Scope and Content

Monthly ACA Newsletter

March 2021, Volume 2, Issue 3

President's Message

March greetings to one and all!  

As we inch ever closer towards spring and the promise of regeneration and new life, I’m reminded of the ACA’s need for volunteers to bring life to new and ongoing initiatives and to lead us all in new and exciting professional directions. The ACA, as a member-driven association, is only as dynamic, nimble, and responsive as its volunteer-base allows. The more volunteers, the greater its capacity to meet the myriad needs of its members. It’s truly an exciting dynamic in which the sky is the limit with regards to activity. If you have never before considered volunteering for the ACA, or if you have in the past but haven’t participated for a while, I would warmly encourage you to step forward now. Not only would you be able to connect, or reconnect, with colleagues from across the country on topics of interest, you would also be contributing in a really meaningful way to the development of your profession and the evolution of your professional association. Come join the amazing volunteers at the ACA, and let’s make things happen!  

There is lots of news and activities this month. Thank you to the all committee chairs and their members for all they contribute to the ACA!  

Warmest regards,  

Erica Hernández-Read, ACA President

Vice-President's Message

As I wind down my work with the ACA over the next few months, I wanted to share a brief reflection on my time as Vice-President of the association. I’ve often told friends that I stepped into this role purely by accident – by raising my hand from the floor at the 2017 annual conference in Ottawa. Of course, the truth is that I have long admired the ACA and its leadership and took that opportunity to get more involved.  

And, wow, did I hit the ground running. In late 2017, I chaired the ACA’s Strategic Planning Task Force, which produced our current plan, Moving Forward Together. The strategic goals set out here have shaped much of the ACA’s work over the past 3 years. This has included: 

  • Improving communications to members and other stakeholders 

  • Launching a new membership management system and integrated website 

  • Refreshing the ACA bylaw to meet current business needs 

  • Developing thoughtful and important professional development programming 

  • Developing and implementing an equity action plan for the association 

  • Modernizing the planning and delivery of the ACA conference  

All of this work has been accomplished with the commitment of a stellar set of Board colleagues, committee chairs and volunteers, task force members, and knowledgeable staff. The support and encouragement from members across the country have also greatly contributed to achieving these significant milestones. When I pause to reflect, I can see how much we have accomplished together. And I have to remember to do this often because I can also see how far we have left to go.  

For me, a future ACA is a vibrant and accessible community of archives and recordkeeping professionals. It is an association that develops and delivers timely and important professional development opportunities. It is a place where leadership from diverse backgrounds can thrive and advocate on behalf of an increasingly diverse membership. A future ACA is an organization where people like me – people who stretch the boundaries of what it means to be an archivist – continue to see value in the association and its mission. This value is visible and represents the many professional identities that our members bring to the association.  

Are you part of a future ACA? My role as Vice-President will be ending in June, and it’s time for a fresh perspective. If you are interested in serving as the ACA Veep, or just want to know more about the role, please drop me a line: 

Rebecka Sheffield

Institutional Membership Survey and Town Hall

The Institutional Membership Working Group is seeking input about the institutional membership category. The Working Group is reviewing this category and preparing recommendations for the ACA board and general membership regarding topics such as member benefits, fee structure, and the relationship between individual and institutional memberships. The Working Group is interested in hearing from both current institutional members and non-members (representing an institution). 

A brief survey was launched and is still open for responses. 

The Working Group is also offering a Town Hall discussion to continue the conversation. Register to join us online on March 11, 2021 from 9:30 - 11:00 (PST) / 12:30 - 2:00 (EST).

2021 Conference

The ACA 2021 Program Team is excited to release its draft program for the 2021 conference, Home Improvement: Building Archives Through Change. Registration will open March 15, 2021.

 Some highlights from the draft program:  

  • 17 core sessions that together include 70 speakers giving paper presentations and roundtable and panel discussions, plus an exciting poster lightning session 

  • Two discussion forums, including the 2nd BIPOC Archivists Forum on June 7 

  • An opening session “Cross Country Archives Checkup: A National Organizations Update Forum” on June 8 featuring speakers from LAC, CCA, CRKN, Portage/NDRIO, and CCUNESCO giving an update on their activities during the past year, followed by questions and discussion 

  • A plenary panel “Collaborative Archives for Human Rights” on June 9 featuring Jen Castro (Digital Democracy), Amanda Grzyb (Western University), and Yvonne Ng (WITNESS) speaking about projects to support human rights through documentation projects and methods for ethically collaborating with communities in this work 

  • A second plenary panel “Black Archives Matter” on June 10 featuring scholars Mark Campbell, (University of Toronto Scarborough), Cheryl Thompson (Ryerson University), and Karina Vernon (University of Toronto) speaking about their experiences working with, and to create, archives of Black history and memory in Canada

  • A closing keynote by internationally-lauded author and archivist Verne Harris (Nelson Mandela Foundation) on June 11 

To be announced soon: conference workshops, virtual social events programmed by the awesome Emily Lonie and Jenna Murdock Smith, and more!

In The Field

Head over to In The Field: The ACA Blog to read "Behind the Scenes: Presenting at Archive/Counter Archive 2020 Symposium" by Melissa Nelson. The article discusses Melissa's presentation at the Archive/Counter Archive 2020 Symposium, anti-oppressive archival pedagogy, and anti-racist community initiatives.

Volunteer Opportunities

The ACA is a member-driven association for archives and records professionals across Canada and abroad. All Individual Members are encouraged to participate in ACA activities. Positions will remain open until filled. Submit your online application here. 

For more information about the ACA and its leadership opportunities, or to send us an expression of interest, please contact: or call (613) 853-1867. 

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. 

Together we can build a strong ACA and enrich the archives and recordkeeping profession for the benefit of all.

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. 

ACAF Board Nominations 

Do you know someone interested in helping to support developing archivists and gaining experience as a member of a charitable board? The Association of Canadian Archivists Foundation (ACAF) is looking to expand its volunteer Board of Directors and welcomes nominations for new 2021 ACAF Board members. 

The ACAF is a fundraising and fund granting charitable organization with the specific aim of supporting the educational and research needs of the Canadian archival profession in alignment with the Association of Canadian Archivists' Strategic Plan and 2020 Equity Commitments.  

Board members are elected by the ACAF membership on an annual basis and serve for a two-year term. This is an open call for nominees. Please submit your nomination or expression of by completing this form by April 2, 2021. 

Membership Committee 

The ACA Membership Committee has open vacancies for committee members. The committee is working on a number of projects, including a review of member categories and continued development of the Mentorship Program. This committee is great for both new and seasoned members who are keen to engage with the ACA community and enhance membership experience. Volunteer here. 

ACA 2022 - Program Team

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. Volunteer here. 

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 of one of the top 10 most liveable 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. 

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.

Archival Community News

Archives Society of Alberta 2021 Biennial Conference: Archives in Interesting Times 

ACA members may be interested in attending the online ASA conference – Archives in Interesting Times – on May 28, 2021. Shelley Sweeney will be the keynote speaker.

Royal Society of Canada: Report on Archives and COVID 

On February 25, the Royal Society of Canada's Working Group on Archives and COVID released their report, Remembering is a Form of Honouring: Preserving the COVID-19 Archival Record. Thanks to the authors: Esyllt W. Jones, Shelley Sweeney, Ian Milligan, Greg Bak, and Jo McCutcheon. 

Report summary: Archives offer essential primary information to historians, scholars from other disciplines including historical epidemiology, families doing genealogies, the media -- for anyone doing research into the past. Some aspects of disease history, such as government measures or official public health responses, are generally recorded for posterity in government archives. Newspapers have been invaluable accounts for establishing timelines, although they must be carefully analyzed for their biases and silences. But once we leave the realm of the "public" record, uncovering past experiences becomes much more challenging. 

CLIR Digitization Grant now Open to Canadians 

On Monday, March 1, the Council on Library and Information Resources opened the application period for its Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives regranting program. Since its establishment in 2015, the program has distributed over $24 million (USD) to digitize collections of rare and unique content in cultural memory institutions.  

For the first time this year, Canadian nonprofit institutions are eligible to apply for an award. Previously, they were allowed to participate only as supporting partners to US-based institutions. This year, the program will have a thematic focus on collections documenting the hidden histories of people who have previously been under-examined or unknown to broader audiences. 

Initial applications will be due April 30, 2021. CLIR will host an informational webinar for applicants on March 17 at 3:00 pm EDT, and a Q&A webinar on March 30 at 3:00 pm EDT. Advance registration is required. 

Copyright Consultation 

The CCA Working Group on Statutory Review of the Copyright Act is preparing a presentation to the Consultation on How to Implement an Extended General Term of Copyright Protection in Canada by the deadline of March 12. They are seeking the input and help of the archival community regarding the following: 

  • What kinds of issues have you had related to clearing copyright for fonds or collections you wish to digitize and make available online? 

  • How often do copyright issues for orphan works arise in your archives? 

  • Can you provide us with a story that illustrates the impact of adding 20 years to the general term of copyright protection (changing the term from life of the creator plus 50 years, to life of the creator plus 70 years)? 

Please send your input to Nancy Marelli. If you wish, your responses will be kept in confidence, and stories can be anonymized so your institution cannot be identified.

LAC’s Vision 2030 

Since the spring of 2020, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has been conducting a reflection and planning exercise to envision where it needs to go in the next decade, what goals it wants to achieve, and how it will reach them. This project, called Vision 2030, is intended to complement LAC’s continuing mandate to acquire, process, preserve, and disseminate Canada’s documentary heritage.   

Consultations with both staff and external stakeholders are well under way, and you can participate in the Vision 2030 consultation here. This extensive, necessary conversation, with close collaborators and other groups whose opinions LAC is seeking, will guide the development of a road map which will pave the way for LAC until 2030. Participate in the Vision 2030 consultation by filling out this survey by March 28, 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.

Machinery of Government Policy Advisor, Executive Council Office (Ontario). Deadline: March 12, 2021 

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

Executive Director (Maternity Leave Contract), The ArQuives: Canada's LGBTQ2+ Archives. Deadline:  March 26, 2021 12:00 PM EDT

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.

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The ACA office is located on the unceded, unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation whose presence here reaches back to time immemorial.