Archives Assistant

  • Volet de programme : Jeunesse Canada au travail dans les établissements du patrimoine
  • Titre de l'emploi : Archives Assistant
  • Nom de l’organisme : Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
  • Lieu de l’emploi : Toronto, Ontario
  • Durée de l'emploi : 2017-05-29 à 2017-08-18 (12 semaines)
  • Salaire horaire : 14,00 $

General Information:

Job Title: Archives Assistant, Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Duration: 12 weeks

Work Schedule: 9:30am - 5:00pm Monday to Friday, 7 hours per day

Start and End dates: May 29, 2017 to August 18, 2017

Language of Work: English

Project & Job Objectives:

For over 50 years, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) has served as the gathering point for the Japanese Canadian community and for those of non-Japanese ancestry who have an interest in things Japanese in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The Heritage Committee exists “to introduce the culture, history, and legacy of Japanese Canadians to all Canadians while creating a tribute to the history of the Nikkei community and their contributions to the building of our nation.”

Working from the knowledge and expertise of volunteers managed by the Archive and Collections Committee (largely survivors of internment during World War II), overseen by the Heritage Committee at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, the Archives Assistant will assist with organizing and increasing accessibility of the JCCC Collection (managed by the Archives Committee) for utilization in current and future exhibit planning, educational programming, general public engagement via a developing semi-permanent exhibition plan for the Moriyama Nikkei Heritage Centre, as well as cross-promotional usage by the various stakeholder committees engaged with the Moriyama Nikkei Heritage Centre.

The Archives Assistant will assist with an extensive collections management project – to continue data entry including photo scanning and entry of catalogued items into our pre-existing database, assisting with the reorganization, accessioning, and digitization of records from the Sedai Project, and the preparation and setup of an exhibit on Japanese migration. The successful candidate will be asked to focus on the completion of data entry of the Tosh Omoto/Momiji Collection, documents from the George and Kinzie Tanaka Collection, as well as the integration of physical artefacts and photographs from the Sedai Project into the existing JCCC collection (physically and digitally). The JCCC collections project generally specializes in artefacts, photographs, and other items related to the history of Japanese Canadians.

From 1942-1946, over 22,000 Japanese Canadians were forcibly removed from the west coast, and many people relocated to the Toronto area after the war. Over the years, they have donated numerous items to the JCCC for educational purposes. The online database is an important ongoing collaborative project between the JCCC in Toronto and the Nikkei National Museum in Burnaby, BC, aiming to improve the long term preservation of these valuable collections and ensure they are accessible online through a collaborative database website. This website is accessible here:

The Archives Assistant will also be asked to complete transcriptions of video footage from the 2013 Japanese Canadian Post War Experience Conference, which was organized through the JCCC’s Sedai Project. The Sedai Project aims to record, preserve, and promote awareness of the Japanese Canadian experience – particularly with reference to the experience of forced relocation and internment during WWII. Through anecdotes and video recorded memories, Sedai aims to lend a relatable human face and voice to the stories otherwise found in static texts and photos.

The Archives Assistant will also gain valuable work experience in small museums management, assisting community researchers towards the completion of currently ongoing research projects and public engagement. The Archives Assistant may also be asked to assist with major cultural community activities organized by the JCCC and the Heritage Committee (including but not limited to the annual Natsu Matsuri, Nostalgia Night, Toronto Japanese Film Festival, and the children’s summer day-camp Kamp Kodomo).

Description of Tasks:

The Archives Assistant’s main tasks will be:

To physically catalogue, photograph or scan, and add to the pre-existing digital database in collaboration with the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre in Burnaby, BC, entries following existing archiving and collections management protocol. These entered items will include, but are not limited to:

- photographs of pre-war Japanese Canadian west coast communities, internment camps and ghost towns, and post-war community activities up to the present day

- documents relating to Japanese Canadian historical events

- photographs and glass plate negatives from the Tosh Omoto/Momiji collection

- any and all artefacts, photographs, documents, and digital records related to the Sedai Project, including video footage, files on unique individuals, and numbering unique items for accessioning

To complete transcripts of video footage from the Japanese Canadian Post War Experience Conference (2013), managed through the Sedai Project.

To conduct research, preparation, and setup of an incoming exhibit on Japanese migration, providing supporting documentation and displays to complement the exhibit material.

Assisting the Manager of Heritage and the Sedai Project with further editing and organization of Archiving protocols into digitally accessible database for all current and prospective volunteers.

To gain a good sense of the collections and daily work at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre via Heritage Committee related operations and activities, which is fundamentally and predominantly volunteer


To participate and assist with Japanese-Canadian community events at the JCCC.

Employability Skills:

The successful candidate will gain field experience with archival practices, library and information organization, historical/cultural project management, and community engagement projects, through their contributions to a publicly accessible and searchable online database including their work. As well, the JCCC will utilize the work accomplished by the Archives Assistant in preparing and organizing exhibit and display material for use in the Moriyama Nikkei Heritage Centre. The Heritage Centre is comprised of an historical exhibit space, a library, a ceremonial tearoom, a gallery space, the Nikkei Heritage Resource Centre (utilized by staff and volunteers as a work and meeting space), additional archive storage space, the Heritage offices, and central JCCC administrative office spaces. They will gain experience in strategic planning, problem solving, and leadership skills under the direction of JCCC Heritage staff. The setting will provide experience in cultural diversity, how a historic site operates, working in a team, and the importance of preserving history for future generations.

Candidate Profile:

This position is suitable for students pursuing post-secondary education in the fields of Canadian history, archival studies, museum and curatorial studies, and library and information technology studies. Studies in anthropology and sociology are also applicable.

Required skills of the successful candidate:

- Strong familiarity and ability to use Office software, specifically Word and Excel; demonstrable experience with database software a definite asset (e.g. Filemaker)

- Familiarity with scanning equipment and Adobe software (e.g. Photoshop)

- Excellent written and verbal communication skills with complete fluency in English – the successful candidate will be working closely and collaboratively with volunteers and staff

- Strong attention to detail, with strong organizational skills

Knowledge of Canadian History and Japanese Canadian History is an asset. Familiarity with the Rules of Archival Description, preservation, and conservation is also an asset.

Cover letters and accompanying resumes will be requested via email with a subject line of “JCCC Archives Assistant”, to Manager of Heritage and the Sedai Project,, following the submission of an application via the YCW online portal.

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