Tales from the Archive…
Coming to the International Centre in Orangeville as a volunteer, I didn’t know what to expect or what I would be doing for the next six months. It only took a couple weeks for me to be pulled into the FLK Archive Project. Since I’m currently living at the International Centre, Southern Ontario seemed like a good place to start organizing things.
Fung Loy Kok has been around since Master Moy started teaching the Taoist arts in 1970. Since that time, we’ve amassed a great deal of historical material. Our fiftieth anniversary is coming up, so this is the perfect time to start taking stock of what we have, and find a way to make it accessible for future generations.
So what did this project look like for me? First of all, I had to get a sense of what it actually was, and how I could contribute. This involved a lot of brainstorming, mind-mapping and generally thinking about the project (fun!). Also, looking in closets, bugging folks at the International Centre to walk me through anything they thought might be of interest, and pulling things out and scattering them over every available surface so that I could think about them better.
One of the exciting things about this project is rescuing things from obscurity! There is a ton of interesting material that has languished in filing cabinets and closets for years, and this is an enormous opportunity to dust them off and potentially show them the light by getting them online.
My background is in libraries, but I’ve always had an interest in archives and worked at the City of Vancouver Archives for a few months while I did my degree. Currently, my focus is on objects (photos, pamphlets, newsletters, annual reports) and digital files that are located at the International Centre, at D’Arcy Street and at Bathurst. And trust me, that should be enough to work with for now.
– Allison Hasselfield.