The South Asian Canadian Digital Archive Thesaurus

Thesaurus Construction for the South Asian Canadian Diaspora




South Asian studies, thesaurus construction, digital repositories


The South Asian Canadian Digital Archive (SACDA) is a soon-to-be-released digital repository developed by the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley, located in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. SACDA partners with memory institutions, individuals, families, and organizations to digitize, describe, and provide online public access to heritage materials created by, or relevant to, the South Asian Canadian diaspora. This project report will detail how SACDA is building a customized thesaurus to classify its digitized archival holdings, augment existing subject headings and thesauri, and fill in taxonomical gaps. Building on prior work done by alternative thesauri like the Homosaurus, Association for Manitoba Archives Indigenous Subject Headings, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Thesauri, and the International Thesaurus of Refugee Terminology, among others, the SACDA thesaurus intends to fill in a vital gap in South Asian Studies subject control, particularly from a Canadian perspective.


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Author Biographies

Magnus Berg, South Asian Studies Institute, University of the Fraser Valley

Magnus Berg is the Digital Asset Archivist at the South Asian Studies Institute within the University of the Fraser Valley. They live and work on S'olh Temexw the stolen, traditional territory of the Stó:lō people. Magnus has a Master of Arts in Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management and is currently pursuing their Master of Library and Information Science at Western University. Their research focuses on radical empathy in archival description, the intersections between archival theory and technological applications, and labour in LIS.

Satwinder Kaur Bains, South Asian Studies Institute, University of the Fraser Valley

Satwinder Kaur Bains is the Director of the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley and an Associate Professor in Social Cultural Media Studies, College of Arts. Bains’ critical analysis of India’s multilingual policy and planning, has fueled her interest to study the impact of language, culture and identity on South Asian Canadian migration, settlement, and integration. Her research includes and intersects cross-cultural education with a focus on anti-racist curriculum implementation; race, racism, and ethnicity; identity politics; Sikh feminist ideology; migration and the South Asian Canadian Diaspora and Punjabi Canadian cultural historiography.

Sadhvi Suri, South Asian Studies Institute, University of the Fraser Valley

Sadhvi Suri is a senior at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) where she is pursuing a degree in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in software development. Since 2020, Sadhvi is working as a Co-op student at the South Asian Studies Institute at UFV, where she received the opportunity to research the South Asian Canadian diaspora and work on the development of the South Asian Canadian Digital Archive. In her studies, Sadhvi is focusing on learning programming languages while also furthering her knowledge in web development. Her interest in leadership stems from her past experiences of holding the Student Recognition Award in Leadership. Upon the completion of her degree, she intends to apply to a Master’s Program to further her knowledge in computer science and progress towards a career as a software developer.


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How to Cite

Berg, Magnus, Satwinder Bains, and Sadhvi Suri. 2022. “The South Asian Canadian Digital Archive Thesaurus: Thesaurus Construction for the South Asian Canadian Diaspora”. KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies 6 (3):1-7.

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