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Contributor's Guide

Thanks for being a part of Alternative Toronto! By contributing to the archive you're making your materials available to users of the site for the purposes of research, private study, education, criticism or review. If you are the creator and/or rights holder, you are also granting Alternative Toronto a permanent, non-exclusive license to display your contribution on its website or in derivative form, such as thumbnails and hyperlinks. You are not transferring copyright or intellectual property rights for the item, which remain with the original creator(s) and/or rights holder(s). Think of it as donating a digital copy of the item to Alternative Toronto’s public archive.

We’re looking for three types of contributions:

  1. Items that you created, or were involved in the process of creating, and which you want to make available to users of the archive.
  2. Items that you did not create but want to make available to Alternative Toronto researchers for further investigation.
  3. Items from your own archive or history project which you would like to share, with attribution, with Alternative Toronto users. If you have a website, we’ll hyperlink your items to the site so that users can learn more about your project.

All contributions to Alternative Toronto will be reviewed by project researchers before being publicly exhibited on the site. Please read these general guidelines to better understand the types of materials that will be accepted for display. 

Submission Guidelines

  1. Submissions should have been created during or be inspired by events that took place between 1980 and 1998. However, these dates are flexible as we understand that some submissions will not fit strictly within this time frame.
  2. Submissions should have been created in or be inspired by events that took place in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Again, project researchers will be flexible here.
  3. Submissions should represent some aspect of alternative culture, which we define loosely as radical, countercultural and/or trans*/feminist/queer activism, art, music, theatre, dance, publishing, bookselling, cinema, education, health care, computing, housing, and more.
  4. Submissions can take the form of posters, flyers, zines, pamphlets, manifestos, meeting minutes, photographs, artwork, cassette recordings, video footage, setlists, playbills, stories, essays, reflections, correspondence, press clippings, code or other content, including material that will help us to locate or otherwise contextualize the items.
  5. Submissions should not include materials that are widely commercially available or registered with collective societies (e.g., SOCAN). We support the right of artists, authors and musicians to try to earn a living from their work and will only exhibit items that are non-commercial, anti-copyright, out-of-print or otherwise difficult to find.
  6. Alternative Toronto is a public digital archive.  Contributors should not submit materials that are clearly confidential or that may put individuals who were involved in their creation at risk of personal or legal harm. Use your judgement.
  7. Please ensure that scanned submissions are at a high enough resolution to be legible. We recommend a minimum of 600 pixels per inch at 70 dpi for images. Contact us if you have audiovisual materials you'd like to contribute.

How to submit your contribution

First, create a guest user account on the Alternative Toronto website, which will enable you to submit your items online and to comment on other contributors’ submissions. You’ll only have to do this once. To create your account, click the Contribution menu tab and follow the instructions.  When your account has been created, follow these steps: 

  1. Choose the item type that best describes the item you’re submitting: e.g., “Image” or “Sound File.”
  2. Select the file you want to upload from your device as part of your submission.
  3. Fill out as much information as you can on the Contribution Form.
  4. If you are the rights holder for the item, select the Creative Commons license you want to use. We recommend a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license, which is the one we use for the site. You can learn more about Creative Commons licensing here.
  5. Geolocate the item by entering a street address or intersection in the map plug-in at the bottom of the form.
  6. Read the Terms and Conditions document, check the box, and click “Contribute.”

Once we receive your contribution, Alternative Toronto researchers will review the submission and verify the rights information you've included.  If the rights owner(s) are unknown our researchers will take the following steps: 

  1. We’ll attempt to identify the rights holder(s) to request their permission to exhibit the item.
  2. If the rights holder(s) can't be identified, we will consider whether to make these “orphan works” available for public viewing and community-based research on a case by case basis.

Takedown Policy

Alternative Toronto is committed to handling contributions in a respectful and ethical manner. If you believe that another person has made your work available on this site in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, or has violated your moral or intellectual property rights in some way, please contact us at submissions@alternativetoronto.ca. To ensure a prompt response to your request please include: a) a detailed description of the material(s) in question, including the URL, and b) your reason(s) for wanting it removed, including additional details that were not provided as part of the original submission. Our researchers will review the request upon receipt and, if validated, we will immediately remove the relevant material. We're also happy to work with rights holders if they wish to modify the presentation of their materials or to learn more about the project.