As Librarian and Archivist of Canada, I would like to express my support for and solidarity with Ukraine and its people, and in particular that country’s library and archival professionals.
Library and Archives Canada is both horrified by the human tragedy that is unfolding as a result of Russia’s egregious attack on Ukraine, and deeply concerned at the serious threat that the ongoing hostilities present to the country’s rich literary and cultural heritage.
Tragically, we have already seen one of Ukraine’s most important art museums destroyed. As the fighting continues to rage on and escalate, other important institutions that are vital to telling inspiring Ukrainian stories to the world are or will soon be in grave danger.
It is often said that the first casualty of war is truth. Whether for today or tomorrow, a nation’s public record held by institutions like libraries and archives is an essential pillar of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
This is not the first time that an armed conflict has threatened not only human lives but also humanity’s precious and diverse cultural heritage that we all share.
As we hope for peace to return to Ukraine soon, we should remember that wars rob us of our fundamental humanity in more ways than we can ever imagine.
Our message to all of those suffering as a result of this military aggression is clear: you are not alone; we stand with you.