Starting this week, instead of biking past the Miles Nadal JCC on my way to the University of Toronto’s St George campus, I’ll be taking the Bathurst bus north to the Ontario Jewish Archives. I recently graduated from the University of Toronto’s Master of Information program, where I specialized in archives and records management. I spent the past two years working at the University of Toronto Libraries’ web archiving program, and the past year volunteering at The ArQuives (formerly the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives), where I am currently processing the Inside Out LGBT+ Film Festival fonds.
As an archivist with a special interest in web archiving and community archives, I’m particularly concerned with the preservation of the very recent past and present. I was immediately drawn to the Penny Rubinoff Fellowship as an opportunity to continue to do this work, as well as to further develop my skills and acquire a deeper understanding of the operational aspects of a community archive. Having become familiar with Toronto’s early Jewish community while conducting research for the History of the Hospital for Sick Children project, I am curious to learn more about Jewish history throughout Ontario, and how this community archive works to build relationships with and preserve the histories of these many diverse communities.
Over the next four months, I will be engaged in all aspects of the Ontario Jewish Archives: accessioning materials, assisting researchers with reference requests, planning community collaborations, spotlighting materials on the website, and gaining insight into the operational aspects of the OJA. I am particularly excited to be on board to observe how the archive team plans and prepares to adopt a new digital preservation system. I have been warmly welcomed into the organization, and look forward to all that the next few months have to offer.