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Scope and Content

Monthly ACA Newsletter

September 2021, Volume 2, Issue 9

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

ACA 2022 Call for Submissions

The ACA Program Team has released its call for submissions for the 2022 ACA Conference.

ACA 2022: UnSettled: Redefining Archival Power 

City: Vancouver 

Dates: June 15 – 18, 2022 at the University of British Columbia 

Format:  Hybrid. This year's conference will be both in-person and online depending on Public Health Guidelines.

UnSettled: Redefining Archival Power 

Archives are changing and transforming!    

Archives are repositories that help shape public and community memory. Traditional archival theory has upheld control of the historical record by colonial institutions, western perspectives, and whiteness. This power has been used to marginalize, other, undervalue, and erase diversity within the archive and public memory. As a result, colonial institutions have perpetuated their own biases against non-western worldviews to mobilize public memory in support of ongoing colonization.   

Today, archives are used to empower, fill gaps, educate, and celebrate the voices and perspectives of those traditionally barred from this work. Transformative practice allows us to rethink traditional western theory, forge a path of solidarity, and uphold our work based on collective values in regards to archival work. The power of archives and memory keeping is evolving into something new. UnSettled hopes to shine a spotlight on the many ways the profession is redefining archives and archival work.  

We welcome proposals in all formats, including individual traditional papers, panel sessions, full sessions, round-tables, or feel free to suggest something new!  We encourage participation from all individuals and organizations involved in memory work, including students, new professionals, and community archivists. Our goal is to hear from a variety of perspectives.    

Suggested Topics:    

  • Implementation of TRC Calls to Action, Reconciliation, BLM, #MeToo, Idle No More, Stop Asian Hate, etc. 
  • Archives actively taking a stance on anti-racist, feminist, decolonial practices, and confronting systemic injustices  
  • Examples of community engagement related to diverse structures of organizing archives (e.g., grassroots and community-led archives, published history initiatives, memoir writing, oral history projects, etc.) 
  • Archives embracing ways of knowing that are new to western archival theory (e.g., culturally appropriate memory keeping) 
  • Archivists who have faced institutional barriers  
  • Data Sovereignty 
  • Re-examinations of archival education and/or theory  
  • How archival practices are continuing, growing, adapting, or reframing to work within new paradigms 

Format: To facilitate broader access, ACA 2022 will be a hybrid conference with sessions offered in-person (according to public health guidelines), as well as online.

Submitting proposals: Use the “Call for Submissions” button on the ACA website or by using the form here.

The deadline for these proposals is October 31, 2021 end of day PT.

Workshop proposals: A separate call for workshop proposals will be sent out with the opportunity to facilitate professional development in advance of the conference, during the conference, and following the conference. 

Student papers and posters: There will be an additional Call for Student Papers as well as a Call for Posters later this year, with submission deadlines early in 2022. Those papers selected for the new voices (student session) will be eligible for funding.

Please feel free to direct questions to: Krisztina Laszlo, Chair, ACA 2022 Conference Program Team, at

Image credit: Swx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) they are known as Ch'ich'iyúy Elxwíkn (“Twin Sisters” or “Two Sisters”).  

Frank, Leonard, 1870-1944. “The Lions.” P. Vancouver : Importex Company, 1919. Original Format: University of British Columbia. Library. Rare Books and Special Collections. Uno Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs. UL_1628_0125. Web. 8 Sept. 2021. <>.

Call for Volunteers

The Professional Development (PD) Committee is seeking five new members to guide and support its expanding mandate. Acknowledging the imperative for the PD committee to better represent the needs and interests of the larger ACA membership, we encourage applications from archival professionals who are:  

  • Indigenous, Black or People of Colour, or from other equity-deserving groups;  

  • and/or students;  

  • and/or located outside of Ontario and Quebec;  

  • and/or who work in archives outside of a university setting (e.g., community, corporate, government, etc.). 

For more information about the PD Committee's activities and to submit an expression of interest, please visit the ACA volunteer form.

Upcoming Workshops

The Professional Development Committee has an amazing lineup of workshops planned for the fall and early winter. All workshops are listed on the ACA Workshops page. The cost for each workshop is listed below, but if you require support or subsidization to attend any of these workshops, please contact the ACA office

The Record that Dare Not Speak Its Name: Intimate Records in the Archives

September 22, 2021, 1:00-2:00 PM EDT, Zoom Meeting

Cost: ACA Members $30.00 | ACA Student Members and Precariously Employed Members $15.00 | Subsidized / ACA Supported Members $ 0 | Non-Members $60.00

Led by Faythe Lou and James Goldie  

It's a quandary most archivists will face at some point in their careers: how best to handle ethical and privacy concerns when arranging and describing highly personal, sexual materials (what we are calling "intimate records") uncovered in an archives. What underlying assumptions inform our perceptions of these typically "taboo" records? How do we employ appropriate language in our descriptions of them? And how do we balance issues of privacy and access when we encounter such sexually intimate materials? While there is no definitive answer as to how archivists should properly manage materials that expose the most private parts of an individual - both literally and figuratively - this workshop will provide a space to explore these topics and hopefully work towards some best practices when it comes to working with intimate records. We will summarize and share some of the historical and archival literature on this topic, but most of all we are interested in creating a discussion space for archivists to talk about the ethical/representation issues inherent in dealing with intimate records. We want this workshop to be an opportunity for archival professionals to consider the unique challenges presented by intimate records and to share some of their own experiences dealing with them.

Conjuring the Spirits of Success – Heritage Wins the Day

September 29, 2021, 12:00-2:00 PM EDT, Zoom Meeting

Cost: ACA Member $40.00 | ACA Student Members and Precariously Employed Members $20.00 | Subsidized / Supported ACA Members | Non-Members $60.00  

Led by Dave Evans 

A look at how to successfully develop heritage material from your archival collection. Focusing in on four types of organizations, we show how successful strategies are really a matter of knowing your customer and providing the convenience of access: 

  • Large collection, many partners 
  • Large collection, few partners 

  • Small collection, many partners 

  • Small collection, few partners. 

Examples are taken from across North America, Europe, and Africa. Specifically how to maintain the balance with preserving the integrity of mission statement and collection with the needs of partners and our clients.

Information Governance for Archivists

October 6, 2021, 1:00-3:00 PM EDT, Zoom Meeting 

Cost: ACA Member $50.00 | ACA Student Members and Precariously Employed Members $25.00 | Subsidized / Supported ACA Members $0 | Non-Members $75.00 

Led by Dr. Lisa Daulby 

The effective management and use of organizational records/information/data is necessary and remains a key objective of recordkeeping professionals. This course serves as an introduction to the field of Information Governance (IG) for Archivists not familiar with the construct. This course is designed to provide an overview of the theoretical principles, methodologies, and practical administration of an Information Governance program. The professional responsibilities of an IG professional working in today's business, government, academic, and nonprofit environments will be examined as well as the fundamental functions and proficiencies of the profession. The role and nature of record/information strategies, techniques, and technologies will be explored. Topics include the nature of records/information/data, the evolution of records management to information governance, risk management, strategy development, legal and policy matters, industry standards, and technology alignment. The course also examines emerging technology trends and their impact on the profession in an ever-changing digital environment. 

Description and Access for Anti-Black Archival Materials

October 22, 2021, 1:00-2:30 PM EDT, Zoom Meeting

Cost: ACA Member $50.00 | ACA Student Members and Precariously Employed Members $25.00 | Subsidized / Supported ACA Members $0 | Non-Members $75.00 

Led by Melissa J. Nelson 

This workshop will address anti-Black racism in archival records by providing methods on how to create inclusive descriptions and how to provide access to these materials while minimizing harm. This workshop will ask participants to think critically about the impact of descriptive and access practices for racist archival records. The workshop will include interactive activities and discussions with time for reflection.

Archival Community News

New Name for OPL-LAC Joint Facility

At a recent event, the name of The Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility was revealed. On behalf of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation gave the name Ādisōke for the facility. Ādisōke is an Anishinābemowin word that refers to the telling of stories. To learn more, read the news release.

Statement on the Right of Reply to Indigenous Knowledges and Information Held in Archives 

The Indigenous Archives Collective has published their Statement on the Right of Reply to Indigenous Knowledges and Information held in Archives. The statement supports the work of the Indigenous Archives Collective to assert the rights of Indigenous Peoples' to challenge and respond to their information and knowledges contained in archival records held in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museum (GLAM) institutions through a Right of Reply 

In addition to a list of key priority areas for action, the statement includes a number of principles: 

  • The Right to Know: Without an authoritative source to identify where relevant material is to be found, further rights, such as the right of reply, cannot be activated. 

  • Cultural Safety: All initiatives to activate Indigenous Peoples' rights in data, information and records about them should be undertaken to ensure the cultural safety of participants and knowledge. 

  • Consent: Every opportunity for engagement with Indigenous Peoples should be taken to support Indigenous peoples' control of their information, knowledges, and representations. 

  • Institutions as Facilitators, not Owners: Prioritize institutional support of Indigenous rights to manage Indigenous material according to culturally appropriate means. 

  • Advocacy: Continual advocacy is required to prioritize the rights of Indigenous Peoples' in the management of cultural material.

Price McIntosh Bursary

Library and Archives Canada has launched the Price McIntosh Bursary to support diversity in Canada's libraries and archives. This funding opportunity provides financial support to Indigenous persons (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation), persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities who wish to pursue studies in fields related to libraries and archives. All eligible students are invited to submit their applications for the 2021-2022 academic year by October 15, 2021. Guidelines, eligibility criteria, and the application form are available on the Price McIntosh Bursary web page.

Museum Assistance Program 

The Museums Assistance Program (MAP) is now accepting applications for assistance with ongoing operating costs through the Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations. This assistance will help heritage organizations that have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as they reopen and safely welcome back visitors. For full details on program eligibility and information on how to apply, please visit Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations. Not-for-profit organizations with a heritage collection, such as museums, archives, and historic sites, may be eligible to receive funding. Indigenous organizations with a heritage collection are also encouraged to apply. Organizations can receive between $1,000 and $100,000 in emergency support. Applications for the 2021 Reopening Fund for Heritage Organizations will be accepted through the new Canadian Heritage Funding Portal.

New Editors of ICA Journal 

The International Council on Archives (ICA) is pleased to introduce Frans Smit and Bethany Anderson as the next Editors-in-Chief of Comma: International Journal on Archives. Smit, senior inspector at the Information and Heritage Inspectorate of the Netherlands, and Anderson, assistant professor and Natural and Applied Sciences Archivist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA), will initially serve a four-year term together beginning in October 2021. Comma, established in 2000 as the successor to the long-standing ICA journals Archivum and Janus, is published semi-annually by ICA and is a multilingual archival journal with a global distribution.

In Memoriam: John Smart 

It is with profound sadness that the family of John Smart announces his passing on August 29, 2021 at age 82. John worked for 18 years as an archivist at the Public Archives of Canada and in 1992 founded the Archives Technician Program at Algonquin College, where he taught until his retirement in 2000.

Share your news with the ACA. We've launched a form for promoting your news, events, and more through the ACA's official channels. 

Job Postings

Head of Archives, Royal British Columbia Museum. Deadline: September 14, 2021.

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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Do you have news you’d like the ACA to share via its social media channels? The Communications Committee has created a form you can use to give us the details! 

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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.