Scope and Content

Monthly ACA Newsletter

July 2020, Volume 1, Issue 7

President's Message

Dear Archival Colleagues,

Summer is here! However, the Association of Canadian Archivists’ office and volunteers have not taken a break. In this edition of Scope and Content, read about recent ACA activities including the 2020 conference, the election results, as well as Archivaria awards.

Leadership Team Changes: Jonathan Dorey, Luciana Duranti, and I will be ending our terms as Treasurer, Director-at-Large, and President. Erica Hernández-Read, Andrea McCutcheon, Andrew Chernevych, and Gillian Dunks will assume the respective roles as President, Treasurer, Director-at-Large (1), and Director-at-Large (2). Congratulations to our new Board members! I also thank Jonathan and Luciana for tremendous contributions to the ACA.

Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce (TRC-TF): In September 2015, the Steering Community on Canada’s Archives (SCAA), representing the Canadian Council of Archives, the Association of Canadian Archivists, Library and Archives Canada, l’Association des archivistes du Québec, and the Council of Provincial and Territorial Archivists, established the Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce (TRC-TF). The Taskforce’s mandate is to address Call to Action #70 specifically, and the additional 93 Calls in spirit. The document is intended to form a practical framework supporting the Canadian archival community as we begin to redress our colonial legacy. The report is expected to come out soon. We are grateful to Taskforce co-chairs, Erica Hernández-Read and Donald Johnson, and to Taskforce members for their remarkable work on this document and process. The ACA will be striking up a taskforce to ensure that the ACA follows up on the recommendations and maintains the document as a living document. The taskforce will report directly to the ACA President.

As always, please feel free to email if you have any concerns about the ACA or any suggestions on how to make your association better. We always appreciate your feedback!

Best Regards,

Loryl MacDonald, President


Election Results

Congratulations to the new Board! They will be starting at staggered dates as the election of directors is shifting to be in line with the date of the AGM rather than the calendar year. Thank you to the current Board who shepherded in this change and will be stepping down in the upcoming year. You can read more about the new directors on the ACA website.

Incoming President:

Erica Hernández-Read

Incoming Director at Large:

Gillian Dunks

Incoming Treasurer:

Andrea McCutcheon

Incoming Director at Large:

Andrew Chernevych

Bylaws - Membership Class Changes

During the virtual ACA AGM on June 23, 2020, Bylaw #1 passed with overwhelming support from both Individual Members and Institutional Members. One of the significant changes outlined in the bylaw is the change to membership category. There will now be one voting membership class for both Individual and Institutional Members. For more information about the new ACA bylaw, please visit the ACA website.

The Bulletin/Annual Report

The June 2020 issue of the Bulletin is now available and includes Reports from Directors, Committees, SIS Groups, Student Chapters, Proposed By-Law changes and the Updated Elections and Nominations Policy. 

ACA Awards

This year, the ACA will recognize and celebrate its members with honours and awards at an online ceremony in September. Nominations are now being accepted for five ACA Awards – Fellows, Membership Recognition, Outreach and Advocacy, the New Professional Award, and the Honorary Archivist Award. Nominations will close August 16, 2020 end of day.

Nominations close August 16, 2020 and the Awards Ceremony will take place online in September 2020.

ACA 2020 Conference a Success

ACA 2020 was truly historic in many ways. The conference brought together 85 speakers from across Canada and around the world and over 500 attendees! That’s a new ACA attendance record. Through sponsorship from Ancestry and generous donations from members, we were able to provide free registration to nearly 100 students and professionals experiencing precarious employment or job loss. Read more about the conference from Emily Lonie, Program Team Chair, over on our blog. 

Access to recordings: For conference attendees, the presentations that were recorded will continue to be available on the Whova app for 3 months from the date of the conference, or until September 12, 2020. They will also be available to conference attendees by signing into the ACA website and navigating to the Full Conference Schedule on the 2020 Conference page.

Thank you to our sponsors, the Program Team, the Host Team, speakers, and all members who have contributed to support colleagues during the challenging times we are currently experiencing with COVID-19. 

The ACA Board of Directors would like to thank in particular the ongoing support of

2021 Conference

Work is already underway for ACA 2021. Grant Hurley has kindly agreed to serve as Program Chair. Over the summer, the Board, Office, and 2020 and 2021 Program Committee Chairs will have our annual conference post mortem. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the 2020 delegates and exhibitors’ survey responses and to make recommendations for future conferences. The 2021 Conference call for papers and theme will be announced later in the summer. Stay tuned for more information!

Post-Conference Survey

If you could take a moment to complete our post-conference survey, we will use this information for next year's conference.  

The survey will be open until July 31, 2020. If you wish to share further comments or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact the ACA Secretariat at any time. 

On behalf of the ACA Board, Host and Program Teams and the ACA Secretariat, thank you very much for taking time to complete this survey. It should take about 15 minutes to complete. 

Upcoming Workshops

The Education Committee hosted two workshops associated with this year’s conference. As there were waitlists to attend both workshops, they will be offered again in the coming months. 

Bringing the Canadian Archive of Women in STEM to Wikidata was offered on June 8, 2020. Marina Bokovay, Yoo Young Lee, and Mairelys Lemus-Rojas led participants through a series of hands-on activities using Wikidata, including developing workflows, contributing content from finding aids, and visualizing and querying data.  

Creating Online Exhibits for Digital Collections was offered on June 22, 2020. Devon Mordell guided participants through the exhibit creation process using Omeka, an open source digital collections platform. Participants brought digital objects and metadata to the workshop to build their own exhibit. 

Additionally, the Education Committee is pleased to present a new workshop, Resume and Interview Workshop for Information Professionals in September 2020. More information about registration for these workshops will be sent out shortly.

If you would like to give a workshop for ACA members and the wider community, please reach out to the ACA Education Committee.

Special Interest Sections

The annual meeting of the Special Interest Section on Access and Personal Information (SISAPI) was held via Zoom on June 19, 2020. Representation was from across the nation, and included practitioners, as well as those with an interest in the topic. As a result of the meeting, the group decided to create a listing of relevant readings and links, to be made available to those with an interest in the subject. The group will also investigate the possibilities of creating a listserv for the SIS and holding a number of virtual meetings throughout the year.

News from Archivaria 

The Editorial Board is pleased to announce that all issues of Archivaria are now available to the public except for the two most recent issues, which are reserved for subscribers and ACA members. By reducing the embargo time from 4 years (8 issues) to 1 year (2 issues), Archivaria has greatly improved its open access policy for the benefit of its readers.

Awards: Fiorella Foscarini, Archivaria General Editor, announced the winners of the following prizes at the Association of Canadian Archivists 2020 Annual General Meeting on June 23, 2020: 

For more information about these awards and the winning articles check out the announcement on the Archivaria website. 

Virtual exhibit reviews: Have you seen any great online archival content in the past few months? Archivaria is currently soliciting reviews of virtual archival exhibitions, particularly those developed or launched in response to the closure of physical archives due to COVID-19. If you have a suggestion, would like more information, or would like to submit a review, please send an email to

Resources on Archives, Anti-racism, and Black Lives Matter 

Claire Williams, on behalf of the Communications Committee, compiled a list of resources on Archives, Anti-racism and Black Lives Matter, which was posted on In the Field on June 11. The list is ongoing and members can send an email to to suggest any additions.

COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Heritage Organizations 

The Department of Canadian Heritage, through its Museums Assistance Program, is offering financial support to heritage organizations that have been adversely affected by COVID-19 closures. Information about eligibility and the application process is available on the Canadian Heritage website.

News from the CCA

The Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives (SCCA), now under the CCA umbrella, will be releasing the reports of two of its Taskforces once translation has been completed. Sincere thanks to the Awareness Strategy Taskforce and the Truth and Reconciliation Taskforce; both reports are significant contributions to the Canadian archival community. After collecting feedback, the SCCA will plan next steps for implementing the recommendations and strategies outlined in each report. 

CCA is happy to announce that a new National Archival Appraisal Board (NAAB) bilingual database of precedents for sales of archival records has been developed with financial support from the Council of Provincial and Territorial Archivists (CPTA). After a soft launch with CPTA members and LAC, the Database of Archives’ Values (DAV) / Base de données de valeurs d’archives (BVA) will be made available by subscription to archival institutions across Canada. Subscriptions will be restricted to archives staff and archival monetary appraisers. 

And finally, good news about the Young Canada Works (YCW) program will be announced soon. Additional resources to support internships, summer, and short term jobs are anticipated in the very near future. CCA will host online meetings to share current success stories and help other employers adapt their youth employment opportunities in response to current public health concerns and recommendations.

Member News

ArQuives in the news: An article about the ArQuives, formerly the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, and the need to acquire documents from a range of LGBTQ2+ people and groups in orderly to preserve a diversity of experience, was recently featured in the Toronto Star. The article references publications by ACA member Rebecka Sheffield and an Archivaria article Elspeth Brown, ArQuives Board member and professor of history at the University of Toronto.

Suzanne Dubeau retires: On July 1, 2020, Suzanne Dubeau retired as Assistant Head of the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections at York University. As Michael Moir writes in a tribute posted on Twitter, Suzanne was active in the development of Archeion, served as managing editor of Archivaria, managed provincial and national archival listservs, and her contributions were recognized with the Archives Association of Ontario's Alexander Fraser Award in 2017 and the ACA's Membership Recognition Award in 2019.

Call for blog contributors: We want to hear from you. Did you work on an interesting project or are you working with a particular fonds that you’d like to share with others? Have you visited an archival institution abroad – or across the road – and want to share your journey? Read more about how to submit a post here.

Job Postings

Submit your job opportunity here and it will be posted to the ACA website. We will also share this opportunity on our social media channels.

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Scope and Content is issued the first Tuesday of each month. If you have any comments or feedback, please contact the Communications Committee.

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