Scope and Content

Monthly ACA Newsletter

February 2021, Volume 2, Issue 2

President's Message

Well hello, February!   

For some of you, spring is indeed just around the corner, with colourful evidence of new life beginning to nudge its way through the greyness of winter. For others, myself included, February is simply another month bringing snow, cold, and the occasional five minutes of brilliant blue sky. To celebrate and share the beauty of this seasonal diversity and help us remember that natural splendour can still be found – despite the snow, slush or rain I encourage you to post your favourite February landscape photo to the ACA Facebook or Instagram page. 

Or perhaps humour is your shtick! For those with a talent for meme generation, please join the "Bernie bandwagon" and post your favourite Bernie Sanders à la archives meme to the ACA Facebook page. I know some of you have already been busy on this front, so why not share the joy!  

In my roundabout way, what I guess I’m trying to get at is that while each of us is heading into our second year of rowing our own boatload of professional and personal challenges upstream with half an oar, we are all in this river together. Perhaps if we all try, in some small way, we can help remind one another of a time when we could travel across the country to see something other than the view outside a living room window. Or perhaps that silly post of Bernie Sanders sitting on a lawn chair in the middle of the LAC foyer might just put a smile on someone’s face when they need it most. At the great risk of sounding saccharine, I’d encourage you to take a moment to reflect on how simple acts of kindness and sharing really do make us feel less alone. Wishing you and yours joy in the month ahead.  

There is a lot of news and activities in this month's issue of Scope and Content. Thank you to all the committee chairs and their members for all they contribute to the ACA!  

Best regards,  

Erica Hernández-Read, ACA President


Board Update: The ACA Board met on January 22 and is continuing to work in support of members as we collectively navigate the long-term and the short-term impacts of the pandemic. On January 29, the Board approved the following changes in existing committee names and mandates: the Advocacy Committee is now the Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee (PAAC); and the Education Committee is now the Professional Development Committee (PDC). The Board also approved the creation of a Professional Competencies for Archivists Working Group mandated to identify required competencies for archivists navigating today’s diverse information management landscape. More information on these new committees and working group, including information on how to get involved, can be found in the next section.  

Institutional Members Update: The Institutional Members Working Group will be hosting a virtual Town Hall on March 11, 2021, 12:00 pm EST. We want to hear your ideas about how we can make the ACA a stronger, more responsive association for all members. To register, see here.

ACA Equity Commitments Now in French: Thanks to the work of François Dansereau, the ACA Equity Commitments have been translated into French.

Calls for Volunteers and New Initiatives

The ACA has a lot on the go, and there are many calls for volunteers this month. The ACA believes that a professional and intellectual community is enriched and enhanced by diversity along a number of dimensions, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity and national origins, gender and gender identity, sexuality, class, and religion. We are especially committed to increasing committee participation by members from groups that have been historically underrepresented in the records and archives profession. We encourage participation from ACA members at any stage of their careers and from all backgrounds.

Professional Competencies for Archivists Working Group: In 2011, the Educational Guidelines Review Task Force embarked on a two-year project to define the competencies required of practicing archivists. The ACA Board sees real value in this work and believes, as an association representing professional archivists in Canada, that identifying professional competencies can serve as a cornerstone to our continued support of members. To this end, we are very pleased to announce the creation of a Professional Competencies for Archivists Working Group (PCAWG). The Board is seeking volunteers to serve on this working group, from each of the following constituencies: an educator from a graduate-level archives program, a practicing archivist, a recent graduate from an archival or information studies program, and a manager of an archival institution. A Board member will round out the membership. Please contact the ACA Office to submit your name to the Board for consideration.

Public Awareness & Advocacy Committee (PAAC): Do you have a passionate interest in equity and social justice issues? Or do changes to privacy or copyright legislation drive you 'round the bend? Or perhaps you are just tired of explaining the differences between an archivist and a librarian? The newly revamped Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee needs you! Be an advocate, join the team, and let’s change the world. 

Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee: Apply Here

New SIS on Natural Resource Archives: Does your institution hold significant amounts of material related to the natural resources of Canada? Are you interested in connecting with other archivists to discuss how best to work with these collections? Would you like to share tips and gain insight on how to connect with faculty and students in the sciences and bring them into the archives?  If so, please email Claire Williams with your name and contact info. Claire, along with Sara Janes (Lakehead University) and Sarah Giesbrecht (UNBC) are interested in forming a Special Interest Section of archivists who are responsible for Natural Resource

Photo credit: [Thomas, S. (1914, January 1).  Clearing the Point Grey campus [P]. UBC Archives Photograph Collection: UBX 1.13-1  doi:

ACA 2021 - Virtual Host Team: Do you like meeting new people? Do you enjoy interacting with friends and colleagues on social media? The ACA is looking for you! Volunteer members are still needed for the 2021 Virtual Host team to lead the dynamic, online activities in support of the ACA June virtual conference.

ACA 2022 - Conference Planning Committee: The ACA 2022 conference will hopefully be our opportunity to once again gather in person. Slated for Vancouver, the program will focus on decolonizing archives, indigenisation of practice, increasing diversity in the profession and moving archives forward to better reflect core values of inclusivity. Whether you are new to the profession or a veteran from the archival trenches, 2022 Conference Programme Chair, Krisztina Laszlo, is interested in putting together a dynamic group who is inspired by the above topic.

ACA 2022 - Vancouver Host Team: Do you know Vancouver like the back of your hand? Love sharing with visitors the many sights, sounds, and flavours that make Vancouver one of the top 10 most livable cities in the world? Well, the ACA 2022 Vancouver Host Team needs you! Volunteer members are needed for the 2022 Vancouver Host Team to lead the dynamic, in-person (knock on wood) activities in support of the ACA’s annual June conference.

Volunteer Here for Conference Roles

Request for Records from Former SIS Chairs

If you are a former Special Interest Section (SIS) chair, please consider submitting any records of your group’s past activities (e.g., work plans, reports, guideline documents) to Gillian Dunks, Director at Large. Access to these records will help current SIS iterations in their planning for the upcoming year.

Professional Development

The Education Committee has made extraordinary progress in new online professional development offerings over the past year, both as part of their previous workplan and to address the reality of the pandemic. To focus this momentum, the Board has adjusted the name and mandate for this committee to become the Professional Development Committee. Over the next year and beyond, the Professional Development Committee will create a comprehensive slate of course offerings, aiming to fill the gaps in knowledge identified by members.

Workshop: Legal Issues in Archival Donations

Instructor: Loryl MacDonald, Associate Chief Librarian for Special Collections and Director of Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto  

Date: February 19, 2021 

Time: 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm EST 

Cost: Members, $25.00; non-members, $50.00; students and precariously employed members, $0; non-members who are precariously employed, $0. Please contact the ACA office to obtain a registration code.  

This workshop will explore the legal issues surrounding the donation of archival material in Canada. It will cover acquisition and ownership topics such as transferring ownership and rights; reappraisal and de-accessioning; loans and loan agreements; as well as abandoned and unclaimed materials. The workshop will also delve into tax and cultural property laws that pertain to the donation of archival materials, including tax credits for archival materials, the Cultural Property Export and Import Act, and monetary appraisals.   

The workshop is intended for anyone wanting to learn more about the donation and tax receipting process for archival materials, and the legal framework that applies to the donation of archival records in Canada. The format of the course will consist of an on-line lecture and group discussion. A reading list and sample templates will be provided. To register for this webinar, please see here.

Workshop Registration

Professional Development Survey 

The ACA Professional Development Committee invites you to complete a brief survey in support of the ACA’s commitment to providing a diverse array of professional development (PD) opportunities to members of the Canadian archival community. The survey results will help the committee plan a program of PD opportunities for the coming year and beyond. We are interested in hearing about the type of PD content you are interested in, how you would like to see it delivered, and what stage you are at in your career. The survey should take less than ten minutes to complete. It is broken down into four categories: education and employment demographics, potential workshop delivery modes, participant’s financial capacity, and desired workshop content.  

Although current restrictions in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic limit near-term opportunities to online offerings only, we hope that in the future we will be able to offer workshops in a variety of formats throughout the year – online and in-person, both at the annual conference and throughout the year.    

Please consider taking a few minutes to respond and support the Professional Development Committee's efforts to plan programming that is responsive to your needs. The survey will remain open until March 5, 2021, and results will be made available once they are compiled.

2021 Conference: Calls for Submissions

Call for Student Submissions: A reminder that submissions to the ACA 2021 Student Voices session are due February 8, 2021. Are you an archives or information studies student with an idea that you want to share with the community? Have you written a paper or conducted research you would like to take to the next level? Do you want to build your skills in public speaking and improve your resume? The ACA 2021 Program Team wants to hear from you! 

Archival Screening Night Submissions: The Sound and Moving Image Special Interest Section (SMISIS) is presenting our first ever online Archival Screening Night, on Thursday, June 10, during the 2021 conference. The event is a program of preserved short video and/or film clips plus pre-recorded introductions (5 minutes or less) from archives across Canada. We are now accepting proposals to be part of the program. If you have a digitized film from a recent discovery or preservation effort, and you’d like to prepare a short clip from it to be screened as part of this program, please send us a proposal via this form by April 15. Clips can, but do not have to, relate to the conference theme of "Home Improvement: Building archives through change. You will be informed if your clip is chosen in early May. The screening will be open to the public, so please be aware of the copyright status of your clip.

ACA McGill Student Chapter Annual Colloquium

The ACA McGill Student Chapter will host its 14th Annual Colloquium virtually, on March 11, 2021 from 12:00 - 4:00 pm EST. We are seeking volunteer presenters for this year’s theme: Archives and Activism. Interested parties should propose a brief (10-12 minute) discussion of their research on and/or experiences with archival activism: challenges, triumphs, lessons learned, etc. This will be an inclusive event, covering a broad range of topics presented by people of diverse backgrounds, including students, archival professionals, activists who use archives, and others with relevant experience. Please email your proposal (max. 1 page) to by February 19, 2021 at 5:00 pm EST.

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.

University Archivist, Dr. John Archer Library, University of Regina. Deadline: February 15, 2021 (preferential consideration)

Project Records Manager, UBC Okanagan Campus. Deadline: February 21, 2021 11:59 pm PT

Archivist, St. Paul's High School, Winnipeg.

Deadline: February 28, 2021

Information and Records Management Analyst, City of Camrose. Deadline: Open Until a Suitable Candidate is Found

University Archivist, Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University. Deadline: The position will remain open until a suitable candidate in found.

Head, Archives and Special Collections, Wilfrid Laurier University. Deadline: March 15, 2021

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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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