Monday, October 3, 2016

Since the beginning of the year the Initiatives of Change Ottawa office has been engaged in a new archival project aimed to transform the presentation and accessibility of the organization’s archive.

I first became involved with this project as a volunteer student through the Community Service Learning Centre at the University of Ottawa. During my short time as a volunteer I quickly became fascinated by the history that the archives had to offer. Thus, when Elaine Gordon, a senior IofC member who has been working on the archives as a volunteer for years approached me to assist her with designing a new, more accessible structure, I was thrilled to accept.

Over the spring and summer months the archives project continued to meet the challenges of sorting, dating and organizing the large array of documents dating from 1927 to the present.

A visit on August 25 from long-time IofC members Henry Heald and John Ayre reinforced the importance of preserving and revamping this archive.

Over their short visit we held a brief oral history session to record some of their thoughts and emotions that inspired their life-time dedication and involvement in Moral Re-Armament (now IofC).

 Personally witnessing the passion displayed by these men, I recognized that the personal letters, reports and speeches in the archive collection was the work of everyday people who transformed the organization, and whose stories deserve to be preserved.

The archive offers a unique perspective of the range of contributions from a variety of individuals who came together to make positive changes in the world. Through continuous development and inclusion of different sources, the Ottawa-based Canadian IofC archives is a valuable resource that allows past and future generations to  reconnect to the unique history of the organization.

Jessie Lang, Assistant Archivist, Ottawa