MiCA acquires, organizes, preserves, and makes accessible records of and about Canadian Muslim individuals and organizations that possess enduring value for the preservation of the history and documentary heritage of Muslims in Canada.
The MiCA project is hosted at the Institute for Islamic Studies (IIS) at the University of Toronto.
WHY THE MUSLIMS IN CANADA ARCHIVES (MiCA) EXISTS
The Muslims in Canada Archives (MiCA) is a participatory archive that is uniquely designed to document and share the history of Muslims across Canada.
As a participatory archive, MiCA invites and works with individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to collect records from and about Muslims in Canada. MiCA works with the creator(s) of the records to make sure their experiences are reflected in the collection.
MiCA fills a gap in Canada’s recorded history about its Muslim populations
MiCA exists because there is a gap in the documented heritage of Muslims in Canada, as shown in our environmental scan. Despite the contributions that Muslims have made to Canada since the 1800s, their histories are often missing within Canada’s institutional archives.
Even though these institutions would like to have records about Muslims, they’re not always able to do so for two reasons:
Limited resources and capacity — the institutions have a limited amount of resources and capacity needed to develop the relationships, the outreach programs, the processes that cater specifically to Muslim individuals and communities.
Missing cultural knowledge — the institutions don’t necessarily have the cultural knowledge and familiarity needed to document these records in a way that reflects the Muslim experience in Canada.
MiCA is designed to fill this gap in documenting the heritage of Muslim in Canada, while helping improve the capabilities of Canada’s many institutions in representing its diversity in archive collections.
WHAT WE DO
An archive is a place where people go to learn about a particular topic. MiCA focuses on Muslim individuals and communities; their history, lives, and experiences.
MiCA creates its archives through four key activities:
MiCA acquires records from Muslim individuals, families, or organizations based on their historical and archival value. The records’ value comes from a thorough understanding of the surrounding context of its creation, the MiCA Acquisitions Policy, and its suitability for other archives.
HOW WE DO IT
As a community archive, we place the needs and voices of the people we serve at the centre of our activities. MiCA has been developed in close consultation with various Muslim communities to represent the range of diversity amongst Canadian Muslims.
We also consult with archival organizations and industry associations to ensure that our services uphold professional standards and best practices, while meeting the unique needs of the communities we serve.
We pursue key partnerships that enable MiCA to document the rich histories of Muslims in Canada. Our partnerships are developed to support our various activities from the logistics of storage to the academic resources afforded by the University of Toronto. MiCA is grateful to its committed partners.
Outreach & Education
We develop programming and educational resources to inform our communities and stakeholders about the value of archives and the significant role it plays in documenting our rich histories.
We’re excited about the opportunities to expand our outreach and education programming to new horizons in 2022 with schools, community centres, and record creators.
Grants and Funding
The MiCA project is grateful for the grants and funding it receives from its providers. As a community archive, we pursue funding from various sources: governmental, civic society, and private.
In 2021, we will be strengthening our funding program to secure an increase in staff, resources, and record capacity to make MiCA a permanent fixture of our cultural landscape.
If you’re interested in funding opportunities for MiCA, please visit our funding page here.
MiCA is a collaborative project involving Canadian individuals, universities, and community organizations working in concert to preserve a diverse and wide-ranging history that is currently not reflected in Canada’s documentary heritage. MiCA is pleased to partner with the following community, archival, and academic institutions to develop and launch the project:
The ways in which MiCA operates are reflected in the policies below. These documents provide an inside look into our processes as well as the principles that guide our practice.
In the spirit of transparency and accountability, we have made some of these policies open to the public. As an archives that centers community consultation and participation in its praxis, MiCA’s policies and procedural documents exist to both guide MiCA staff and to ensure that Canadian Muslim communities are informed of how we preserve their legacies.
The policies below are flexible and subject to change as MiCA operates.
Acquisition Policy – Updated as of April 2020
Protocols of Practice – Updated as of October 2020
Statement on Language in Description – Updated as of November 2020
MiCA Operations Under the COVID-19 Pandemic – Updated as of December 2021
MiCA arranges and describes the records according to professional archival best practices, so that they can be easily found and understood.
MiCA takes the necessary steps to handle, transfer, and store the records in a way that protects and preserves them for long-term use in the future. MiCA also includes and preserves the “impressions” that donors share about their records.
MiCA will provide access to the records in its archives both physically and, where possible, digitally on its online platforms. MiCA’s holdings are otherwise open to a wide range of users: historians, students, activists, researchers, community members, artists, and so on. MiCA may also create exhibits, organize awareness and outreach initiatives, and educate the public using its collections.