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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The potential for acquisition of ethnic archives : a case study of five Chinese organizations in Vancouver, British Columbia Liu, Jian Xiang


This thesis is a study of attitudes towards the final disposition of archival records among representatives of five organizations in the Chinese community, Vancouver, British Columbia. The findings reveal three different types of attitude towards 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 support tend to hold a "closed" attitude towards the final disposition of archival records; those with a project-oriented mission, existing for a limited time, and financially dependent of the government tend to hold an "open" attitude; those with missions such as cultural and social services tend to hold a "fairly open" attitude. The size of an organization does not influence the attitudes. The organizations open or fairly open towards access of their records possess higher potential for acquisition of ethnic archives by a public archival institution, whereas those closed to access of their records hold lower potential for acquisition. It is argued that these findings, though preliminary in nature, have significant importance for the archival community as regards the development of acquisition policy and strategy in keeping with the situation anddesires of records generators, in this case, ethnic groups. Its implications are especially significant in the Canadian setting, being a country widely acknowledged to have many ethnic groups.

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