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Negotiating with Oral Histories at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

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Negotiating with Oral Histories at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

Clarkson, Ashley (2015) Negotiating with Oral Histories at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the transition of Pier 21 from a local heritage group to its designation as a national museum in 2009. How it is balancing its role as national historic site, with a large source community, and its mandate to represent the national history of Canadian immigration. The emphasis on intangible cultural heritage, or people’s recorded stories, rather than material artifacts, places Pier 21 in the position to adopt new technologies and to connect on-and offline interpretation. In the beginning Pier 21 brought together a community of immigrants and it was oral histories that helped activate that community in order to bring the institution to life. When Pier 21 is referred to as the ‘museum of memories,’ it invokes not only the memories rooted in the exhibits but in the memories that permeate the site itself. History happened here.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Clarkson, Ashley
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History
Date:January 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):High, Steven
Keywords:The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Museums, Oral History, Exhibits, Memory, Community Museums, National Museums, Multiculturalism, Digital History
ID Code:979646
Deposited By: ASHLEY CLARKSON
Deposited On:09 Jul 2015 14:44
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:49
Additional Information:An article stemming from this thesis is soon to be published in The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum entitled: Pier 21 Memories of Migration: Transforming Immigrant Shed into Living Immigrant Museum.

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