Terry Cook

It is with profound sadness that the Association of Canadian Archivists learned of the death of Terry Cook.

An ACA member since the Association's inception in 1975, Terry served the ACA in a variety of roles, including serving on the Publication Committee (1982-1984), the Conference Programme Committee on three occasions, the Electronic Records Committee (1991-1992) and the Aboriginal Archives Special Interest Section (1997-1998). He also acted as the ACA President's Special Advisor on Public Policy from 1998-2006, a role in which he wrote briefs, appeared before Parliamentary Committees, published newspaper articles, and lobbied various bodies on legislation and policies that affected the archival community, such as copyright, privacy and access, and the historical census. Terry served similar roles in the Society of American Archivists and other organizations. In addition to authoring over 80 articles in leading international journals, he also served on the editorial board for Archivaria (1981-1996 and 1999-2006) and American Archivist (1991-2001). He was named a Fellow of the ACA in 2009.

From 1975 to 1998, Terry worked at the Public, later National, Archives of Canada, leaving as the senior manager responsible for directing the appraisal and records disposition program for all media. In his long and distinguished career there, he was responsible for the development of policies and methodologies which dramatically altered the national archival system. Among his many vital contributions, it was at the National Archives where he conceived and implemented macroappraisal and since its implementation in Canada, it has gained wide international acceptance. Leaving the National Archives in 1998, he founded an archival consulting firm, Clio Consulting Inc., and worked for national, municipal, and academic archives, as well as archival associations, around the world. He also served as an Associate Professor for the Archival Studies Program in the Department of History at the University of Manitoba from 1998-2012. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2010.

Terry’s last talk at an Association of Canadian Archivists' conference was the closing plenary in Halifax, June 2010. The 2010 conference theme was aptly Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. In his wonderful closing plenary, "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: The Next Generation of Canadian Archivists. Reflections and Prospects", Terry rallied the next generation of archivists: “Well, there, that's about all I really wanted to say, to pass that torch to you bright young archivists, who now so happily dominate our association's demographics the past couple of years, and here today, to pass that torch to you to take our profession to a better future as my generation fades into the past.” Click on these links for his talk and the transcript.

Canada's archival community mourns not only a brilliant, seminal thinker but also a dear, wonderful friend who served as a mentor and supporter to generations of archivists around the world. All of us have a Terry Cook story to share. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Terry's family, friends, and colleagues. We are truly grateful for his devotion to the development of the Canadian archival profession.