Connexions Archive & Library
Connexions Directory of Groups & Websites 2023

95 St. Joseph Street, Suite 104
Toronto, ON
M5S 3C2


Contact: Ulli Diemer

Purpose: The Connexions Archive & Library is Toronto-based project dedicated to keeping alive the rich history of grassroots movements for social justice.

Connexions preserves 'alternative' histories that rarely appear in the mainstream record, and makes them available online to a wide public, as well as in physical form to researchers and scholars. Established in 1975, the Connexions Archive preserves and digitally publishes materials spanning more than 50 years of grassroots activism. Connexions is:

* A resource to help the activists and scholars of today and tomorrow connect with and learn from the lives, the work, the writings, and the experiences of prior generations of citizen activists.

* A physical archive comprising tens of thousands of documents, newsletters, magazines, newspapers, posters, brochures, leaflets, books, newspaper clippings, buttons, postcards, audio recordings and other materials.

* An ever-expanding digital archive with more than 20,000 documents and images already available online, and more being added continuously.

* The Connexions Archive is an extremely active 'working archive' where volunteers and interns from around the world work together to digitize, abstract, index, and translate materials and make them available online.

* Connexions' internship program provides interesting and challenging work experience for Canadian and international interns. Interns and volunteers have come to Connexions from more than 25 countries, as well as from Canada.

* The Connexions website makes materials available to a wide national and international public. The carefully designed multi-level indexing system gives users and activists, students, scholars, and the general public, deeper and more relevant search results when they search for information, ideas, and sources. The website records more than 500,000 page views a month, and continues to grow.

* The Connexions Archive regularly provides graduate students and researchers with access to the materials in the physical collection, as well as digital materials which are not available online because of copyright, privacy, or technical restrictions.

The Connexions Archive & Library is currently seeking a permanent home for its collection and the people who work on it, either independently or in association with another institution or organization. Please contact us if you have suggestions, leads, or contacts for a suitable space or working arrangement or partnerhsip.

Mission Statement:

* The purpose of the Connexions Archive is to collect, preserve, organize, index, publish, and provide access to information and materials related to grassroots movements for social justice, and to educate the public about the work and contributions of these movements.

* The Connexions Archive works to keep alive the rich history of grassroots movements for social justice, and to enable movements today to learn from that history in shaping the future.

* The collection emphasis is on resources related to projects, groups, and movements in English Canada from the 1960s on. Since many of these movements have been involved in international issues, materials from other parts of the world may also be included where appropriate.

* The work of the Connexions Archive includes copying and digitzing materials in various formats to make them as widely available as possible. Where resources permit, documents may also be translated into other languages.

* To make the materials in the collection as accessible as possible, the Connexions Archive places a high priority on high standards in organizing, cataloguing, and indexing the materials.

* The Connexions Archives works to include interns, students, and volunteers in the work of the archive in order to encourage their interest and to develop their skills.

* The Connexions Archive is an educational resource for scholars, scholars, and members of the general public.

* The Connexions Archive works to establish a secure funding base to support its collection and programs. It seeks financial support from organizations, individuals, institutions, and other funding agencies and foundations.

Statement of Values

We believe .....

1. In the value of preserving the history of grassroots movements for social justice and making it accessible to new generations.

2. In the importance of keeping alive the memories, experiences, strategies, successes, failures, and visions of those who have worked for social justice over the years so future generations can learn from them and be inspired by them.

3. In the tradition of #history from below# #people's history # working to keep alive memories of resistance in the face of a political culture that insists there are no alternatives to the way things are, and that #resistance is futile#.

4. In the importance of diversity and pluralism, of recording and making available a wide range of approaches to social change and social justice. We aim, as best we can, to feature resources reflecting a variety of viewpoints and alternative approaches to social justice.

5. In the value of knowing our history, of knowing that people have been working at the grassroots for a better world for many decades and of learning about the problems they faced and how they tried to deal with them.

6. In the value of passing on the experience and knowledge of elders, and of people who have passed on, to the activists of today and tomorrow. These are threads of wisdom and experience that can be woven into the tapestries of our movements for change.

7. In the importance of sharing information as well as preserving it. Our goal is to make the contents of the archive available as widely as possible, in a variety of formats and languages.

8. In connecting people in different places. For people to act locally and think globally, it helps to know what people in other places are facing and how they are trying to bring about change.

9. In the values of democracy, civil liberties, freedom of speech, universal human rights, secularism, equality, economic justice, ecology, and the creation and preservation of community, which we seek to support through the Connexions Archive.

The Connexions Archive: Building on the past to shape the future.

Activities/Services: Education, Library, Research, Speakers

Budget: Less than $25,000

Founded: 1975

Languages: English

Resources: Books, Catalogue, Database, Directory, Handbooks, Journal, Magazine, Newsletter, Newspaper, Reports

Structure: Non-Profit

Subject Headings:

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