Scope and Content

Monthly ACA Newsletter

December 2020, Volume 1, Issue 12

President's Message

Dear Archival Colleagues,

With the New Year comes a sense of new beginnings and of looking to the future. It is also a time for reflecting back on the previous year.

The reflective nature of the season is even more marked to me as my tenure as ACA President ends December 31. The past year, in particular, has brought unexpected challenges for the Canadian archival community. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have had to adjust to working remotely while others experienced job loss. At the same time, the tragic events of this spring underscored the appalling impact of racial injustice and discrimination.

Throughout all of this, the ACA strove to adapt to the new landscape and forge ahead with its strategic goals and plans. I am very proud to be part of a professional association that has accomplished so much over the last two years – and, especially, over the past few months. The ACA’s 45th Annual Conference was truly historic being held entirely on-line for the first time and breaking attendance records with over 500 registrants. Further, in September, in keeping with our strategic plan and inspired by global anti-oppression movements, the Board issued an equity statement and action plan affirming the association’s commitment to building a more equitable recordkeeping profession and association. The Board also conducted advocacy in several areas that directly impact archivists’ work, such as CCPERB’s draft Guidelines for Monetary Appraisals; archivists’ well-being during COVID-19; the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Crown copyright; and the duty to document. Moreover, new streamlined bylaws, including the ability to vote electronically and granting institutional members voting rights, were developed and endorsed by membership. Archivaria continued to be the pre-eminent academic archival journal. Our Mentorship Program is thriving with 44 mentees and 32 mentors signed up for the 2021 program. Our membership is back up to 663 members, meeting the target set out in our 2018-2021 strategic plan. The association’s finances are reasonably healthy.

It is a tribute to the ACA’s wonderful volunteers that, in the face of all of these challenges—or perhaps because of these very challenges—we continue to be a source of archival support and community for each other. I am delighted that Erica Hernández will be assuming the role as ACA President in January and very much look forward to what the new year brings for ACA.

In the meantime, I wish to thank my Board colleagues, Committee Chairs, Committee Members, and Archivaria Board members, who so generously volunteer their time to assist the ACA in its deliberations and delivery of services. A very special thanks goes to Vice-President, Rebecka Sheffield, and former Treasurer, Jonathan Dorey, for their tremendous hard work, insight, and senses of humour. Finally, I wish to acknowledge Jo McCutcheon and Maureen Tracey for their contributions to the success of the ACA. It has been an honour and pleasure to serve as ACA President.

I hope that you and your family stay healthy and well.

Best wishes for the New Year!

Loryl MacDonald


2021 Early Bird Renewal Campaign 

It’s time to start thinking about renewing your ACA membership! 

The ACA Membership Committee is pleased to announce our annual renewal campaign. ACA Membership runs from January 1st of each year. Members are encouraged to renew online using our online Membership Management System, as the ACA Secretariat is working from home, due to COVID-19. 

There are some great prizes to be won for those who renew before December 31st! Check out the prizes, information about all the benefits of membership, and renew or join the ACA on the website.

Early Bird Prizes include five copies of All Shook Up and a pair of Apple AirPods.

Giving Tuesday

It's Giving Tuesday! The ACA Foundation is building a fund to support member participation in the annual conference and professional development, and to honour members with scholarships. You may also support the ACA as a sustaining member.  If you are able, consider a donation today, and help us reach our goal.

Support the ACA and ACAF

In the Field: ACA Blog

Check out the latest ACA Blog post, where archivist François Dansereau writes about his experience at the recent virtual International Conference on the History of Records and Archives (ICHORA), and how the multi-disciplinary nature of the presentations provides a useful framework for archivists working in the theme of the conference, Archives and the Digital World. 

We want to hear from you. Do you want to share a particular initiative that will enlighten the archival world? Highlight new strategies and collaboration that facilitated access to a particular fonds or collection? Or raise issues regarding archival practices and theoretical paradigms? Consider submitting to the ACA blog 

In line with the ACA's Strategic Plan and Progress toward A Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan, the ACA blog focuses on publishing posts that explore “frameworks, strategies, initiatives, programs and actions” undertaken across the archival realm to “address issues of inclusion, access, diversity, multiculturalism, and regional, national, global and intercultural engagement.” We encourage proposals from students and those new to the profession.

Introductory Workshop on Managing Audio Collections 

December 3, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm (EST) 

Instructor: Dave Pascoe 

The ACA's Sound and Media Archives Special Interest Section is offering one more virtual introductory workshop on managing, preserving, and handling audio collections. The workshop will be held on Zoom. 

Call for 2021 Workshops

The ACA Education Committee invites proposals for online workshops for the Annual Conference and throughout 2021. Workshops on all topics are welcomed, particularly those relevant to remote working environments. Topics may include accessing, using, and working with collections in a digital environment, digital preservation, privacy and copyright, decolonizing archives, policy development, project management, or any other skills you think might support your colleagues in their work. 

Workshop proposals are due December 15, 2020. All workshops will be offered online via Zoom and an honorarium of $150 will be offered to workshop facilitators. 

If there is a workshop topic that you would like to see the ACA offer, please reach out to the ACA Education Committee.

New Chair of Municipal Archives Special Interest Section 

Responding to a call in November's Scope & Content, Dominic Boisvert volunteered to become the chair of the ACA's Municipal Archives Special Interest Section. Thanks for stepping up, Dominic!

Membership Committee

As the end of the year is coming to a close, we want to highlight the four committee members who wrapped up their terms with Membership. Leslie Thomas-Smith has acted as Coordinator for the Mentorship Program for the past few years. Tomoko Shida has worked connecting with Student Chapter groups across the country. Also rotating off is Sean Hayes, who has been involved with several different committee projects focusing on membership drives. Last but not least, is our previous Chair, Shamin Malmas, who stepped down from this leadership role earlier in the summer. We want to thank each of these folks for contributing their time and energy to this Committee!

New issue of Archivaria

Archivaria 90 (Fall 2020) is now available online. Members and subscribers will receive their print copy in the next few weeks.

Call for nominations: Inscriptions to the Canada Memory of the World Register 

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) has launched the fourth Call for Nominations for inscriptions on the Canada Memory of the World Register. This Register recognizes significant documentary heritage related to Canada and its peoples, and is one of the vehicles of the UNESCO Memory of the World Program which aims at preserving and providing access to documentary heritage as the embodiment of the memory of humanity. 

In recognition of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024, CCUNESCO extends a special call for documentary heritage related to Black Canadians with the goal of increasing awareness of this community’s diverse cultures, history, and contributions to Canadian society. CCUNESCO also continues to extend a special call for proposals for documentary heritage related to Indigenous languages and cultures.  

Visit the ACA website for more information and related links. The dates for submitting declarations of interest are December 4, 2020 and March 1, 2021.

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.

Archival Assistant, Port Hope Archives

Deadline: December 6, 2020

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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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