Last summer, I had the opportunity to create a collection on the Internet Archive for the George Brown College Archives to provide online access to recently digitized college newsletters, student newspapers, annual reports, yearbooks, and images. I had been interested in creating a collection on the Internet Archive for a while, so this was a great learning opportunity for me. The Internet Archive does not have the most straight forward directions on how to upload content and create collections. This presented a challenge for me when starting the collection. I decided to produced a guide to using the Internet Archive to assist future contributors to the George Brown College Archives Collection and to provide a reference for myself when developing the collection. See below for this guide.

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This post is a “Reflexive Journal” entry written to fulfill the requirements for GLIS 649 Digital Curation. It reflects on our Wikipedia lecture and workshop that took place on January 30, 2018. This course was offered as part of Master of Information Studies (MISt) at McGill University.

Before this lecture, It had never occurred to me that Wikipedia was a powerful source of information. My education had conditioned me to dismiss Wikipedia as unreliable, and assume that it had no real effect on public knowledge. However, globally Wikipedia is the fifth-most frequently used site on the internet.[1] It attempts to accumulate “the sum of all human knowledge” by giving its users the power to construct and maintain its content. Much like other information resources, Wikipedia has been disproportionately written through the perspective of Western, white, cisgendered, males.[2][3][4] As a result, the content on Wikipedia has suffered from systemic bias and misinformation. All of which has been consumed by a broad audience.[5]

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As I have previously mentioned, I am currently researching, analyzing, and annotating documents for ALPHA Education’s Digital Archive Project as a volunteer. For this project, I was asked to discuss the content and broader historical context of each document.  Annotations are also expected to connect documents to APLHA Education’s mission, which is to foster awareness of Asia’s World War II history to further the values of justice, reconciliation, and peace. The following is a copy of my annotation for a declassified Biological Warfare (BW) Report written 28 June 1945 that investigates the Japanese use of BW in Changteh, Hunan Province, China. The attack, which took place on 4 November 1941, occurred when a low flying Japanese bomber plane dropped plague infected grains of rice and particles under the veil of heavy fog.  This document was declassified by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) on 14 August 2009.

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Colonialism & Erasure

Walking around the streets of Toronto, it is difficult to see traces of its long Indigenous history. As a direct result of colonialism, Indigenous ways of knowing and naming place were replaced with European knowledge systems. While Indigenous place names convey local knowledge about physical landscapes and their histories as a means for navigation, colonial place names in Canada are instead used to emphasize European monarchs, religions, prominent families, and meaningful locations in Europe.

Continue Reading "“Place Names Are Powerful”: Counter-Mapping Indigenous Spaces & Place Names"