How the University of Alberta records and preserves cultural heritage

The University of Alberta is committed to recording and preserving cultural heritage at the local, regional and national levels, as well as the cultural heritage of displaced communities. 

Cultural heritage is made up of traditions, artifacts, languages, knowledge, stories and folklore. The University of Alberta is home to a number of organizations and initiatives whose purpose is to record and preserve the cultural heritage of various communities. 

National cultural heritage

The Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology in the department of Music serves as a resource and archive documenting the musical and cultural traditions of local and national communities.

The collection includes instruments and over 4000 audio/video recordings. Similarly, the Sound Studies Institute preserves cultural materials and makes them accessible in order to increase cross-cultural understanding.

Recent projects include Digitizing the Ancestors, the Virtual Museum of Canadian Traditional Music and The History of Gospel Music in Western Canada.

Local and regional cultural heritage

The Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology (IPIA) is an Indigenous-led institute committed to supporting Indigenous-engaged archaeological research and integrating Indigenous ways of knowing and being into archaeology.

IPIA scholars are undertaking a number of projects that incorporate Indigenous and community-driven archaeological research throughout western Canada and elsewhere. 

Cultural heritage of displaced communities

With a mission to revitalize Canada’s Indigenous languages, the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute has a variety of programs to supply tools to Indigenous language activists so that they can better preserve and pass on their language. 

The Kule Folklore Centre studies and preserves Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Canadian language, knowledge, folklore and traditions. The Centre also manages the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives, which is an important resource for understanding Ukrainian Canadian history and culture, as well as Ukrainian diaspora culture more broadly.