One of the first actions to be taken in the strategic safeguarding of ICH is to survey what traditions are important at the grassroots level in communities. UNESCO has encouraged nations to implement inventorying projects, based on each particular culture’s priorities and need.
Within Canada, Quebec has already begun an inventory project. ICH in selected areas of that province has been documented and the results are available online
In Newfoundland and Labrador, efforts have begun to create an ICH inventory project that will survey as many communities as possible. Such an inventory will assess what traditions are ongoing, which are threatened, and thus be a valuable tool for protecting and passing on our ICH.
As a pilot project, the Queen Elizabeth II Library at Memorial University has partnered with the ICH Working Group to document the materials collected from one particular community, The Battery, near St. John’s Harbour. These materials were gathered by graduate folklore students as part of their course work for Dr. Gerald Pocius’s Public Sector Folklore course, in conjunction with The Rooms Provincial Museum. They have been digitized and entered into the Library’s Digital Archives Initiative (DAI).
Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative (DAI) is your gateway to the learning and research-based cultural resources held by Memorial University and partnering organizations. From books and maps to photographs, periodicals, video and audio, the DAI hosts a variety ofcollections which together reinforce the importance, past and present, of Newfoundland and Labrador's history and culture.
The hope is that every community in Newfoundland and Labrador will be able to have an inventory completed and submitted to this collection
Communities decide which traditions they feel are important to document; sometimes these traditions are threatened; sometimes particular tradition-bearers will be highlighted; other communities may choose to record ongoing and important traditions of everyday life.
Information obtained from residents in the form of photographs, journals and other manuscripts, and audio or video of interviews, performances and demonstrations, as well as items obtained through research, could be included to form an ICH collection of that specific community.
All materials will be properly recorded and documented, and then made accessible through the Digital Archive Initiative. The original field recordings will be deposited in the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA), with copies often available at local institutions. Proper ethical guidelines have been established to ensure that consent is given to record, deposit, and make these materials accessible.
Different possibilities for community partnerships with existing organizations are being explored to facilitate local inventory projects.
Updates on the ICH Inventory will appear on this site when available.