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Fonds/Collection Description

Title (Re)Claiming the New Westminster Waterfront fonds
Description Level Fonds
Fonds No. IH 2015.60
Creator (Re)Claiming the New Westminster Waterfront Research Partnership
Material Type sound recording
Date Range [between 2013 and 2015]
Title Source Title based on content of fonds.
Physical Description 102 digital audio recordings (mp3)
History/Biographical The (Re)Claiming the New Westminster Waterfront (RNWW) Research Partnership was a research collaboration between Simon Fraser University, the New Westminster Museum and Archives, Local 502 of the International Warehouse and Longshore Union. A few individual residents of New Westminster and two teachers from School District #40 (New Westminster) also participated in the research partnership. The primary goal of the RNWW research partnership was to develop new knowledge concerning work and workers on the New Westminster waterfront from the period 1945 - 2015.

RNWW was funded through a Partnership Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) from April 2012 through March 2016. These grants are meant to foster research collaborations between university researchers and students and non-academic members of the community.

The Research Partnership was led by Dr. Peter V. Hall, Urban Studies Program, Simon Fraser University.

The other core academic members of the research team were:
Dr. Mary-Ellen Kelm, Office of Graduate Studies and Department of History, Simon Fraser University
Dr. Willeen Keough, Department of History, Simon Fraser University
Dr. Susan O'Neill, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University
Dr. Pamela Stern, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University

The Steering Committee was comprised of:
Ken Bauder, retired longshoreman, representing residents of New Westminster
Sue Dyer, teacher, representing New Westminster schools
Willeen Keough, historian, representing Simon Fraser University
Joseph Breaks, Gerry White, and Brian Ringrose, retired longshoremen, representing ILWU Local 502
Robert McCullough and Oana Capota, museum professionals, representing the New Westminster Museum and Archives

The primary activities of the research partnership involved documenting work on the New Westminster waterfront in the period between 1945 and 2015. In the immediate post-World War II period until approximately 1980, the New Westminster waterfront was heavily industrialized. The central downtown waterfront was an international shipping terminal. Lumber mills and wood products manufacturers, wooden ship and boat builders, tugboat and marine haulers, commercial fishing and fishing supply, railroad, and other industrial employers lined the waterfront. During the 1950s, approximately half of the employment in the city was located at the waterfront.

Several economic and social changes, including containerization in the goods movement industry, restructuring in the wood products industry, decline of fish stocks, and societal preference for road-based goods movement over water and rail contributed to large-scale industrial abandonment of the city's waterfront in the 1980s. Similar to other places in the world, New Westminster's once industrial waterfront is largely redeveloped for residential, parks, commercial and retail users, though some large industrial employers remain in 2015.

In order to document waterfront work between 1945 and 2015, project participants conducted oral history interviews with men and women who worked on the New Westminster waterfront during the period of interest. Efforts were made to find workers in all types of waterfront employer (industrial and non-industrial) and all time periods. The oral history interviews were conducted by project faculty and student research assistants, members of the Steering Committee, museum intern Kate Petrusa, and retired longshoreman Dean Johnson. A number of interviews were also conducted by students enrolled in History 461: Oral History Practicum taught by Professor Willeen Keough at Simon Fraser University during Spring 2014.

The research partnership also documented waterfront land use activities for each year between 1945 and 2014.

The research products of the partnership that comprise this collection are:
| Digital recordings (WAV and mp3 format) of 102 oral histories of work narrated by 92 different individuals (total: 113 hours, 7 minutes, 14 seconds). Most are without restriction. A small number narrators requested pseudonyms for publication or presentation (6) or complete anonymity (5). The recordings of the individuals requesting complete anonymity have been edited and the individuals have been assigned pseudonyms appropriate to their gender, age and ethnic identity. The mp3 versions of the oral histories have been edited to remove phone calls and extraneous conversations. Summaries of the oral histories (based on the mp3 files) are included. | 2 small collections of digitally scanned photographs related to 2 oral histories are provided for reference purpose only (NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION OR PUBLICATION) | 70 maps indicating the primary land use of waterfront parcels covering the 1945-2014. The underlying data used to create the maps is also included. | 10 hours of continuous video of the Fraser River and New Westminster quay. The video was filmed in one continuous take from at fixed location outside the River Market on March 26, 2015. The video is licensed through the Creative Commons 2.0. | copies of preliminary reports and academic papers and publications derived from the partnership research activities | copies of newspaper and other press articles about the research partnership
Scope & Content Currently the fonds contains the oral histories. They are divided into two series by occupation. The first series is devoted to longshoring and the second series contains interviews with subjects in diverse occupations.
Accession No. IH 2015.60
Subject Access Occupations - Longshoring