People are familiar with the work of well-known Baha’i personalities. But until a more realistic and inclusive narrative of those on the front-line is completed, proper assessment of the growth and expansion of the Baha’i Faith will remain inconclusive.
The purpose of our endeavour is to preserve, conserve and protect images, objects, documents and other artefacts of historical significance that relate to the growth, development, and expansion of the Baha’i Faith. Benefit is derived from a direct and substantial representation of Baha’i history by the people who made it possible and places where it happened. We concentrate on preserving and making available little known aspects of the faith that involve those frontline people who worked individually and collectively to make it happen.
By deviating from and challenging time-worn historical narratives, we are able to share the very spaces and environments in which previous generations lived and served. In this way, historic preservation can become the visual and tangible conservation of Baha’i service that marks its cultural identity. So, to reiterate, our purpose is to preserve Baha’i history; realising that history is never complete if it does not recognize the efforts made by those frontline workers upon whose shoulders the weight of responsibility for planning, policy, administration, programs, teaching, and consolidation activities were borne.
We support historical research. Our archives contain information on Baha’i activities dating to the early 1960s. It includes names participants, places, events and a variety of material preserved for historical record. Examples include photographs, documents, interviews, observations and research based on primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. We hope to provide researchers with quality information to augment their efforts to provide an objective appraisal concerning the growth of the Baha’i Faith.
You are invited to explore ObeisanceBaha and experience what if has to offer. While still under development, this site will eventually become resource-rich with little known information about the Baha’i Faith, many of its activities and events, and about many of those who made it possible. Join with us in this activity. Further, we invite you to make available through us to the larger Baha’i community the wealth of knowledge, information and material you have available, for which you will be credited. Thanks for your willingness to participate!
The scope of Baha’i historic research and preservation must expand significantly beyond the goal of saving documents and artefacts associated just with prominent Baha’is. As preservationists we must intently focus on the minute, local activities and events, and especially details associated largely with unidentified people upon whose dedicated shoulders a secure Baha’i history is assured.
Historic preservation is a conversation with our Baha’i past about our Baha’i future. It provides us with opportunities to ask, “What is important in Baha’i religious history?” and “What parts of this past can we preserve for the future?” Through historic preservation, we look at history in different ways, ask different questions of the past, and learn new approaches to preserving it.
Over time, historic preservation has evolved from a limited and somewhat insular pursuit into a broad based popular movement with wide support. The reasons for this support are varied. Now is the time for its popularity to be experienced within the broader aspects of the worldwide Baha’i community, and with strong desire for a tangible sense of permanence.
Start by making an effort to protect historic Baha’i resources in your community.
Encourage others and support them in their efforts to secure Baha’i materials
Focus on the capture and preservation of personal papers and other documents.
We uniquely address both the physical aspects of preservation and the role we as individuals must play within a larger context of preservation. Currently, Baha’i resources, locally and internationally, are limited in their capability to cope with preserving the minutiae associated with Baha’i activities. ObeisanceBaha affords an opportunity to filter out the mundane to highlight and preserve the important for future analysis.
From The Blog
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This is the opening quote in the recently published document by the Australia Baháʼí Community: Creating An Inclusive Narrative. It details the results of an effort made by the Australian Baháʼí Community through “roundtable discussions” that took place over a fifteen-month period. They sought…
Ouida Coley (center), Sarah Lee Owens (left), and Silvia Ioas (right). Baha'i International Conference, Panama Hilton Hotel, Panama City, Panama, 1967. Quida Flora ColeyOuida Coley (1939-2013) was a devoted member of the Baha'i Faith for well over 50 years. She had...
Black Americans in the Baha'i Faith: Their Spiritual Significance Toward the Revitalization of Humankind. The 'Pupil of the Eye' metaphor has both astounded and confused the Baha'i community mainly due to it being analyzed within the framework of current distorted...
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