Mission & Activities

Mission

The 1947 Partition Archive is a tax-exempt (section 80G) charitable trust in India dedicated to institutionalizing the people's history of Partition through:

1) Documenting, preserving and sharing eye witness accounts from all ethnic, religious and economic communities affected by the Partition of British India in 1947. To do this, we have created a digital platform for anyone anywhere in the world to collect, archive and display oral histories that document not only Partition, but pre-Partition life and culture as well as post-Partition migrations and life changes.

2) Collecting, preserving and sharing personal items and artifacts associated with the people's memory of the 1947 Partition.

3) Bringing knowledge of Partition into widespread public consciousness through i) creative and scholarly expression including but not limited to literature, film, theater, visual arts, other creative medium, and academic research ii) proactive world-wide primary education curricula, iii) traveling exhibits as well as physical 'Centers for Learning' designed to memorialize the people's history of Partition and serve the public for research and educational purposes. Presently, a portion of our collected works are being made available in limited capacity via our online Story Map.

What we do 

What began as an idea in 2008 to acknowledge and popularize the people's history of Partition has been accomplished through the founding and building of The 1947 Partition Archive which has preserved nearly 9,500 memories of Partition witnesses.  Unlike in 2008, today, Partition is no longer a forgotten memory, and it's witnesses' plight is being heard the world over.  Through the sharing of thousands of witness accounts millions of times over the last decade, the 'people's history' of Partition has been established and  is now a growing and active area of research as well as new documentation efforts.  We are proud to have accomplished our first goal of 'popularizing' recognition for this important chapter in our global history.  We look forward to working with you in ensuring that the lessons of Partition are taught in textbooks around  the world, so that we do no repeat history.

Main Activities:  Our flagship crowdsourced oral history project has helped preserve nearly 9,500 memories of Partition witnesses. Browse stories by clicking on the homepage map. Oral histories in the archive are widely distributed on social media and are in the process of being distributed to universities across the world for access to researchers.  Our work is not purely academic but is public history with humanitarian undertones.  We are devoting our lives to serving witnesses and to creating a more empathetic world.

 

We democratize historical documentation - We are a modern digital archive that is dedicated to documenting everyone's history.  We continuously innovate techiques in crowdsourcing and other non-traditional methods that allow us to reach all segments of society, including those that are often 'left out' and don't fall under the radar of conventional studies. Many of our techniques and innovative methods have inspired new projects on digital documentation of Partition, on documenting history, and even crowdsourcing humanities data.  We empower people to document their own histories.  You can think of The 1947 Partition Archive as a global digital museum accessible to everyone, everywhere, and built by everyone, everywhere. 

Watch interviews via Stanford Digital Repository:  Follow this link to view a sampling of oral histories housed at the Stanford University Library's Digital Repository. 

Preserving memories of Partition via CROWDSOURCING: The 1947 Partition Archive, "The Archive" has been preserving oral histories of Partition witnesses since 2010 through a combined program that includes an innovative technique for crowdsourcing by Citizen Historians, as well as collection by trained scholars.  Nearly 9,500 oral histories have been preserved on digital video, making The Archive the largest documentation effort focused on Partition.  Oral histories have been recorded from 500+ cities in 12 countries across the world. A tiny staff supported by interns work tirelessly behind the scenes to support the 150Story Scholars who are and have contributed oral histories, and over 600 Citizen Historian volunteers who have devoted an estimated 150,000 hours in volunteer labor towards recording stories.  In addition to oral histories, The Archive also digitizes and preserves antiquated and current photographs of significance, family portraits, as well as objects of significance from the time of Partition.  Over 80,000 digital artifacts are preserved in this manner.

 

Public education on Partition: Over 1,000,000 followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have shared witness stories - posted twice daily - 10's of millions of times, resulting in many reunions of old families and friends. The 1947 Partition Archive's effort to bring lived memories to the public also include hosting "Voices of Partition," witness storytelling events across the world, as well as curating audio visual traveling exhibits that bring stories to art and culture spaces.  Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, The Archive has launched it's first web series, Sunday Stories Live, streaming every Sunday globally via Facebook Live at 3:30 pm Greenwich time.

 

Turning the tide on public acceptance, and paving the way to Partition documentation: The sharing of lived memories over social media, millions of times has helped create a "critical mass" acknowledgement of the human suffering that resulted from Partition.  As a result, we are watching a change in tide of public consciousness.  We are watching as memories of Partition are becoming accepted in the mainstream and drawning attention from popular film makers, media makers, news organizations and educators.   An honest look at our past, with scrutiny will help us move toward a more just future.

 

How you can help: The Archive is truly a labor of love, built for people, by people from diverse backgrounds. You too can join us. Learn how to record and share a story from your community now!  Or support another story through your donation.