Other Archival Files

Other Archival Files

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The other archival files is a collection of government and community records, from 23 institutions across BC, Canada, and the United Kingdom, that the digital archival team has described but not transcribed verbatim as they have some of the other special collections. LOI researchers, many of them research assistants, travelled to national archives or spent summers at the provincial archives collecting records of the governments’ roles in the dispossession. Others went to small museums and remote archives across BC, near old incarceration sites like New Denver and Kaslo, or to communities that were home to a thriving Japanese Canadian population such as Cumberland and Mission, to collect local records. Researchers then digitized, either in full or selectively, these records so that they can be presented here in a single location for visitor's convenience. These records can help those seeking answers to questions regarding government actions and decisions as well as public opinion in editorials and newspaper accounts of key events. Along with records created by governments, the national and provincial archives are also home to records created by individuals which are further enriched by community records from the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre.
While government records are often dry and quotidian, they are important documents that show, as the LOI research collective observes in their recent study (Landscapes of Injustice: A New Perspective on the Internment and Dispossession of Japanese Canadians, 2020), that the dispossession of Japanese Canadian property required “sustained work.” LOI scholars have recently utilised these records for exciting contributions to Japanese Canadian history. For example, Jordan Stanger-Ross and Eric M. Adams reviewed government records housed at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa, and now available on this site, for their article, “Promises of Law: The Unlawful Dispossession of Japanese Canadians,” which was recently re-published in the edited volume, (Landscapes of Injustice, 2020). Most of the authors in this new volume also engaged records that are available to the public on this site such as the Bird Commission case files and the Office of the Custodian of Enemy Property files. Research from emerging scholars, honours undergrads, Masters and PhD students, and law students, in the form of thesis and dissertations, has also made critical use of these records. We welcome visitors to join them in the tremendous task of examining this treasure trove of archival documents in its entirety by searching or browsing the collection.



Other Archival Files
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Source: No source; born digital.


Readers of these historical materials will encounter derogatory references to Japanese Canadians and euphemisms used to obscure the intent and impacts of the internment and dispossession. While these are important realities of the history, the Landscapes of Injustice Research Collective urges users to carefully consider their own terminological choices in writing and speaking about this topic today as we confront past injustice. See our statement on terminology, and related sources here.