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“Implementing a Trauma-Informed Approach to Archives” Workshop

  • 22 Feb 2023
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Online via the Australian Society of Archivists

Implementing Trauma-Informed Archival Practice

This workshop will consider how archives can use the principles of trauma-informed practice to provide a better service for all who use and engage with archives. Trauma-informed archival practice enables better connections with those who use archives, facilitates a reimagining about what archives can be for everyone; and challenges current models of archival work. It is aimed at anyone working in archives and across the broader GLAMR sector.

The workshop complements, rather than is a substitution for, the online courses. The intent of the workshop is for participants to discuss real-life scenarios based on their current contexts, and develop ideas and strategies to take back to their organisations, around the area of trauma-informed archival practice. It is not a requirement that participants have completed the online course before attending the workshop – but participants may find completing the online courses useful before or after attending the workshop to get the full theoretical grounding.

While an obvious place for implementing trauma-informed practice is a reference service, this session will also discuss implementing principles of trauma-informed practice in broader areas of archival work, including archival description, providing access and releasing records, and dealing with the effects of vicarious trauma on staff.

Workshop participants will complete assessments of their archives and develop a plan of practical actions they can take back to their organisations to begin implementing a trauma-informed approach. As part of the workshop, participants also will be completing plans for their organisations.

By the conclusion of the workshop participants will be able to:

  • List the principles of trauma-informed practice and understand their significance
  • Understand why a trauma-informed approach may be useful for archives and other GLAMR institutions
  • Discuss how a trauma-informed approach can be used across areas of archival work
  • Consider how trauma-informed their workplaces currently are
  • Create a practical plan around implementing a trauma-informed approach, to go back to their workplaces with, for further discussion and implementation
  • Gain an understanding of what vicarious trauma is, and how organisations can support their staff
  • Develop advocacy statements to advocate to organisations for vicarious trauma recognition and support.

The workshop is approx. 3 hours (including 1x20-minute break) and is limited to a maximum of 20 participants.

Registration closes three days before the event begins. 

Date: February 23, 2023

Time:  10:00 am AEST - please confirm with your time converter to ensure you are able to attend from your location.


Nicola Laurent (she/her) is the Senior Project Archivist on the Find & Connect web resource team at the University of Melbourne, and President of the Australian Society of Archivists. Nicola advocates for trauma-informed archival practice, including creating resources and support networks to support its implementation, promoting sustainable access to online material through the preservation of links, and discusses the impact of vicarious trauma on archivists. Nicola is the International Council on Archives’ New Professionals Programme Coordinator. With Michaela Hart and Kirsten Wright, she is the co-founder of the Trauma-Informed Archives Community of Practice.

Kirsten Wright is the Program Manager, Find & Connect web resource, University of Melbourne. Prior to this she held a number of roles at Victoria University, including University Archivist, and also worked at the Public Record Office Victoria. She has previously published and presented on topics including tattoos, ghost signs, archives and power, historical language and archival description, trauma-informed archival practice, and out-of-home care records. With Nicola Laurent and Michaela Hart, she is the co-founder of the Trauma-Informed Archival Practice Community of Practice.

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