Collections

The following collections have been donated to the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University with the assistance of the Portuguese Canadian History Project:

Abílio Cipriano Marques’ collection consists of a copy his third book, Poemas e Aventuras do Loiro da Ribeira (Poems and Adventures of the Blond of Ribeira), published in 2013; cassette tapes of him composing his oral poetry and reciting it to friends at community cafés; and his editor’s (Ilda Januário) annotated transcripts. This collection was donated in November 2013. It is currently being processed.

Domingos Marques’ collection was the first to be assessed and deposited by the PCHP.  It contains material from the Movimento Comunitário Português, a social platform created by a small group of social workers based out of the Toronto’s West End YMCA; all the issues of the Portuguese-Canadian newspaper Comunidade (1975-1979), as well as a collection of photos and art used in its publication; various issues of the newspaper Luso-Canadiano (1958-1971), a politically charged Portuguese-Canadian newspaper produced by a group of political exiles based in Montreal; various issues of other Portuguese-Canadian press, including those of the Aliança dos Clubes e Associações Portuguesas do Ontário (ACAPO), the Correio Português (1963-?), Silva Magazine (1996-1998), among others; electoral literature produced and amassed during Domingos Marques’ political campaigns for MSSB trustee in 1988, 1991 and 1994; interview transcripts, photos and other material collected by Domingos Marques for his two books on the history of the Portuguese in Canada – 25 Anos no Canadá: Imigrantes Portugueses (1978) with João Medeiros and With Hardened Hands. A Pictorial History of Portuguese Immigration to Canada in the 1950s (1993) with Prof. Manuela Marujo; and an assorted collection of material gathered by Domingos Marques throughout his civic, political, and professional involvement in the community. See the finding aid for this collection here.

Felipe Gomes, one of the producers of the documentary Strong Hearts, Steady Hands (2004), directed by Carol Coffey, donated the film’s raw footage, which includes over 50 hours of interviews with Portuguese immigrants and descendants across Canada and in Portugal. This collection was donated on April 29, 2013.

Ilda Januário’s collection contains her notes and interview transcripts produced during her work as a Senior Research Officer at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), the Centre for Franco-Ontario Studies (CREFO), and the Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW), focusing on Portuguese women in Quebec. Ilda was involved in various volunteer activities at the school board and Portuguese community initiatives. Her collection contains the papers from the Comité Lar dos Idosos (2002-2006) – an attempt at creating a Portuguese centred home for the elderly – and from the Portuguese-Canadian Coalition for Better Education (1995-2000), which Ilda co-founded and chaired. The Coalition was a grassroots organization constituted by a number of individuals and associations who held a shared interest in improving the academic achievements of Portuguese-Canadians students. Preceded by the Toronto Portuguese Parents Association, in liaison with the Toronto Board of Education, the Coalition came to fruition in response to the 1991, “The Every Secondary Student Survey” and a petition to the Ontario Ministry of education calling for action to address deficiencies in the teaching of Toronto’s Portuguese-Canadian students. Its crowning achievement was the Tutoring Program, which started in 2001 and has been continued by the Working Women Community Centre under the name On Your Mark. See the finding aid for this collection here.

Prof. David Higgs donated his collection of research notes and other material produced and gathered by him and the late Prof. Grace M. Anderson during their investigation of the Portuguese community, including photos, correspondence, and newspapers. Higgs and Anderson published the first study of the Portuguese in Canada, A Future to Inherit. The Portuguese Communities of Canada (1976), as part of the Generations collection commissioned by the Multiculturalism Program, Department of the Secretary of State of Canada. He published and edited other works on the Portuguese in Canada, including the Portuguese Migration in Global Perspective (1990). Prof. Higgs also taught Portuguese history at the University of Toronto. See the finding aid for this collection here.

The Canadian Auto Workers Local 40 represents workers in manufacturing, hotel, textile, auto service, protection services, office and in the health care sectors. Its archival records contain, among many other things, documents related to the labour organization of Portuguese immigrant women in the building cleaning and textile industries of Toronto during the 1970s and 1980s, of which we highlight the unionization of McGregor Hosiery Mills factory employees in 1977, and the strike at the First Canadian Place office building in 1984. This collection was donated on September 29, 2011. But the collection isn’t only valuable for what it reveals about Portuguese women, but is also an excellent addition to the Clara Thomas Archives overall labour collection. CAW Local 40 absorbed some smaller, more radical unions, like the Canadian Textile and Chemical Union, which were focused on organizing more marginalized workers, such as immigrants and  women, and reveal much about the more progressive bent in the labour movement in Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s. This collection was donated in September 29, 2011.

The Portuguese Canadian Democratic Association/ Associação Democrática Portuguesa (PCDA) is a vast collection that contains the material produced and collected by this organization over its 48 years of existence. The PCDA (1959-2007) was a Toronto based anti-fascist organization, composed of political exiles and other oppositionists of the Salazar/Caetano dictatorial regime in Portugal. The PCDA was very active in Toronto, especially during the years leading up to and immediately after the Carnation Revolution of 1974 in Portugal. Besides engaging in political activism, locally and abroad, the PCDA also invested a great deal in cultural development, bringing important artists and intellectuals from Portugal and organizing high-cultural activities for the members of the Portuguese community of Toronto. It is a vast and rich collection containing the correspondence of the different executives, among which are letters traded with many high-profile figures in Canadian and Portuguese history (e.g. Humberto Delgado, Henrique Galvão, Fernando Piteira Santos) and other political and exile organizations around the world (e.g. FPLN); the entire collection of its information bulletin A Verdade/The Truth; Portuguese exiled newspapers; communiqués; photos, among other things. The PCDA’s collection was donated to the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections by António Santos. Finding aid coming soon.

The Portuguese Interagency Network (PIN) was founded in 1978 by a group of social workers and other progressive individuals concerned with the lack of communication between the various Portuguese organizations and the absence of well-researched needs assessments on the community. Though often serving as a consultative body for different branches of government on issues pertaining to the community, PIN did not retract from social activism, engaging in campaigns on health education, adult literacy and skill training, advocating for better and more accessible public services, promoting cultural and linguistic inclusiveness, among many other ventures. PIN was one of the busiest advocacy organizations in the Portuguese community in Toronto up until the mid-1990s, when it was hit by Mike Harris’ spending cuts. It finally closed its doors in 2009. PIN’s collection is vast and contains its administrative papers, correspondence, as well as studies, reports, and various literature produced for its many programs and initiatives. This collection was donated to the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections by Cidália Pereira. Finding aid coming soon.

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