News                   Join  

Members                   Donate 

Upcoming events

    • 14 Apr 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 28 Apr 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • Zoom Teleconference
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Digital Preservation for Small Archives

    This workshop series (delivered in two hour sessions over 3 consecutive Wednesdays) will help smaller archives develop a digital preservation policy and plan that is suitable to their budgets and resources. Topics covered will include the National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s four levels of preservation, the Canadian Heritage Information Network’s Digital Preservation Toolkit, and The National Heritage Digitization Strategy’s Recommended Preservation File Formats. Example preservation workflows, and the discussions of best practices (including the use of checksums, data migration and refreshing practices, and physical media selection and management) will be covered. The workshop, which will be divided into digital inventory management, preservation policy development, and preservation plan development sections, will include short Q&A sessions and knowledge testing exercises.

    Learning Objectives Include:

    • Understand what a digital survey / inventory is, and how to conduct one • Know how to use the CHIN digital asset inventory template to identify digital holdings and risks associated with them.

    • Identify various forms of physical carriers, understand risks associated with them, and how to care for them.
    • Understand the importance of a digital preservation policy, and how to implement one
    • Know how to use the Nancy McGovern Digital Preservation Policy Framework Template to produce a digital preservation policy for archival institutions.
    • Know how to use the CHIN Digital Preservation Policy Template to produce a digital preservation policy for museums and galleries.
    • Understand and know how to use the British National Archives’ Droid and Pronom resources for identifying digital assets. Understand the National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s four levels of preservation, and how to assess your own institution’s current status.
    • Understand digital preservation best practices, and how to implement these into a digital preservation plan for a small archive.
    • Understand the importance of data fixity and how to ensure it using a checksum generator
    • Understand recommended file formats for long-term preservation
    • Understand key workflow components with a digital preservation plan and procedures for archival institutions.

    Ern Bieman has served as a Heritage Information Analyst for the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) since 2007. He has published multiple documents related to information technology in museum environments, and is currently responsible for all matters at CHIN related to digitization and digital preservation. Since 2012, Mr. Bieman has been the curator of the Digital Preservation Toolkit on, and has offered digital preservation training to institutions in the GLAM sector. Prior to this, Mr. Bieman has worked as a systems engineer and technical specialist, and as a funds manager for IT-based R&D projects. He is currently co-chair of the Digitization and Digital Preservation Discussion Group, and sits on the National Heritage Digitization Strategy Steering Committee. Mr. Bieman holds a BSc in computer science, and master’s degrees in business and philosophy. 

    • 15 Apr 2021
    • 7:00 AM (EDT)
    • 4 Jun 2021
    • 11:59 PM (EDT)
    • Vancouver, British Columbia (UBC The Nest)
    Registration is closed

    Annual Conference: June 7 to 11, 2021

    Home Improvement:  The Online Version

    Why sponsor this national conference?

    This online version of the annual ACA annual conference will attract more than 400 online participants working in the archives and information community across Canada, the USA and internationally.

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

    Exciting marketing opportunities are provided that will enable your organization to:

    ·         Obtain valuable exposure and prominence with current and potential clients

    ·         Increase corporate visibility

    ·         Show your organization's commitment to supporting the Canadian archival community and the important work it does in preserving the records of today for future generations.

    Four conference sponsorship levels to choose from … with benefits and recognition for your organization

    Sponsorship Levels

    • Partner from $ 250
    • Bronze from $750
    • Silver from $1250
    • Gold from $2500

    Acknowledgements and Advertising Opportunities

    Whova Conference App: This year, the ACA will be using Whova, a networking and engagement conference app to support this year's conference.  All supporters will be listed in the app. We will also be using banners to highlight the support of our sponsors.

    ACA Bulletin: The Bulletin presents the Association's annual reports to over 600 individual & institutional members.  Contents include program and project results as well as financial results for the year.  Posted to the web, each issue remains accessible to Members into the future.  Production size is 8.5 x 11.

    • 11 May 2021
    • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM (EDT)
    • Zoom Webinar
    • 16

    Working with Archival Texts as Data –

    Post-OCR Error Correction with OpenRefine

    Digitization can provide far greater access to archival documents, but their discoverability via full text searches may be hampered by error-laden optical character recognition (OCR). Correcting them manually, however, is unrealistically time-consuming. In this workshop, we will use OpenRefine – a spreadsheet-like software – to accelerate the finding and correction of spelling errors introduced through the OCR process.

    Time: 4:00 pm ET/ 1:00 PT (2 hours)

    Date: May 11, 2021

    Cost: Members $ 50.00, Non-Members: $ 75.00, Student Members / Precariously employed members: $ 25.00

    There are a limited number of subsidized places. Please contact the ACA office to obtain a registration code.

    Learning outcomes: By the end of the workshop, you will be able to 1) perform initial data analysis on OCR text output and 2) apply computational techniques to correct common OCR errors.

    Instructor Bio: Devon Mordell is an educational developer at McMaster University, living and working on the traditional territories shared between the Haudenosaunee confederacy and the Anishinaabe nations. She has a Master of Archival Studies from the University of British Columbia and worked as a digital archivist at the University of Windsor before returning to online learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. She teaches workshops on digital scholarship topics such as online exhibit creation and writes about issues that can be broadly characterized in the vein of archival futurism.

    • 18 May 2021
    • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM (EDT)
    • Zoom Webinar
    • 19

    Working with Archival Texts as Data – Using Natural Language Processing to Support the Description of Digital Archives

    Description: Born-digital and digitized textual archives open up the possibility for computational approaches to archival description. In this workshop, we will use two natural language processing (NLP) techniques – named entity recognition (NER) and topic modelling – to locate potential access points and assist with archival description.

    Working with Archival Texts as Data – Post-OCR Error Correction with OpenRefine is a strongly recommended prerequisite for the workshop.

    Time: 4:00 pm ET/ 1:00 PT (2 hours)

    Date: May 18, 2021

    Cost: Members $ 50.00, Non-Members: $ 75.00, Student Members / Precariously employed members: $ 25.00

    There are a limited number of subsidized places. Please contact the ACA office to obtain a registration code.

    Learning Outcomes: By the end of the workshop, you will be able to 1) identify names, locations and organizations within digital texts using NER tools and 2) discern subjects within a digital text collection through topic modelling tools.

    Instructor Bio: Devon Mordell is an educational developer at McMaster University, living and working on the traditional territories shared between the Haudenosaunee confederacy and the Anishinaabe nations. She has a Master of Archival Studies from the University of British Columbia and worked as a digital archivist at the University of Windsor before returning to online learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. She teaches workshops on digital scholarship topics such as online exhibit creation and writes about issues that can be broadly characterized in the vein of archival futurism.

    • 7 Jun 2021
    • 11:00 AM (EDT)
    • 11 Jun 2021
    • 11:00 PM (EDT)
    • Online Via Whova

    ACA 2021 Virtual Conference

    Home Improvement: Building Archives Through Change | June 7-11, 2021

    The Association of Canadian Archivists is pleased to open registrations for our 46th annual conference, Home Improvement: Building Archives Through Change. The conference will take place online via the Whova platform from June 7-11, 2021. 

     With over 100 speakers, facilitators and instructors from Canada, the USA, and Australia addressing topics such as collaborative community archives, sustainability, archival education, digital records, and online description and access, our vibrant and inclusive program will provide many opportunities for thoughtful learning and development. We are excited to feature plenary panels addressing the crucial topics of human rights documentation projects and Black history and memory, and a closing keynote by internationally-lauded author and archivist Verne Harris. 

    Finally, a series of delightful social events and activities including a screening of archival films, a trivia night, and some special surprises to come will help keep attendees connected and energized!

    The program and more can be accessed at 

    Note that the conference registration form asks you to select sessions you plan on attending. This information will help the team plan for session and event attendance. Unless otherwise noted in the form, you will be able to attend any of the listed sessions on the day-of.

    Registration Rates

    • ACA Members and members of AAQ and ARMA: $100.00
    • Non-Members: $200.00
    • Students and precariously employed members: $50.00

    A number of free subsidized spots are also available to students and precariously employed members facing financial hardship thanks to the support of the ACA Board and donations from members. These are offered on a first come, first served basis by contacting the ACA Secretariat at

    We can’t wait to see you at ACA 2021!

    Conference App

    We're excited to announce that again this year, ACA 2021 has a free, official app via the Whova platform. This app will go live six weeks before the conference. Once you download Whova to your desktop or mobile device, 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
    Once the app goes live, you will receive the invitation code for the Whova App and platform.
    • 7 Jun 2021
    • 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM (EDT)
    • Zoom Webinar
    • 8

    Digital File Transfer App and the National Accession Standard

    As more of our archives become trusted digital repositories, archival functions must be executed in a digital environment. In this workshop, attendees will be presented with an open-source digital record transfer application the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) has designed to ingest new accessions into the NCTR's digital holdings. It collects descriptive metadata from donors through a web form before allowing them to upload their records. The collected metadata is based on the 56 fields in the Canadian Archival Accession Information Standard (CAAIS), of which the donor is only required to fill a few vital fields; the rest are automatically generated. The records and metadata from the completed transfer are captured according to the BagIt protocol. The metadata is also stored in a database, which can be exported as a CSV or HTML file. The exported CSV can be used to import records into an archival database, and the HTML file presents the completed transfer in an easily readable format for review.

    A digital transfer application has multiple benefits:

    • Security: the donor is given an account to log into the transfer environment and submit the records and metadata via HTTPS.
    • Function: the metadata is stored in a way that it can be exported in several formats. The transfer is sent to a secure server where the materials can be inspected and appraised for archival value, and a donation grant drafted.
    • Environment: There is no material cost to purchasing and shipping an external hard drive. 
    Workshop Outline
    1. Brief overview of the CAAIS.
    2. Discussion of the archival need for a digital transfer app.
    3. Development and design of the App. Discussion of open source programming, GitHub, and the use of Python as a programming language.
    4. Examples of archival materials transferred with the app.
    5. Examining the digital potential for recognizing the principles of the UNDRIP. 

    Learning Objectives

    1. Applying the Canadian Archival Accession Information Standard in a digital environment.
    2. Developing open source applications to build the digital infrastructure of an archives.
    3. Creating relationships with donors in a digital environment.
    4. Discussion of python and other tools for developing open source utilities.
    Daniel Lovegrove is a software developer working at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. He graduated with a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering in 2019, with a focus on Software Engineering. Daniel is focused on working on the i the narrowing gap of software development and traditional archives. The software Daniel writes at the NCTR is used to help preserve and accession digital material. Daniel is proudly aboriginal, with family from Long Plain First Nation near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

    Raymond Frogner is the Head of Archives for the NCTR. In this position he is responsible for the Centre's archival policies, archival projects, and management of human and technical resources for the archives. He has an MAS degree from UBC. He has published multiple articles on the relationship between archival records and Indigenous Peoples in Canada. He is co-Chair of the ICAs Indigenous Matters Committee.
    • 8 Jun 2021
    • 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM (EDT)
    • Zoom Webinar
    • 33

    Description and Access for Anti-Black Archival Materials

    This workshop will address anti-Black racism in archival records by providing methods on how to create inclusive descriptions and how to provide access to these materials while minimizing harm. This workshop will ask participants to think critically about the impact of descriptive and access practices for racist archival records. The workshop will include interactive activities and discussions with time for reflection.

    In this workshop participants will:

    • Learn how to apply some anti-racist frameworks to descriptive practices
    • Understand how to minimize harm while facilitating access to racist archival records
    • Learn how to think critically about the impact of archival practices on the discoverability of racist archival records

    MELISSA J. NELSON is a second-generation Jamaican Canadian from Toronto, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History, with a minor in Sociology, from Carleton University. She also completed a Master of Information Studies at McGill University. Her experience includes working at George Brown College Archives, The Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives, the Law Society of Ontario Archives, and Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University. Melissa conducts research and produces content on history and archive related topics for her website Her blog post “Archiving Hate: Racist Materials in Archives” has been cited in "Anti-racism Educational Resources" by the Archives Association of Ontario, "Resources: Archives, Anti-racism, and Black Lives Matter" by the Association of Canadian Archivists, "Language in archival descriptions changes" by the University of Waterloo Special Collections & Archives, and “United Church of Canada Archives Equity Statement” by The United Church of Canada Archives.

    • 9 Jun 2021
    • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM (EDT)
    • Zoom Webinar
    • 21

    Incorporating Indigenous Ways in Archival Policy and Procedure Development 

    Panel Discussion with Yukon Presenters

    This panel will explore the policies and procedures developed by the Yukon Council of Archives' Yukon Self-Governing First Nations members. With the increasing awareness of Indigenous records through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) Calls to Action and other Indigenous activities across the world, YCA would like to take this opportunity to create a safe space to share some of our members' archival policies and procedures. This workshop will invite discussion on current practice in Indgenizing Canadian archives and how we can move Reconciliation efforts forward. YCA hopes by sharing our members' experiences in policy-making, it will encourage others to share similar efforts. Together, we can create policies that honour Indigenous perspectives relating to the care of their Nations' records. 

    An opening statement acknowledging the workshop's location in the Traditional Territories of the Kwalin Dün First Nation and the Ta'an Kwä'chän Council will be given.

    By the end of the workshop, participants will:

    1. Be better informed on the obstacles and parameters of creating archival policies and procedures relating to Indigenous archival heritage institutions and holdings.
    2. Have a better understanding of what it means to "Indigenize" archives and how that can be reflected in archival policies and procedures, using Yukon Self-Governing First Nations as case studies.
    3. Have an increased awareness of the developing critical discourse on Indigenization in the Canadian archival discipline.

    Angela Code will be the mediator.
    Angela Code is a member of the Sayisi Dene First Nation. She was born in Churchill, Manitoba and spent her childhood in her home Indian reserve at Tadoule Lake, Manitoba. There, she was surrounded by denesuline (Chipewyan Dene) language, culture, family and community of her people. The Sayisi Dene are caribou people - much of their identity is directly linked to their traditional territory and living off the land.


    Mary Jane Johnson 

    Sheila Greer,

    Nancy Vanden-Eykel

    Roberta Nakoochee 

    Sue Parsons 

    Tahyah Van Bibber

    Karly Leonard

    This events will take place on-line and use the Zoom platform. You will receive Zoom details in advance of the workshop.
    • 22 Jun 2021
    • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM (EDT)
    • Via Zoom

    ACA Annual General Meeting

    2021 Online via Zoom

    Join the ACA Board of Directors on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 12:00 pm EDT / 9:00 am PDT for the Annual General Meeting - ACA. The meeting agenda will include board reports, an update on ACA activities, including committees, SISs and Student Chapters. Members will also have an opportunity to review ACA audit documents and the ACA 2022 budget.

    This meeting will take place online, via Zoom.  The agenda and supporting documents will be sent out in advance of the meeting.

    The results of the 2021 election will be announced and members will be able to meet the new ACA 2021-2023 board members. The ACA Awards ceremony will again take place online this year in September.  Stay tuned for more information and calls for nominations.

    Institutional members are reminded to ensure that a designated delegate has been entered into your membership profile to ensure your delegate receives the online voting link and information regarding the AGM.

    Members will have an opportunity to share their input and ideas during this meeting.

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

Contact Us

Suite 1912-130 Albert Street  

Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G4

Tel:  613-234-6977, 1  Fax:  613-234-8500


Privacy & Confidentiality  -  Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct

Copyright © 2019 - The Association of Canadian Archivists

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software