The final day of the ACA conference opened with a plenary session focusing on the idea of Being Archived. The panel featured authors Erika Ritter and Rosemary Sullivan. This presentation provided an interesting look on what is like to be on the other side of the fence – to be the one donating your professional and personal records to an institution. The act of donation experience that many archivists don’t ever get a chance to experience and this presentation provided a look at what goes through the minds of potential donors.
The morning session I attended was entitled Respect and Recognition Continuity and Change in Archives Practice and Aboriginal Documentary Heritage. The panel featured Terry Reilly of the University of Calgary, Sarah Hurford of LAC, Patricia Kennedy of LAC, and Marianne McLean of LAC. Kennedy, Hurford, and McLean all work in different departments of Library and Archives Canada that deal with the acquisition, reference, and development of Aboriginal heritage collections. All three speakers from LAC focused on the need to develop programming which suits the varying needs to Aboriginal communities, researchers, litigation companies, and scholars. In particular, McLean emphasized the growing need to collaboration at every stage of collection development.
Reilly’s presentation focused primarily on her role as the archivist for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The TRC archive is currently in the development phases and Reilly’s work focused on the development of policies and collection mandate’s within the TRC framework. Like the presenters from LAC, Reilly emphasized the need for the TRC to make its work relevant to First Nation, Metis, and Inuit communities – and the ongoing struggle the TRC has with engagement on the local level.
The final #ACA2011 presentation I attended focused on What is a Record in the Digital Environment? The Speakers included Adam Jansen of the University of BC, Jim Suderman from the City of Toronto, and Luciana Duranti of the University of BC. Jensen’s presentation focused on the role of diplomatics (the gensis, forms, and transmission of archival documents) in the digital age. Jensen emphasized the need to archivists to be engaged in the creation of digital content and to understand object oriented programming. Jensen maintained the importance of archivists being digitally literate and being more than merely reactive to digital trends. Jim Suderman’s presentation followed a similar vane to the work of Jansen. Suderman focused on the growing open data trend within Canada and the United States. Like Jense, Suderman suggested that archivists should be involved in the establishment and delivery of the digital platforms used by open data initiatives. This panel concluded with an interesting presentation by Duranti focusing on the Facebook Wall. Duranti used archival theory to deconstruct the digital form that is ‘the wall’ and to explain what the characteristics of a digital record are.