UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Multiculturalism and archives Chan, Heather


This thesis examines the implications of multiculturalism for the management of archival material generated by private individuals, groups, and organizations in Canada. The study begins with an analysis of the history and nature of the concept of multiculturalism to identify the principles and purposes underlying both the social movement and the public policy of multiculturalism. The implications of these principles and purposes upon the institutional management of archives of private origin are then discussed within the context of archival theory. Finally, the results of a survey conducted to determine how Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial archival repositories are interpreting the concept and implementing the policy of multiculturalism are analysed to show the effect of multiculturalism on current archival methodology. The study shows that, in an attempt to respect the multicultural policy, the majority of Canadian archival institutions at the federal, provincial, and territorial levels are implementing practices which are contrary to archival principles. This thesis concludes that cultural group affiliation is a non-identifiable entity which cannot govern the institutional management of private archives, and demonstrates that the social goals of multiculturalism and archives are both attainable if archival principles dictate archival practices.

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