There is, to the best of our knowledge, no archival repository currently collecting primary or less commonly available secondary material related to the Air India bombing or its aftermath within the South Asian community or Canadian society generally. We are working to establish a digital collection for Air India material within McMaster University’s Digital Archive. The University Library’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections has a long history of building archival collections in areas such as Canadian history, authorship, and publishing; Canadian popular culture and music; warfare, particularly the Canadian and British experiences in the World Wars; and peace movements and pacifism, notably the archives of British philosopher, activist and social critic Bertrand Russell.
Working together with conference co-organizer Dr. Chandrima Chakraborty, the library will explore the collection of primary and secondary materials (e.g. personal scrapbooks, memorial books, published and unpublished art work, etc.) that will support research, study, and teaching on the Air India bombing. Dr. Chakraborty has been conducting interviews with Air India family members to learn more about memories of the Air India Flight 182 tragedy and its aftermath for her research project, “A Study of the Afterlives of the 1985 Air India Bombings.” These interviews will be included in this digital archive as audio files with accompanying transcripts, where permissions are in place. If you have questions about the interviews, please contact, Dr. Chandrima Chakraborty, Associate Professor, Department of English and Cultural Studies. Those interested in donating materials to the archive may contact the Division of Archives and Research Collections directly.
We will also videotape the conference sessions on May 6 & 7, 2016 and create a series of short videos to educate the general public about the Air India tragedy and its aftermath.