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Scope and Content

Monthly ACA Newsletter

September 2022, Volume 3, 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.

President’s Message: Planning for the 2023 Conference and Beyond

And then it was Fall. Wow, did that summer whiz by! I hope you are all able to find enjoyment in what can be a spectacularly beautiful time of year. 

Introducing the new ACA Conference Planning Committee!

Planning a Conference is a Lot of Work  

For any of you who have ever volunteered to help organize a large-scale event such as a conference, I’m sure you would agree that adequate planning time, coordination, resources, and communication are critical factors to its success. These past few years, we have been incredibly fortunate to have had some very nimble and dedicated volunteers leading our conference planning and facilitation – taking us from in-person, to virtual, to hybrid delivery formats without compromising the quality of the sessions or the experiences of participants.  

The ACA Conference is Important  

But let’s face it: conference planning today has become a bit of a frenetic activity infused with incredible uncertainty and technological and financial challenges. Balancing out the complexity of this new logistical context is the importance the ACA Conference holds for the archival and record-keeping communities across the country (and indeed beyond). Our annual conference provides myriad services and experiences to ACA members and non-members alike, such as:  

  • professional development, educational, and training opportunities;  

  • networking opportunities and vendor introductions; 

  • opportunities for members to discuss and resolve issues facing the Association and the profession by means of formal sessions, roundtables, panels, member-input sessions, information sessions, etc.;  

  • opportunities for participants to converse with the presidents of the provincial / territorial archival councils and associations;  

  • opportunities for building, and/or reinforcing relationships between the Association and the archival professionals / practitioners residing in the region in which the conference takes place;  

  • transacting the business of the Association, its Committees and Special Interest Sections; and 

  • promoting the profession and the Association to the non-archival community.   

The Conference Planning Committee: Objectives & Responsibilities 

Given the significance of the ACA annual conference, the Board has established a Conference Planning Committee (CPC), whose primary objective is to develop preliminary plans for the annual conferences of the Association of Canadian Archivists 2-3 years ahead of the conference dates. The Conference Program Team and Host Team structures will remain in place; however, the Chairs of these Teams will now report to the Conference Planning Committee. The Conference Planning Committee’s responsibilities include:  

  • With membership input, determine the physical location of in-person conferences which attempts to represent the entirety of the ACA’s Canadian membership base;

  • With membership input, determine the anchor location for the ACA’s virtual conferences which, in accordance with the ACA’s Equity Commitments, will occur every second year; 

  • With membership input, determine the theme for annual conferences which best reflects the interests of membership and the communities in which the conference will take place; 

  • Submit a call for volunteers to serve on the Conference Program and Host Teams for the annual conferences, 1-2 years in advance of the conference date;  

  • Update membership on conference planning progress and create conference announcements to generate interest;   

  • Provide the Board with a list of Indigenous communities on whose territories the conference may take place 2-3 years in advance of a conference;  

  • Coordinate regular meetings with both the Conference Program and Host Team Chairs to ensure plans are proceeding on schedule and to assist in troubleshooting when required.   

Call for CPC Volunteers! 

If you would like to put your previous conference planning experience to good use, or if you would like to gain such experience, we would love to have you volunteer for the CPC! Please fill out an ACA Volunteer form and we will be in touch with you shortly! 

Conference Program Team 2023: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

On behalf of the Board, I would like to introduce you to those fabulous ACA members who raised their hands to volunteer on the ACA’s 2023 Conference Program Team. Please join me in welcoming, and thanking, the following individuals for their upcoming time and efforts towards ensuring the success of our 2023 Charlottetown conference!  

  • Chair: Lara Wilson 

  • Program Team members: Robyn Biggar, Jonathan Bowie, François Dansereau, Sarah Glassford, Sara Janes, Karen Suurtamm, Kelly Turner 

The Conference Program Team meets for the first time this month, at which point they will fully articulate our 2023 conference theme. So please keep an eye out for the upcoming Call for Papers scheduled for release early this Fall!  

Until the next update, if you have any concerns or suggestions for new initiatives you would like the ACA to undertake, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Your Board wants to hear from you.

Warmest regards,

Erica Hernández-Read

SISARO Event on Residential Schools and Reconciliation

The Special Interest Section for Archives of Religious Organizations (SISARO) is hosting a panel discussion on residential schools and reconciliation efforts in the United States on Wednesday, November 9, 3:00 pm (ET). Speakers will include Amy Cary (Marquette University) and Maka Black Elk and Stephen Curley (National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition). The event is free and all are welcome – please register online.

Maka Black Elk (Oglala Lakota) is the Executive Director for Truth and Healing at Red Cloud Indian School, formerly known as Holy Rosary Mission, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Red Cloud is one of the few remaining Jesuit schools serving an indigenous community in the country. As an alumnus of Red Cloud, Maka continued his Jesuit education at the University of San Francisco. He returned to Red Cloud after earning his master’s in Peace and Human Rights Education at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Over the past eight years, Maka has been a high school history teacher, volunteer coordinator, and the director of curriculum during which he earned a master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame. He serves as a board member of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. He also has served as an advisor to the Taking Responsibility initiative on clergy sexual abuse at Fordham University. 

Archives and historic records of Indian boarding schools serve as a critical step in the effort toward truth and healing from historical harm. Maka will share the ways in which records have provided avenues for healing and truth-telling at Red Cloud Indian School as the institution moves through a process of addressing its role in genocide and intergenerational trauma. 

Stephen R. Curley is Director of Digital Archives at the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and is responsible for the development, professional care, and management of the Coalition's special project: the National Indian Boarding School Digital Archives (NIBSDA). He continues to reaffirm that Tribal archives stand as monuments to the traditional knowledge systems and age-old institutions which have sustained the cultural memories of Tribal peoples. He currently serves on the Society of American Archivists Council for his 2020-2023 term. 

Archives and historic records of Indian boarding schools serve as a critical step in the effort toward truth and healing from historical harm. Maka will share the ways in which records have provided avenues for healing and truth-telling at Red Cloud Indian School as the institution moves through a process of addressing its role in genocide and intergenerational trauma. 

Amy Cooper Cary is Head of Special Collections and University Archives at Marquette University, where she oversees the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions collection, as well as other collections related to Native Americans and Catholic missions. Her past work includes work with the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Archives, as well as conducting instruction sessions for the Culture Keepers Conference (Keshena, WI) and the National Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums Conference. In addition to serving as archivist at Marquette University, the University of Iowa, and the University of South Dakota, Amy spent seven years as the Director of Archival Studies at the School of Information Studies at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and an additional eight years as an adjunct instructor. 

Amy will build on the presentations from Red Cloud Indian School and NABS to discuss how the archival record can support the efforts toward truth and healing.  Working collaboratively with both Red Cloud Indian School and NABS, Amy’s focus is working with organizations to make the holdings of the records of Catholic Mission schools at Marquette University more accessible in support of these efforts.

Fall Workshops

The Professional Development Committee has two workshops planned so far for this fall term. Watch for additional workshops to be announced.

Web Archiving for Beginners

September 27, 2022, 1:00 – 4:00 pm (ET), on Zoom 

An increasing portion of the cultural record is moving online - a shift accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the issue of long-term preservation of web content is more pressing than ever. This beginner-level workshop aims to empower archivists to begin preserving web content using accessible and user-friendly tools. This workshop is catered to community archives and other cultural heritage institutions with limited resources looking to start a web archiving project. This workshop will introduce participants to the practice of web archiving and provide guidance to start building web collections on a small scale. It aims to encourage active participation through a mix of hands-on practice, live demonstrations, and discussions. The workshop will cover some helpful concepts and terms in web archiving, provide sample workflows to guide a web archiving project, and give participants the opportunity to practice archiving web pages using the Webrecorder software and Conifer, an online web archiving service.  

Workshop Objectives: By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to: 

  1. Plan a web archiving project
  2. Create a web archive 

Workshop Instructors: Hélène Brousseau, digital and systems librarian at Artexte and Sarah Lake, Digital Preservation Librarian at Concordia University 

  • ACA members: $50.00 
  • ACA members, students and precariously employed: $25.00 
  • Non-members: $75.00 
  • Subsidized places available for students and precariously employed

October 7, 2022, 10:00 am 1:00 pm (AEST), on Zoom

November 10, 2022, 8:00 am 11:00 am (AEST), on Zoom

Please confirm with your time converter to ensure you are able to attend from your location. A third version of this workshop will be offered February 23, 2023.

This workshop will consider how archives can use the principles of trauma-informed practice to provide a better service for all who use and engage with archives. Trauma-informed archival practice enables better connections with those who use archives, facilitates a reimagining about what archives can be for everyone, and challenges current models of archival work. It is aimed at anyone working in archives and across the broader GLAMR sector.

The workshop complements, rather than is a substitution for, the online courses. The intent of the workshop is for participants to discuss real-life scenarios based on their current contexts, and develop ideas and strategies to take back to their organisations, around the area of trauma-informed archival practice. It is not a requirement that participants have completed the online course before attending the workshop – but participants may find completing the online courses useful before or after attending the workshop to get the full theoretical grounding.

While an obvious place for implementing trauma-informed practice is a reference service, this session will also discuss implementing principles of trauma-informed practice in broader areas of archival work, including archival description, providing access and releasing records, and dealing with the effects of vicarious trauma on staff.

Workshop participants will complete assessments of their archives and develop a plan of practical actions they can take back to their organisations to begin implementing a trauma-informed approach. As part of the workshop, participants also will be completing plans for their organisations.

By the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • List the principles of trauma-informed practice and understand their significance;
  • Understand why a trauma-informed approach may be useful for archives and other GLAMR institutions;
  • Discuss how a trauma-informed approach can be used across areas of archival work;
  • Consider how trauma-informed their workplaces currently are;
  • Create a practical plan around implementing a trauma-informed approach, to go back to their workplaces with, for further discussion and implementation
  • Gain an understanding of what vicarious trauma is, and how organisations can support their staff;
  • Develop advocacy statements to advocate to organisations for vicarious trauma recognition and support.

The workshop is approx. 3 hours (including 1x20-minute break) and is limited to a maximum of 20 participants.

Registration closes three days before the event begins.

Presenters: Nicola Laurent (she/her) is the Senior Project Archivist on the Find & Connect web resource team at the University of Melbourne and President of the Australian Society of Archivists, and Kirsten Wright is the Program Manager, Find & Connect web resource, University of Melbourne.

Building Your Institution’s Archival Processing Checklist for Digital Records

November 2, 2022, 1:00 – 3:00 pm (ET), on Zoom

This workshop will provide practical guidance and advice for building a checklist for the archival processing of digital records. The session will include an overview of the checklist tool developed by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) staff working on the Prime Minister Papers Project. The tool is used to assess acquired digital records and to think through processing steps requiring further research, consultation, and/or the use of specialized software/tools. Walking away from the workshop, participants will have the building blocks for developing and nuancing their institution's tools for digital archival projects. 

This workshop aims to:

  • Provide a starting framework for starting your digital processing project;
  • Develop skills to help you anticipate potential digital processing issues;
  • Develop skills to help analyze digital processing workflows, including assessing strengths and weaknesses in existing processes;
  • Learn from fellow workshop participants who have experience processing digital records, and have the opportunity to share the tools used or developed to respond to project needs.

Workshop Instructors: Kelsey Beauvais, Library and Archives Canada; Kelly Ferguson, Library and Archives Canada; Laura Hernandez, Library and Archives Canada; and Rachel Klassen, Library and Archives Canada.

  • ACA members: $50.00 
  • ACA members, students and precariously employed: $25.00 
  • Non-members: $75.00 
  • Subsidized places available for students and precariously employed

Special Interest Sections

Attention, members of the Technology and Archives Special Interest Section! Please plan to attend the TaASIS AGM on September 22, 2022 at 5:00 pm (ET). 

Join Andréa Tarnawsky and Allie Querengesser for this year's AGM via Zoom.

Archivaria Dodds Prize Announcement

Mya Ballin has been awarded the Dodds Prize for 2022 for her article "'I'd rather have something than nothing': Presence and Absence in the Records of Transracial, Transnational Adoptees." Mya Ballin is a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia, and her article was submitted by Professor Jennifer Douglas. 

Instituted in 2011, the Dodds Prize recognizes superior research and writing on an archival topic by a student enrolled in a Master's level archival studies program at a Canadian university. The award honours Gordon Dodds (1941-2010), first President of the ACA, and Archivaria's longest-serving general editor. Submissions received for the 2021-22 academic year were reviewed by an adjudication committee comprising Greg Bak, Jeremy Heil, and François Dansereau. Thanks to the committee for their service. Mya Ballin's article will be published in the Spring 2023 issue of Archivaria, and the award will be formally presented at the 2022 ACA Award Ceremony.  

The citation reads: "Using a clear methodology and grounded in a strong ethic of care, Mya Ballin's paper presents primary research of a community of people who were adopted internationally as children. This paper brilliantly explores why this community is in need of archival and personal support, illuminating the inadequate and painful bureaucratic documentation of their personal histories. Using oral histories, along with a deep examination of relevant secondary literature, Ballin's article contributes directly to archival research and thinking by putting forward the complex relationships that connect records, administrative contexts, individuals' expectations and identity. In addition to the detailed examination of the issue, the article offers insight and a clear framework for archival practitioners on how to address concerns raised in the study." 

 Congratulations, Mya, on your excellent work.

In the Field: The ACA Blog

August was a quiet month for the blog, but we've been busy planning and getting ready for the fall keep your eyes peeled for lots of new content! 

In August, we published Olivia White's report back from the 15th annual TAATU (Archives and Technology Unconference), which took place online before the 2022 conference. 

If you're interested in submitting a post or want to discuss an idea for a post with us, please feel free to reach out via 

Archival Community News

CRKN conference: Registration is now open for the 2022 Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) Conference: Strength in Community. Join virtually from October 3-7, 2022 for exciting and thought-provoking conversations about the strength of community and the future of digital scholarship in Canada. There is also a pre-conference virtual Intro to CRKN session on September 28, 2022 for those who want to learn more about the organization and mandate in advance of the conversations at the conference. CRKN is also holding members-only, in-person conference events in November in Montreal. If your institution is a CRKN member and would like more information about attending these sessions, please visit the conference site or contact Nazia Bundhoo at

ARMA Kelowna Conference Discounted Registration for ACA Members: The Conference is taking place in Kelowna, British Columbia, where information governance, privacy, archivists, and records management professionals will gather from October 5-7, 2022. There are three streams of content, an exposition hall, a rooftop reception, plenaries, optional wine tour, and more! As an ACA member, registration for the ARMA Kelowna Conference is available at a discounted rate! There are discounted rates for students as well as for members or employees of First Nations, for whom there is unique Indigenous Records Management content (though everyone is welcome to attend and learn). Vendors can inquire for sponsorship opportunities. The agenda, speakers list, and registration link are available online (for the discounted rate, select the "ARMA Member" ticket option at registration).

SARBICA Conference: Registration is open for the 2022 Virtual International Symposium of SARBICA (the Southeast Asia Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives). The online event is hosted by the National Archives of Singapore from November 15-17 2022. The environmental reality of the global climate crisis leading to unstable ecosystems, rising sea levels, extreme weather events, increasing natural disasters, and displacement of people inspired the symposium theme "Preservation & Sustainability: Two Sides Of The Same Coin?" The event shall provide a venue to raise awareness, gain new perspectives, promote discussions, and engage with questions on the intersection between the work of memory institutions, the environment and sustainability. 

Archives Society Alberta's Archives Institute registration now open: Running from October 3 to December 16, 2022, the Archives Institute is an introduction to the fundamental elements that make up the work undertaken by members of the archival profession. The Institute will give you the basic information for assessing both institutional archival programs and future training needs. Each week, participants will complete a module which includes video lectures, readings, exercises and live sessions. The live sessions are an opportunity to network and further discuss the topic covered that week. The time of the live sessions are each Thursday, starting October 6 and ending November 17, from 10 am to 11:30 am (MT). The course is ideal for those who have been given the task of caring for an archives but have no previous training or for managers and support workers of archival institutions. If you have additional questions about this program, please contact the ASA Office at 780-424-2697 or

The Society of American Archivists, Archivists of Religious Collections Section has two upcoming events as part of its lunch and learn sessions:

  • October 5, 3:00 pm (ET): Introduction to AtoM, with Jody Robinson, Bishop University, Mary Grace Kosta, CSJ Archives 

  • November 18, 3:00 pm (ET): Archive-It, with Catherine Falls and Raven Germain, Internet Archive 

The Digital Museums Canada 2022 Call for proposals is now open! DMC provides Canadian museums and heritage organizations with funding and support to create incredible online projects for their current and future audiences. Along with funding, DMC offers expert guidance in digital accessibility, user experience, and inclusive design. The DMC website includes resources and inspiring examples of projects we have funded from Whitehorse to St. John's to Victoria. Apply at The deadline for proposals is December 1, 2022. If you need help with your application, contact

The Council of Nova Scotia Archives (CNSA) is inviting presentation proposals for their 2022 Conference, which will be a hybrid conference, held in Halifax and online from October 24-25, 2022. This year's conference theme is “Community-Driven Archives” – archives, archival projects, and archival initiatives that respond to the needs of communities. They are inviting proposals for presentations about archive-related activities that emerge from community partnerships, rely on community involvement, and/or help build community connections. 

Topics could include but are not limited to:

  • Community digitization projects;

  • Crowd-sourced transcriptions and/or photo identification;

  • Oral history projects and/or intangible cultural heritage projects;

  • Lowering barriers to archives and archival materials for people with disabilities;

  • Community involvement in arrangement & description projects and/or other core archival functions;

  • Bringing archival materials to communities;

  • Virtual archives;

  • Community outreach and relationship-building with underrepresented groups.

This call is open to all, including students, and we welcome all ideas and formats for presentations. Presenters do not need to be CNSA members in order to participate in the conference (but certainly are encouraged to join!). 
Please include in your presentation proposal: 

  • Your name and contact information and that of any co-presenters;

  • Your organization or institutional affiliation (if relevant);

  • A brief description of your presentation topic (approx. 250 words);

  • Proposed length of your presentation;

  • Whether you’d like to present in person (in Halifax) or online;

  • Any other details you think are important for the committee to know.

Please email presentation proposals to Sharon Murray by September 16, 2022:

Readers are encouraged to check out Melissa J. Nelson's podcast, Archives & Things, which explores archival practice in the Canadian landscape. In the podcast, Nelson is in conversation with members of her network who come from different backgrounds and experiences. You can listen to episodes on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Do you know a member who's made big news? Is there something going on that you think the Canadian archival community should hear about? Don't hesitate to forward stories to the Communications Committee, and we'll help spread the word.

Job Opportunities

Digital Archivist, University of Alberta Archives 

Deadline: September 16, 2022

University of Alberta Logo - green.

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.

Follow the ACA on our social media channels:

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

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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.