Chinese-Canadian artifacts assembled online

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    Chinese-Canadian artifacts assembled online


    A photo of the Nelson Chinese Youth Orchestra is one of thousands of items now digitized and viewable online through the Chinese Canadian Artifacts Project. Chinese Canadian Artifacts Project

    Since the first Chinese people landed on Vancouver Island more than two centuries ago, artifacts of significance to the Chinese-Canadian community have been spread across British Columbia at more than a dozen museums. But you no longer have to travel around to all of them in order to see every artefact in one place.

    The Chinese Canadian Artifacts Project — a database of more than 6,000 of culturally significant photos, texts, scrolls and a variety of other items — is now complete, the provincial government announced Wednesday.

    The entries were compiled by researchers at the University of Victoria, which is hosting the online database.

    “These objects scattered in dozens of smaller towns and cities will now be accessible to everyone,” said John Price, the project’s principal investigator and a UVic history professor. “It is an incredible resource and rich treasure chest of true historical significance.”

    The archive is searchable and a large portion of items – including household products, clothing, books and many others – have accompanying photographs and detailed information about them.

    “Each artifact tells a unique story of how Chinese Canadians helped shape the province, and by giving these artifacts a home on the University of Victoria’s database, it exposes British Columbians to a history that many didn’t know existed,” said multiculturalism minister Teresa Wat.

    Slightly more than half of the items documented come from Barkerville Historic Town, which claims the largest collection of culturally significant artifacts in Western North America.

    The province, B.C. Museums Association and Legacy Initiatives Advisory council were also partners on the project. Visit to view the database.

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