|The 1947 Partition Archive is a crowdsourced oral history repository that trains and empowers|
citizens to document life stories of those who witnessed the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.
The novel methods for oral history documentation used by The 1947 Partition Archive aim to
democratize the telling of history by exploiting modern communication technology. Groups divided
by Partition, such as those identifying by nationality – Indian or Pakistani, or religion – Hindu,
Muslim and Sikh among others, share the same platform for documenting and reflecting on oral
histories of Partition. The crowdsourced oral histories reveal the wide-reaching international
impacts of the Partition on individual lives, communities, economics, arts, culture, education and
much more. This paper provides a glimpse into the contents of the oral history archive and explores
a variety of new possibilities the oral history record presents in understanding our past, alongside
the traditional archive, at times supplementing it, and at other times standing as a new primary
source of information. Given the integral connection between Partition and modern Sikh history,
the oral history collection is of significance to students studying various aspects of Sikh culture,
identity and history.
Keywords: 1947 Partition, oral histories, Punjab, Sikhs, India, Pakistan
Gathering the Vanishing History of Punjab and South Asia Through Crowdsourced Lived Memories by Guneeta Bhalla
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|Guneeta Singh Bhalla |
Chairperson and Founder, The 1947 Partition Archive