Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is The 1947 Partition Archive (The Archive) and what does it do?

The 1947 Partition Archive (or, "The Archive") is a collection of life stories recorded on video (and sometimes audio) from those who witnessed the 1947 Partition of South Asian States. The Archive is built for people, by people.  The stories are gathered and shared by anyone who wishes to share. You too can record and submit a story.  Click here to learn more about us.

2. How can I help?

There are several ways to get involved. You can:

  • Interview a Partition witness. Learn how here.
  • Share your own story if you have one, here.
  • Make a donation here
  • Join us as a volunteer. Apply here.
  • Learn while giving back as an Intern. Apply here.

3. Who funds The Archive?

The Archive is funded by individual people from around the world through cash donations as well as pro-bono and volunteer services. The Archive has also received grants from a number of Foundations, and invites more partnerships with art and culture foundations and corporate sponsors.  

4. Can you fund my research?

Researchers interested in doing field work involving the recording of Partition witness oral histories are encouraged to apply to our Story Scholars program. Story Scholars are granted a stipend from The Archive to collect stories within a certain geographical location, not already being served by another Story Scholar. Learn more and see the application here.

5. Where and how are the interviews conducted?

We conduct our interviews wherever the interviewee is most comfortable, often in their own homes. Learn more here.

6. What languages can the interviews be conducted in?

The interviews can be conducted in any language, according to the interviewee’s preference. Any language they choose is acceptable.

7. Who can share their story? Is my story important enough?

You do not need any special knowledge to share your story, only an eyewitness account of your personal experience. Learn more here.

8. What are the requirements to interview someone?

Anyone anywhere is encouraged to join us in collecting stories and building The Archive, as a Citizen Historian.  We only require that you take a brief online course before you collect and submit stories.  Sign up here

9. How can I access the archive for research?

Presently raw, unprocessed footage is available for access to professional researchers and their students, for educational purposes, as it is deposited in The Archive. Apply for access here.

10. My interview is not on the website. Where can I see it?

Presently, our collected works are being made available in limited capacity via our homepage. A random selection of story summaries with photographs are also made available through our Facebook page.  The full works will be made available on a future date (approximately 2016) for educational purposes to academic researchers, students and the public. Stay tuned for more information or contact us to learn more. Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with future developments. 

Interviewees and their families may request copies of their interview DVD’s here.

11. Where can I learn about the Partition?

We have created a comprehensive list of books and other learning resources on Partition available on the Partition Library portion of our website. Click to view.

Two quick online resources include:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_of_India
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGiTaQ60Je0

12. Can you interview me?

You can click here to sign up for an interview.

13. How can I get a DVD of my interview?

You may request a DVD online by 1) filling out a simple form here and 2) making the donation suggested on the form online.  We request a donation because it takes a lot of resources and raw materials to bring you the DVD.  In the past, volunteers have covered these costs.  However, with so many DVD requests, the costs began to overwhelm the volunteers.  Hence we now ask those requesting DVD's to provide a small donation to cover the material and equipment cost for creating high quality DVD's of their interviews.  Please be mindful of the volunteer effort when requesting your DVD.  For your information, please see the numbers below.

Here is what it takes to make your DVD:

  • Human Time Cost: The movie file editing, processing and conversion times for HD format movies, on our current processors, are approximately 50 to 60 hours.  
  • Material Cost:  The donated computers used for conversion, the blank DVD's, the packaging and the mailing costs.


14. Can I interview someone?

Yes, you can learn to conduct an interview by signing up here

15. Can you interview people I know who lived through Partition?

You may help them sign up using the form listed here, or conduct the interview yourself. Because we are currently developing a broader geographic outreach, the best way to archive a story is to record it yourself!

16. Does The Archive accept interviews in other collections, recorded without training from The Archive.

The Archive does consider other submissions on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact us

17. Where are the submitted interviews stored and preserved?

All stories submitted to The 1947 Partition Archive by Citizen Historians are currently hosted and preserved in a digital cloud.  Hence there is no particular physical location and no particular city or country that plays host to the stories.  An international cloud storage service provides hosting for the stories.

18. When will the submitted interviews be freely available to the public?

In order to bring the stories to the public, we must build the infrastructure carefully.  Presently, numerous volunteers are researching and developing exactly this.  As with anything however, this will require more time and resources, which we are currently gathering.  We expect this process will take about three years.  You can help contribute to this effort by making a donation, or volunteering.