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Research Guides

Japanese Canadian Archival Collections

This guide provides background information on Japanese Canadian archival collections held at the University of Toronto Libraries


David Suzuki, Art Miki and others at the Ottawa Rally (April 14, 1988) - Images from the Shirley Yamada fonds


As of late 2013, the University of Toronto Libraries has collaborated with a number of members of the Japanese Canadian Community in an effort to collect and preserve archival materials related to the history of Japanese Canadians -- more specifically related to the Japanese Canadian internment and redress. Recognizing the existence of the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, as well as the Library and Archives of Canada, both carriers of national mandates, the University of Toronto Libraries concentrates on collecting materials with a strong Toronto focus. The main determining factor was the acceptance of donations of redress materials from many Japanese Canadians who had been uprooted and built their post-war lives in Ontario. Toronto became a centre for redress activism, and many leading figures of the movement were Toronto residents including Wesley Fujiwara, Stan Hiraki, and Shirley Yamada. Keeping the materials that tell the stories where they originated aligns with the donors' wishes of preserving the materials locally.

The various collections include documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, audio-visual materials, government documents and other types of ephemera. Originally, all materials were being acquired by theThomas Fisher Rare Book Library, and some audio-visual materials are kept at the Media Commons. The most recent collections are being acquired and processed under the Japanese Canadian Collections Archivist of the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library