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ACA Workshops

Upcoming events

    • 29 Mar 2023
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Via Zoom Online

     Ancestry “Lunch & Learn”: Handwriting Recognition - The Future of Indexing

    Date/Time of Presentation: Wednesday March 29 at 12noon ET / 9am PT

    Presentation format: lecture style followed by question/answer period

    Presentation length: 45min = 20min. presentation followed by 25min questions.

    Find out more about the latest development in Ancestry’s handwriting recognition (HWR) technology, why other solutions fell short and the unique features that will change the future of indexing. Ancestry will present a case study around the indexing of the 1950 US Census and share details about the process that ultimately resulted in publishing the HWR index on its platform. What does this mean for future indexing projects and where do we hope this will lead. . . 1931 Canadian Census???? Please join us on this exciting journey

    Key phrases:

    • The challenges
    • Creating our own in-house solution
    • The 1950 US Census – A Case Study
    • What does the future hold?
    • 1931 Canadian Census

    Presenters and brief bios:

    • Jared Akenhead – Senior Manager – Content Acquisition. Has worked for Ancestry for over 11 years with responsibility of finding genealogically rich content in the US and Canada. He has a passion for the helping others discover their ancestors and learn more about their family histories. He enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family. He has lived in many parts of the world, including England, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia and has an obvious love of travel and exploring new places.
    • Kaysie Ziebarth – Project Manager, Content Production. Has worked with Ancestry for 12 years, most recently managing the content pipeline which includes digitizing, indexing, and publishing genealogical records to Particularly focuses on projects using Data Science technology (like HWR) such as the 1950 US Federal Census and French Census collections. Kaysie enjoys family history and learning about her ancestors and loves the work that is being done to provide these meaningful connections more efficiently. She also enjoys sewing—especially Halloween costumes—and travelling with her family. One of her most memorable experiences was skydiving in Hawaii.

    • 28 Jun 2023
    • 9:00 AM (ADT)
    • 1 Jul 2023
    • 11:30 PM (ADT)
    • In Person - Charlottetown at the Delta PEI

    ACA 2023: Belonging - Considering archival bonds and disconnects

    City: Charlottetown 

    Dates: June 28 to July 1, 2023 at the Delta Hotels by Marriott, Prince Edward Island  

    Format: In Person


    For more information about accommodation and the room block, see here: 2023_Conference Accommodation

    Conference Rates and Important Dates

    • Early Bird Registration is from March 15, 2023 to May 15, 2023.
    • Regular Registration rates are from May 16, 2023 to June 18, 2023.
    • Onsite Registration rates are from June 19, 2023. 

    At-a-Glance and Selecting Sessions

    Over the next several weeks, the Conference At-a-Glance will be updated with additional information or minor details as they become available. We will have a .pdf version of the conference program and program details will be on the website by April 15, 2023. Please note that the conference registration form asks you to select sessions you plan on attending. If you do not know at this time, you can indicate that you do not know. The Secretariat can assist you with editing your selection as may be needed.This information will help the team plan for session and event attendance.

    Social Activities

    This year's annual conference is taking place a little later than it has been in the past. The Host Team has planned activities that will provide opportunities to enjoy with family and colleagues at the end of each day. In the coming weeks, watch for blogs, emails, and updated information about restaurant suggestions, tours, and ideas to extend your stay.

    Conference App

    Again this year, ACA 2023 has a free, official app via the Whova platform. There will be a virtual 'swag bag' that will provide conference attendees with access to discounts at local venues and activities. Stay tuned for more details.

    The App will be live April 15, 2023. At that time, you will be invited to download Whova to your desktop or mobile device, and you will be able to:

    • View the event agenda and plan your schedule
    • Access live sessions and recordings and utilize the session Q&A
    • Set up virtual meet-ups with your fellow attendees to connect remotely
    • Converse through various discussion Topics in the community Board
    • Access presentation documents and slides
    Association of Canadian Archivists Foundation

    For the first time since 2019, the ACAF will host its annual auction to raise funds to support bursaries, travel grants, and scholarships for ACA members, emerging professionals in particular. If you have an item you wish to donate or if you wish to craft, create, or make an item for auction, please reach out to the ACAF Secretariat: Tax receipts will be issued as outlined by CRA guidelines. We will be using the FollowMyBid app again this year so that folks not able to attend in person will be able to be part of the auction.

    Trade Show and Exhibitors

    There are also opportunities to be part of this year's trade show. You can register here: ACA 2023 Trade Show - Exhibitors

    Advertising and Sponsorship

    This  version of the annual ACA annual conference will attract more than 225 archivists and record keepers working in the archives and communities across Canada, the USA and internationally.

    Conference sponsorship allows you to reach this influential group of professionals, leaders and decision-makers.

    See here for more information: Advertising, Sponsorship and Support - ACA 2023: Belonging - Considering archival bonds and disconnects

      Aerial image of Charlottetown, PEI at dusk. View of the Delta PEI and the harbour. Image provided by Tourism PEI.

          • 28 Jun 2023
          • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (ADT)
          • In-Person Delta PEI, Charlottetown and online via Zoom
          • 16

          ACA 2023: Belonging - Considering archival bonds and disconnects

          Introduction to Archival Digital Accessibility

          Pre-Conference Workshop

          Today, more than ever before, those who work with archival digital materials rely on websites, images, PDF documents, audio, and video, to connect with researchers and the public.

          Lowering barriers to make digital materials more accessible is crucial for the one out of five Canadians, who identify as having disabilities. As well, some of the 1.3 billion people worldwide may also be using Canadian archival digital materials.

          There is also provincial and Federal accessibility and human rights legislation across Canada that may require many of us working with archival digital materials, to identify and lower barriers for people with disabilities.

          Lowering barriers makes access easier and more inclusive, and provides a sense of belonging for those of us who have disabilities.

          In this workshop, learn the basics on how to start identifying and lowering barriers. The first part of the workshop will focus on 'why' digital accessibility is important for people with disabilities, and what legislation may apply to your work. This will include information on who may be accessing your digital materials, and what technologies may be used. There will be one or two live demonstrations of some popular technologies.

          The second part of the workshop will focus on the basics of the 'what' and 'how'. You will learn practical tips that can be used right away, to help make digital materials more accessible and inclusive. The workshop is geared to a beginner and intermediate audience. No technical expertise is required, just have an interest in the subject.

          What You Will Learn:

          • How digital barriers impact people with a wide range of disabilities.
          • The basics of accessibility and human rights legislation in Canada, and how it may impact your work with archival digital materials.
          • What kinds of software and hardware people may use to access your archival digital materials, with at least one live demonstration.
          • Practical tips, and some tools, to help you to start identifying and removing barriers to make your archival digital materials more accessible.
          • Hands-on exercises to practice some of the tips, so you can apply your knowledge right away to identify and lower barriers in your digital materials.


          • Introductions-10 minutes
          • Part 1: Different disabilities, legislation, technologies with live demo- 40 minutes
          • Part 1 Interaction: Questions will be asked about each area, so some discussion will take place.
          • Break-10 minutes
          • Part 2: Practical Tips-50 minutes
          • Part 2 Interaction: In each tip area, examples will be shown, we will work through them, and solo, or group, exercises will be provided for most tip areas.
          • Question Period-10 minutes
          • Question Period Interaction: Attendees will ask questions, and discussion will take place.
          Please note: This workshop will take place in person and using Zoom. The session will be recorded and accessible for 7 (days) to participants.


          ACA Members: $ 50.00

          Non-Members: $ 75.00

          ACA Members - students / precariously employed: $25.00

          ACA Members - subsidized: $ 0 (please reach out to the ACA Secretariat for the application).

          Workshop Facilitator:

          Lisa Snider is CNSA MemoryNS Support Specialist and AABC MemoryBC Coordinator. She is a digital archivist, and since 2010, has worked with digital and hybrid collections in North America, including at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Lisa's passion in life is working with website, document, audio, video, and social media accessibility. She shares her knowledge with others to lower barriers, and make digital materials more accessible for people with different disabilities. Lisa has worked with, and helped create, accessibility legislation across Canada. She has worked with digital accessibility since 1999, and collaborates with Microsoft to improve their product accessibility.

          Head shot, workshop facilitator, Lisa Snider.

          • 28 Jun 2023
          • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM (ADT)
          • In-Person Delta PEI, Charlottetown
          • 47

          ACA 2023 - Belonging - Considering archival bonds and disconnects

          Pre-Conference Workshop

          “Artificial Intelligence and Archives: the I Trust AI Research Project.”

          When: June 28, 2023, Delta PEI Charlottetown

          Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM AT

          Capacity: 50 participants

          The ongoing availability, accessibility, and trustworthiness of public records is under threat, due to sociotechnical changes that have left our public institutions staggering under an overwhelming abundance, complexity, and lack of control of records. Without automated means of processing, we will increasingly lose control of public records, and ultimately, the public will lose trust in archives. However, implementing automated solutions - especially Artificial Intelligence solutions - raises a whole new set of costs and risks, from the expenses involved in implementing systems, to the risks of privacy breach, bias and discrimination, and loss of discretion.

          This workshop will explain the fundamental ideas on which AI is based, discuss types of AI tools available, and identify both the advantages and issues presented by their use on records and archives. It will then outline the way the new InterPARES project, I Trust AI, aims to determine how the records and archives community can develop its own AI tools based on archival principles, and leverage them to support society's demand for trustworthy public records. Finally, it will present some of the studies that are being carried out by the I Trust AI researchers, and their outcomes to date, and will involve the workshop participants in the analysis and discussion of such outcomes.

          • Muhammad Abdul Mageed and Peter Sullivan will explain types of AI systems and tools.
          • Luciana Duranti will present what kind of tools are needed by the profession vs those that have been used to date, and the reasons why the 5th phase of the InterPARES project will be necessary.
          • Corinne Rogers will discuss the structure of the I Trust AI project and, with Peter Sullivan, provide an overview of the studies in progress
          • Tracey Lauriault will discuss two I Trust AI case studies about the preservation of digital twins and smart grids
          • The participants will be divided in 4 groups, each chaired by one of the speakers, to discuss the studies and propose additional studies
          • The participants will rejoin to discuss the new proposals

          Learning Outcomes

          The participants will learn to:

          • recognize different types of AI tools
          • identify the type of tool needed for different archival functions and activities
          • assess the conditions required for the use of AI tools (e.g. amount of terabytes of digitized material)
          • understand what is feasible and what is not
          • learn what current research is being done on the use of AI in archives
          Workshop Instructors

          Muhammad Abdul-Mageed is Canada Research Chair in Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning. His research focuses on deep representation learning and natural language socio-pragmatics, with two main goals: (1) development of `social’ machines for improved human health, safer social networking, and reduced information overload; and (2) use of machine learning as a vehicle for making discoveries with and about human language. He is currently leading several funded projects, including InterPARES Trust AI, and has been funded by SSHRC, NSERC, CFI, Google, Amazon, AMD, among others.

          Luciana Duranti is a Professor at the UBC School of Information, where she teaches archival diplomatics, appraisal, preservation of digital records, and history of recordkeeping. Her research aims to find solutions to digital record issues that can be universally applied. Since 1998, she has been the Director of InterPARES (International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems), a multi-national and multi-disciplinary research project studying the long-term preservation of authentic electronic records, which is now in its 5th phase. She has been the lead investigator also for other SSHRC-funded projects, such as Records in the Clouds and Digital Records Forensics.

          Corinne Rogers is the Project Coordinator for InterPARES Trust AI (UBC, 2021-2026), a multidisciplinary, international partnership researching the uses and applicability of Artificial Intelligence in archival workflows to ensure trust and trustworthiness of records and data. She is an adjunct professor in the UBC School of Information, where she teaches diplomatics and digital preservation.  She was most recently a Systems Archivist at Artefactual Systems, lead developers and organizational home to open source projects for digital preservation, AccessToMemory (AtoM) and Archivematica.

          Peter Sullivan is a Graduate Academic Assistant working under Luciana and Muhammad. His research focuses on Speech Processing, particularly Automatic Speech Recognition and classification (State Detection, Language and Dialect ID). Prior to returning to academia, he was a high-school Computer Science teacher, and brings with him his passion for demystifying complex technologies.

          Tracey P. Lauriault
          is Associate Professor, Critical Media and Big Data, School of Journalism and Communications, Cross Appointed to Digital Humanities, and board member of the Institute for Data Science at Carleton University in Canada. She a founder of the field critical data studies, open data and Open Smart Cities. As a data and technological citizen, she examines large and small data and technology systems to make them more just, inclusive, equitable and environmentally sustainable.

        Past workshops

        22 Feb 2023 “Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach to Archives” Workshop
        24 Nov 2022 Description and Access for Anti-Black Archival Materials
        23 Nov 2022 The Reconciliation Framework: Presentation and Q & A
        9 Nov 2022 “Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach to Archives” Workshop
        2 Nov 2022 Building your institution’s archival processing checklist for digital records
        6 Oct 2022 “Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach to Archives” Workshop
        4 Oct 2022 Web Archiving for Beginners
        23 Jun 2022 “Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach to Archives” Workshop
        14 Jun 2022 ACA 2022 Pre-Conference Workshop: "Every Last Byte: Making the Most of Access Copies in Archives"
        8 Jun 2022 Kairos Virtual Blanket Exercise
        7 Jun 2022 The First Nations Principles of OCAP – First Nations Information Governance Centre
        27 Apr 2022 Working with Archival Texts as Data – Using Natural Language Processing to Support the Description of Digital Archives
        15 Apr 2022 Working with Archival Texts as Data – Post-OCR Error Correction with OpenRefine
        15 Dec 2021 Deadline Extended: December 15, 2021: Call for Workshops - 2022 - ACA PDC
        10 Dec 2021 New Date: Description and Access for Anti-Black Archival Materials
        24 Nov 2021 Advanced Workshop - Creating Online Exhibits for Digital Collections
        17 Nov 2021 Making Movies for Archivists
        10 Nov 2021 Creating Online Exhibits for Digital Collections
        4 Nov 2021 International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF): what is it and why should my archives adopt it?
        6 Oct 2021 Information Governance for Archivists
        29 Sep 2021 Conjuring the Spirits of Success - Heritage Wins the Day
        22 Sep 2021 Intimate Records
        9 Jun 2021 Incorporating Indigenous Ways in Archival Policy and Procedure Development - Panel Discussion with Yukon Presenters: ACA 2021 Pre-Conference Workshop
        8 Jun 2021 Description and Access for Anti-Black Archival Materials: ACA 2021 Pre-Conference Workshop
        7 Jun 2021 Digital File Transfer App and the National Accession Standard: ACA 2021 Pre-Conference Workshop
        7 Jun 2021 ACA 2021 Virtual Conference: Home Improvement
        18 May 2021 Working with Archival Texts as Data – Using Natural Language Processing to Support the Description of Digital Archives
        11 May 2021 Working with Archival Texts as Data – Post-OCR Error Correction with OpenRefine
        12 Apr 2021 UCASIS - Navigating Wikidata and Archival Description in Canada - A Panel Discussion
        20 Feb 2021 Legal Issues in Archival Donations
        28 Nov 2020 Advanced Workshop - Creating Online Exhibits for Digital Collections
        24 Oct 2020 Creating Online Exhibits for Digital Collections
        5 Oct 2020 Wikidata: WikiProject Archival Descriptions
        28 Sep 2020 Resume workshop for new information professionals
        24 Sep 2020 Creating Online Exhibits for Digital Collections
        24 Aug 2020 Creating Online Exhibits for Digital Collections
        22 Jun 2020 Creating Online Exhibits for Digital Collections
        8 Jun 2020 Wikidata: WikiProject Archival Descriptions

        Past Conference Workshops

        ACA 2019:  Archival Origins

        ACA 2006: Living on the Edge

        June 26, 2006  Full Day

        Law and Original Order: Legal Aspects of Archive

        June 27, 2006 Full Day

        Just Scan It All! Making Archival Holdings Available Online

        June 27, 2006 Half day

        CCA Awareness Kit 

        ACA 2018:  Trust in Technology

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