Posts Tagged canada

UNESCO/UBC Vancouver Memory of the World Declaration

At last month’s conference, “Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation”, a declaration was adopted addressing the challenge of digital amnesia.  The four page document, made available on UNESCO’s website last week, is an extension of a principle in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  That is, each individual should be guaranteed access to information, including in digital format, and that national policies should be established to promote the right to information, open government and open data.

Also highlighted during the conference and its consequent declaration was the growing importance of industry in digitization and digital preservation among trusted digital repositories.  The conference declaration adopted a call on industry to ensure long-term accessibility to trustworthy information contained in legacy formats.  It further encouraged professional associations work with industry for the development of requirements of systems that embed preservation concern and assist in the development of a cohesive and practical vision of the way forward in addressing the management and preservation of trustworthy recorded information in all its forms in the digital environment.

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Register Your Support for the Universal Declaration on Archives

To raise awareness of the profession, the International Council on Archives (ICA) is enlisting the support of the public to promote Universal Declaration on Archives (UDA) by signing the UDA online register.  The UDA has been endorsed by the ICA as a key pillar of its outreach and advocacy policy and strategy.  Followers and supporters may also share the link to further publicize the Declaration.

The UDA was adopted in principle in 2009 at the ICA Annual General Meeting in Malta.  It was developed by a special working group of the ICA, the SPA (Section of Professional Associations), based on the model of the “Déclaration québécoise des Archives“.  On 17 September 2010, the ICA unanimously approved the text of the UDA at their Annual General Meeting held in Oslo.  On 10th November 2011, the UDA was officially endorsed by UNESCO and adopted by the 36th plenary session of the General Conference of UNESCO .

The Declaration concisely outlines the unique characteristics of archives and the management requirements to provide ongoing records access. It has been conceived as a basis for advocacy and promotion to support archives and the profession, and addresses a wide public. Available in 25 languages, it is a statement of the relevance of archives in modern society and marks an important step in improving understanding and awareness of archives among the general public and key decision-makers.


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2012 UNESCO Conference on Digital Preservation – Call for Papers

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO Memory of the World Program, UNESCO, in collaboration with the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies and the University Library of the University of British Columbia (UBC), is holding an international conference on “The Memory of the World in the Digital Age:  Digitization and Preservation” on September 26-28, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  This event is also being held in partnership with ICA, IFLA, IASA, ICOM, WIPO, Google, Microsoft and others. UBC has put out a call for conference papers.

(This announcement comes from UBC archival studies professor, Dr. Luciana Duranti)

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Files in Hungarian National Archives Threatened

There is a problematic piece of legislation in Hungary which if passed, proposes the destruction of archives pertaining to the Communist era in Hungary.

In December 2010, Hungary’s parliamentary secretary for justice announced that his government believes that a democratic state cannot “preserve the immoral documents of an immoral regime.”  By November 2011, the Government of Hungary plans to introduce legislation that will permit the removal and destruction of Hungarian communist secret police, interior ministry and state security files currently held at the Historical Archives of Hungarian State Security in Budapest, and available to researchers, as well as to survivors and effected communities.

800 supporters thus far have signed a petition against the proposed legislation on the blog site Save Hungary’s Archives. Here in Canada, the Canadian Historical Association (CHA) and the National Post have made efforts to spotlight the injustice of sanitizing the archives in this way.

Read CHA article

Read National Post article

Sign the petition

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UNMIS Archivist Tom Adami to Speak at National Research Centre Forum

Tom A. Adami will be featured as a speaker at the National Research Centre Forum on the Canadian Residential Schools hosted by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada next month in Vancouver.  He has worked since 1990 as an information manager when he joined the Dept of Defence in Sydney as records manager and archivist. In 1997 he joined the National Archives of Australia as a research officer in the policy development section.  In 1999 he joined the United Nations, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) based in Tanzania as Chief Archivist and head of the Judicial Records and Archives Unit. He subsequently held postings at the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and at the UN Archives in New York.

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Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada to Establish Research Centre & Forum

On June 2008, on behalf of the Canadian government, Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper gave an apology to aboriginals for past policies of assimilation and the aboriginal residential school system.  This sparked a renewed interest in the ongoing controversy, the result of which included renewed research interest and use of records from the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) pertaining to this period in Canada’s past.

Recently the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada announced as part of its mandate it will establish a National Research Centre. The centre would be accessible to former students, their families and communities, the general public, researchers and educators.  During its mandate, the Commission will ensure that all materials created or received will be preserved and archived with a purpose and tradition in keeping with the objectives and spirit of the Commission’s work.

In keeping with this part of the mandate to establish a National Research Centre, the TRC is planning to hold a three-day forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 1-3, 2011 at the Sheraton Wall Centre.  The forum will assemble discussion panels of experts who will provide information to assist the Commissioners in gathering and archiving the statements being gathered.

The vision that emerges from this forum will be the basis on which the National Research Centre will be established.  The expertise being shared will be specific to the creation and organizational structure of research or archival centres, databases or projects for statement gathering, research, public access and privacy management, capacity-building, public education or memorialisation.  The forum will have a particular emphasis on institutions and records that relate to indigenous peoples and to Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, the records and statements they collect and how best to make these accessible.

Go to forum website

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Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the LAC Collaborate

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) and the Library & Archives Canada (LAC) signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday in Ottawa.  The partnership expects to increase opportunities for visitors and scholars alike to develop research initiatives, promote dialogue, and enhance access to Canada’s human rights history.  I have not located a copy of the memorandum and the details of exactly which LAC collections or resources will be loaned out to the CMHR remain to be determined, but I am sure we will see more news out of this partnership agreement in the coming weeks.

Read press release

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