21 January 2014

Observations from the Archives Summit

On Friday I and two other BIFHSGO members, Anne Sterling and Brenda Turner, participated in Canada's Archives Summit, albeit remotely at the City of Ottawa Main Archives. We were one of 80 remote sites, more than the 50 site capacity on the system and many more than the 30 sites registered.
BIFHSGO members Glenn Wright and Lesley Anderson were at the event in Toronto. If you know of other family historians who participated at a remote site please let me know.
We spent the morning listening to presentations from Toronto. The program is at http://archivists.ca/sites/default/files/Attachments/Advocacy_attachments/summit_program.pdf
There is far too much material to attempt to summarize. Some observations:
1. As Eisenhower said "plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." The interaction among participants will likely be more valuable than the formal results.
2. Ian Wilson showed that despite have been retired for several years he is still a strong community leader.
3. Twitter was very active with #archivesummit trending.
4. A background paper in the name of Hervé Déry, interim Librarian and Archivist of Canada, mentioned that LAC has had 1.5 million hits on Flickr. It was noted on Twitter that the Deseronto Archives had 1.1 million nits in same period. Quoting a big number doesn't cut it unless given some context. Need benchmarking. How do LAC's peer organizations, such as TNA, compare, especially the best performing?
5. I particularly enjoyed the presentation by Deborah Morrison from Canada's History and Craig Heron from York University. Texts of all presentations should be available shortly, likely through archivists.ca.
6. Bill Waiser from the University of Saskatchewan gave a strong presentation. He was one of several, including Ann Cavoukian, Information Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, who mentioned that access to government records is at the heart of government accountability. He also mentioned the need to revisit the opt-in provision for Canadian censuses "as required by law after two censuses (2016 and 2011)". Although I recall that being discussed I was unable to locate the legal requirement in the Statistics Canada Act which is where the amendments regarding the census were embedded.

In the afternoon the folks in Toronto broke into groups to discuss issues. Some of their reports are at https://t.co/gqSfnmdwVI

1 comment:

rgscarter said...

The legislated review is in Act to Amend the Statistics Act:
"2. (1) No later than two years before the taking of the third census of population under section 19 of the Statistics Act after the coming into force of this Act, the administration and operation of subsection 18.1(2) of the Statistics Act, as enacted by section 1, shall be reviewed by any committee of the Senate, the House of Commons or both Houses of Parliament that may be designated or established for that purpose."

It is put more clearly in the legislative summary: "Clause 2 of the bill mandates a review of the above procedure by a committee of the Senate or House of Commons, or a joint committee, no later than two years before the third census after Bill S-18 comes into force."