Friday, August 08, 2008

Genealogy and Local History for All

Yesterday, Jerome Teelucksingh gave a stirring presentation on Caribbean Canadian history and genealogy at the 'Genealogy and Local History for All' conference in Ottawa, calling for librarians and archivists to more actively encourage and facilitate the collection and use of materials relating to Caribbean Canadian organizations, families and individuals.

Jerome lectures at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad, and has published several articles in Families, the Ontario Genealogical Society's journal, as well as in academic publications, for example, "Scarred and Exiled: Race and the Caribbean Immigrant in Toronto, 1970-2004" (Ethnic Landscapes in an Urban World, pp. 121-161, 2007). He is continuing his personal research project into the history of Caribbeans in Canada, interviewing six people on this trip, for instance.

His call is one genealogical and historical societies need to take to heart as well. As he noted, particularly in the case of more recent immigrants, newer Canadians are often busy with work and may not consider that information on their activities and their own papers and artifacts should be preserved. It's up to those already involved in collecting and researching to identify groups and individuals whose lives are not well represented in local collections and to work to make it clear to those groups and individuals how valuable these resources will be in future.


Anonymous said...

I am a Barbadian living in Toronto and hope more work could be done to preserve West Indian history in Canada

Gregory said...

Yes, Canada has to document the many West Indians living there. More researchers need to study the Caribbean presence