Icelandic Archives of British Columbia

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Icelandic Archives of British Columbia

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The Icelandic Archives of British Columbia (IABC) was a community archives whose mission was to collect and maintain documentation and artifacts concerning the history of Icelanders and their descendants in the Province of British Columbia. The IABC was established in 1975 and curated privately by Robert Ásgeirsson, originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The IABC's collections began from a research project for a potential documentary film about New Iceland, where Ásgeirsson began accumulating photographs from community members of the Icelandic National League (INL) in Manitoba. Soon after moving to Vancouver and engaging with the Icelandic Canadian Club of British Columbia, Ásgeirsson saw that the important cultural memory of the Icelandic experience on the West Coast could be lost, as the knowledge base was in the hands of only a few aging community members. He began to accumulate photographic collections donated by Icelandic families and photographers in British Columbia, as well as books, ephemera, textual, graphic, and audiovisual material. In the fall of 1985, Ásgeirsson declared the IABC to be a public collection.

With the support of the Icelandic community in Vancouver the IABC continued its primary activities of expanding its collection to document Icelandic social and cultural endeavors. The IABC has mounted several exhibits since the 1980s, culminating in a permanent exhibit, Nordic Spirit: Early Icelandic Settlement on the West Coast, held at the Icelandic Care Home Höfn. The IABC dissolved in 2015.


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