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WORKING WITH THE PUBLIC

Supporting Canadians in their discovery of archives is necessary for archives to become a policy priority. As the general public is largely unfamiliar with archives, don't miss this opportunity to educate your community and share your excitement about the riches to be found in its documentary heritage.

There are many ways to encourage interest in archives in your area. Here are some suggestions:

  • Involve your friends. Next time you visit an archives, arrange to bring a friend or two. Help them find information about their ancestors, their hometown -- their areas of interest. They'll thank you for opening a new world of information to them.

  • Involve tourists. Encourage visitors to your area to get a more in-depth look at its history by visiting the local archives.

  • Involve teachers. Talk to teachers of history, social studies, aboriginal studies, and other relevant disciplines about the benefits of introducing primary sources to students. For students already keen on history, archives open a stimulating treasure trove of new resources; for those originally less interested, archives provide a more hands-on approach to history, making the student a detective putting together clues to the past.

  • Involve students. Offer to give a lecture on archival research methods in high school history classes.

  • Involve your community. Partner up with your local historical society to organize a heritage festival, public lectures, or an essay contest focusing on local history. Such an activity should present archives as an exciting and available knowledge resource.

  • Look out for new activists. Distribute the "Endangered Archives" leaflet (found in the Toolbox section) to potential archives advocates. Make this advocacy kit available to them. Remember: less than an hour a month of your involvement can impact the fate of archives in Canada. Take the time to help preserve the past.

Have you made contact with the public? The Canadian Council of Archives wants to hear about it! Let us know about what you're doing for archives in your community:

The Canadian Council of Archives
130 Albert Street
Room 501
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G4
Telephone: (613) 565-1222
Fax: (613) 565-5445
Email: cnichols@archivescanada.ca


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