the Chinese community. This section will considersuch factors as the history, the current status, the mission,activities or programs, and financial support of eachorganization.112a. The Chinese Benevolent AssociationThe Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver (CBA) wasestablished in 1895, and officially incorporated in 1906. It hasoccupied the same premises, located at 108 East Pender, since 1909.CBA currently has "49 organizational members" and "a couple ofthousand individual members" from all walks of life.113 It isincorporated as a non-profit association under the Societies Act ofBritish Columbia. Its mission has been stated in its brochure astwo-fold:internally, or within the Chinese community: promote friendlycontacts, mediate disputes, offer assistance to the needy, andendeavour to bring about unity and cooperation among all theorganizations in the Chinese community;and externally: promote friendly relations with other ethnicgroups, and fight for the rights and equality of the Chinese112This part of the background information for eachorganization is based both on the interview information from myfieldwork conducted during the month of March 1993 and the existingliterature on these organizations. When there is conflict betweeninterview information and published information, the informationfrom the latter source is quoted in this thesis. For instance, theChinese Culture Centre is recorded in the published information asestablished in 1973, yet the interview information was in 1972. Inthis case, the published information is cited, namely, the year1973. However, in most cases, the information from two sources arethe same.113Interview information, March 3, 1993.45in Canada)-14The Association has been an advocate for the Chinese communitysince the turn of the century. Vancouver city records show thatCBA has approached City Council on many occasions in relation tovarious matters of interest to the Chinese Community, such aspermission to carry out fund-raising drives, the Chinese hospital,flood relief in Canton (Guangdong), and aid to Chinese warrefugees)-'5 The Association is credited with having* established a hospital on its premises to offer free medicalservice to the sick and poor Chinese in Vancouver;* built the public cemetery, and helped send back to China theremains of the dead;* established the Chinese public school in 1917, then raisedfunds within the Chinese community to build the new schoolbuilding at 499 East Pender;* in 1913 helped feed the unemployed and Chinese withoutfamily support;* in 1924 circulated a public notice to all Chinese in Canadasetting July 1 as the Shame Day for the Chinese, so as toprotest the government's passage of legislation discriminatingagainst Chinese immigrants;* in 1937 held a large scale fund raising drive for the WarAgainst Japan, within the eight years of war, total donationsamounted to $5,000,000;* in 1947 fought for the right to vote for Chinese Canadians;* between 1947 and 1967, made many representations to thefederal government about instances of discrimination;* between 1967 and 1970s, protested the City Urban RenewalScheme III affecting the Chinatown area;* in 1979 in cooperation with Chinese Cultural Centre, held agrand celebration of Chinese Spring Festival* in 1980 protested W5 TV show, resulting in a public apologyto the Chinese;* joined with the cooperative efforts of Chinese in every cityof Canada in establishing PingQuanHui, to enhance and furtherprotect the legal rights of the Chinese and other minorityethnic groups;* in 1981 initiated a petition, seminar, and protest againstracism, contributing to the province's legislation on the114"Introduction of Chinese Benevolent Association ofVancouver" [brochure in Chinese] Chinese Benevolent Association ofVancouver, Vancouver.115Pau1 Yee, "The Chinese in British Columbia: Bibliography"Summer 1977, City of Vancouver Archives, Vancouver, B.C., 27.46elimination of racism;* in 1982 protested the Japanese government's distorting thehistory of its invasion of China;* joined in a cooperative effort to prevent fire and theft;and celebrated the 125 anniversary of the Chinese community inVancouver in 1983.118More recently, it has organized forums on head-tax issues andseminars with the police department regarding the establishment ofthe Chinatown police community service centre.117The President of the organization describes CBA as "havingsome representative capacity of being an umbrella organization forthe Chinese community.1,118 The major work of the organizationhas been carried out by volunteers. The Association has a board of31 members, 20 of whom are elected from among the organizationalmembers, the rest from among individual members. Currently thereis only one part time employee, working from one o'clock to fiveo'clock, performing such duties as answering phone calls andinquiries, collecting correspondence, and notifying the boardmembers about meetings.The Association is largely self sustaining. Its revenue comesmainly from lease or rental of property that it owns. It receivesalmost no support from governments. The main exceptions are forits sponsorship of the annual Spring Festival (traditional ChineseNew Year celebration), and for the Chinatown police communityservice centre on Main Street.119116"Introduction of Chinese Benevolent Association ofVancouver", 2.117Interview information, March 3, 1993.118Ibid.118Ibid.47b. The Chinese Cultural CentreThe Chinese Cultural Centre was established in 1973. Itsoriginal office building was located at 313 East Pender Street. In1974, it registered as a non-profit organization. With grants fromthree levels of government120 and the contribution from theChinese community, the CCC complex was completed in 1981 at 50 EastPender, and ever since has become the centre for the Chinese inVancouver to get together and conduct communal activities.Currently, the CCC has 64 organizational members, and over1,000 individual members from all walks of life. 121 In the CCC,there are 14 full time, and 4 part time employees, with variednumbers of volunteers, depending on the project. 122Ever since its inception, some of the aims and objectives asstated in the registered constitution are:* to cultivate and promote better understanding and friendshipbetween the Chinese Community and other communities or ethnicgroups* to promote the interchange of cultures and traditions ofChina and other nationalities* to interpret China and its people to the people of Canada bythe introduction and presentation of all aspects of ChineseCulture* to collaborate with other local organizations in sponsoring120In 1975, the City Council of Vancouver agreed to lease theland for a nominal rent of one dollar per year for a period ofsixty years for the construction of CCC building. In 1978, theFederal government granted one million dollars to the City ofVancouver for building a Chinese garden. In 1979, the ProvincialGovernment announced a grant of $400,000 for the construction ofthe CCC's phase one building. The above information is from ChineseCultural Centre 15th Anniversary: 1973-1988, Chinese CultureCentre, Vancouver, B.C., 1988.121Interview information, March 13, 1993.122For instance, for the Dragon Boat event, 200 volunteersturned out during two days. Information from the follow uptelephone conversation with current chief manager of CCC, on March23, 1993.48international artistic and cultural programs* to build, purchase and maintain facilities and premises forthe society in order to achieve all related aims andobjectives 123Major activities and programs of the CCC revolve aroundcultural events such as the celebration of important traditionalChinese festivals, for instance, Spring Festival, Ancestor WorshipFestival, Moon Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, and Canadian publicand civic holidays (Christmas, Canada Day, etc.). They areorganized by the Activities and Special Events Committees. Anotherimportant activity of the CCC is its fund raising activity, whichhas been organized by the Women's Committee made up of all thevolunteers, through Bazaars, flower markets, fund raising dinners,and Chinatown tours. The Centre also organizes sports activities,performances, and maintains an arts and crafts collection. In theearly days, the Building and Planning Committee supervised theconstruction of the CCC building, completed in 1981, and later theChinese Classical Garden, completed in 1986. In 1982, CCC began aseries of educational programs in the areas of language, art, andbusiness.Funding from the government is limited to certain projects,particularly in association with summer student employment. Itsrevenue comes from rental income and fundraising. The Women'sCommittee raises at least ten thousand dollars every year, andother income comes from donations at special occasions. Someeducational programs also produce revenue.124123John Wong, "A Brief History of the Chinese Cultural Centre,"in Chinese Cultural Centre 10th Anniversary: 1973-1983, 15. 14-8.124Interview information, March 13, 1993.49c. The FreemasonsThe Freemasons125 in Canada was first established in 1863 inBarkerville, B.C., the earliest Chinese organization inCanada. 126 Due to various historical factors, the organizationwas not registered in Canada until 1971. The Freemasons now havetens of thousands members across Canada in over 20 branches, and inVancouver, a few thousand active and inactive members. There is nopaid employee in the organization, all are volunteers. Even forthe people helping the organization with answering the phone andcollecting mail, compensation does not go beyond such minorbenefits as parking fees and transportation.127The original purpose of the organization, apart from itsstrong political aim in the homeland, was to get together its125Here it is necessary to point out that there is anotherorganization called Masonry, or Freemasonry, one of the largest andoldest fraternal organizations in the world, with about 3 and aquarter million masons in the U.S., and about 1 million and a halfin the rest of the world. Its purpose is to promote brotherhood andto foster morality among its members. For a detailed explanation,see "Freemasonry" in The World Book Encyclopedia Vol. 13 (Chicago:World Book, 1991), 266-8.125Freemasons was a political party originated in China, andhad a history dated back to around 1644, when the Ming Dynasty wasreplaced by Qing Dynasty. The members of the Freemasons weredetermined to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and restore the Mingregime. For hundreds of years, members of the Freemasons foughtheroically, laid down their lives, and carried on the cause onegeneration after another, in China and overseas, until the finalremoval of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. Though the cause wassuccessfully carried out, the organization of Freemasons and itstraditions have been carried on by its believers. Currently,Freemasons members are spread over the world: United States,Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Cuba, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, andPeru, making new contributions to the development of the Chinesecommunities outside China. A brief history of Freemasons can beobtained in The Chinese Freemasons in Canada: 1863-1983 by HarryCon (in Chinese) (Vancouver: the Chinese Freemasons in Canada,1989.)127Interview information, March 2, 1993.50members, mainly railway workers and miners, to fight against racialdiscrimination, and for the rights of the Chinese, and to providehelp to its members when needed. Currently, it joins with otherorganizations in the Chinese community in efforts to improve thestatus of the Chinese in Canada. 128 It tends to be a secretiveorganization, as is demonstrated by the fact that it does notdisseminate information about its programs or activities.Financially, the Freemasons are self supporting. Theirrevenue comes mainly from the property they own and from membershipfees. The organization received a government grant of about $3,000to $4,000 for the 125th anniversary celebration in 1988.129d. The United Chinese Community Enrichment Services SocietyThe United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society(SUCCESS) was established in 1973. SUCCESS is a non-profit socialservice agency serving the Chinese Canadian community in Vancouverand the Lower Mainland. SUCCESS has approximately 200 lifemembers, and about seven to eight thousand general members made upof people from all walks of life.130SUCCESS has as its logo a bridge, symbolizing a two-waycommunication channel. Its purpose is to "assist new ChineseCanadians in overcoming language and cultural barriers in theirprocess of integration, ... [and] to enhance the understanding of128Ibid.129Ibid.130The former class of members are supposed to pay $2,000 forindividuals, and $5,000 for corporations. Interview information,March 16, 1993.51Canadians of Chinese origin by other Canadians."131 Towards theChinese community, the main goals are to assist the new Canadiansof Chinese descent to overcome language and cultural barriers,achieve self-reliance, and contribute fully to Canadiansociety. 132SUCCESS is a relatively large organization, with headquarterslocated in the heart of Vancouver's Chinatown, at 87 East PenderStreet. Its regional branch offices are located in Vancouver(Fraser Street), Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Richmond. SUCCESS hasapproximately 70 full and part time employees, including somecontract staff, with a core staff of about 40.133SUCCESS provides a wide variety of services and programs. Itis recorded that SUCCESS provides 100,000 service units to over60,000 individuals per year. Its network of services fall intofive categories:Settlement & Public Educationdirect information referral servicenew immigrants orientationpublic education programEnglish language trainingcitizenship programrefugee programGroup and Community Serviceswomen's leadership advocacywomen's programsenior's programcitizens/members participationFamily & Youth Counsellingfamily counsellingparent support groupsyouth at risk programpear & lay counselling131/gaggle Ip, "Message from the Chairman," in SUCCESS: Newsletter, no. 1 (Spring 1992): 3.132SUCCESS information brochure.133Interview information, March 16, 1993.52family life educationEmployment & Job Findingyouth employment trainingjob finding clubwomen job training programemployment counsellingAdvocacy & Community Actioncommunity liaisonadvocacyvolunteer development134Sources of funding for SUCCESS come from the followingchannels: government grants, United Way of Lower Mainland,donations, membership dues, community-based fund-raising events,and the SUCCESS endowment fund established with a grant from theVancouver Foundation.135 Funding from three levels of governmentconstitutes between 70 and 75% of its revenue.135 One smalladded source is some of its fee-generating programs, such as itsESL (English As a Second Language) program. The budget last yearwas 3.9 million dollars, with actual expenditure of 3.63 milliondollars.137e. The Strathcona Property Owners and Tenants AssociationThe Strathcona Property Owners and Tenants Association (SPOTA)was established in 1968 by the residents of the Strathcona area,covering about four or five square blocks of housing next tocommercial Chinatown. It aimed to halt the urban renewal programdeveloped by the three levels of government. The majority of themembers of the Association were Chinese, but it also represents134SUCCESS information brochure.135Ibid.136Interview information, March 16, 1993.137Ibid.53residents of other ethnic origins living in the area. Its originalgoal was to save the housing in the neighbourhood. Supported bythe Chinese community in Vancouver, and by volunteer students (lawschool students and social work students mainly) from theUniversity of British Columbia, the Association studied thefeasibility of residential rehabilitation, and held negotiationswith the three levels of government. Its protest succeeded insquashing the urban renewal proposal, and its substitution with the"Strathcona Rehabilitation Project" in 1971 to construct new publicworks, roads, and sidewalks, and to fund renovation ofneighbourhood homes. The project lasted from 1972 to 1975, and wasguided by the Strathcona Rehabilitation Committee, which includedrepresentatives from the three levels of government and SPOTA.This involvement of the neighbourhood association in the decisionmaking process for the housing project was one of the first suchcases in Canadian history. Before SPOTA became defunct in 1991, italso became involved in developing new, non-profit "infill" housingfor the neighbourhood through its housing arm, the Strathcona AreaHousing Society, and in promoting linear parks, monitoring freewayproposals and other neighbourhood development projects. In short,the Association had been involved with urban development issuesthat affect the neighbourhood, many of whom are Chinese. In recentyears, Association has become less active. In 1993, it wasreplaced by the Strathcona Residences Association. 138138There are three separate but closely related organizations,namely, SPOTA, the Strathcona Area Housing Society, and theStrathcona Residences Association. In this case, archival practiceshould include the acquisition of records of all three entities.However, for the purpose of this study, only one organization isinvestigated, because this thesis deals with the attitude issue,54SPOTA raised revenue through activities such as fundraisingdinners, and donations from supporters, and a token membership feeof five dollars. SPOTA received money from the government onlywhen actually doing the rehabilitation project from 1972-75, whenit had two paid persons. While it was active, the organizationheld residents' meetings, lobbied the government, and took part inthe implementation of the project.1393) SummaryAll five organizations exist to contribute to the welfare ofthe Chinese community, but each has its own focus. Some of the keycharacteristics of each organization can be summarized as follows.The Chinese Benevolent Association has a long history. It hasnow only one part time employee, with all the other work carriedout by volunteers. Financially, it has been completely self-reliant for its daily operation. Its main concern is withpolitical issues affecting the Chinese community in the New World.The Chinese Cultural Centre has been in existence for twentyyears. It has now 14 full time and 4 part time employees, withdaily office hours. Financially, it is mainly self-supporting.However, it is linked with the government as regards land andspecial project funding. Its major concern is with the promotionof cultural exchange within the Chinese community and the greatercommunity.The Freemasons have a long history, the oldest among thenot the records per se.139Interview information, March 5, 1993.55Chinese community. All volunteers carry out the functioning of theorganization. Financially, it is completely self-supporting forits daily operation. It was, for a long time, mainly concernedwith political issues in the homeland, and with service to its ownmembers in the New World. But now it also joins the efforts ofother organizations in the development of the Chinese community inCanada.The Strathcona Property Owners and Tenants Association existedfor over twenty years. It is now defunct. Its work was projectbased with significant funding from governments. Its major concernwas with the welfare of the Strathcona area residents, and anythingthat affected the neighbourhood.The United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society(SUCCESS) has been in existence for twenty years. It now has 70employees. It operates on daily office hours with headquarters anda number of branch offices across the Lower Mainland Area. Itmaintains strong links with the government financially, obtaining75% of its sources from the government. Its main concern is withrendering social services to the Chinese community.As such, the five organizations cover a relatively widespectrum. The three larger organizations represent the Chinesecommunity in three very important areas: political (CBA), cultural(CCC), and social services (SUCCESS). The Freemasons arerepresentative of organizations with a long history. They manifestfeatures similar to clan associations; they share with otherorganizations an interest in political causes in the homeland.SPOTA is distinguished for its history making project, anddistinctive in being a neighbourhood association within the56Chinatown area. With this understanding of the nature of the fiveorganizations, we can now turn to questions about their archives.57CHAPTER THREE:CASE STUDY OF THE POTENTIAL FORACQUISITION OF ETHNIC ARCHIVESThis chapter reports the results of the case study. It willfirst explain the methodology used in gathering the data. Then itwill present a rather full view of the data collected withoutanalyzing them. This straightforward reporting method is chosenbecause the interview method necessarily generates data open toconsiderable interpretation. Some extensive account of the datawill allow readers to form a good view of the information acquired.Finally, the data will be analyzed.1) Description of MethodologyThe need to explore the attitudes and preferences of thoseresponsible for running organizations and to arrive at someunderstanding of the factors determining those attitudes andpreferences led to the adoption of a qualitative approach. The onebest suited to explore these issues was the fieldwork method ofinterviews, for this method provides opportunity to explore thematter in extensive discussions."Fieldwork" is defined as:a: work done in the field (as by students) to gain practicalexperience through first hand observation b: the gathering ofanthropological or sociological data through the interviewingof subjects in the field.14°140Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the EnglishLanguage Unabridged: A Merriam-Webster Reg. U. S. Pat. Off. eds.Philip Babcock Gove and the Merriam Webster Editorial Staff(Springfield: G. & C. Merriam Company, 1966), 846.58The fieldwork of this study falls under b category. It adopts anethnographic approach.Ethnography is the work of describing culture. ... Fieldwork,then, involves the disciplined study of what the world is liketo people who have learned to see, hear, speak, think, and actin ways that are different. Rather than studying people,ethnography means learning from people.141This method suits this study.^It is the culture of theorganization which is important in determining attitudes towardsrecords and then preservation of archives. The purpose of thiscase study is to learn from the selected representatives of Chineseorganizations about their attitude towards the final disposition oftheir organizational archival records, and report the findings.There is no intention to judge what is right or what is wrong intheir practices, nor to impose any "correct" practices upon theinvestigated organizations. Rather, this study aims to make someinferences from the investigation about attitudes. By learningfrom people, and objectively describing what is discovered, theethnography approach seeks to avoid imposing any preconceived ideason the environment to be studied.Specifically, the case study method has been chosen forcollecting data. This method is defined by Robert Yin as anempirical enquiry that(1) investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when(2) the boundaries between phenomenon and context are notclearly evident; and in which(3) multiple sources of evidence are used.142141James P. Spradley, The Ethnographic Interview (New York:Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979), 3.142Robert K. Yin, Case Study Research: Design and Methods(Beverly Hills, California: Sage Publications, 1984), 23.59Raya Fidel considers case studies to be appropriate forinvestigating phenomena when(1)a large variety of factors and relationships are included,(2) no basic laws exist to determine which factors andrelationships are important, and (3) when the factors andrelationships can be directly observed.143This study deals with "how" and "why" questions, namely, howthe organizations regard the question of records disposition andwhy they take the view they do. Both types of questions can beaddressed in a case study. 144 To investigate the attitudes145of the selected organizations involves a variety of factors andrelationships such as the organization's history, its mission,size, affiliation with the government etc., which, throughanalysis, may or may not influence their attitude to their finaldisposition of their archival records. Further still, since nosuch study has been conducted before, no propositions about whichfactors are the most important in determining their attitudes havebeen established. As such, the case study interview method is bestfor the exploratory nature of the research at hand.Case study interviews take several forms, among which threeare most common. They are "interviews of open-ended nature","focused interview", and "a formal survey" containing morestructured questions. The first type of interview is mainly usedto ask key respondents for the facts of a matter as well as for the143Raya Fidel, "The Case Study Method: A Case Study," Libraryand Information Science Research 6 (1984): 273.144 •Yin, 17.145By attitudes of organizations, I mean the attitudes evincedtowards records by the experience of the persons I interviewed, andtheir account of organization policy.60respondents' opinions about events. Further enquiries may followbased on the propositions developed from the respondent's insightsinto certain occurrences. In this method, repeated interviews areoften conducted. In the second type of interview, the respondentis interviewed for a short period of time - an hour, for example.In such cases, as in the interview of the first type, theinterviews may still remain open-ended and assume a conversationalmanner. The difference lies in that the interviewer is more likelyto follow a certain set of questions derived from the case studyprotocol. Yin has stated that a major purpose of such an interviewmight be simply to corroborate certain facts that the investigatoralready thinks have been established (but not to ask about othertopics of a broader, open-ended nature). The third type ofinterview entails more structured questions, along the lines of aformal survey, which works best with a large scale interviewpopulace.'"This study adopts the focused interview. There are threeadvantages of this method for this project. Firstly, this study islimited to only five organizations, and so does not call for a morestructured survey. Secondly, the focused interview method appearswell suited to elicit opinions about records disposition and howthey are affected by the culture of the organization. Thirdly, theinterviewees are all volunteers for the organization, with theirown business to take care of on a daily basis. Therefore, the mostfeasible method appeared to be the single focused interview.Further, the focused interview can keep the interview open-146Yin,Yin, Case Study, 83-4.61ended, which allows the interviewer to solicit opinions from therespondents on the issue at hand, and to try to find out as manyfactors as possible affecting their opinions. Carefully wordedquestions make it possible to test a number of suppositions aboutthe factors expected to be at play and to provide points ofcomparison among the organizations.Naturally the focused interview has its weaknesses. It hasbeen criticized for a lack of rigor, for providing little basis forscientific generalization, for being too time consuming and oftenfor resulting in massive, unreadable documents.147 However,these potential weaknesses are mitigated in this project. Theresearch was designed to be of limited scale. The main benefitaimed at is to stimulate further study by establishing sometentative propositions. The project will be satisfied to presentall the findings that will provide a basis for further research.The time factor can not be avoided, for research takes time, allthe more with the exploratory research such as this. However, withcareful preparation to give the interview some structure, theresults should prove of use in making some preliminary judgements.2) Description of the Case StudyThe case study process for this thesis includes the followingstages: preparation of guiding questions, conduct of interviews,transcribing the tape-recorded interviews, and data analysis. Thissection will provide an account of the interview process.The interviews began after the guiding questions were147^.Ibid., 21.62developed.148 The interviewees are in positions of authority(President or Chairperson of the board of directors) from eachorganization, except for the now defunct SPOTA, which wasrepresented by its former President and English secretary asinterviewees. All of the interviewees had been involved with theirown organization for a considerable period of time, ranging fromover ten years to 35 years, and had played a key role in theorganization.The time span for all the interviews for this project was fromMarch 2, 1993 to March 23, 1993. Each interview appointment wasmade through the phone, which was preceded by an introductoryletter from Dr. Graham Johnson, one of the three thesis advisorymembers, sent out on February 17, 1993.For the convenience of data analysis, tape-recorded interviewswere conducted. Each interview lasted about 45 minutes, with theexception of the interview with the representatives from SPOTA,because two persons were present for the interview, which took oneand a half hours. Each interview was guided by a set of questions.As experienced fieldwork folklorist Edward Ives advises, the listof questions only served as a guide, not something to "get lockedinto it by checking things off or reading directly from it."148Therefore, the interview was conversational, with the investigatormonitoring as it progressed to determine additional orsupplementary questions.148See appendix A.149Edward Ives, The Tape-Recorded Interview: A Manual for FieldWorkers in Folklore and Oral History (Knoxville: The University ofTennessee Press, 1974): 45.63The guiding questions were designed to collect information onthree areas: information about the organization (see questions 1-6in appendix A); information about the records (questions 7-12); andthe interviewees' opinions on the final disposition of theirarchival records (questions 13-18). It was assumed that thisinvestigation of attitude was in essence what Werner and Schoeplecalled "interviewing about evaluative questions", which, in theirview, "should be linked to factual questions, the latter should notbe asked too early in the interview process. 11150 This advice wastaken into account in designing the guiding questions.As the interviewees are the chief authorities of eachorganization, the interviews focused mainly on gatheringinformation about the organization, and opinion on the finaldisposition of records. Information about records only brieflytouched upon some general ideas, such as where records are kept,how far back the records go, who is responsible for the records,and any experience about the difficulty of gaining access to therecords. As information on the organizations has been incorporatedinto the previous chapter, this chapter will focus on informationabout records and opinions about their disposition. The first setof questions was designed to serve two purposes: to build rapportwith the interviewees; and to gather some information as asupplement to the published literature about the organizations,although in the case of SPOTA it served as the main source toreconstruct a brief history of the organization.150Oswald Werner, and G. Mark Schoepfle, Systematic Fieldwork, Volume 1: Foundations of Ethnography and Interviewing (NewburyPark: SAGE Publications, 1987), 333.64The tape-recorded information from all the five interviews hasbeen transcribed so that the information could be analyzed. Itresulted in about 35 pages of single-spaced information. Itspurpose was to provide a fuller view of the information collected,so that a decision on the selection of information for thepresentation in this study could be reached.3) Data CollectedThe collected data presented here will focus on questionsrelating to records and to the interviewees' opinion on the finaldisposition of their organization's archival records. Thoughethnographers insist on having accurate, full transcriptions ofnotes from interviews,151 this study will present only selectedportion of the transcripts. There are two reasons for thisdecision. First, the researcher for this project is satisfied toillustrate the cases with selected remarks from the interview.Secondly, a full transcription would result in presenting muchirrelevant discussion. The chosen parts are from the fulltranscription of the interviews conducted by the researcher.The data will be presented in the strict order of thequestionnaire, although sometimes the questions were not asked inthe strict order of the guiding questions. The location of theinformation is indicated by the digital number of the audiotapes ascommonly practised by most folklorists in collecting oral interviewdata. The selected information, or highlights of interviews willbe presented one organization after another, in an alphabetical15 -Werner and Schoepfle, Systematic Fieldwork, 390.65order by organization name.a. The Chinese Benevolent AssociationWhen asked about the location of their records, and the personlooking after the records, the interviewee reported:(428-34) It would be in the eh, premises of the eh, BenevolentAssociation. ... [your part time secretary working from oneo'clock to five takes care of your records?] Yeah.As regards the law or regulations from the government inmandatorily keeping certain records, the explanation is:(436-) No. Strictly up to us.His experience in locating any old records:(450-69) [For locating records] it depends on myself. I do,ah, keep lots of records, from the time of the period that hastaken place in the past. I have records here, eh, from thefirst Chinese national conference, for instance, held inVancouver in 1975, I keep it in my office here, because thosebelong to me, in a sense that I was personally involved. Asfar as the organizational records, it stays in theorganization, ... I don't have the need to go back to, to eh,their records. If I need something I simply tell them I needsomething and they would get it to me. (satisfied each time?)But whether they can find it or not, I don't know, but I havevery few need for going back to records like that.About how far back do the records go:(510-) I don't think the records would go back that far [tothe beginning of the organization], I am sure if all therecords are kept, we would have quite a space needed to keep...152all those records,Whether they welcome scholars to consult their records:(523-) Well, it depends, I mean, ah, we would have to be152The CBA building had a disastrous fire in 1951. In the1970s, there was no assigned person to take care of records. Manydocuments of the organization were lost. Some of the most importantrecords lost were in relation to activities to help the poor, andlobbying the government, and fighting for equal rights. As aresult, the CBA has difficulty now in reconstructuring acomprehensive organizational history. This information is from itsflyer of introduction about the CBA.66informed what is the purpose of the research of somebody goingthrough our records, I mean if it is just eh for academicreason it is one thing, but as to eh, to keep track of, tokeep track of what our organization has done, maybe somethingelse, I don't know, I mean, that is, eh, the decision, thatthe board would have to make, I suppose. ... (So if foracademic reason you are open?) I don't know. It would appearto me if somebody makes such a request, I would have to bringit up the issue to the board, and let the board discuss it.... No [scholars have not made many requests].As regards whether the organization has deposited any records in arepository:(539-) Not that I know of, besides, I was not involved priorto 1979, so I have not looked through those old records. I amsure that there would be some in the eh CBA, but eh, to behonest, I have no need to go through those records, so I don'thave to care.Whether their organization should have any permanent records:(552-) I expect all of those records, whatever we have done inthe past should be kept. ... That goes without saying I wouldexpect eh, that is why we have secretaries. (So, you shouldhave permanent records?) Mm.About discarding records:(572-) No. (The Secretaries are not involved in any decisionmaking about throwing away any records) I would imagine thatif she wants to do something, she would have to get directionfrom the board.Whether they will keep their records in their own premises forever:(583-) I imagine we'll be keeping all those [records], untilat some point, somebody decides to bring the matter up for theboard to consider, whether we will be running out space orwhether it is causing, eh some problems, for, for, healthyreasons, or whatever reason.Whether they are willing to give them away, if some archivalinstitution is interested in the records:(593-) No, I think that is too hypothetical. I think therequest has to come in and we have to discuss it on the board,eh, what we exactly, eh, eh, what we do with such a request.... I doubt very much we would ever give our records away. Imean, that doesn't somehow seem right for what records to begiven, we may allow, for the purpose, and intention is clear,that for somebody to look through them, but unless we havedecided to throw them away, we may give it to somebody. Butstill, I doubt it very much that would, eh, happen.67As for the reason for keeping records in its own building:(side 2, 068-) Well, It seems to me, the record of anorganization is just like a record of an individual, I mean itbelongs to the organization, as it belongs to the individual,then why would somebody want it? Unless somebody, you know,there is a good reason, I mean, I doubt very much anyorganization would be willing to give up ... its record, itmay want to share some of the information with other people,But I can't imagine somebody wants to, unless the organizationdecides to cease to exist, that may be different. But if anorganization is, have every intention to continue to survive,why would it want to give it up. I just cannot understand thatkind of rationale. Because, I mean, eh, because I think thoserecords are more important to the organization than to others,even, eh, for a government agency, I mean they may want toshare some of the records, to actually keep those, when theorganization still in existence, it is most unlikely. ... alsowe would need all those information, if we give it away, howcould we get it back, I mean if we give it away, we would haveto ask to, to, to look at them, that is the difference. WhatI mean is if they want to look at them, we may be willing toshare, but somehow I just can't imagine an organization wouldgive records away. ... You could never tell, I mean, may notbe in need for my term,... but there may be a need in anotherten years down the road or fifty years down the road. So, Idon't think I have any right of giving the records away,unless we decide not to exist any more, and our record, whatdo you do with it, which one should be keeping? I don't think,any of us has that kind of right, it belongs to theorganization, therefore, unless that organization is not goingto exist, then it makes sense to give it away, otherwise Ithink most organizations would be very, very, eh, foolishindeed, to give it away.As regards the archives within the Chinese community:(side 2, 155-) That would only be up for people to donate,some individuals may, may, you know. We have been given somerelics or artifacts by some family members, you know theirancestors may have died, the younger generation see no need tokeep some of those, they may want to give it away, that isdifferent... (So you would not give records to archives in theChinese community?) ... Unless the organization decides tocease to exist, that makes sense, but I just can't imagine, asa lawyer, I think that would be foolish to give up somethinglike that, because that individual should not be cutting offits history, I mean, its own history, if they give them up,they won't have that any more.Whether he has heard of the Chinese Community History room:(183-) Yes, we have heard of it. Not [much to do with it].They had contacted us about keeping our list of directorscorrect, that is about it, so that has nothing to do with the68records. ... They have not asked us [about publishedinformation, or pictures, tapes etc.] ... We know there are[other archives] organizations, there are people would like tocollect those things, but that doesn't mean very much to ourorganization as such.As regards the best place to keep permanent records:(211-) (Do you think your organization is the best place tokeep your records?) Yes, [firm]. (What about facilities?) Theymay not be the best place to keep that [records], they may nothave the best personnel to look after them, but that doesn'tmatter. As far as I am concerned that the records belongs tothe organization, that organization has the responsibility,and should be keeping those records.b. The Chinese Cultural CentreAs regards where records are kept and the person responsible forthe records:(451-) It is here [the building of CCC complex, the recordsare kept]. ... the management here [responsible for therecords], the manager eh, usually knows where it is, it isunder him, in general, but he may designate it to someoneelse, ...Any experience with the use of old records:(500-) No.Whether they had deposited any records in any repository:(511-) Not at this time, ... I don't remember anything likethat, someone approaching us, or anything like that. [Whatabout Chinese Community History Room?] They are not keepingany records, ... unless they changed, you know, I was there afew years ago, and I looked at the books, mainly, you knowwhat we call, modern day novels, and what have you,...Contribution to the development of the Chinese community:(528-) The only thing that I can say, you know, is we enrichthe cultural life, and also true, you know, introduce muchwider the Chinese culture to other ethnic groups, and also tobring in other ethnic groups, you know, so that Chinese wouldunderstand them...As regards the permanent records of the organization:(413-) Well, we have newsletters and so on, but, you know Idon't even know whether those newsletters documenting thistype of thing, whether we should keep, everyone will keep anissue or not. ... Also, too from the festival, eh, we had69special publication, but I don't even know, that you have toask the manager. ... [Minutes of board of directors?] oh,yeah, that is kept. [Should they be kept for a long time?] Imyself you know, may, may, may want to do it, but I don'tknow, actually, after 15, 20 or 30 years, I don't know what isgoing to happen. ... (side 2, 040-) Up to now, we have notdiscussed whatsoever [the better treatment of the records]As regards the plan to establish an archives in the ChineseCultural Centre complex:(side 2, 047-) You know we've been talking about building alibrary museum, but again, you know, up to now, that is onlya talk, even though we have some fund, some pledges, but wedon't have enough to build anything. .... [archives] plan,that is may be ten years, fifteen years or whatever. (whatmade you propose this establishment?) My own personal feeling,ok, ... because we see the need for it, these old storesclosing down, and there are records, and veterans they arepassing away, but on the other hand, building the building isnot too much a problem, as long as you can raise enoughcapital, but maintaining it, it is going to be a problem, itis expensive. ... You have to hire people, you need airconditioning, air and humidity control, that is expensive, youknow, you need to hire specialist, you cannot. Usually museumand archives are losing propositions, unless you getgovernment grant, .. So far we have not been able to negotiatewith the government, first thing they said, when we asked,they said how are you going to maintain it, the governmentwill not offer any fund for it, they see it as a losingproposition, year in year out, they put the money in, they gotnothing out of it, the government, you have to see, if theyare going to give you the money, what are they going to getback, how many votes, they could get back. And, eh, with acapital project, there is no problem, there is a physicalbuilding there.As regards willingness to deposit records with an archives:(135-) (Suppose you have archives? do you think you woulddonate your records to the archives of the CCC?) Probablywould. ... (Provide access to all the people?) Yeah. ...(giving records away to other repository?) (177-) there may beduplicates you know, for instance, tenth anniversary ofpublication, ... (what about your records like minutes, orcorrespondence, your financial statement?) I don't know, thatdepends on the board, you know, lots of board members may feelwell, why not keep them here, and if people they want to takea look at it, they can take a look at it, you know, even now,if you come here, board meetings always open, ... onlypersonal matters, ... no, not on personal matters, ...As regards the best place to keep permanent records:(264-) (do you think the building is the best place?) You know70I have never thought about it. See, to me, keeping records isnot that important, what is ahead is more important thanlooking behind, I am sorry, ...Whether they had any dealings with some archives repository:(285-) [Vancouver] City archives, what we did, we tended toborrow something from them, ... like, set of photographs,copies, in city archives, of Chinese Canadians' early life, wehave a set of those, for exhibition. (Did the city archivesapproach you for any records at all?) No. ok, I didn't saythat, ... they may have, but again, I wouldn't know about itbecause the staff would deal with that. I don't think they hadever approached us for minutes or anything like that,15.5 ok,... I don't think so [B.C. Provincial archives] I know thecity archives, because one of the former directors used towork for the city archives, Paul Yee, so we had a goodrelation there, ... I know about BC archives, NationalArchives, ... I know Ban Sang Ho there, he came here severaltimes, I do know something about that too,... [Universityarchives?] we don't know anything about that at all. (336) asfor provincial archives, my personal work has something to dowith them, not your records, preserving specimens that type ofthing, so I know about them.As regards the choice of archives:(351-) (suppose you are in a position of giving out certainkind of records, when you have all these archives, which wouldyou like to give your records? which is the best place forpreserving your records?) (363-) I would personally prefer thecity archives, tell you the truth, that is because I know moreabout them, not anything else,... because for provincialarchives, I have been dealing with them only on the scientificaspects, but I don't know anything about how they keep theirrecords, or any thing like that. (Vancouver City Archives iscloser to you than provincial archives?) That's right.As regards own community archives:(387-) (when you have your own archives, is it somethingshowing your ethnic identity?) Well, mainly, it is you know,we would like to keep our own records in our own place, it islots easier, for instance.., mainly for our own people whowant to look at something, ...also too, you see, priority ofcity archives and provincial archives, the same priority as wehave or not, I don't know, .. this is my personal feeling, ah,the veterans', their, you know, their staff kept, but whetherthe same priority put on them by the city archives, orprovincial archives, I doubt it, (not interested?), Well theyare interested in that, but not the Chinese community, you1531 checked the City of Vancouver Archives, and found norecords.71see, it is in general... (435-) Well, you know, you see, wewould be specialized, and you know, city archives, would be ingeneral, ... if we are going to build it, it would bespecialized in the Chinese Canadians,... (any concerns ofconfidentiality?) (478-) No, all meetings are open, ... nosecret whatsoever.c. The FreemasonsAs regards the location for keeping the records:(381-) You know, different branches keep their own records [intheir own building] ... elected officers, you know, to do thework [volunteer takes care of the records]... I don't know howfar back... I think they got to keep the records, minutes ofthe records. (You keep the records from the very beginning?)yeah.As regards any law to keep the records:(411-) ... the government knows that we exist, what we aredoing,... (not obliged by the law to keep the records). Yeah.... (Keep as much as you can in the building, eh?) yeah.As regards experience of locating old records:(444-) Well, occasionally, ... I think we had quite a lot ofstaff, we threw away before, we threw away a lot, lot ..eh, ofdocuments long time ago, when we were moving, getting newoffices, you know, moving from one place to another, we threwa lot of things. (... difficult to find records?) ... I gotrecords from my own term. ... (who made the decision to throwthe document?) Well, ... I can't say what they did before.As regards the important records as President of the organization:(492-) ... my own notes, correspondence also in the office,sometimes I keep one for my own reference, in case I go to themeeting, ... all my staff, my recent mail everything, ...... most important record is constitution, because people keepasking for the constitution, you know, ah we have a registrarfrom the federal government, that is the certificate, that isthe most important thing, because you have to keep that in ah,good place, safe places, that is the most important thing, ahthey keep for every year, annual reports, things like that isthe main thing, keep the reference straight for thegovernment.As regards depositing records in any repository:(540-) No. ... [At the UBC] they kept the record of theChinese times, the newspaper, ...nobody [gives the recordsaway] (What about the records, finding aid, I showed him. Hiscomment:) Those places except Victoria, none of them exists.72... Well you know, we used that place there, after we move,... lots of stuff, I think somebody getting to it, they tookaway from our own place, I don't surprise people got some ofour stuff, ... Canada has many branches,.. to Halifax. ... Youdon't give them away unless, you know, some, some people moveaway, and some people broke in, you know, the records, nobody,no organization gave their records away. (609-) They may throwit away, but they don't think it is important to them. Youknow, they destroy it. they don't, eh, give away.As regards permanent records of the organization:(side 2, 035-) Well, they appreciate, they realize or not,doesn't matter, we do, do, eh, our best. We don't want anypeople to say, oh, you do a good job... we have been here solong, we do what we can, contribute to the community as muchas we can but we don't ask for reward, or anything for it.(... permanent records of your organization?) (055-) I think,for professional people to keep those things, you know we likeI say, all these people work, all officers elected in terms,... I don't know what they do with their records, .. at leastthe records supposed to turn over from one term to the otherterm, they can look at what they did before, and check whatthe minutes, what has been done, and what has to be done, theydo that. But ah you know, after a little while, way back, Ithink all the minute books left a few terms before, ten yearsfifteen years ago, you know, .. can't keep track of it. So Idon't know, it is tough for any community, any society,especially they move from one building to other...because thisis not professional to keep the records, but, eh, secretariesmay do a better job,.. try to get the annual book, .. borrowminutes from convention, ... we try to keep the records, wayback...As regards giving records to archives:(side 2, 129-) No, I don't think we are allowed to do this.(you are not allowed, why, what are your concerns?) Recordsare for your own so eh society, but eh not for public, anybodykeep it. (That confidentiality of your organization, right?)yeah, and there is no use to any other people, ..I don't thinkany use to any other people. (What if some archives isinterested in your records, do you want to give them away?)No. [firm] ... non members not supposed to, even members,some, some of things not supposed to know to eh any body. ...As regards access to its records:(side 2, 192-) Well, maybe, you know, for you, you are doingthe study, ... you think this is a good place for the recordsare safe, and people well organize records, in the way youlook for and the way you get it, but that is especiallyconfidential to other people, nobody can get access to itexcept your own people, you know, maybe, if your writtencontent for somebody to go, otherwise cannot let anybody look73at it. But mostly, people, they... they feel, you know, it isour business, you know, you don't want to be, ..I think 100%,no other organizations would give any records, like this,[refer to the finding aid] happen, you know willingly to giveit to them, but they pick it up from other sources, you know,I don't know where they get it.As regards the awareness of archival repositories:(side 2, 269-) No [not heard of Vancouver City Archives].[Chinese Community History Room] never been there, [heardabout BC Provincial Archives], heard about it from Dr. Lai,• • •As regards the best place for records:(side 2, 324-) Well, I don't think. It never happens [giverecords away]. (That is more of the confidentiality of yourorganization, you don't want people to..) Mm.. (you don'ttrust other institutions?) Not that, I think, our business isour own business, no use to you, anyway, what is past isalready past, ... (What if they say we do have interest?) Idon't think any community, any society will give any recordsaway for you, if they can keep it, they keep it, if they can'tkeep it, I don't know what they do... (your organization isthe best place?) No, not the best place, but, I know it is notthe best place, you know, but what you can do, I can't say Igive this to you, let you keep our records, you know, neverdone, ... I have no authorization, I can't say I can give youthe record, let you keep your records, I cannot do that,unless I have the approval from the convention or delegation.But from my own personal point of view, I don't think thiswill ever happen.d. The United Chinese Community Enrichment Services SocietyAs regards where the records are kept:(380-) Well, I kind of know, all the branches, of course, theyhave their correspondence, they have, eh, own financialoperating statements, they provide, they have their own database, and so all these branches would have [in the head officebuilding, and each branch building] ... we do have a lot ofphotographs, financial annual reports for example, our galadinner programs, those are all what we call historical valuephotographs we kept them for the duration, from inception,they are all kept in Pender Street. Basically, it is all keptunder the director that look after the media...As regards the law governing the keeping of records:(420-) ... the financial information, we kept it according tothe revenue Canada stipulations, which is normally sevenyears, then, of course the correspondence wide, we dealt with74our correspondence ongoing basis, we cannot afford thestorage, and look at other areas, client files, of course, wehave to keep all the active client files, eh, this actually Iphone and ask, because that is one area, I don't know enough,there is client, client finished, then, the file closed, weusually leave it for three years period .. then destroy it,because that information does not belong to us, belong to thesociety, it is only one case, or one phase, when happen ithappen, when done, then it is gone, unless they three, fouryears down the road, similar problem comes up, it is a wholenew body anyway, we are not in here to serve the kind forlife, we are only a transition, we are not there to look afterthem for life, we will try our best to refer them to agencythat can help them on a more permanent basis. So ourcorrespondence are of very little value, once it is aged. ...computer data base is always new, database we don't delete,for now anyway, because the storage is simple, is easy, is notlike a hard copy that needs a lot of rooms. ... (any laws?)(504-) Not really, I can't recall in the society act thatcertain stipulation we have to keep....some records arepermanent anyway, for example, our incorporation, those arewith our lawyers, or with government body, our minute book isbeing kept to date by our lawyer, so these things are lockedautomatically, so we don't have a concern with these legaltype of permanent records as required, because it is beingdone by people outside, so as to make sure our status iscurrent. Accounting wise, we kept the biennial financialreport, we have a seven years prescription requirement underthe Revenue Canada, tax act, so we have to keep those.As regards the experience in locating some old records:(545-) Well, .. we don't have anyone that really is heldresponsible for keeping records, because we cannot affordthem, government funding don't provide us to keep records, sowe keep the records, we don't really have a catalogue orwhatever, so sometime look for really old file, except something with historical value, we know exactly where they are,it is simple, it is easy, otherwise, it is difficult tolocate, for example, one time I remember I want to locatecorrespondence happened four or five years ago, eh, we had theproblem locating them, and eh, but that of course is not theend of the world, something happened four or five years ago,with the time passage, it is already no value to us, um, it isnot like something with historical value, ...As regards permanent records of the organization:(566-) for example, founding documents, our annual report, ..our gala dinner program, a lot of the gifts and uh,significant gifts,— received from other people, that we feelof historical value, .. some of them ...uh, our annualdirector's photographs, uh, which probably we don't have onein the way back, but in the last ten years or so, we know weshould keep these directors annual photographs, those are of75value to us. Other than that, pictures of all kinds...As regards depositing records in any repository:(589-) No, not with SUCCESS, .. also a lot of our, we serviceoriented, a lot of our records are more operation oriented,there is really no archival or historical value, after timethere is really no value, ... we are an ongoing currentsociety, our founding documents things like that are morevaluable to us, than to library or than to archives. (what ifresearchers want to consult your records?) (609).. that mayhelp, but I think, we probably never really think about theserecords in that kind of light, the reason why that SUCCESS isalways with philosophy, just want to service and work, reallyno attention to whether other people, whether we are wellknown to the other people, whether they need to know, uh, toknow more about us, but it is interesting thought. ... (side2, 004-) I see that perhaps more for the historian than forus, like uh, I think maybe from the organization society pointof view, we can only deal with ourselves, based on resourcesthat we have, um, and I think, if other people are interestedin the role that we are playing, either in the past orcurrent, is more a role of historian, and if someone reallyhas the interest of finding out how ourselves, or CBA, or CCC,um, or the various., family clans, ... the influence, theevolvement over the years, that is all the job for historians,and that is very interesting subject for people to do, ... butwhether SUCCESS has the need to keep this deliberately put inthe library and archives, I question the need of SUCCESS to doit ... SUCCESS itself might not have the need to make history,because our goal and mandate is to service our clients, andalso improve the quality of Canadians of Chinese descent, andto keep record of how we play a role in history is not ourmandate, ...As regards ever giving away records to any repository:(side 2, 101-) Yes, um, No, I don't see us, SUCCESS wouldhave a lot of, sort of, we ourselves, it all depends onsubjective and objective view, SUCCESS look at this things hasno historical view, someone else might, ok, because we are ona daily operating type of society, for example, if you ask mewhat I look at as historical value, it is not really thatmany, I mean, even 50 years, maybe the room, I can pack themall in, if you ask us to cataloguing them to respend time indoing this, it will be very difficult to do it, so if it isreally something that we accumulate, then we suddenly decideto give, by that time, maybe a lot of these records, otherpeople might view as valuable, they are really been so longare gone, because the value to us, as an operatingorganization, will not be the same as a historian, we really,I don't think, we could, or we are qualified, to play the roleof historian, .. I have no idea of what kind of records, youlook upon as valuable from historical point of view,(significance of your role with the Chinese community and with76the society at large in Canada, since Canada has so manyethnic groups, you know?) (side 2, 154-) if that is the case,then we need lots more education of our staff and...directors, and also the resources, too, how to catalogue thesetype of records of information, tell us what is valuable, andwhat is not, what is to throw out, what is not to throw out,I guarantee you that through years, we might have a lot ofinformation, that a historian will think important at thistime, but is not important to us.As regards the best place for records:(side 2, 190-) I think, yes, [organization is the best place],actually this a spontaneous reaction, if there is a place, canprovide us the resource to keep aside cataloguing, just insurethe access of SUCCESS, guarantee that access by SUCCESS whenwe need them, what you are suggesting is interesting, andshould pursue, because yes you are right, I don't even knowsome of the thing we should have is around. ... if certainthings, unless a historian thinks is valuable, they havefuture value of preserving it, SUCCESS being a society ofChinese community, all our belongings doesn't really belong toSUCCESS, it belongs to the community, and we really don't havethe expertise or public standard to assess what should bepreserved what should not be preserved, so if someone wouldtake that out of hand, um, maybe it is a welcome suggestion,so long at all time SUCCESS should have access to this type ofrecords, because for SUCCESS to keep operating all we need isour legal, accounting, and our database and that kind offiles, I can keep functioning. ... not that I know of [anyarchives approaching us for records].As regards the awareness of archives:(side 2, 256-) No,.. Maybe historians are a different breed,(What about Chinese community history room?) Maybe we are tooyoung, in Chinese, they never thought of us in this regard [inChinese],As regards the ideal place to keep permanent records:(side 2, 298-) (as far as facilities, and expertise areconcerned, you think that your organization is not the idealplace for preserving your long term records, right?) yeah, ...Personally, I am a very open person, maybe a lot person findme too open too radical, I always suggest if there is anorganization like ourselves, if the community doesn't want us,we can pack ourselves and go tomorrow, I also agree that ourinformation is almost like an open book, except some clientfile, of course some of them are on our data base, with someconfidentiality involved, but otherwise open book, financialuh, information are open for scrutiny by the government, bythe public, um, and we belong to the community, I have nodoubt, .. actually the Chinese community should have more tosay because they do contribute by virtue of donations,77donations 90% come from our Chinese community, so they arealmost like a part owner, uh of us, I have no problem ofsharing some of our documents or information, provided thereis no confidentiality attached, the only thing is we don'teven know what is valuable what is not, we only know what isof sentimental value to SUCCESS, and what is operation valueto SUCCESS, we have no idea about historical value.As regards the willingness to give records to any repository:(side 2, 372-) Well, from our point of view of course I wouldrather have stay within the community, but then of course itdepends on that community archives, objectives, and mandate,and whether it is a truly public archives within thecommunity, we may not, I don't know, I personally may havedifferentiation if that archives is more to do with theindividual society, preference I may not be that open, aboutit, because I don't know where the funding coming from,whether there is here today, and go tomorrow, how the recordswould be kept out, so all these things have to be taken intoconsideration, If I have to leave mine, what I think is thevalue, sentimental or not, or historical value, to somebodyelse, then I want to make sure that we preserve, and there isthe system of support to preserve them.. My preference, ofcourse, is the community, if the government funding is there,the basic funding the back up funding is always there, is notgoing to be one year, maybe next year maybe not, then Idefinitely prefer the community, than the society at largepersonally, because we are the Chinese community as well, allour clients are Chinese, our supporters are Chinese, we aremandate, trying to improve the quality of life of Canadians ofChinese decent, um, then another very fundamental is longevityof the archives, this archives is really going to maturity.... community, I would personally.Explanation of ethnic identity in the choice:(side 2, 418-) because without the ethnic community, Iwouldn't be here, SUCCESS won't be here, there is no need forSUCCESS, (What about 75% of fund from the government?accountable to the taxpayers at large?) yes or no. because75% sounds like a lot, but if you come to, you look at thetotal funding, the government provide, the area like lowermainland, because of our phase, the government is notproviding sufficient funding, to further the interest ofCanadians of Chinese descent in a strict portion ofpopulation, so we are not really getting these things, thesethings are not extra for the government, if these things were,I think the Chinese community deserve, because otherwise weare fighting for our proper percentage, so I think also theway they are going to present it, the way they preserve shouldalways carry the ethnic connotation, because otherwise, at theend, a very important aspect of history could be lostinterpretation in the environment, being interpreted, um,because without ethnic, .. as being ethnic is a public value,78is a very important portion of value, um, otherwise we arejust another society, that without the community, our impactwithin the Chinese community, our supporters of Chinesecommunity, we spend money in the Chinese community, thoserecords of value mainly, in our mind, because of the ethnicconnotation attached to them, and I don't think a publicarchives are making assumptions, I don't think a publicarchives will pay as much detail attention to this kind ofsetting than a community archives, then of course, the publicarchives have better facilities and resources, than acommunity unless they are able to convince the government wehave much deserve as much support from the government, aspublic archives, because of uh, a value of these documents,without ethnic connotation attached, you lost a lot ofvalue,...e. The Strathcona Property Owners and Tenants AssociationAs regards the location of the records:(451-) ...^(P): In Mr. Mah's house [rented office of thethen Association], we have all the boxes of all the minutes,and everything we had ever done, and pigeon started to come inthe window, and nest in it, and we have clean everything up,and you could see that it was going to get lost, if we did notdo any thing about it.(side 2, 417-) (B) records kept in the office [a rented house]until some came and took over... Penny organized all therecords, give records to Vancouver city archives154The way of knowing Vancouver City Archives:(435-) P: Major Matthews was always city archivist,.., heplanned to move it from the Carnegie centre to the newbuilding of archives, and they started thinking about that andsomehow, some one told me to talk with Paul Yee about it, Italked to him, and he said by all means bring it here so that,... I approached Paul Yee, he was a new archivist, and get anew grant for it.As regards the reason to give records there:(452-) B: at that time not only Chinese.. we did everything inthe first, like the basic neighbourhood improvement programacross Canada, the community was in trouble, .. we were thefirst citizen group that had the equal power [with thegovernment] on a financial matter, those are lot of first,then I thought the records are worthwhile preserving, thereason why so many students keep coming to us, constantly, so154See "Strathcona Property Owners and Tenants' Association"Add.mss. 734. In "Prelimanry Inventory - Additional Manuscripts,"City of Vancouver Archives.79we wanted to put it in the archives so they eventually willlook it up and do research there.As regards who made the decision about giving records there:(side 2, 470-) ... [by the organization] I took boxes of boxesof records... B: [we do this], because eventually we see wewill be phasing out, of the programs, .. we needed to sort itout somehow, and put them in a certain perspective .. (keephistory?) B: Even it was important at that time, because somany researchers came here at that time, masters, also so manynew organizations wanted to ask us what we did, .. we allshare, we go to a lot of community meetings, people like tomake contact, if we don't have information, at least, theyknow where to look it up, our memory stay eventually. ..because we did not have a permanent home, we used that houseat a temporary basis, .. you can't use a community centre, ..because it would take a lot of, lot of space, the only otherway, if we keep it home they could get lost, ...As regards the way the records were deposited:(side 2, 520-) we wanted to do a history of SPOTA, and so wehave arranged records in a sort of historical order to dothat. B: we just did the evaluation there, P: there was adiary, I did a diary published, ... I had also asked Paul whatsort of way he wanted me to present him with this stuff, causeI said this is the order that it was put in, he said that wasfine, ... I gave every single piece of records to him,everything, all of it.As regards awareness of other archives:(side 2, 560-) We didn't know that [archives at UBC, or SFU]B: Matthews was very outspoken.. P: enthusiastic speaker,nothing escaped him. (So you were influenced by him?) P: Oh,very much so, and he kept everything in the Carnegie building,As regards facilities:(side 2, 588-) B: they can sort it out properly andeliminating..As regards the confidentiality of records:(side 2, 599-) P: all of our things are open, B: very open, ameeting never closed, ... P: there was nothing secret, noscandals, .. or anything like that.As regards records after 1980:(side 2, 607-) B: they are in the basement, somewhere. (whatare you going to do with those records?) B: yes that is a goodquestion. B: well, we got some plans too, ... we have appliedfor Mclain card, ... quite a bit [of records], no idea, have80to ask Jim about, because Margaret became the president of theprogram, then she has to renovate her place that was moved toroseharlic, in the meantime, we know where it is, ... storethere in the original order ... B: I think we are trying torevitalize Strathcona area houses society, called SAHS, therecords might be kept for reference for future members of theboard, who would like to educate, assessing involvement, incommunity as well, I think that is one of the reason, I neverthought of doing anything with the records, such as if theywant to look at the constitution of what year,As regards the most important records in their view:(No.2, 006-) (penny said all the records are extremelyimportant? what do you think are the most important records?)B: minutes of meetings, very early ones, to get peopleorganized, minutes of meeting, (what about financial records?)B: well, we never had any money, only about 3-4000 dollars, ..P: only two fund raising, we had newsletter, occasionallobbying of politicians at that time, ... everything isrecorded, every single step is recorded,As regards the remaining records:(No. 2, 067-) B: I would follow through [to the Vancouver CityArchives] P: (087-) I would think the whole organizationalhistory is more important to Vancouver, than to UBC or SFU,and it is not provincial, .. to me they have better access...I think they were actually treasured by the city, because wehelped them do many first things, I don't think we aretreasured by either university .. (151-) I had some faintmemory that [Major] Matthewsl5 said he did not have anycollection of citizen groups and it planned to see that wherewe belong. I do remember library, I remember, I alwaysthinking of getting a library student to organize that, andmake sure that we were in good order,As regards the best place for their records:(No. 2, 191-) P: City archives. .. I think it does not haveany biases, I think it is an important part of the city, forChinese community archives, it will only be used by theChinese, only the very diligent will be able to dig it out,public not have that. .. so it is not biased, more to thepublic... (454-) I think so, Penny agreed with me because thefirst of [our records] is there, if we send it somewhere else,that will break, it does not make any sense not to make it a155Major James Skitt Matthews was the first city archivist ofVancouver, and the founder of the City of Vancouver Archives [seeCaya et al. eds., Canadian Archives 1992 (Ottawa: Canadian Councilof Archives, 1992), 34-5.]. Also see: Robin G. Keirstead, "J. S.Matthews and an Archives for Vancouver, 1951-1972," Archivaria 23(Winter 1986-87): 86-106.81continuous process... VCA just to keep all together it is acontinuous process, .. if in other places, you have to goother institute, .. it is terrible for the persons doing theresearch.4) Data AnalysisData analysis was conducted to test the aforementionedassumptions, namely, whether some factors such as nature of theorganization, its affiliation with the government, length of theexistence of the organization, or its size have some role indetermining the findings with regard to the attitudes of theorganization towards the final disposition of the archival records.Their possible relationship was explored. However the findings arenot generalized, for this is only a case study of the fiveorganizations. As such the findings are only true for the selectedorganizations, although their implication can be extended to awider spectrum of ethnic groups.a. Major FindingsAs far as records are concerned, the organizations tend tokeep documentation of their activities on their own premises. Inthe case of SPOTA, the records of its first ten years are in theCity of Vancouver Archives, and those for more recent years arestored in the basement building known by the responsible persons.Secretaries take care of the records of CBA, FM, and SPOTA. In thecases of CCC, and SUCCESS, management personnel have a role inmonitoring the records keeping practices, although not in a veryspecific or detailed way.Keeping of records is performed for administrative purposes,82not consciously for keeping the history of the organization. Thisis because each organization assumes that its contribution may bemade known through published information, instead of recordsgenerated from daily activities. The only exception is with SPOTA,which foresaw its final phasing out, and tried consciously from thevery beginning to keep the history of the organization.None of the five organizations are aware of any law whichrequires them to keep any records for specific periods of time,except for SUCCESS, which has considered the stipulations ofRevenue Canada.The current heads of each organization who were interviewedseldom experienced any need to go back to any old records. Theykeep their own records for their own needs. This is a commonproblem in organizations with revolving elected executives. Eachoffice holder is responsible for keeping his or her own records.Often no consistent policy for preservation/disposition exists.This is an element of the organization's culture, and may apply inall volunteer organizations such as those studied by SusanHart. 156Except for SPOTA, none of the other four organizations havedisposed of their records systematically. One noticeable factor isthe moving of offices. This is not really a question of attitude,but is a possible factor affecting preservation and disposition.If an organization frequently moves premises it might be morelikely to dispose of records at each move, such as in the case of156Susan M. A. Hart. "Archival Acquisition of the Records ofVoluntary Associations," M. A. S. Thesis. School of Library,Archival, and Information Studies, University of British Columbia,1989.83the Freemasons (see page 74). Therefore, moving premises mayincrease destructiveness, whereas stability of premises may promotepreservation. CBA experienced the loss of valuable records in afire in 1951. Deterioration of records has not been recorded, asthe interviewees are not directly involved with the records keepingpractices. SPOTA is again the exception. It has never destroyedrecords. It deposited them in the City of Vancouver Archives. Theother four organizations have not deposited archival records in anyarchives, museum, or library so far. Although some records ofanother branch of the Freemasons' were deposited several years agoin the British Columbia Provincial Archives, they have no directconnection with the Freemason's activities in the Chinesecommunity. However, each of the interviewees asserted firmly thatits organization has made a significant contribution to thedevelopment of the Chinese Community in Canada, and eachacknowledged the necessity of having some records permanentlypreserved. Nevertheless, the attitudes of the various intervieweesvary.The attitude of the CBA representative was quite firm. Theorganization assumes that its records have no use to others, and noone else is interested in its records. Their records exist toserve administrative needs of the organization. They can not beaccessible to the public unless the purpose of the use is justifiedand approved by the organization. It is unwilling to give uprecords to any public archival institutions, not even to a Chinesecommunity archives.CCC acknowledged having never thought about depositing recordsin any institutions, and paid no attention to the treatment of84their records. FM is similarly firm as CBA in its resolve never todeposit records in an archives. The Freemasons think that theirrecords are for their own organization. The records areconfidential, and have no use to other people. Further still, theymaintain that it is the decided policy of all Freemasons to keeprecords under the control of the organization and strictlyconfidential.SUCCESS also regards its records primarily valuable foradministrative purposes. The organization has no need todeliberately keep things for historians. It exists to fulfil itsfunctions. What is more, there is no space problem for records atthe moment, because the organization is relatively young.SPOTA deposited its records in the City of Vancouver Archives,because of the late Major Matthews' influence, and the connectionwith Paul Yee, who was working there at the time the records weredeposited. In their view, there is no bias against treating allrecords in a public archival institution, where there are betterfacilities, wider access, better expertise in preserving theirrecords.All the interviewees, except for the person from SUCCESS, hadheard of archives. They were familiar with public archivalinstitutions at three levels of government. However, they were notfamiliar with university or church archives in Vancouver. None ofthem is familiar with the Chinese Community History Room, and knewnothing about its collection policy.Each of the interviewees also recognized that theorganization's premises were not the best place for keeping recordspermanently. They all recognized that they are short of facilities85for better preservation of records, and lack expertise to lookafter the records. However, this does not mean that they believetheir organization will give their records to an archives. CBAthinks the most important thing is the organization has therecords, which is clear from the following words, worth repeatinghere:they may not be the best place to keep the records, they maynot have the best personnel to look after the records, butthat doesn't matter. As far as I am concerned the recordsbelong to the organization, the organization has theresponsibility, and should be keeping those records (see page70).CCC's chief authority personally prefers the City of VancouverArchives, because he personally knows more about them, over theprovincial archives, whose system he does not know. However, inthe event that the CCC establishes a building to house culturalmaterials, CCC prefers, as is only logical, to have their recordsthere, because it would facilitate access, and it offers aspecialized focus on records of the Chinese community. Theywelcome researchers to consult the records, for no confidentialityis involved.The Freemasons holds the view that whatever the case, therecords cannot be given out, which is clear from the conversation:I know it is not the best place, but what you can do, I can'tsay I give this to you, let you keep our records, neverdone... I don't think this will happen (refer to page 76).SUCCESS is willing to give records to a public archivalinstitution, because they have better facilities and resources, andthey do not mind sharing some of their information, provided thereis no confidentiality attached. However, if the community has itsown archives with the same level of facilities, expertise, funding,86and the potential to be sustained, they prefer to have records staywithin the community. Ethnic identity is involved here. They seethose records valuable mainly because of the ethnic connotationattached to them, and the public archival institution will not payas much attention to this kind of setting as a community archives.SPOTA expressed its clear preference for the City of VancouverArchives based on the unbiased treatment of records, betterfacilities, and better personnel.The foregoing summary of the major findings reveals somecommon characteristics. Clearly CBA and FM are firmly assertiveabout the right of keeping their own records in their own buildingsno matter what. This may be interpreted as a "closed" attitudetowards their records, for access to the records is controlled bythe organization.On the other extreme is the attitude of SPOTA, which clearlyexpressed a preference for public archival institutions overcommunity archives. This attitude may be interpreted here as"open" towards their records, the access is public oriented. Itshould be noted, however, that SPOTA never considered itself asprimarily an organization devoted to ethnic ends, but rather to thebroader community concerns of an urban neighbourhood containing amixed populace.Somewhere between these two extremes are CCC and SUCCESS,which are willing to share their documents or information with thepublic. This means when need arises that they are willing to givetheir records to a public archival institution such as the City ofVancouver Archives, or other public institutions which can providebetter care of their records. However, if the same level of87facilities, funding, and personnel exists in the Chinese community,their preference is clearly to have the records stay within thecommunity. This attitude may be interpreted as "fairly open", forthe access is oriented to the public, yet with the preference fora continued attachment with the ethnic community under certaincircumstances.b. Contextual AnalysisIt is one thing to describe the degree of openness topreservation and access, but quite another to isolate the factorswhich determine the degree. At the outset of this study, it wasassumed that the nature of the organization and its business, itsaffiliation with government, the length of its existence, and itssize would be factors determining attitudes towards setting ofpreservation. Clearly, the first of these is most important. Thenature of the organization and its mission determines the kinds anddegree of sensitivity of its records, which in turn cultivate howopen it will be to the idea of preservation for purposes beyond itsown. This is widely the case. For instance, Canadian access toinformation legislation recognizes a necessary degree ofconfidentiality in administration of cabinet records. For example,the British Columbia act closes cabinet records for fifteenyears. 157 Private organization rarely develop such policies, butthey often have similar concerns, which obviously need to beaddressed in the course of acquisition negotiations.On the score of affiliation with government, it would appear157Bill 50 - 1992, Freedom of Information and Protection ofPrivacy Act, s. 12 (2) (a).88that the more the organization interacts with government, receivesfunding from government, and considers itself to operate in thepublic domain, the more it is likely to concern itself with publicpreservation of its records. This very tentative supposition needsconfirmation. No conclusion even from the limited perspective ofthis study can be drawn about the relationship between length ofexistence and attitude towards archival preservation, except thatother factors would appear to be more important. Similarly, itappears difficult even to draw a tentative conclusion about theinfluence of size on attitudes towards archival preservation.However, if size is interpreted as size of the paid bureaucracy,the larger the organization, the more attention it would seem topay to records matters.These are however suggestions that the way the organizationconducts business can have important effects on the whole questionof disposition. For example, when executive officers regularlychange in voluntary organizations, records can disappear. Somespecific matters like this can have a determining effect. Beyondthese general remarks about factors, we can examine the elements ofcontext which seem to be important in each of closed, fairly open,and closed categories proposed by this study.i The HClosedu Attitude GroupThere are some common features shared by the two organizations(CBA and FM) falling into this closed attitude group. Firstly,both organizations are politically involved. CBA has a major focuson promoting the welfare of the Chinese community and the rights ofall Canadians of Chinese origin. The Freemasons, on the other89hand, have long been politically involved with causes in China.These political involvements would appear to cultivate a closedattitude. Both happen to be of long standing in the ChineseCommunity. One was established in 1863 (FM), and the other (CBA)was established at the turn of the century. Each has not had evenone full time employee. CBA has a part time employee, working fromone o'clock to five every afternoon, and it is the same with theFreemasons.Another common feature of the two organizations is that thetwo are operating as financially independent entities. The onlyassociation either has with the government is the occasionalfunding for events such as the 125th anniversary with FM, and theSpring Festival celebration expense for fees to pay to thegovernment for the street closure with CBA. They are independent,and each supports its own organization through the property theyown.In these two cases, the closed attitude is not surprising. Inboth cases, a fairly high degree of confidentiality is regardednecessary in the conduct of the organizations' affairs. CBA has todevelop strategies to fight against discrimination. Its meetingsare only open to its own members, and not to others. Hence itsrecords retain the same characteristic of being exclusive. Somestrategies may involve advice or background information, aspolitical strategy is always highly diplomatic and not always anopen process. As for the Freemasons, secrecy meant safety for thelives of its members before 1971 in certain circumstances,especially as the cause they were fighting for had been filled withsetbacks and loss of lives. The nature of these two organizations90determines that their activities be kept close to their own membersto achieve their goal.The long history of the two organizations demonstrates theimportance of the two within the Chinese community, especiallyduring the early days of immigrant life in Canada, when it wasmarked by ordeals, sufferings, and institutional and societalprejudices. Therefore the records of the organizations are mostvaluable to their own members because of the unique Chinese ethnicconnotation attached to them. Also this may account for why theorganizations are most reluctant to part with their records. Therecords document the history of each organization. Naturally, theywant to see the records close to the organization.Both organizations stand aloof from government, as isdemonstrated by the words of the chief officer of CBA:we don't believe in depending on the government for subsidy,for quite often our position on many issues, like theimmigration law, for instance, we think the government'sapproach is not correct, we would stand up, and we would makea statement, and oppose it. So we believe only when we are notfinancially dependent on them, we can be able to take thatkind of independent position without the feel of cutting ourgrant or subsidy, whatever may be (310).The fact that both also exist without having a paid bureaucracycontributes to the attitude they manage their own records for theirown purposes.All of the above factors were furthered by a high degree ofidentity awareness. Their political involvement demonstrates astrong identity within the ethnic group. The closed attitudetowards their records is only one manifestation of preserving theirgroup identity, to carry on its tradition and heritage, and tofight for the good of the ethnic group the organizations represent.91ii The "Open" Attitude GroupIt is difficult to draw generalizations from one case. Mostof SPOTA's records were generated in the progress of the projectimplementation. Project funding was from the government, althoughthe pre- and post- project operations were entirely self-reliant.The size of the organization was small with two paid employees, anda large team of volunteers from the University of British Columbia(approximately 12). It existed for 23 years.No factors seems to hinder the openness of its attitude.There is no great concern over confidentiality. The projects forwhich the organization was best known were funded by thegovernment, as openly devoted to publicly established goals, inwhich SPOTA itself was instrumental. Neighbourhood groups likeSPOTA tend to be very open and public spirited. Even before itceased operation, it had donated records to a public archivalinstitution. Now there is no one to be concerned about therecords. Nevertheless, it is not unreasonable to surmise thatorganisations having close links with government to accomplishpublicly accepted and funded goals will be very open to the idea ofarchival preservation. Often the organizations will have a limitedlifespan, suggesting that archival institutions need make earlycontact to provide for acquisition before the organization ceasesoperation.iii The "Fairly Open" Attitude GroupWithin the fairly open attitude group, there are some commonfeatures. The nature of the two organizations is publiclyoriented, with the purpose to promote interaction. CCC introduces92the traditional Chinese culture to members of its own ethnic groupand to other ethnic groups, and to the larger community in Canada.SUCCESS provides services to the immigrants so that they canshorten the integration process, and contribute more effectively tosociety as a whole.Another common feature of the two organizations is their timeof existence, both being established in 1973. It is obvious thatthey were beneficiaries of the Canadian Multiculturalism policyestablished in 1971.Further still, the two organizations are affiliated with thegovernment as regards the funding. Though CCC receives littlefunding from the government for its daily operation, its landbelongs to the government, which makes the personnel there aware ofits relationship with government all the time. SUCCESS hasreceived a considerable amount of money ever year since itsestablishment in 1973. In Canadian society, social policy ends areoften achieved through such organizations as SUCCESS and CCC.Finally, because they are a kind of arms length agent ofgovernment, such organizations develop a considerable bureaucracyto conduct their affairs as opposed to volunteer organizations likeCBA and FM.The common features of these two organizations favour an openattitude towards records. Except for some sensitive records of asocial welfare case kind, all the records can be shared with thepublic. Their ties with the government also make them lessresistant to the idea of being accountable to the public throughpreservation of their records in archival institutions.935) SummaryThe following table presents the findings with regard toattitude, mission, affiliation with government, length ofexistence, and size.94Org. Attitude Mission Affilia. Length SizeCBA closed political weak long smallCCC f.^o. cultural strong short consid.FM closed political weak long smallSPOTA open project strong ephemeral smallSUCCESS f.^o. social se. strong short large158There are manifested among the five examined organizationsthree distributions of attitude: "closed", "fairly open", and"open". The contextual analysis of the above major findings hasrevealed some noticeable factors within the group holding the sameattitude. Factors such as the nature of the mission of theorganizations, affiliation with the government, and length of158:Here are some operational definitions of the followingconcepts used in the chart.Affiliation:weak=occasional funding from the governmentstrong=regular funding from the government, or land propertyfrom the governmentLength:short=less than 25 yearslong=over 80 yearsephemeral=defunct nowSize:small=fewer than 3 paid employeesconsiderable=more than 12 paid employeeslarge=more than 40 paid employeesorg. stands for organizations; f.o., for fairly open; consid., forconsiderable; social se., for social service; affilia. stands foraffiliation.95existence of an organization seem to play an influencing role indetermining the difference of attitudes towards their archivalrecords within ethnic group organizations. The size of anorganization does not, for organizations with a small sizedemonstrate both open (SPOTA), and closed (CBA, FM) attitudes.96CHAPTER FOUR:CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONSThis study reveals that persons working in organizationsconsider records to have primary value for the organization, andhave often given little thought to their secondary value.Administrators commonly and reasonably take this attitude. Recordsare the product of administrative activity. They are not createdfor the purposes of recording history, but they can be used assources of evidence and information about past actions and events.If the activities of persons and organizations in an ethnic groupsuch as the Chinese community in Vancouver are to be accessible inthe future for both continuing primary use and secondary use forhistorical and other purposes, some arrangements for theircontinued preservation and availability must be made. This studyof five organizations acting in the Chinese community in Vancouverfurther reveals that several factors condition the openness oforganizations to the idea of preservation for secondary use and thepreference for a setting for preservation.The question of openness to preservation in an archivalinstitution devoted to facilitate secondary use is conditioned inthe first instance by the openness of the organization to the ideaof disseminating information about its activities. Publicorganizations are often required to make their archives accessibleby law or regulation. Private organizations like those examined inthis study do not have any legal requirement to preserve theirarchives for public purposes. However, the nature of theactivities of the organization, its connection with public97authority, and its policies or habits with regard to access to theinformation in its records create the degree of openness to thequestion of archival preservation. This study suggests that someorganizations are closed to the idea of archival preservation, someare only fairly open, and some are open.The organizations holding a closed attitude tend to regardtheir records as being their "own business," that is, created fortheir own purposes and of no concern to outsiders. Ultimately,this attitude is an attitude towards access to information ratherthan towards the idea of archival preservation. Organizations inthe closed category may preserve their archives very well for theirown continuing administrative purposes, but they resist anysuggestion of removing the records from their control. This studyhas found that these organizations regard their activities as beingconfidential or requiring an environment of confidentiality andeven secrecy. This is the case for both the Freemasons and theChinese Benevolent Association. The Freemasons are by tradition asecret society, whose activities are not paraded in public. It isconcerned with the personal and spiritual welfare of members, andtakes no regard of public interest in its activities. The ChineseBenevolent Association has often involved itself in politicalactivities in both Canada and aboard which it regards as requiringa high degree of confidentiality. Neither organization receivesmuch in the way of public funding, and feels no obligation to openits activities to public scrutiny on that account.It is possible that these organizations could be convincedthat their interests could be protected if their archives werepreserved in an archival institution. For instance, it is within98the power of such institutions to place sensitive materials undercertain kinds of restriction until the interest in confidentialityis no longer at issue. However, it was not the purpose of thisproject to convince organizations one way or another in thisregard, but rather to discover their attitude towards dispositionof their records and the factors conditioning that attitude. It isof course open to archivists to try to convince persons to overcometheir secretive susceptibilities. Organizations in the closedcategory will obviously need more convincing than those in theother two categories, and for that reason their records hold lowerpotential for acquisition. Moreover, closed organizations do notshow preference for any particular class of archival institutionfor obvious reason that they are closed to the idea of disposing ofdocuments to any institution.Organizations holding a fairly open attitude are willing toshare the documents and information with the public. They aresympathetic to the idea of preserving records for secondarypurposes, but resist the idea of keeping records themselvesdeliberately for historical purposes. They feel that institutionsset up to serve secondary users are better served to that task.They are however concerned to have the records accessible to theorganization. They therefore are likely to prefer some repositoryexisting in the immediate community. The Chinese organizations inVancouver holding a fairly open attitude have a clear preferencefor an archives in the ethnic community, if it were up to thestandard of established public archival institutions. They believethat an institution in the ethnic community would better understandand appreciate the records, and be better situated to serve the99continuing interest in the records of members of the ethnic group.Organizations in this category tend to cooperate in a lessconfidential environment than those in the closed category. Theyare more likely to provide overt services to the community, andhave some sense of contributing directly to the public welfare ofthe community rather than to the pursuit of private or politicalends. The potential for acquisition is actually quite high inthese cases so long as the interest in maintaining the connectionwith the ethnic group and the creating organization is sustained.Organizations open to disposition of their records adopt thefirm position that it is important to preserve a record of theiractions in the public domain. They are likely to be sympathetic tothe notion of saving records for secondary, historical purposes,and may favour a public archival institution as the setting forpreservation. The example of SPOTA is most striking in thisregard. It has already deposited records in a public archivalinstitution. The fact that the organization acted as an advocacygroup for a neighbourhood of mixed Chinese and non-Chineseresidents makes it less likely to prefer an institution with strongethnic overtones. Those organizations which act in a wider spherethan strictly the ethnic one may well be more likely to take anopen attitude and prefer a public archival institution setting.One must be cautious about generalizing from this limitedstudy. Still, it seems likely that organizations (and alsoprobably persons in regard to their own personal archives) willfall along a scale from closed to open, and the factorsconditioning their attitude to archival preservation will depend onthe nature of their business, the degree of confidentiality in its100exercise, and the ends to which they are devoted. Some analysis ofthese matters will likely result in a rough assessment of thedegree of openness to archival preservation, some indication ofpreference for setting of preservation, and allow archivist topredict the potential for acquisition or suggest just what thebarriers are. Beyond that, knowing the degree of openness andpreference for setting of preservation will guide archivist indeveloping strategies of acquisition. They will know what barriersto acquisition exist, which institution are best suited to pursueacquisition, and where most productively to place their energies,whether in careful cultivation of a more open attitude or moredirectly in efforts to reach acquisition agreements.Interestingly, neither the size of the organization nor thedegree to which it has in fact preserved records would seem to haveas strong an influence on attitude towards disposition as theseother factors. It is possible to have a closed attitude and stillbe strongly committed to preservation for the purposes of theorganization, as in the case of CBA. Once again, this simplyconfirms the notion that records are not preserved byadministrations for historical purposes, but rather only to servethe needs of the organization. At least, only the open categorywould appear to be amenable to the historical justification forpreservation, and openness seems to be cultivated by factors otherthan concern for history. Nor is there any simple connectionbetween length of existence and openness. Even long standingorganizations may be closed to the idea. Recent organizations maybe quite open. Or the opposite may be the case. It is otherfactors which rule.101More significantly, it may be supposed that these findings maybe replicated for other ethnic groups in Canada. This is sobecause these three types of attitude, "closed", "fairly open", and"open", can be easily related to the process of acculturationexperienced by all immigrants. This acculturation process issubject to two forces simultaneously, one force to assimilate,another to counterbalance the assimilation,159 which is referredto as "ethnogenesis" by Yvonne R., and William G. Lockwood."Ethnogenesis can be demonstrated in virtually any aspect ofculture. u160 Stephen D. Glazier, a scholar in ethnic folklore,termed it "juxtaposition" of "syncretism" and "separation. u161This coexistence of the desire to assimilate and to remain separatehas been found in various aspects of immigrants' life, inreligion, 162 in foodways,163 and other customs. It may well bethat the different attitudes discovered in this study illustratethe juxtaposition of "syncretism" and "separation", the open end ofthe scale reflecting dominance of assimilation tendencies and the159citedCited by Stephen Stern, "Ethnic Folklore and the Folkloreof Ethnicity," Western Folklore 36 (1977): 12-3.160Yvonne R. Lockwood and William G. Lockwood, "Pastries inMichigan's Upper Peninsula: Foodways, Interethnic Relations, andRegionlism," in Creative Ethnicity: Symbols and Strategies ofContemporary Ethnic Life, eds., Stephen Stern and John Allan Cicala(Logan: Utah State University Press, 1991), 3.161Stephen D. Glazier, "Syncretism and Separation: RitualChange in an Afro-Caribbean Faith," Journal of American Folklore 98(1985): 49-50.1621bid., 49-62.163J. Liu, "Continuation and Acculturation: A Study of Foodwaysof Three Chinese Immigrant Families in St. John's Newfoundland," M.A. Thesis. Department of Folklore, Memorial University ofNewfoundland, 1991.102closed end dominance of separateness. As such, the findings ofthis case study can have potential application to the attitude ofall ethnic groups towards the final disposition of their archivalrecords. If this can be established, the findings of this studymay prove useful both for Canada and for all countries withsubstantial immigration.All of the conclusions which can be drawn from this study arehighly tentative. Further study is needed of more organizations tobear out these tentative findings. Future studies might also wantto refine the view of the factors affecting attitudes taken in thisstudy, particularly factors of organizational structure andprocedure which came into view in some of the interviews. Studiesof other ethnic groups would provide the basis for comparisonacross the range of Canadian ethnicity.^It would also beinteresting to see how persons react to preservation of theirpersonal archives bearing on the ethnic experience.Future studies of the persons and organizations making up anethnic group, the kinds of archives they produce, their attitudestowards preservation, and their preferences as regards the bestsetting for preservation offer an opportunity for archivists torefute the allegation that they are unsympathetic to the questionof preserving ethnic archives. Better actions in the field canthen be hoped for. To that end and to complete this study, we maynow turn to some recommendations to the archival community.RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE ARCHIVAL COMMUNITYBased on the findings of this study, six recommendations for103the archival community are offered. Many more things could berecommended to make preservation of ethnic archives more likely tosucceed, but they go beyond the scope of matters directly addressedin this thesis. The recommendations are:A. That archivists take the time to approach organizations orpersons to learn what they do, what their attitude towards preservation is, and to discuss feelings about the best settingThis recommendation is to pay due attention to the immediaterecords environment. Some extensive study to understand thehistory, purpose, and concerns of the organization must go beforeovert attempts to acquire records. Archivists will be able todevelop more feasible acquisition strategy with knowledge from theinvestigation of the creators or owners situation. It will notonly set the acquisition activity on the right track, but alsofacilitate the successful implementation of acquisition policies.B. That the archival community respect the preference of ethnicgroup organizations in their disposition of archival recordsThis recommendation is in conformity with Book IV as regardsthe policy towards ethnic groups, which specifies that "Theirmembers must always enjoy the right - a basic human one - tosafeguard their languages and cultures."164 The ethnic groups'preferences in their disposal of archival records is a right forthem to exercise. Subject to providing donors with all theinformation they will need to make an informed choice, members of164Book IV, 1969, 14. s.31.104the archival community should respect the decisions of creators andowners of ethnic archives. By respecting preferences in this way,members of the archival community can foster better long termrelations with ethnic groups.C. That established archival institutions or professional organizations be concerned with the treatment of archival recordspreserved in the ethnic communityIn the case where organizations choose to preserve their ownrecords, the archival community should provide advice on recordkeeping to insure the best possible preservation of the records ofethnic experience. While respecting the right of ethnicorganizations to keep their own records, the archival communityshould offer professional guidance about both current recordsadministration and long term records keeping programs.D. That archivists play a proactive role in acquiring archival records from ethnic groups It is clear from this case study that archival institutionshave rarely reached out into the Chinese community in Vancouver.More conscious efforts on the part of archivists will definitelypromote the acquisition of archival records from all ethnic groups.Moreover, ethnic communities may well need special efforts ofunderstanding. They may feel remote from existing archivalconstitutions, or think they only serve the mainstream culture.Archivists need to reach out and understand potential donors andtheir immediate environment, and work from there.105E. That public archival institutions be prepared to accommodateethnic archives This case study also bears out that ethnic groups tend to havea strong desire to keep their archival records in the community inwhich they were generated. However, the ethnic groups themselvesby their very nature will probably rarely establish archivalprograms. This study demonstrates that the majority of ethnicgroup organizations are willing to deposit their records in apublic archival institution, in the absence of a proper one intheir own community. Therefore it is imperative for publicarchival institutions to accommodate their records. Thispreparation will ensure the preservation of the entire history ofCanada, which will benefit not only the society at large, but alsothe ethnic group community itself, taking into consideration thatrecords of ethnic organizations are deteriorating, and are oftendestroyed without consideration of their enduring value.G. That public archival institutions make access to ethnic archivesthey acquire a priorityThis study reveals a high degree of concern about post-depositaccess to their own records among the organizations. Therefore,the proper attention to this aspect will not only free theorganization of this worry, but also enhance the trust in publicarchival institutions from the ethnic group organizations, which inturn will facilitate the acquisition of archival records fromethnic communities.106Clearly, preservation of ethnic archives is justified onseveral grounds. It is consistent with the overall archival goalto preserve records of aspects of human activity. It is imperativein a country officially committed to promote multiculturalism,because it provides the means for ethnic groups to recover memoryof their historical experience and identify their contribution tosociety. It also leaves a record of that experience for all othersto use and learn from.It is also clear that organizations and groups acting inethnic communities may be remote from the mainstream of archivalpreservation. Special efforts are needed to reach out to membersof ethnic groups to overcome the various obstacles uncovered inthis thesis. Above all, as in many other areas, archivalinstitutions need to develop a dedicated policy in this area, andwork diligently with members of ethnic groups to cultivateunderstanding and sympathetic settings for preservation and accessto ethnic archives.One question which has not been addressed in this study isworth touching on as a final comment. It might be asked what kindof archivist should act in this sphere. Does the archivist have tobe part of ethnic group targeted for acquisition activity? Are thecultural circumstances such that specialists in each ethnic,linguistic, cultural, and religious group are needed to do the job?This would be impractical, and counterproductive. Such a solutionsuggests that archivists can only act in realms from which theycome directly. However, there is no escape from the need tounderstand the culture and circumstances of every realm thearchivist approaches. You do not need to be a member of an ethnic107group to understand it and work with it, as this thesis has shown.In fact, it is important to see ethnic groups in the largersocietal context, as this thesis has also tried to show, so thatthey can be brought in from the cold of neglect andmisunderstanding to occupy their rightful place in a roundeddocumentary heritage.108BIBLIOGRAPHYA Guide to Non-Administrative Records, Personal Papers and CanadianManuscripts in the University of Victoria Archives/Special Collections. Victoria: University of Victoria Archives.Anderson, R. Joseph.^"Managing Change and Chance: CollectingPolitics in Social History Archives." The American Archivist48, 3 (Summer 1985): 296-303.Arena, Franca. "Ethnic Archives." Archives and Manuscripts: TheJournal of the Australian Society of Archivists 8, 1 (June1980): 22-6.Arnold, A. J. "The Birth and Development of a Western JewishArchives Program." 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"The Archival Golden Door: Thoughts on Improving theState of Historical Documentation on the ImmigrantExperience," in Documenting Diversity: A Report on theConference on Documenting the Immigrant Experience in theUnited States of America. Saint Paul, Minnesota: ImmigrationHistory Research Centre, University of Minnesota, 1991. 61-75.Yee, Paul. "The Chinese in British Columbia: Bibliography," Summer1977, City of Vancouver Archives, Vancouver, B. C.. Saltwater City: An Illustrated History of the Chinese inVancouver. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1988.Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. BeverlyHills, California: Sage Publications, 1984.116APPENDIXQuestionnaire1. When was your organization established?2. What is its purpose, what does it exist to do?3. Who are its members?4. How many employees does the organization have? Full-time?Part-time?5. What are your main program or activities?6. Do you receive regular funding from the government? [If yes,the range of the funding from the government per year.]7. Where do you keep the records of the organization?8. Who is responsible for the records?9. How far back do your records go? To the beginning?10. Does government, or any law, require the retention of anyrecords of your organization for a certain period of time? Ifyes, what kind of records, for how long?11. Have you ever gone back to some old records? If yes, howeasy/difficult is it for you to find them?12. Do you regularly dispose of older records you no longer need?(if yes), how do you do it?13. Have you ever deposited any documents of any kind of yourorganization in a library, museum, or archives? If so, whichinstitution, and which kind of records? Why chose theinstitution?14. Do you think that your organization has made a significantcontribution to the development of the Chinese community? Inwhat way?15. Do you think that there should be some permanent records ofyour organization? What form do you think it should take?16. Has your organization ever considered depositing seldom usedrecords with some repository? Which ones have you considered?If not, why?11717. Do you know about Vancouver City Archives? Chinese CommunityHistory Room? Provincial Archives? National Archives?University Archives? Any other institutions?18. Which do you think would be the best place for preserving yourorganization's records? Why?118


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