Advocacy

The AAO advocates on behalf of archives and archivists in Ontario, as well as other related organizations such as libraries, museums, and heritage organizations. The AAO advocates for government at every level regarding archival initiatives and funding streams in order to improve support for archival and archivally-related institutions throughout the province. 

The AAO also works closely with the Canadian Council of Archives and the Association of Canadian Archivists to improve the work of archivists throughout the country.

Below, you will find articles about all of the AAO's recent advocacy efforts. Advocacy initiatives are managed by the AAO's Communications and Advocacy Committee.


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  • 09 Feb 2017 1:58 PM | Amanda Tomé (Administrator)

    The Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) wishes to express its concern over the executive order issued by the Trump Administration on January 27, 2017, that restricts entry into the United States by individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen).


    The AAO represents Ontario’s archivists, and through our archives, we seek to support and reflect the diversity of our province and beyond in order to preserve the memory and heritage of our communities, organizations, families and individuals for future generations. It is our fervent hope that the current administration will recognize the value and contributions of immigrants who have historically helped the United States grow and develop into the vibrant and diverse nation it is. We hope that the United States will continue to be a safe place for individuals who wish to access archival collections for scholarly, professional, or personal pursuits. The AAO stands in solidarity with the individuals and organizations affected by the ban, and with our colleagues in Canada and the United States, the AAO condemns this policy as discriminating against the rights and freedoms of refugees and travelers from these seven countries.

  • 06 Jul 2016 3:48 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    The Archives Association of Ontario has joined many colleagues throughout Canada in voicing concern over the decision to close the consultation room and lay off staff at the Musée de la civilisation du Québec in Quebec City, for an undetermined amount of time, effective June 23, 2016. Please see our letter of support below.

    The Communications and Advocacy Committee of the AAO is happy to accept any requests for advocacy from AAO members. Please contact Chair, Laura Hallman at chairs@aao-archivists.ca for information.

    (PDF Version)

    July 6, 2016

    Luc Fortin, Minister of Culture and Communications

    Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Quebec City

    Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

    Dear Sirs and Madam:

    The Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) is the professional organization representing over 350 archival institutions and archivists in Ontario. As President of the AAO, I am writing to express my concern regarding the recent decision to close the consultation room and lay off staff at the Musée de la civilisation du Québec (MCQ) in Quebec City, for an undetermined amount of time, effective June 23, 2016.

    Sir Arthur Doughty, Dominion Archivist at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, said that "... of all national assets, archives are the most precious, they are the gifts of one generation to another and the extent of our care of them marks the extent of our civilization." As we have entered the Twenty­first Century, please help us ensure that our gifts are not imperiled. Please, raise your voice in support for more funding for the Archives of the Musée de la civilisation du Québec, and help protect our documentary history and heritage with the provision of proper facilities. One of Québec’s mottos is “je me souviens” ­ let us ensure that we continue to have the ability to do so.

    The historical archives collection at MCQ is one of the oldest in the country, holding the archives of the Quebec Seminary that began in 1623. The documents held within are critical to anyone interested in understanding Canada’s early history as users can access materials related to New France and the early relationship between the diverse peoples of northeastern North America, Indigenous language documents, and records from the French Empire and the Catholic Church. The collection is also considered important worldwide as it became one of only four documentary heritage collections in the UNESCO Memory of the World Program in 2007.

    The AAO calls on Quebec’s Museum of Civilization as well as all levels of government to find a way to maintain access to the collections of Le Centre de référence de l’Amérique francophone with the qualified staff who can share their expertise and experience to preserve and provide access to these invaluable records. The value of these staff members cannot be replaced by digitization. In fact, digitization often increases the desire for physical access.

    Preventing access to these records creates a gap in our documentary history that cannot be replaced by digitization alone. The access to the physical records provided by Le Centre de référence de l’Amérique francophone undermines our ability to provide access to our collective historical property. Closing institutions such as this, infringes upon our ability to provide researchers with the materials they need to conduct research and make accurate interpretations of our national history. Furthermore, it hinders our capacity to allow current and future generations to interact with our heritage. Ensuring the appropriate custodianship of these records by qualified professionals is crucial to preserving them as an accurate reflection of our national history and future development. In closing, we urge you to add your voice to the hundreds who have signed a petition, and written letters in support of access to the incredible collection at Le Centre de référence de l’Amérique francophone at the Musée de la civilisation du Québec.

    Sincerely,

    Dana Thorne

    President, Archives Association of Ontario

  • 07 Jun 2016 3:44 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    The Government of Ontario is developing a provincial Culture StrategyThe AAO provided an initial response to a proposed strategy in 2015, and followed up during the second half of the consultation process in May 2016 with an additional submission. Many members of the archival community also took the initiative and submitted their recommendations individually to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. 

    Below is the AAO's response from May 11, 2016 and submitted by Past President Marissa Paron. 

    (PDF Version)


    Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport:  


    The Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) commends the Government of Ontario for planning the province’s first Culture Strategy and welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft.  


    As an Ontario Provincial Heritage Organization representing more than 300 members, the AAO serves as a network of archives and archivists across the province. Through its collective efforts, this network preserves the history and culture of Ontario and its citizens through the application of specialized knowledge, skills and resources critical to the effective management and long-term preservation of documentary heritage. The importance of the work of archivists was outlined in our submission to and involvement in the Culture Strategy consultation process in 2015.  


    The draft Culture Strategy makes no direct reference to archival institutions and the work of archivists. Due to this unfortunate omission, the Strategy does not currently recognize the vital contribution of archives and archivists in supporting its core elements. The Ontario Culture Strategy must acknowledge archives and archivists as full status partners in the development, promotion, and preservation of Ontario culture, and the role of archives as distinct from that of public libraries, museums, and other memory institutions.[1] This document will describe the unique roles that archives assume in several specific core elements of the draft Cultural Strategy and how archival institutions are integral to the functioning of a rich cultural landscape.


    Our feedback on the draft Culture Strategy reflects our view that the work of archivists and archives is vital to supporting and enhancing a number of elements outlined in the Strategy.  Namely that:


    1. Archives connect people and communities to culture in Ontario and provide the foundation upon which culture is created and recorded;

    2. Archivists and archival researchers directly contribute to tourism in Ontario and promote a strong knowledge economy;

    3. Ontario’s archivists are key stakeholders in the field of digital culture;

    4. Archivists have been active in leading digital collaboration initiatives that directly facilitate interaction with and dissemination of culture; and

    5. Archives play a unique role with First Nations communities and the process of reconciliation.  


    Archives connect people and communities to culture in Ontario and provide the foundation upon which culture is created and recorded


    Archives work to identify, preserve, and provide access to irreplaceable records that permanently conserve the culture of a society.    These records underpin cultural activities, including:


    • Providing access to primary sources expressing the stories that inspire the arts, including craft, dance, literary arts, media arts, music, opera, theatre and visual arts;

    • Offering research resources that fuel cultural industries, including film and television production, interactive digital media, the music industry and book and magazine publishing;

    • Enabling the recognition and designation of built heritage and cultural heritage landscapes and providing context for archeological sites and museum artifacts through documentary evidence of cultural heritage.   


    Archivists and archival researchers directly contribute to tourism in Ontario and promote a strong knowledge economy


    Archives exist in all of Ontario’s regions, communities and populations and directly contribute to tourism by promoting a strong knowledge economy. They actively create partnerships with other heritage institutions and community stakeholders to highlight personal and community histories and cultural attractions. Archives are vital to heritage preservation and support many cultural exports that showcase our province to the world.  Archives also increasingly provide direct access to Ontario’s rich cultural heritage through websites, databases, online exhibitions, and projects that mark events and figures significant to the history of Ontario and Ontarians.  

    Archives are active in growing Ontario’s knowledge economy by providing access to the knowledge, information, and memory that roots us personally, communally, and provincially. Every day, archival records are consulted by a vast array of users: academics, genealogists, historians, professional researchers, writers, artists, government institutions, and other culture creators. In addition to knowledge building, archives play an important role in skill building, as many archives in Ontario provide work experience opportunities for young and emerging professionals in the cultural sector.


    Ontario’s archivists are key stakeholders in the field of digital culture


    Ontario’s archives have an important role to play in building capacity and infrastructure for digital culture by developing and maintaining programs to preserve our digital culture for future generations. As more cultural products are created, disseminated, and viewed digitally, archives are working to ensure that the artwork, films, photographs, music, writing, and other cultural products made by Ontarians today are preserved and accessible for tomorrow. Archivists have the unique skills, knowledge, and expertise to preserve born-digital materials and projects to collaboratively expand these services are now being developed. AAO’s Archeion project for digital descriptions and the Ontario Council of University Libraries’ Scholars Portal for digital preservation are two examples of archivists working together with cultural producers to bring digital materials online.  Most recently, the AAO hosted an Edit-a-Thon to establish Wikipedia pages for underrepresented people, events and subjects reflected in Ontario’s archival collections. These endeavours directly relate to Goal 1 of the Culture Strategy; by providing online access to information about Ontario’s cultural heritage they are allowing people and communities to connect, share and celebrate our diverse heritage.  


    Archivists have been active in leading digital collaboration initiatives that directly facilitate interaction with and dissemination of culture


    The Ontario Culture Strategy’s emphasis on creating an environment that promotes collaboration and innovation between sectors and levels of government is promising. Ontario archives have used digital projects to connect Ontarians, our heritage, and our cultural institutions. Online community spaces and inter-institutional partnerships have proven successful in disseminating cultural property and fostering a heightened sense of connectivity. Digital projects such as Archeion, the Archives of Ontario’s digitization loan program, and software including Archivematica and Access to Memory allow Ontario archives and archivists to not only display their collections, but also to foster a sense of sharing, learning, and teaching among members of Ontario’s archival community. Archives are the genesis of Ontario’s cultural output, and should be explicitly recognized in the Strategy for adaptation to the dynamic digital environment and vital contributions to preserving existing digitized and born-digital materials. Archives need support in order to continue to be proactive in the future custodianship of our provincial heritage.


    Archives play a unique role with First Nations communities and the process of reconciliation


    While the current draft of the Ontario Culture Strategy does an admirable job of integrating the cultural contexts and values of Indigenous communities, archives should be better represented in the preservation and expression of Indigenous culture and communities. The guiding principles of the Strategy stress that Ontario is “committed to reconciliation by strengthening and transforming its relationship with Indigenous communities and by implementing changes that reflect their own priorities.” This language echoes the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Final Report, which recognize the unique role of archives in reconciliation. Even though the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls for the implementation of archival mechanisms ensuring the accessibility of aboriginal records are at the federal level, this is a key opportunity for Ontario to take a leading role in reconciliation by enhancing support for archival collections within the province.  


    The Strategy includes calls for greater support for First Nation’s public libraries, museums, and heritage organizations, and points to archaeological artifacts as vital to the preservation of indigenous cultural knowledge for current and future generations. As the TRC’s Final Report and Calls to Action make clear, archives play no less a role than museums or libraries in cultural continuance and vitality. Culture is supported and strengthened through preservation and memory, especially with respect to those artifacts that have both historical and legal value. In this sense, local archives, often housed within community and heritage centers, form vital cultural hubs for First Nations people. It is our belief that the Ontario Culture Strategy should include support for the role of archives in strengthening Ontario’s relationship with Indigenous communities and achieving reconciliation through, for example, “an ongoing dialogue to address shared culture priorities, such as access to archival records pertaining to First Nations and the preservation of Indigenous cultural heritage and language."[2] These recommendations align with those of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report and affirm the inalienable rights of Aboriginal people to have access to those records created by and pertaining to their history, rights, and culture.  


    In closing, the AAO wishes to thank the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft Culture Strategy.  


    We look forward to the finalized version.    


    Sincerely,


    Marissa Paron,
    President Archives Association of Ontario


    [1] The Environmental Scan of the Culture Sector contains some references to archives (primarily in Sections 6 and 7), but they are lumped together with other cultural institutions such as museums and historic sites and not given their own treatment.

    [2] Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Core Elements of Culture Strategy – draft for Public Comment, April 2016. “GOAL 3: Promote Cultural Engagement and Inclusion: Strategies and Actions.”

  • 24 Nov 2015 10:49 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Executive Summary

    The Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) commends the Government of Ontario for planning the province’s first Culture Strategy. The AAO notes that the discussion paper makes only one reference to archives or the work of archivists. The AAO notes that this omission is unfortunate given that primary source records form the basic building block of all culture creation and consumption. Archival records are identified, preserved, and made publicly accessible by archives and archivists.

    The AAO recommends that Ontario’s Culture Strategy recognizes the contribution of archivists and archives to Ontario’s culture and that the Culture Strategy not be limited by the organizational structure of the Government of Ontario to the detriment of archivists and archives. The AAO recommends that the Culture Strategy includes funding programs to assist archives and archivists in their role as key cultural agents.


    Background

    The Archives Association of Ontario

    The Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) is a network of archives and archivists providing programs, education, advocacy and shared knowledge. Consisting of approximately 300 members, the AAO supports and promotes the work of archivists in preserving the history and culture of Ontario and its citizens. It was established in 1993 as a result of the amalgamation of the Ontario Association of Archivists and the Ontario Council of Archives.

    The AAO promotes the development of a co-operative system of archives in Ontario by:

    • Advocating on behalf of Ontario’s archival community to the government of Ontario, local government and other provincial institutions in order to advance archival practice and promote the value of archives

    • Promoting professional standards, procedures and practices among archival repositories

    • Facilitating archival communication and cooperation among institutions, users and sponsors

    • Providing leadership through communication and co-operation with individuals, groups and associations interested in the preservation and use of Ontario's documentary heritage

    • Being part of a network of provincial, territorial and national archives associations

    Additionally, the AAO offers a number of different services to its members, including:

    • Guidelines for starting and managing an archives through the advisory services of the AAO Archives Advisor and Archeion Coordinator

    • Educational opportunities through professional development and web resources

    • Opportunities for members to make professional connections

    • Archeion, a database containing archival descriptions and digital objects from AAO member institutions


    The Culture Strategy Development Process

    Representatives of the AAO attended the Telling Our Stories, Growing Our Economy: Developing a Culture Strategy for Ontario, Consultation Session, held on November 4, 2015 at National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Tables were asked to offer six words that would describe what Ontario’s culture should be like 10 years from now. The AAO representatives asked their table to add "archives-INCLUDED!" in the list. A passionate presentation on the place of archives in culture, to the larger group, prompted the facilitator to follow up and ask the room, "So what do others think? Are archives important enough to the cultural scene in Ontario to warrant special mention in the Strategy?", and the response was a round of applause. The facilitator then noted that in no other consultation had the absence of archives from the current discussion paper been highlighted, and she then asked, "Are the note takers getting this? We'll make sure this is noted".

    It is important that the next version of the discussion paper includes this acknowledgement of archives and archivists as full status partners in Ontario culture, and that their role be distinguished from those of public libraries and other memory institutions.


    The Crucial Role of Archives in Culture

    Archivists work to identify, preserve, and provide access to records that permanently record the culture of a society. These permanent archival records are the under pinning for all cultural activities. They provide:

    • Stories that inspire the arts, including craft, dance, literary arts, media arts, music, opera, theatre, and visual arts;

    • Research resources that fuel cultural industries, including film and television production, interactive digital media, the music industry, and book and magazine publishing;

    • Primary sources for the materials that public libraries house;

    • Evidence of cultural heritage that enables the recognition and designation of built heritage and cultural heritage landscapes, and context for archaeological sites and museum artifacts.

    Archivists work to identify, preserve, and make accessible the records created by all cultural activities so that there is evidence that they actually happened; and so that future generations can create cultural activities that are informed by what is happening in the present, and by what happened in the past.

    Archives enrich and provide the basis upon which stories may be written. Archives provide access to knowledge, information and root us in our personal history and community history. If archival records are not identified, preserved, and made accessible then other cultural activities lose their connection to the experiences of Ontario society.

    Archivists identify, preserve, and make accessible valuable assets that provide memory of past cultural endeavours, and context for future cultural endeavours.


    Archives and Culture in Ontario

    The AAO commends the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for initiating this first Culture Strategy for Ontarians. The discussion paper, however, makes just one reference to archives or archivists, and yet we are crucial to the province’s ability to tell its stories, and to grow its economy. The reason for this may lie in the fact that administratively the Archives of Ontario is placed within the Ministry of Government Services rather than with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

    Archives exist in many organizations in Ontario including:

    • Provincial and Federal government;

    • Municipalities;

    • Hospitals and other health care institutions;

    • Universities, colleges, school boards, private schools, and other educational institutions;

    • Religious institutions;

    • Private sector organizations;

    • Museums, galleries, libraries, and other cultural institutions.

    Most frequently, but not exclusively, they report within an area of the organization that has an administrative function (e.g. Ministry of Government Services, City Clerk, Corporate Services Department, Corporate Secretary, CAO’s Office), or a cultural function (Ministry of Culture, Municipal Cultural Services Department, Community Cultural Services Board or organization, Library).

    Archives and culture cross administrative lines. Archivists provide their organizations with administrative services such as records management and coordination of freedom of information requests. They also provide a valuable contribution to the development of a municipality’s cultural plan, the cultural sponsorship spending of a private sector organization, or the cultural activities of a community.

    The development of Ontario’s cultural strategy should reflect the cultural reality of Ontario society. It should not be limited by the administrative organization of the Ontario government.


    Culture, Digital Technology, and Archives

    1. Archivists and Archives are faced with a number of challenges when it comes to their crucial role in identifying, preserving, and providing access to permanent cultural records in a digital society.

    Consumers and creators of cultural resources want to know what research materials, digital or otherwise, are available by browsing the internet. To satisfy this demand the AAO operates Archeion. Archeion, Ontario's Archival Information Network, is a publicly available, bilingual gateway to descriptions of archival records located in Ontario. There are currently over 20,000 descriptions available for searching and browsing. Archeion also provides contact information and locations of archives where documents can be accessed.

    Archeion brings together information about archival materials held all over Ontario. By contributing information to Archeion, archives allow researchers to easily discover their collections and to make connections between holdings of more than one hundred archival institutions across the province, saving them time and effort. Descriptions in Archeion are exposed to search engines like Google, which means that they are easily found even if researchers are unaware of the Archeion site.

    Archeion is maintained by the AAO’s Archeion Coordinator. The Archeion Coordinator provides advice to archives about descriptive standards, helps with the writing of descriptions, and answers technical concerns. The Archeion Coordinator is an expert on online access to historical research materials.

    Archeion was built with funding from the Canadian Culture Online Program of Canadian Heritage, the Government of Ontario, Library and Archives Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the EMC Heritage Trust. Archeion and the Archeion Coordinator require stable funding sources to remain as an effective cultural tool for Ontarians.

    2. Many individual archives in Ontario have identified online access to their cultural assets as a priority. Individual archives throughout the province have developed online databases and exhibits that enrich the cultural experiences of all Ontarians. This work complements and enriches the work that the AAO is doing through Archeion. Ontario’s Culture Strategy should support this work.

    3. Consumers and creators of cultural resources are looking for digital copies of historical records. Records created in non-digital formats need to be digitized. Archives across Ontario are working hard to satisfy this demand. A considerable accumulation of records requiring digitization exists despite these efforts. A provincial program for funding digitization of archival records would go a long way to satisfying the needs of consumers and creators of culture for historical documents in digital formats.

    4. Most evidence of current cultural activities exists only in digital formats. Digital curation presents archivists with new challenges. All archives in Ontario are facing this challenge. The techniques and computer systems required for the identification, capture, preservation, and public access to born digital records are entirely different from those required for traditional archival work. A gap exists in the resources available to Ontario’s archives to acquire the skills, applications, and equipment needed to meet this. This is not a problem of some distant future. It is happening right now. A provincial program for funding training and equipment for archival digital curation would go a long way to satisfying the needs of consumers and creators of culture for archival documents that exist only in digital formats.


    Culture and Archives in Traditional Formats

    More than 200 years of Ontario’s heritage is recorded on paper, in analog still photography, audio, and video formats, as physical objects and works of art, and other non-digital formats. All of these formats of recorded culture are preserved and made available for public access by archives and the archivists that they employ.

    It is unrealistic to expect that all of these records will be converted to a digital format in the near future, despite the appetites of our digital age. Complete digital conversion of all archival records requires a Herculean effort that is beyond the human and financial resources of Ontario and the individual institutions that sponsor archives in the province.

    It is important that Ontario’s archives and archivists continue to have the resources to preserve and make publically accessible the non-digital records of Ontario’s culture, in their original formats. Ontario’s Cultural Strategy should provide support for these efforts.


    Culture Strategy Discussion Questions

    a. What does culture mean to you and your community?

    Culture includes the archival records that provide evidence of past and current cultural activities. Consumers and creators of culture require archival records for the social context and memory that they provide. An inclusive cultural strategy for Ontario must include archives, archivists, and archival records.

    b. How can we strengthen and grow the cultural sector in Ontario so that it continues to contribute to our social and economic wellbeing?

    Support of Ontario’s archives provides Ontario’s cultural sector with the memory and context required to allow it to continue to contribute to our social and cultural wellbeing.

    c. How can we inspire more youth to create, consume, and participate in Ontario culture?

    Youth create, consume, and participate in Ontario culture through digital channels. Supporting Ontario’s archives in efforts to provide access to digital cultural records will inspire youth to greater cultural participation.

    d. How can we help ensure that support for culture reflects Ontario’s diverse regions, communities, and populations?

    Archives exist in all of Ontario’s diverse regions, communities, and populations. Archives provide memory and context for all cultural activities. By supporting archives across Ontario we will be supporting culture in all regions, communities, and populations.

    e. How can we help the culture sector respond to digital challenges and opportunities?

    Funding programs to assist archives in meeting the challenges of digitization and digital curation will provide the cultural sector access to resources necessary for the creation and consumption of culture.

    f. In a time of scarce resources, what key culture priorities should the Ontario government support? How can your organization work in partnership with the government to support these priorities?

    Support of Ontario’s archives must be a key culture priority because archives provide the foundation upon which all of culture is created and recorded. The AAO can work in partnership with the government by continuing to provide leadership for Ontario’s archives and archivists, and by developing criteria and delivery mechanisms for new provincial archival funding programs.

    g. Do the guiding principles on page 9 reflect what is important to you? Are there others we should consider?

    The AAO supports the guiding principles. Archives preserve evidence of creativity and innovation and make them available to inspire further creativity and innovation. Archives provide memory and context for cultural activities to maximize the social and economic benefits of culture. Archives support diversity because they exist in all communities. The AAO offers its expertise in heritage preservation to all Ontarians including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. Archives contribute to public value and accountability by preserving and making accessible evidence of the activities of governments and other sponsoring organizations.

    h. What is the Ontario government doing well to support the arts, cultural industries, public libraries, and cultural heritage sectors? What would you like to see changed? Are there best practices that Ontario could learn from and adapt?

    The AAO would like to see the government of Ontario recognize archives as full and equal partners in the creation and consumption of culture. The discussion paper and this question references the arts, cultural industries, public libraries, and the cultural heritage sector but does not mention archives at all. The discussion of cultural heritage on pages 14-15 talks about cultural heritage providing a connection “to where we live, to the people who came before us, and to the stories that have shaped Ontario.” The stories of these people and their contributions to culture are remembered through archives. And yet no references to archives can be found in the discussion. It is clear from the discussion that the Ontario government’s current definition of cultural heritage and cultural heritage institutions is limited to built heritage, artifacts, and museums. The Ontario Heritage Trust could not conduct research and run programs like Doors Open without information found in the province’s archives. A Community Museum Operating Grant exists to assist museums but no such program exists for archives. A comprehensive cultural strategy must include recognition of the significant contribution that archives make to Ontario culture.


    Conclusion

    The AAO concludes that the Province of Ontario is to be commended for embarking on its first cultural strategy. The AAO concludes that this strategy must include archival records as key and foundational cultural assets, and archives as significant cultural institutions. The AAO makes the following recommendations to assist the Government of Ontario in developing an inclusive and comprehensive cultural strategy.


    Recommendations

    The AAO recommends that:

    a. The next version of the discussion paper includes an acknowledgement of archives and archivists as full status partners in Ontario culture, and that their role be distinguished from those of public libraries and other memory institutions.

    b. The Government of Ontario adopts a cross-ministerial approach to culture. This approach needs to recognize the importance of archives to culture, despite the fact that the cultural strategy is being developed by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, but the Archives of Ontario is placed administratively in the Ministry of Government Services. Intellectually the Archives of Ontario belongs in both administrative spheres, as do all of Ontario’s archives.

    c. There should be increased inclusion of archivists and archives in the development of the Ontario cultural strategy.

    d. The Government of Ontario support the significant role archives play in culture by developing funding programs for archives in the following areas:

    Access to information:

    • Projects that preserve and provide access to records in non-digital formats;
    • Projects that prepare archival records for digitization;
    • Records digitization projects;
    • Projects that make records available on the internet through online databases and exhibits;
    • Projects that assist archives with contributing to Archeion;
    • Ongoing and sustainable funding of Archeion and the Archeion Coordinator.
    Developing capacity for digital curation:
    • Research projects that explore the appraisal, acquisition, preservation , and public access of digital records
    • Assisting archives in obtaining digital curation tools
    • Development of training programs for archival digital curation
    • Ongoing and sustainable funding of the AAO’s Archives Advisor as a centre of digital curation advice
    Developing professional capacity:
    • Training opportunities for practitioners
    • Work experience opportunities for young and emerging heritage professionals in archives
    • Ongoing and sustainable funding of the AAO’s Archives Advisor
  • 21 May 2015 8:06 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Ahead of the 2015 Conference the AAO contacted sponsor Ancestry.ca regarding concerns about recent events that have unfolded in the United States. 

    The following letters may be of interest to AAO members and conference attendees:

    May 11, 2015 letter from the AAO

    May 19, 2015 response from Ancestry.ca

  • 02 Feb 2014 3:26 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    The AAO has made a submission to the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on the Status and Future of Canada's Library and Archives. It can be viewed here.

    Thank you to Samantha Thompson of the Communications and Advocacy Committee for assistance in drafting the submission.

  • 14 Jan 2014 3:30 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    The Royal Society of Canada's Expert Panel on the Status and Future of Canada's Libraries and Archives will be holding a consultation in Toronto at 1:30-4:30, Thursday, January 16 in room 4422, OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education), 252 Bloor Street West. See the poster here.  


  • 04 Jan 2014 3:53 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Dear AAO Members,

    Read the reply from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, in response to a letter from the AAO's Communications and Advocacy Committee concerning the appointment of a new Head of Library and Archives Canada.

    Their reply is available here.

  • 13 Sep 2013 3:42 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Notice to Archival Community: Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on the Status and Future of Canada's Libraries and Archives

    The Royal Society of Canada's Expert Panel on 'The Status and Future of Canada's Libraries and Archives' is soliciting the engagement of the library and archives community to gather information. Please read the following for details: 

    Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on The Status and Future of Canada's Libraries and Archives

    I encourage all AAO members to respond to this invitation, whether individually or institutionally. In addition to letters, the following Ontario public consultations will take place:
    • in OttawaundefinedOctober 4-5, 2013 (by invitation only)
    • in Toronto (in conjunction with The Archive Summit) - January 15-17, 2014
    • in Toronto (in conjunction with The OLA Super Conference) - January 29-31,
    • 2014
    Please re-post the above documents where appropriate and pass along to institutional listservs if possible.

    This is a great opportunity to advocate for the importance of not only our profession but also the importance of our provincial and national archival networks, such as the AAO and CCA.

    Kelli Babcock
    President, 2013-2014
    Archives Association of Ontario

  • 21 Aug 2013 3:51 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Dear AAO Members,

    Read the reply from the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages (The Honourable Shelly Glover), in response to a letter from the AAO concerning the appointment of a new Head of Library and Archives Canada.

    Their reply is available here

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