Selected Archive Projects


A far-from-complete list of archive projects concerned with grassroots movements for social justice. Some are major projects, others are smaller. Some are physical archives, some digital/Internet-based, some are both.
If you know of others that should be added to the list, please let us know at mailroom [at] connexions.org. If you have a collection of social justice materials in your basement/locker, etc., and would like to participate in an exploration of co-operative archiving and/or searching for shared space, please fill out this form and email it to Connexions.
For more information related to grassroots archives and peoples’ history, try these headings in the Connexions Subject Index: Libraries/Archives Libraries Online ArchivesDigital ArchivingHistory/Archives Historical Records Destruction of Libraries and Archives Photography ArchivesCo-operatives/HistoryHistory/Canadian Labour History Left History Oral HistoryPeople's History Women’s History Workers’ History .


Canadian

Connexions
A working archive holding a substantial collection of materials from grassroots groups, primarily Canadian English-language materials from the 1960s to the present. A team of volunteers and interns works on cataloguing, indexing, and scanning the materials. The Connexions website also features thousands of documents from a variety of sources in addition to the Connexions Archive itself. Archive-related content includes Connexipedia and Seeds of Fire.
www.connexions.org and www.connexions.org/CxArchive.html

Alternative Toronto 1980 - 1995
An online community archive and historical map of Toronto’s alternative cultures, scenes and spaces of the 1980s and early 1990s.
www.alternativetoronto.ca

Anarchist Archive at the University of Victoria
Devoted to the study of anarchism, with special focus on history of the movement in Canada.

ArQuives
Mandate is to acquire, preserve, organize, and give public access to information and materials in any medium, by and about LGBTQ2+ people, primarily produced in or concerning Canada; and maintain a research library, international research files, and an international collection of queer and trans periodicals. Based in Toronto.
arquives.ca/

Canadian Political Parties and Political Interest Groups
Archives the websites of all of the national Canadian political parties, and a number of special interest groups across the political spectrum.
archive-it.org/collections/227

Canadian Women’s Movement Archives
Compiled by an independent project which ceased functioning in 1992. The collection is now housed in the University of Ottawa Library.
http://uottawa.ca.libguides.com/content.php?pid=194014&sid=1626252

Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada (LGLC)
an interactive digital resource for the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) history in Canada from 1964 to 1981. The project takes two books, Don McLeod’s chronologies Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada Volumes 1 and 2 (ECW Press, 1996; Homewood Books, 2014), and has converted them into a database that allows users to explore the people, places, events, and publications that defined Canadian lesbian and gay liberation history.
lglc.ca/

Lost Toronto
Photos of Toronto from days gone by.
lost-toronto.blogspot.com/ and losttoronto2.wordpress.com/

Mural Map of Canada
Mural Routes activates communities by facilitating the creation of responsive, collaborative murals, and provides opportunities to build and advance careers in mural art.
muralroutes.ca/map/

Myseum of Toronto
“Toronto’s musuem without walls.”
www.myseumoftoronto.com/

Nova Scotia Historical Newspapers
Digital archive of newspapers published in eight different Nova Scotia communities over a span of 230 years.
https://archives.novascotia.ca/newspapers/

OPIRG Poster Archive
A website with posters produced by OPIRG-York and OPIRG Toronto from the 1980s to the present.
archive.opirgyork.ca

Our Generation
Our Generation was a left-wing magazine published in Montreal from the 1960s to the 1980s. Many of the issues published are available as PDFs.
Our Generation

People’s Archive of Rural Ontario
Voices and stories of rural Ontario.
www.ruralontario.org

Psychiatric Survivor Archive of Toronto
Dedicated to ensuring that the rich history of people who have experienced the psychiatric system is preserved for our community and the wider community as a resource from which everyone can share and learn.
www.psychiatricsurvivorarchives.com

Rear-View Mirror: Toronto Activist Art (1976-1996)
A snapshot of Toronto activist art from the 1976 general strike to the 1996 Days of Action.
rearview.workersassembly.ca/items/show/74

Rise Up Feminist Archive
A digital archive of feminist activism in Canada from the 1970s to the 1990s.
Riseupfeministarchive.ca

Ross Dowson archive
An archive of materials related to Canadian Trotskyist Ross Dowson (1917-2002). Some documents are online; with others being digitized.
www.rossdowson.com

Socialist History Project
Primarily materials related to the Trotskyist movement in Canada.
www.socialisthistory.ca

Sources Bookshelf
The Sources Bookshelf features books on a range of topics, with particular emphasis on books related to journalism, media, censorship, public relations, and research. It also features a careful selection of high-quality reference books and in-depth expert investigations on a variety of current topics.
Sources Bookshelf

Sources News Release Archive
An archive of all news releases posted on the Sources.com website
Sources News Release Archive

Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library at the University of Toronto
Several collections related to radical history, including: French Revolution collection (books, pamphlets and periodicals on the French Revolution); Spanish Civil War Collection (formed with the assistance of the Canadian Committee for a Democratic Spain, contains books, pamphlets, posters and some manuscript material, as well as historical works on Spain during the 1930s); Czechoslovakia 1968 (manuscripts and printed matter on the 1968 uprising); Solidarnosc (publications by members of the Solidarity and other workers’ movements in Poland); the Robert S. Kenney Collection (documents related Communism and other radical movements).
fisher.library.utoronto.ca



Joni Mitchell: Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you've got till it’s gone. Pave paradise, put up a parking lot.


Outside Canada

Alternative Press Center / Alternative Press Index
A subject index of the alternative press (mainly U.S.) with an extensive physical archive of alternative publications.
www.altpress.org

International Institute of Social History
Maintains a collection, conducts research and offers a range of services in the field of social history in general and labour history in particular. Based in the Netherlands.
www.iisg.nl

Marxists Internet Archive
Large archive of the writings of Marx and Engels and others in the Marxist tradition, broadly defined.
www.marxists.org



Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), almost forty thousand men and women from fifty-two countries, including 2,800 Americans, volunteered to travel to Spain and join the International Brigades to help fight fascism. The U.S. volunteers served in various units and came to be known collectively as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. ALBA works to preserve the legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
alba-valb.org

Aletta Institute for Women’s History
Home of the International Archives for the Women’s Movement. Books, magazines, works of music, photographs, posters, diaries, letters, all sorts of household and personal objects relevant to women and women’s lives.
www.aletta.nl

American Native Press Archives
Extensive collection of Native American periodicals.
www.anpa.ualr.edu

Anarchy Archives
An archive of anarchist writings by classic authors such as Rocker, Goldman, Proudhon, and Malatesta.
http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/index.htmlu

Arab Image Foundation
Collection of over 500,000 photographic objects and documents from and related to the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora.
arabimagefoundation.com/

Black Liberation and Civil Rights in the U.S. (1800s - )
Documents relating specifically to information on the Black Panther Party and their revolutionary struggle to overturn the U.S. system of racial and working class oppression, as well as the Civil Rights Movement; and the many analyses by Marxist organization on the "Black Question".
Black Liberation and Civil Rights in the U.S. (1800s - )

Bracero History Archive
The Bracero History Archive collects and makes available the oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero program, a guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964. Millions of Mexican agricultural workers crossed the border under the program to work in the United States.
Bracero History Archive

Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center
The Carlisle Indian Industrial School is a site of memory for many Native peoples, as well as a source of study for students and scholars around the globe. The website represents an effort to aid the research process by bringing together, in digital format, a variety of resources that are physically preserved in various locations around the United States.
Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center

Center for Socialist History
A project to promote research and publication in the field of socialist history. (U.S.)
http://csh.gn.apc.org/TopWindow/pages/WebsiteTop.htm

Cultural Correspondence
A digital edition of Cultural Correspondence, a critical review of popular culture, born from the collapse of the New Left and hopes for a new beginning of a social movement, intermittently published in Providence from 1975 to 1985.
Cultural Correspondence

The Diggers Archive
The Diggers emerged in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury in the 1960s. The Digger Archives is an ongoing Web project to preserve and present the history of this group.
The Diggers Archive

Docs Populi
Dedicated to documenting and publishing oppositional artwork of the late 20th century.
www.docspopuli.org

The Freedom Archives
Materials from the late-60s to the mid-90s chronicling the progressive history of the Bay Area, the United States, and international solidarity movements.
www.freedomarchives.org

Emma Goldman Papers
Documents of the anarchist Emma Goldman.
http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Goldman/

Free Speech Movement Archives
Documents related to the Berkeley Free Speech Movement of the 1960s.
www.fsm-a.org

Harvey Richards Media Archive
The Harvey Richards Media Archive contains a treasure of images of the political and social upheavals of the 1960s on the west coast of the United States and of the devastating impact of capitalist resource exploitation in western forests, among other subjects.
Harvey Richards Media Archive

History Archive of the German Revolution 1918-1923
A history archive dedicated to the documentation, analysis and interpretation of the events surrounding the German workers revolutions of 1918 through 1923.
History Archive of the German Revolution 1918-1923

History from Below
DInternational network of historian-activists, artists and agitators.
http://radical.history-from-below.net

I.F. Stone Archive
An archive of I.F. Stone's Weekly, the newsletter published by I.F. Stone from 1953 to 1971. All issues between January 17, 1953 and December 1, 1971 are online.
I.F. Stone Archive

Interference Archive
Objects created as part of U.S. social movements: posters, flyers, publications, photographs, moving images, audio recordings, and other printed matter.
http://interferencearchive.org

International Worker’s Organisations (1847 - )
In-depth documentary history of these efforts of organising workers regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or border; the effort to organise and create collaboration and co-operation between workers the world over in order to win the world for those who make it run.
International Worker’s Organisations (1847 - )

Israeli Left Archive
Devoted mainly to the radical left and the women’s peace movement in Israel during the sixties, seventies and the eighties.
Israeli Left Archive

John Gray Website
A collection of documents related to libertarian socialism.
www.geocities.com/~johngray/

Kate Sharpley Library
Anarchist history collection. (U.S.)
www.katesharpleylibrary.net

Ken Knabb Archive
A large collection of documents from the international Situationist movement and related movements.
Ken Knabb ArchiveFinding Aid

The Koori History Website Project
Information on Black Australia’s 240 year struggle for justice.
Koori History Website Project

Labadie Library
Radical history collection (U.S.)
www.lib.umich.edu/labadie-collection

Labor Film Database
Over 1,700 films and videos are listed here, searchable by title, director, actors and/or keywords.
Labor Film Database

Leather Archives & Musuem
The Leather Archives & Museum is dedicated to the compilation, preservation, and maintenance of leather, kink, and fetish lifestyles.
www.leatherarchives.org

Libcom
British-based libertarian communist website with a large collection of current and archived articles.
libcom.org

Library of the Turtle
A small collection of ‘texts in the history of struggle’.
www.voiceoftheturtle.org/library/index.php

Mapping the Underground/Alternative Press 1965-1975
These interactive maps below more than 1,500 underground, alternative, and other kinds of unorthodox publications from the decade between 1965 and 1975.
Mapping the Underground/Alternative Press 1965-1975

Marx & Engels papers
The original papers of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, World Classics, are digitized and now online accessible. The papers can be consulted from anywhere and by anyone who logs into the catalogue website of the International Institute of Social History. Access is open and free.
Marx & Engels papers

Marx Memorial Library
The Library is home to a number and variety of archives and collections including the full run of the Daily Worker and Morning Star, The International Brigade Archive, Bernal Peace Library, Klugnmann Collection and an extensive Photograph Library.
www.marx-memorial-library.org

Marxism and Workers’ Organisations
Writings of Marxists on Trade Unions, the General Strike, Soviets and Working Class Organisation.
Marxism and Workers’ Organisations

May Day Rooms
MDR states that its growing collections, based in London, ’challenge the widespread assault on collective memory and historical continuity by countering those prevalent narratives of historical inevitability and political pessimism.“
www.maydayrooms.org/

Mine Accidents and Disasters (Australia)
Documenting mine accidents and disasters in Australia.
www.mineaccidents.com.au/

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Radio Broadcasts - Archive
An archive of Mumia Abu-Jamal's radio essays and commentaries. Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning journalist and political prisoner who chronicles the human condition.
Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Radio Broadcasts - Archive

ONE Lesbian & Gay Archives
The largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world. (U.S.)
www.onearchives.org

Memorial Society (Russia)
Documents relevant to oppression and dissent in Russia.
www.memo.ru

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
Working to locate, document, digitise, and provide access to all archival materials related to Nelson Mandela.
http://archives.nelsonmandela.org

Pacifica Radio Archives
Chronicling the political, cultural and artistic movements of the second half of the 20th century, Pacifica radio programs include documentaries, performances, discussions, debates, drama, poetry readings, commentaries and radio arts.
www.pacificaradioarchives.org

Palestine Poster Project Archive
An online collection of thousands of posters from, or related to, Palestine.
palestineposterproject.org

Palestine Remembered
Preserve the memories and the experiences of Palestinian people around the world, especially the Palestinians refugees.
www.palestineremembered.com

Paul Goodman - Writing on the Web
A selection of the writings of the social critic Paul Goodman.
www.preservenet.com/theory/Goodman.html

People’s Archive of Rural India
Project on rural India consisting of an archive which depicts its diverse and complex countryside.
People’s Archive of Rural India

Prometheus Library (US)
A working library of American and international Marxist history, documentation, and related interests, maintained by the Trotskyist League.
http://prl.org

Raya Dunayevskaya Collection
The writings of the Marxist-Humanist writer Raya Dunayevskaya.
Raya Dunayevskaya Collection

Root & Branch: a libertarian socialist journal
A partial archive of the 1970s libertarian socialist publication.
Root & Branch

Sinistra.net
Online Archives of the Communist Left
www.sinistra.net

Situationist International Anthology
Texts of the Situationist International.
Situationist International Anthology

Situationist International Text Library
An ongoing project of uploading pieces of the wealth of Situationist-related literature. Entire books, lengthy articles, excerpts from the journals Potlatch and Internationale Situationniste, and newspaper articles are just a few of the files to be found here.
Situationist International Text Library

Slave Narratives
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP).
Slave Narratives

Sojourner Truth Organization Electronic Archive
The Sojourner Truth Organization was an American revolutionary group based largely in Chicago during the 1970s and 1980s. This archive serves as a resource for STO's newspapers (Insurgent Worker), pamphlets, shop leaflets, theoretical journals (Urgent Tasks, Tendency Newsletter), collaborative works (Collective Works), and others.
Sojourner Truth Organization Electronic Archive

South Sudan: Remembering the Ones We Lost
Remembering The Ones We Lost is a public memorial that aims to name all victims of conflict and armed violence in South Sudan. This unified and public recognition of individual lives being lost through violence is accomplished through the collective efforts of individuals, communities and institutions to name victims. This initiative hopes to bring attention to the shared suffering, give additional meaning to cries for peace and be a tool for understanding and reconciliation amongst South Sudanese individuals and communities.
Remembering the Ones We Lost

Spunk Library
Documents on anarchism, libertarian socialist and related topics. The content has not been updated since 2002, but the collection assembled to that point is still preserved online.
Spunk Library

Studs Terkel Radio Archive
Over the course of his 45 years on WFMT radio, Studs Terkel discussed every aspect of 20th-century life with movers, shakers, artists, celebrities, and working folks. From civil rights to labor to jazz, his work spanned an impressive array of topics and figures. These enchanting, historically-significant interviews are now being made available online.
Studs Terkel Radio Archive

Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Collections relating to labour and social history; the history of the Left, the place of the worker in American society, the evolution of labour law, women's history, immigrant history, and more. (U.S.)
http://www.nyu.edu/library/bobst/research/tam/collections.html

Texas Archives of Autonomous Marxism
Documents related to the history of autonomous Marxism, maintained by Harry Cleaver.
https://webspace.utexas.edu/hcleaver/www/txarchintro.html

University of Minnesota Human Rights Library
Extensive collection of official human rights documents such as UN treaties.
www1.umn.edu/humanrts

U.S.A Radical, Leftist & Marxist Journals
Focuses primarily on Leftist and Marxist publications and periodicals. The largest collection of online American communist, socialist and left journals & publications in the world. Containing thousands of issues of these newspapers and magazines it represents the documentary history of the U.S. Left in high resolution PDFs.
U.S.A Radical, Leftist & Marxist Journals

Women and Marxism
This archive contains more than 70 authors writing about both women's issues and Marxism. The classic texts are most heavily represented.
Women and Marxism

H.K. Yuen Social Movement Archive
Primary source artifacts of San Francisco Bay Area based social movements from the 1960s and 1970s.
www.docspopuli.org/articles/Yuen.html

Zochrot
Zochrot (“Remembering”) seeks to raise public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba, especially among Jews in Israel, who bear a special responsibility to remember and amend the legacy of 1948.
www.zochrot.org



Nelson Mandela: Anyone who has explored the world of archives will know that it is a treasure house, one that is full of surprises, crossing paths, dead ends, painful reminders and unanswered questions.


General online archives that include some social justice materials

ibiblio
A conservancy of freely available information, including software, music, literature, art, history, science, politics, and cultural studies.
www.ibiblio.org

Internet Archive
A project devoted to preserving the content of Internet sites. The Wayback Machine crawls a large number of websites on an intermittent basis and preserves snapshots of what it finds.
www.archive.org



Mumia abu Jamal: Before this generation goes on to its ancestors, we should, we must, do our level best to pass on our lessons, so that they live in our people’s minds and lives.


Institutional archives

Library and Archives Canada
Canada’s pre-eminent archive, charged with the mandate of preserving Canada’s archival heritage. Subject to Harperization in 2012 with significant cuts to funding and staffing.
www.collectionscanada.ca

Archives of Ontario
The official archives of the Province of Ontario.
www.archives.gov.on.ca

City of Toronto Archives
The official archives of the City of Toronto.
www.toronto.ca/archives

Anglican Church of Canada Archives
www.anglican.ca/archives/incanada/

United Church of Canada Archives
www.unitedchurcharchives.ca/

World Council of Churches Library & Archives
archives.oikoumene.org/en/

Directory of Canadian Archives
www.cdncouncilarchives.ca/directory.html



Seamus Milne: The battle over history is never really about the past - it’s about the future.


Archive-related associations and projects

Alternative Libraries - Montréal
A network of resource centres and libraries maintained by activist groups in Montréal; working on a shared database of their holdings.
http://alternativelibraries.org

Association of Canadian Archivists
www.archivists.ca

Council of Canadian Archives
www.cdncouncilarchives.ca

Librarians and Archivists with Palestine
librarianswithpalestine.org

Progressive Librarians Guild (U.S.)
Providing a forum for the open exchange of radical views on library issues.
www.libr.org

Radical Reference
Providing a forum for the open exchange of radical views on library issues.
http://radicalreference.info

Toronto Workers History Project
A group of workers, unionists, professors, students, artists, teachers, librarians, educators, researchers, community activists, and retirees dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the history of working people in Toronto.
http://twhp.ca/




If you know of other archives that should be added to the above list, please let us know at mailroom [at] connexions.org.
If you have a collection of social justice materials in your basement/locker, etc., and would like to participate in an exploration of co-operative archiving and/or searching for shared space, on donating them to an archive, please fill out this form and email it to Connexions.



Further Reading

People’s History, Memory, & Archives Gateway

Memory as Resistance: Grassroots Archives and the Battle of Memory

Collective Memory, Archives, and the Connexions project: An interview

Is that an archive in your basement... or are you just hoarding?

The Connexions Archive: securing a future for the past

Collective Memory and Cultural Amnesia - Other Voices, December 17, 2017

General History Gateway

Oral History & Memoirs Gateway

Radical & Left History Gateway

People’s History, Memory, & Archives Gateway





Memory Resistance Grassroots Archives People’s History

William Faulker: The past is never dead, it’s not even past.

Utah Phillips: Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through and everything they gave their lives to, and every song they created, and every poem that they laid down flows down to me - and if I take the time to ask, and if I take the time to see, and if I take the time to reach out, I can build that bridge between my world and theirs. I can reach down into that river and take out what I need to get through this world.

George Orwell: Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.

Ulli Diemer: The social transformation we are working for is a long revolution - a process that requires the efforts of generations of activists.

Michael Riordon: Each life will never come again, and a whole range of knowledge passes with each person.

Ulli Diemer: One of the problems with our society is that we believe everything has to be new and different. I don't apologize for having ideas that are

Wangari Maathai: Before anything happens to me I want to know that the seeds have really been planted, that things will carry on changing.

Oscar Wilde: Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

William Least Heat Moon: We can’t select our ancestors, but they, often in ways never to be guessed, can select pieces of our future.

Pia Barros: The memory of the vanquished is dangerous for the conquerors.

When an old man dies a library burns to the ground

William Morris: Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes, turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name.

Utah Phillips: The long memory is the most radical idea in America. That long memory has been taken away from us. You haven't gotten it in your schools. You're not getting it on your television. You're being leapfrogged from one crisis to the next. Mass media contributed to that by taking the great movements that we've been through and trivializing important events. No, our people's history is like one long river. It flows down from way over there. And everything that those people did and everything they lived flows down to me, and I can reach down and take out what I need, if I have the courage to go out and ask questions.

Ulli Diemer: We are part of a movement for justice that stretches across continents and across generations. People have always resisted injustice, and always sought to create a world based on values of community, sharing, freedom and justice. We are part of a continuum.

Milan Kundera: The struggle of humanity against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.

Christopher Lasch: There is history that remembers and history that arises from a need to forget.

William Least Heat Moon: Memory, that force which our humanity, our humanness, our civilization, our lives and lives, proceed. We can survive without morality or arithmetic or logic, but without memory, we haven't a chance. We are who we are and where we are in no insignificant measure because of immaterial memories.

George Orwell: Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.

Heinrich Heine: Wherever they burn books they will also end up burning people.

William Least Heat Moon: A human’s best chance for something approximating life everlasting lies in the memory of others.

Ulli Diemer: We need all the help we can get in overthrowing capitalism, including the help of people who are dead.

You are not expected to complete the work in your lifetime. Neither must you refuse to do your part.

Ulli Diemer: We’re not going to stop working for justice just because we’re dead.