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Archival description
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Indo-Canadian collection

  • F-145
  • Collection
  • 1900 - 1999

From 1979-1981 the University Archives collected historical information on the Indo-Canadian Community in British Columbia with a view towards acquiring records in this area. The Archives prepared a bibliography, and made copies of relevant material. According to Professor Hugh Johnston, the collection contains a fairly complete set of all articles written up to 1980 about Indo-Canadians in BC. The Archives also acquired some photographs from the community. Since the conclusion of the project, the Archives has shifted its primary acquisition focus away from ethnic collections.

Collection consists of photocopied magazine articles, theses, books, reports, newspaper clippings and other secondary sources about Indo-Canadians. The information is primarily about the Sikh community, but there is also some material on Hindu immigrants. There is one file of photographic prints and negatives.

Collection also contains one file of correspondence with Ray Hundle, who corresponded with the University Archives regarding his research on the possible establishment of a Sikh temple in Golden, BC in 1880.

Material is in Punjabi and English.

Archives and Records Management Department

Indo-Canadian oral history collection (Hari Sharma collector)

  • F-77
  • Collection
  • 1984 - 1987

The Indo-Canadian Oral History Collection documents the histories of immigrants from the Punjab Province of India who came to Canada between 1912 and 1938. The project was initiated by Hari Sharma, Professor of Sociology at SFU, who conducted the interviews with the assistance of a graduate student.

The interview subjects, primarily Sikhs, discuss such topics as why they came to Canada, the journey to Canada, adjustment to Canadian society upon arrival, employment in Canada, family life, and their ongoing links with their country of origin. Appendices include an interview guide prepared by Hari Sharma and an article about the project.

Sharma, Hari

Canadian Farmworkers Union collection

  • MsC 102
  • Collection
  • [1965]-2013

The collection reflects the many aspects of the Canadian Farmworkers Union’s organization and its actions, including unionizing workers and certifying workplaces, advocating for workers’ rights, providing ESL classes and other educational programs, and speaking out on behalf of other workers’ rights and social rights in Canada and around the world. Records include administrative documents, financial records, internal and external correspondence, reference material on a variety of subjects, publications, and numerous photographs of events and activities.

The majority of the material in the collection was created or received by the CFU in the course of its work, but some material, such as the Charan Gill photographs and Craig Berggold book research records, was created by others in relation to the CFU.

The collection has been arranged into nine series: Administrative records (1974-2010); Event photographs ([198--1985]); Union action records ([1978]-1997); Programming and project records ([1965]-Printed 2013 (originally created 1986)); Research and advocacy records ([197-]-2011); Deol Society records (1977-1998); Canadian Farmworkers Union Ontario photographs and administrative records ([1979?]-1983); Charan Gill photographs ([199-]); and Craig Berggold book research records ([201-]-2013).

Canadian Farmworkers Union

Piers Island “Sons of Freedom” Doukhobor Imprisonment collection

  • MsC 147
  • Collection
  • 1932-1934

The collection offers insight into the imprisonment of the “Sons of Freedom” between 1932 and 1934 at Piers Island Penitentiary. The “Sons of Freedom” Doukhobors began as a small, radical movement to reinvigorate the faith, restore traditional Doukhobor values, and protest the sale of land, education, citizenship and registration of vital statistics. They would achieve infamy through civil disobedience, nude marches, and burnings. In 1932, over 600 Sons of Freedom protestors were convicted of public nudity. As B.C. Penitentiary was unable to handle such a rise in inmate population, a satellite prison under the authority of B.C. Penitentiary was constructed on Piers Island to house these prisoners. The records document how the prison was set up and run and the problems that the federal prison system encountered regarding both staff and prisoners. The correspondence and telegrams shed light on the internal discussions of senior officials concerning the management of the prison and its prisoners.
Fonds consists of correspondence, memoranda, telegrams, and other textual records pertaining to the Piers Island Penitentiary created or accumulated by H. W. Cooper during his career as the warden of B.C. Penitentiaries. The fonds also contains photographs which were all taken at Piers Island. The textual records predominantly consist of letters to and from H. W. Cooper regarding the penitentiary, staff, and prisoners. The records have been arranged into the following two series: Correspondence and other documents (1932-1934); and Photographs ([between 1932 and 1934]).

Hugh Johnston South Asian research collection

  • MsC-183
  • Collection
  • [197-]–2016

Collection consists of research material gathered by Johnston for his book "The Voyage of the Komagata Maru: The Sikh Challenge to Canada's Colour Bar" (1979; 1989) and subsequent articles and books about Sikhs in Canada, including (with Tara Singh Bains) "The Four Quarters of the Night: The Life-Journey of an Emigrant Sikh" (1995) and "Jewels of the Qila: The Remarkable Story of an Indo-Canadian Family" (2011). Records in the collection are primarily of photocopied and microfilmed material from archival material held by institutions, newspapers and journals, and notes and drafts.

Collection is divided into the following eleven series: Articles (1988–2016); "The voyage of the Komagata Maru" draft manuscripts (1977–1978); Finding aids, bibliography and essays on sources (1975–1991); Archival documents and research notes ([197-–before 2011]); Official sources files ([1975–after 1996]); Biographical and autobiographical sources files ([197-–198-?]); Individual files (1988–1993); Research studies files ([ca. 1980]–1988); Scholarly articles ([197-]–2000); Periodicals and pamphlets ([198-?]–2014); and Newspaper clippings ([197-]–2014).

Johnston, Hugh

Japanese Canadian Historical collection

  • MsC-215
  • Collection
  • [ca.1908-1945?]

This collection consists of 15 photographs, as well as a postcard. Subject matter is pertaining to Japanese Canadians in the decades leading up to, and including, the Second World War. Content has been divided into 2 identifiable series: Photographs (ca.1925-1945?) and Correspondence (1908).