> Indo-Canadian collection to enrich online project

Indo-Canadian collection to enrich online project

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Eric Swanick, Special Collections, 778.782.4626, eswanick@sfu.ca.
Terry Lavender, PAMR, 778.782.2154

June 10, 2008
Simon Fraser University Library is now home to a collection of 300 photographs and a number of taped interviews that provide a glimpse into the lives of the Indo-Canadian pioneers who came to B.C. from 1900 - 1950.

The collection, donated by Rajinder Kohaly, gives scholars and the general public access to a rich new source of information about Canada’s multicultural history.

Kohaly’s husband Inderjit Kohaly started building the collection at age 72. Determined to contribute to Canada’s understanding of its past, he fought ill health and spent considerable sums of his own money travelling across B.C. to contact Indo-Canadian families.

Says Eric Swanick, head of SFU Special Collections, “The Kohaly Collection is a valuable addition to SFU Library’s two other oral history collections of Indo-Canadians, one created by Dr. Gurcharn Basran and Dr. B. Singh Bolaria and the other by Dr. Hari Sharma (SFU professor emeritus).”

The tapes have been digitized and will become available as mp3 files through the Internet as part of the Multicultural Canada Project.

Multicultural Canada, a multi-stakeholder project led by SFU, aims to preserve the history and heritage of Canada’s minority groups by collecting and digitizing multicultural collections of newspapers, magazines, audio tapes, photographs, local histories, speeches, letters and oral histories that currently reside in a variety of locations.

The first of these collections and educational materials will become available online this month at http://www.multiculturalcanada.ca/, at no cost to users. Interactive educational tools and resources will be available in French and English.