07 August 2008

Ethnic and cultural genealogy conference - Chinese-Canadian genealogy

This is one of a series of postings on presentations during the Genealogy and Local History (GENLOC) and the Reference and Information Services (RISS) sections of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) conference at Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, 6-7 August 2008.

This presentation Genealogy Outreach to Chinese-Canadians was by Janet Tomkins, genealogy librarian at the Vancouver Public Library.

She pointed out that public libraries genealogy activities should take consideration of the ethnic background and countries of origin of the communities served, which in Vancouver includes a Chinese community with a history back to the 1860s. She identified challenges associated with research relating to Chinese-Canadian ancestry and the Chinese diaspora.

The Vancouver Public Library addressed the need with a Chinese-Canadian Genealogy website with basic resources and a wiki. This compliments the LAC database with 98,361 references to Chinese immigrants who arrived in Canada between 1885 and 1949.

Mention was also made of an initiative by Simon Fraser University to make information from local historic Chinese newspapers available online.

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