On-line archive to preserve Canadian war experiences

October 9, 2000 - 5:00pm

Malaspina University-College history instructor Dr. Stephen Davies is working on a project to preserve the experience of Canadians during times of war, and he is looking for letters, postcards, or photos.

Davies is director of The Canadian Letters and Images Project, an on-line archive that will record Canadian war experience, from any war, as told through the letters and images of Canadians themselves.

"Too often the story told of Canada at war has been one of great battles and great individuals, an approach that unfortunately misses the 'ordinary' Canadian and the richness of their everyday experience," Davies said.

"The objective of the Canadian Letters and Images Project is to let Canadians tell their own story in their own words by creating a permanent on-line archive preserving Canada's wartime correspondence from the battlefront and from the home front."

The Project will collect and recreate the personal side of the wartime experience before such materials are forever lost or destroyed. Davies feels that each piece of correspondence is a valuable artifact linking Canadian to their past and, when seen in combination with many others, that single letter can help to tell a remarkable story of the unyielding spirit of a country at war.

A searchable on-line archive will be created as a resource for scholars, students, and others interested in the personal aspect of Canada at war.
When submitting correspondence, transcriptions or photocopies of the originals are also welcomed. If you are sending a photocopy, please be certain that it is a good quality copy to ensure that the letter is accurately transcribed. Originals can be returned by the Project if requested, but it will be necessary to allow sufficient time to process and transcribe the originals.

Davies is asking individuals who plan to submit materials to include any biographical details about the author of the letter (such as age, birth, death, etc.), about the recipient of the letter, the relationship of the sender to recipient (i.e., son to mother), and any other information that might be useful to provide meaning and context to the letter.

For more information, please contact Davies at 753-3245 ext. 2131 or email: letters@viu.ca.

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