South Asian Canadian Digital Archive
The South Asian Canadian Digital Archive (SACDA) is a new initiative (2017 – present) that will provide access to archival data, research, materials, sites, and information about 100+ years of South Asian community history to all Canadians. These archival materials are being collected from personal collections, Canadian public archives, museum-curated materials, and research databases at educational institutions. As a pan-Canadian digital archive, the SACDA initiative will provide availability of historical data in an easy to access portal for scholars and the general public. SACDA is also creating a network of pan-Canadian scholars focusing on South Asian Canadian Studies.
SACDA is looking to collaborate with scholars, researchers, archivists, community historians, activists and others working in the field of South Asian Canadian Studies to become involved in this initiative. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The images and collections below have been collected by the South Asian Studies Research Institute.
Click on the tabs below to explore some of our archives!
Abbotsford Community Stories:
About: This collection is comprised of 69 interviews, conducted by the SASI of early South Asian migrants to the Abbotsford region. These community members were instrumental in establishing the Gur Sikh Temple in Abbotsford.
Access: A narrative of each interview, along with images supplied by participants, are available on the Canadian Sikh Heritage website:
Dr. Durai Pal Pandia:
About: Dr. D.P. Pandia (1905 – 2009), a lawyer, fought for the vote for South Asian Canadians. The SASI holds several documents relating to Dr. Pandia’s work, including a timeline of his life and work, letters, telegrams, and official documents written by or addressed to Dr. Pandia, as well as images.
Access: This collection is partially available online via the Sikh Heritage Museum’s exhibition the (Dis)Enfranchisement 1904 – 1947: The Forty-Year Struggle for the Vote, which was curated by the SASI. This can be accessed clicking on the following link: http://canadiansikhheritage.ca/past-exhibitions/ .
Full access to the Dr. D.P. Pandia collection is currently not available online but is available on a request basis. To access this collection please contact the SASI.
Komagata Maru Centennial Collection:
About: The SASI has created several materials related to the Centennial of the Komagata Maru episode in 1914. Including in this collection is material outlining the history of the Komagata Maru, an exhibit of the Komagata Maru at the Sikh Heritage Museum, a full video recording of the play “That Land Beyond the Waves,” (also published as a book available for purchase), an extensive bibliography, as well as a timeline of the Komagata Maru.
Access: The SASI’s Komagata Maru Centenial Collection can be accessed online via the following link: https://www.southasiancanadianheritage.ca/koma-gata-maru/
For more information on the Komagata Maru, please visit the SFU Database Komagata Maru: Continuing the Journey.
Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project:
About: The Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project (PCLP) is a project undertaken by the South Asian Studies Institute (SASI) and the Royal BC Museum (RBCM). The PCLP seeks to preserve and share over 100 years of Punjabi community history in BC. In Phase 1 of the project included a Food History Project and a Learning Portal housed at the RBCM. It also included the creation of the South Asian Historic Places Project through Heritage BC.
For Phase 2: History Across the Regions Project (HARP), the collection is comprised of over 90 interviews in seven different regions: Abbotsford, Duncan and Vancouver Island, Golden, Kelowna, Prince George, Surrey, and Vancouver, BC. Participants’ interviews are summarized in narrative format. Consultaiton reports in each region, narratives, participant photographs, and participants’ personal archival materials form the collection. Highlight videos of each region showcasing main themes are also available.
Access: To access Phase 1 materials, including the Food History Project and the Learning Portal, please visit: https://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/about/explore/centre-arrivals/punjabi-intercultural-history-project .
To access the PCLP’s interviews with Punjabi community members in BC and other Phase 2 materials, please visit www.southasiancanadianheritage.ca/pclp. Full videos and transcriptions are available on a request basis by contacting the SASI.