Feasibility Study for the Jackson Park Project’s Digital Archive

2020, The Jackson Park Project
archival photos, Black history, Canadian History, digital, oral history, Windsor
About This Project

Date: N/A

Partner: The Jackson Park Project

Location: N/A

Project Members: Tonya Sutherland


For my capstone project, I am conducting a feasibility study to assess the practicality of developing a digital archive for the Jackson Park Project (JPP), which is an initiative to memorialize the Emancipation Day celebrations that took place in Windsor, ON from the 1930s to the 1960s. These celebrations, which typically consisted of a week of musical performances, speeches, beauty contests, an enormous barbeque, and a parade through Windsor to the Grand Stadium in Jackson Park, attracted thousands of people from across North America, and were dubbed ‘the Greatest Freedom Show on Earth.’ In addition to being a great source of entertainment, the Emancipation Celebrations also shed light on the ongoing struggle for civil rights. At a time that was noted for much racism and division, Emancipation Day celebrations drew all ethnicities in a celebration of freedom, faith and music. The JPP aims to spread awareness of these celebrations by developing:


  1. a) A historical drama television series and docuseries based on these celebrations
  2. b) Educational resources for use in classrooms
  3. c) A digital archive containing historical material related to Emancipation Day in Windsor


I am conducting the feasibility study to gain a better understanding of the costs, resources, and organizational frameworks needed to ensure the long term sustainability and functionality of the archive. The feasibility study began in October 2019 and will conclude in April 2020. The study has relied heavily on research and community consultation, and the resulting feasibility report, which will be presented in the summer of 2020, will be used by the JPP team as a base to make firm decisions and steps towards the creation of the digital archive. While feasibility report is primarily intended for the members of this team, I hope that I will be able to share the knowledge I gained during this experience with a wider audience in the future.