Media Advisory - Rally & Town Hall to Celebrate & Save the Archives

    WHAT: Rally and Town Hall to celebrate and preserve 108 years of the
             United Church of Canada/Victoria University Archives

                     WHEN: Tuesday, November 13, 12 noon

     WHERE: Rally at south-east corner, Charles St. W. and Queen's Park
    (across from ROM/planetarium), followed by gathering in the 2nd floor
                     chapel, Old Vic Building, room 213

           WHO: Supporters, students, researchers, faculty, staff

    TORONTO, Nov. 12 /CNW/ - A noon-hour rally to support saving the
108-year-old United Church of Canada/Victoria University Archives will begin
at the south-east corner of Charles Street West and Queen's Park tomorrow,
Tuesday Nov. 13.
    Organized by a coalition of concerned writers, researchers, historians
and archivists, the rally and town hall event were planned to bring the fate
of the Archives out from behind the University's closed doors, where the
decision to close the facility next month was made.
    Speakers include: Heidi Bohaker, Department of History, U of T
(aboriginal history); Barb Edwards, University of Toronto alumna
(African-Canadian history); Chris Moore, writer (popular history); Pamela
Klassen, Department of Religion, University of Toronto; Craig Heron,
Department of History, York University (workers' history).
    Federated with the University of Toronto, Victoria University has been
home for over a century to the archives of what became the United Church of
Canada. The research centre is currently known as the United Church of
Canada/Victoria University Archives and includes the records of Victoria
    After years of discussions with the University over the continuation of a
partnership agreement, the Church has announced that it will move its valuable
records from the University to its rented headquarters in Etobicoke. The
records of Victoria University are to remain where they are.
    While many believe the issue has been settled, the Save the Archives
Coalition sees the proposed move as a giant step backwards for the University
and research communities. More than 2,300 concerned individuals have signed an
on-line petition to preserve the records in their current location at 95
Charles Street West.
    The archives serves more than 3,000 researchers each year. Its primary
role is that of a research centre serving the public. Resources cover a wide
range of topics including the residential schools issue, environmental history
and social justice.
    In addition to the role of the archives in the Arts and Science Program
of Victoria University, it is a vital resource for the educational and
research programs of the University's theological institution, Emmanuel
    "This valuable archival collection, which touches on many aspects of the
religious, social, intellectual and political history of Canada, should not be
allowed to be removed from its downtown location and from the community that
it serves," says Coalition member Craig Heron, president of the Canadian
Historical Association and a history professor at York University.
    Prominent members of the Save the Archives Coalition include:

        Michael Bliss (Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto);
        Robert Bothwell (Mary Gluskin Chair of Canadian History, U of T);
        Craig Brown (Professor Emeritus of History, U of T);
        William Callahan (Professor Emeritus of History, U of T, former
        Principal of Victoria College);
        Ramsay Cook (Professor Emeritus of History, York University);
        Fraser Dunford (Executive Director, Ontario Genealogical Society);
        John English (Co-General Editor, Dictionary of Canadian Biography);
        Karolyn Smardz Frost (Executive Director, Ontario Historical
        Scott Goodine (President, Association of Canadian Archivists);
        Craig Heron (President, Canadian Historical Association, professor of
        History, York University);
        Roger Hutchinson (Professor Emeritus of Church and Society, former
        Principal, Emmanuel College, Victoria University).

For further information:

For further information: John Ankenman, (416) 506-9090, ext. 227, (416)

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