Online Archives (and OPIRG Alumni)

One of OPIRG McMaster’s first board members, Scott Neigh, who was active in waste reduction and other working groups and projects, has a podcast on – it’s called Talking Radical (listen here) – the most recent episode is on Rise Up!, “a digital archive of feminist activism in Canada.”

The show, the site that is the subject of this episode, and the rich history of activism and movement-building making its way into various online media formats are contributing to greater access to otherwise hidden documents and important stories.

OPIRG McMaster’s Role

OPIRG McMaster has had volunteers working to scan paper documents: posters, reports, newspaper clippings, we even have material from the “red binder” – a painstakingly curated and almost magically¬†preserved binder of paper documents from the Hamilton PIRG of 1975-1985. Considering this PIRG started in 1995, that’s 10 years where it could have been lost.

With this material, we’ve created a blog to share them online: the OPIRG McMaster History Archive.

Volunteers, a placement intern from a McMaster History course, meetings with McMaster librarians and archivists who shared insights into archiving best-practices, it’s been quite rewarding for those who have invested time and energy to this work.

Risk It For The Biscuit Podcast

We produced three episodes of our own podcast, the Risk It For The Biscuit podcast, which focused on activist projects or campaigns that met with some success, and we tried to learn what made things work. You can find the episodes on Soundcloud, iTunes and Google Play.

We would consider re-starting the podcast if we get some volunteer interest, so get in touch if this is something you would like to try out!


There’s a lot of work to be done to ensure the viability of our local histories, our particular movement building and campaigns. We are encouraged by projects like Talking Radical and Rise Up! and we hope to be doing our part to keep history viable and something to learn from.