Two Perspectives on the Same Source: An Examination of Federal Deportation Case Files

  • Ellen Scheinberg


This article investigates the appraisal and use of deportation case files from the perspective of an archivist as well as an historian. The author outlines her experiences in both capacities -- as an archivist with the Library and Archives Canada and later on as a Ph.D. student in history -- in order to demonstrate how her perception of this source changed dramatically after she switched from one role to the other. In addition to outlining the re-appraisal work she undertook with these records at the NAC as well as the research involved in her dissertation, the article suggests some possible solutions as to how the different priorities and needs associated with these two groups might be resolved in the future, without threatening the independence required by archivists when undertaking appraisal and re-appraisal initiatives.

Cet article examine l’évaluation et l’utilisation des dossiers individuels de déportation, du point de vue de l’archiviste aussi bien que de l’historien. L’auteure expose les grandes lignes de ses deux expériences, comme archiviste à la Bibliothèque et Archives Canada et plus tard comme étudiante de doctorat en histoire, afin de montrer comment sa perception de la source a changé énormément en passant d’un rôle à l’autre. En plus de décrire le travail de ré-évaluation de ces dossiers qu’elle a fait aux BAC, de même que la recherche entreprise au cours de son doctorat, l’auteure suggère quelques solutions pour résoudre les problèmes posés par les priorités et les besoins différents des archivistes et des chercheurs, sans pour autant menacer l’indépendance requise par les archivistes pour mener à bien leur travail d’évaluation et de ré-évaluation.

Author Biography

Ellen Scheinberg
Ellen Scheinberg holds a B.A. (Honours) and an M.A. in history from Queen’s University. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in history at the University of Ottawa. Ms. Scheinberg worked as a senior archivist with the Government Archives Division of Library and Archives Canada from 1990 until the spring of 2000. She spend some time working as an information management consultant. She then took a year off, beginning in the spring of 2001, to undertake research on her thesis, with support from a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada award. From October 2002 to the present, she has been the director of the Ontario Jewish Archives. During her career, she has published articles in the areas of women’s history and archival studies in various Canadian journals, scholarly magazines, and books, and has given presentations at archival and historical conferences across the country.
How to Cite
Scheinberg, Ellen. 2004. “Two Perspectives on the Same Source: An Examination of Federal Deportation Case Files”. Archivaria 57 (May), 51-67.