Carleton University is highlighting the plight of Ugandans by moving the Ugandan Asian Collection online.
“I have been presenting our approach to building the Ugandan Asian Archives to other archives, both in Canada and internationally,” said Patti Harper, head of Research Support Services. “I can say that our approach to directly involve the Canadian Ugandan community in building these archives is innovative and envied. We are preserving a long-lasting body of documentary evidence of an important time in Canadian history for future generations to access.”
Having the collection available online is important for accessibility, both for researchers interested in the subject and for the Ugandan Asian community, which is spread across the country. The new online version allows Carleton to do more with the content, and gives it the ability to incorporate fundraising, new material and news and information about events all in one location.
“Carleton library’s Ugandan Asian Archive provides viewpoints and opinions on the 1972 expulsion that both historians and citizens would not likely find in published sources,” said Wayne Jones, university librarian. “We have engaged with the Ugandan immigrant community to build a rich resource of documents and oral history, and we are committed to promoting it. This is an important event in the history of both Canada and Uganda, and our archive helps to preserve that memory.”
Eventually the new website will become a portal to link to related Ugandan Asian material located both in Canada and abroad.
The new website features:
- Three interactive maps charting the arrival of Ugandan Asian refugees on chartered flights between September and November of 1972.
- Oral history interviews – 30 will be online initially and will grow over time.
- A document upload form where users can submit photos and articles.
- A monthly newsletter that will feature items from the collection and keep subscribers up to date on activities related to the archive.
About the Ugandan Asian Collection
In 1972, the president and military general of Uganda, Idi Amin, ordered the expulsion of all Ugandans of South Asian descent within 90 days. Canada responded to the international humanitarian need and resettled 7,000 refugees. The Carleton archive holds numerous personal stories from Ugandan Asian Canadians who recount their experiences of the expulsion and resettlement in Canada, told recently in this portrait series.
Comprised of newspaper clippings, oral histories, video recordings and a memoir of the Canadian immigration team in 1972 Kampala, the collection recounts an important part of Canada’s history. Through ongoing acquisition activities, new material continues to be added.
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