What is the Archives Advisor Program?

The Archives Advisor Program provides complimentary advice and support on all topics related to archives management and preservation to established archives or organizations proposing to establish one anywhere in Ontario. The program is administered by the AAO and funded by the Government of Ontario's Ministry of Government and Consumer Services through the Archives of Ontario. 

The Archives Advisor is Iona McCraith. She is available weekly Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Contact her by email at archivesadvisor@aao-archivists.ca or by phone at (705) 277-1309.

You can also learn more about what she does by following her on Twitter @advisor_aao and by reading her blog

What services are provided?

  • On-site visits to archives or to organizations seeking to establish a new archive to assist with professional and technical issues. (site visit priority is given to AAO members)
  • Speaker for groups and institutions interested in promoting or developing archives.
  • Professional and technical advice via email and telephone on all aspects of archives management including: access and copyright issues, legislation, records arrangement and description, policy development, preservation planning and management, funding programs, strategic planning and facilities assessments, emergency planning and response, digitization and digital preservation.
  • Environmental Monitor Loan Program for AAO Institutional members.
  • Archives Emergency Response Network for AAO Institutional and Individual members.
  • News and information of interest to archivists via Facebook, Twitter, AAOLIST, and website blog

Who can use the Archives Advisor Program?

  • Archives of any size, anywhere in Ontario (some services for AAO members only).
  • Any group or organization interested in establishing an archival program.
  • Groups or individuals interested in learning more about professional archival activities and organizations in Ontario.
For more information or to schedule a visit, contact the Archives Advisor.

Site Visits

The Archives Advisor will conduct on-site visits to institutions to promote AAO membership, assess an archival program or part of an archival program, or to provide guidance on establishing or further developing an archival program.  The total number of visits conducted per year depends on available funding and location of requests. Every effort will be made to fulfill all requests received in a given year, as time and budget allow. The three types of site visits offered are defined below.

Type 1 - Promote AAO Membership or the Establishment of New Archives

A site visit of this nature can be initiated by an institution or by the Archives Advisor. The main focus of this type of visit is to speak with those responsible for an archival program to promote AAO membership or, to promote development of a new archival program and the benefits of AAO membership.  The site visit can also be requested by a current member to help them promote archives and/or continued AAO membership internally to senior management, governing boards or committees.


AAO members and non-members

Follow-up Report


Time Frame

1/2 day or less (does not necessarily include travel time)

Type 2 - Special Topic

Well-established archival programs often warrant a site visit related to a particular issue, or development of a new program within their institution that cannot be addressed adequately via email or telephone. In this case, the Archives Advisor will provide a visit relating to the particular issue. 

Special topic examples include: 

  • establishing a digitization program
  • care and handling concerns for a particular medium or new acquisition
  • a review of administrative forms and policies used in the organization


This service is available to individual and institutional members of the AAO.

Follow-up Report

A short written report with recommendations and advice relating to the specific topic will be provided, if required.

Time Frame

½ to 1 day for visit, 1 day for report (does not include travel time).

Type 3 - Full Global Assessment  

A full on-site visit to evaluate all aspects of an institution’s archival program including, conducting a needs assessment, interviewing personnel involved with the archives, and reviewing policies and other existing documentation. 

This visit covers all aspects of archival activities including acquisition, appraisal, arrangement and description, reference services, public outreach, preservation, security, reformatting; as well as administrative topics such as policy development, infrastructure review, organizational structure and staff training.


Individual and institutional members of AAO only, with priority given to institutional members.

Follow-up Report

The Archives Advisor will produce a written assessment report with recommendations that can be used to set priorities, justify grant applications or resource requests, or raise the profile of the archival program internally.  Additional follow-up resources may also be sent with the report.

Time Frame

Approximately 1 day for visit, 3 to 5 days for report (does not include travel time).

Address: 411 Richmond Street East, Suite 200, Toronto, ON M5A 3S5

Phone: 647-343-3334 | Email: aao@aao-archivists.ca


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