The Mission of The Tubman Institute

The Chair in African Diaspora History is is pleased to collaborate with the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples is the implementation of the Major Collaborative Research Initiative, "Slavery, Memory, Citizenship," funded by the Social Sciencs and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The Tubman Instittute is a unique research facility focused on the global diaspora of Africans and their descendants. Developed in collaboration with the Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History, the Tubman Institute is operated as a collective of York University faculty and students and an international Advisory Board of specialists committed to document preservation, accessibility of primary materials, graduate teaching, training and research. The Tubman Institute serves as a repository for archival documents, tapes, maps, images and other primary sources that are preserved and archived.

The Tubman Institute constitutes a node in an international network of research centres associated through existing projects and affiliations that are an outgrowth of the UNESCO “Slave Route” Project and consistent with the UNESCO programs for saving and preserving endangered archives (“Memories of the World Project”). In collaboration with internationally acclaimed academic specialists, researchers and institutions, the Tubman Institute promotes the dissemination of its own and other information libraries through print and electronic publication with a searchable database and by hosting and participating in interactive dialogues, seminars and conferences.

The Tubman Vision

The Tubman Institute subscribes to the proposition that people have a right to know their own history. The MCRI Project, "Slavery, Memory, Citizenship" is intended to support this goal, which we believe can be achieved by making accessible all possible original documentation on the migration of African peoples. Our intention is to provide unbiased primary information that can inform discussion and have an impact on public policy implementation. Hence the Tubman Institute is committed to the preservation and recovery of archival documents and other materials using digital storage management technology and to making the related information accessible to the public at large.

Jean Baptiste Debret, "Brazillian woman" (1834-39)

The Harriet Tubman Institute strives to grow into a research centre of academic excellence in the field of Global Diaspora. Starting with its base in the study of peoples of African origins and the impact of the international slave trade, the centre will build a research methodology and database infrastructure with expertise centered in Canada that encompasses peoples and their history from around the world.

Goals and Objectives

As a Research Institute for the study of the global diaspora of African peoples, the Tubman Institute promotes international collaboration, coordination of research projects, organization of conferences, training of researchers and graduate and undergraduate study, to achieve a world-class reputation as a center of academic excellence. The goal is to become a global leader in the development of a digital infrastructure for the recovery, retrieval, archiving and management of primary source documents of any kind wherever they may be found. The mobilization of knowledge will be developed through a web portal to enhance information accessibility and its website (