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Bridging the Descriptive Divide: The Co-operators Experience


Building bridges and m‚Äčaking connections both within the archival profession and with our stakeholder communities has been a focus for many archives and archivists for a very long time.  Despite our best efforts we still struggle to build the strong connections and communities of engaged stakeholders that we need to continue to advance our programs. In this presentation I put forward the idea that one of the barriers to building bridges with those outside the archival profession is our rigid adherence to the theories and standards that govern our profession.  Through an examination of two pilot projects involving stakeholder records transfer, arrangement, and metadata capture I will outline opportunities for us to consider a more flexible approach to our practices without sacrificing the principles that ground our profession.

In both pilot projects The Co-operators Corporate Archives worked with specific departments who had previously had very little relationship with the archives.  In both instances the departments needed to replace their obsolete content management software. The pilot projects focused on leveraging the archives’ digital preservation software to support the active management and accessibility of their departmental records.


Heather Ryckman

Heather is an information professional with over a decade of experience in a corporate archives setting. Ms. Ryckman has been extensively involved in advancing the value proposition of corporate archives and in developing archival programs into recognized partners to business operations. Ms. Ryckman holds a Master of Public History from the University of Western Ontario, and a Master of Information Services, Archives and Records Management from Edith Cowan University.  She also actively maintains her Digital Archives Specialist certificate from the Society of American Archivists.

Recorded Presentation

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