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Swiping Right on the Archives: Introducing the Humber College Archives


In 2019, Humber College formally established an archive for the first time in its 52 year history. Along with this came me, its first archivist, and my task of creating an archive from scratch. As part of this undertaking, I started the task of taking the Archives out on a series of “first dates”, with the goal of increasing awareness of what an archive is, and starting to build relationships. This being the essential first component of long-term collaboration. Indeed, given the “lone arranger” nature of the Humber College Archives, building these intra-institutional relationships has become a top priority for the survival and growth of the Archives.

This paper will explore how the Archives has tried to spark a connection with various stakeholders across campus by discussing strategies of “selling” the archives to different groups of potential collaborators and users, and will discuss real-world examples of some of the initial collaborative projects the Archives is working on. Projects which will be discussed include collaborating with the library to run an outreach event to introduce archives to College students as part of a Health and Wellness stress reduction day, and working with the Retirees Association on an oral history project. 

The paper will close with some suggestions and ideas the College Archives will pursue in its second year, as it starts to shift from creating “love at first sight” to building long-term relationships.


John Yolkowski

John is currently the (first!) Manager, Humber Archives at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. He came to this role in 2019, after two and a half years out west as the Archivist at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. His cross-country archival tour has also included positions out east at the Dalhousie University Archives, and Saint Mary’s University Archives. He also holds degrees from Western University, University of Guelph, and Wilfrid Laurier University, and his goal for 2020 is “to not move again”.

Recorded Presentation

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