QAHN Heritage Talks Online (No. 12):
“Of all national assets, archives are the most precious, they are the gifts of one generation to another, and the extent of our care of them marks the extent of our civilisation.” Sir Arthur Doughty, Head of Public Archives of Canada, 1904-1935
Archives tell the tale of the past. They acquire, organize and make accessible the documentary heritage that tells the stories of people, institutions, and events so they can be revisited and examined by future generations. Archives also play an important role in democratic society, helping to keep governments accountable. Community Archives like the Italian-Canadian Archives of Quebec strive to document and make available the history of important and often neglected parts of our society. The history of the communities comes alive through the very diverse stories of the people, organizations, and institutions that grew out of the communities they document. These archives preserve the grass roots history that is so vital to a full understanding of who we are and what we have done.