Log in
The logo for the Archives Association of Ontario. When clicked on, you will be taken to the home page.

AAO News

  • 30 May 2019 11:15 AM | Anonymous

    To the AAO membership,

    The Archives Association of Ontario wishes to extend a heartfelt congratulations to Leslie Weir on her recent appointment to Librarian and Archivist of Canada. Ms. Weir brings with her significant knowledge, experience, and professionalism from her accomplished career, and we are excited to see what she does in this new role. We look forward to working with and supporting Ms. Weir in our capacity as representatives of Ontario’s archival community.

    James Roussain

    President, Archives Association of Ontario, 2019-2020

  • 17 May 2019 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    The AAO Awards Committee - consisting of Jean Dryden, Matt Szybalski, David Sharron, and Rodney Carter – were pleased and honoured to present four awards at the Annual Conference held in Belleville on May 10th.

    The AAO Emerging Leader Award

    This award, announced in 2018 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Association, was created recognize early-career archivists (who have been in the profession between two and ten years), whose work and service demonstrate consistent growth, leadership and promise to the archives profession in Ontario. Achievements may include involvement in professional organizations, and/or participation in relevant projects, and/or written and scholarly work. This award is intended to recognize cumulative contributions rather than any single activity.

    The Awards Committee and the AAO Board were pleased to present the inaugural Emerging Leader Award to Gillian (Jill) Shaw.

    As an Archival Records Analyst with the City of Vaughan, Jill works effectively within the records management and archival systems to provide access and preserve the materials in the City’s care.  Further, she displays a natural ability to develop partnerships with local community groups through social media, exhibitions and other outreach efforts. 

    Beyond her work at Vaughan, Jill has also been very active within the professional archives community since 2015.  As communications liaison for the Professional Development Committee of the AAO, Jill developed a social media strategy that led to increased participation and awareness of the PDC’s activities.  She has also served as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Municipal Archives Interest Group where she led a revitalization of the MAIG website and MAIGazine, organized open houses and AGMs, and created a municipal archives listserv after a formal study of the needs of this archivist group.  When she finds the time, Jill also volunteers with the Association of Canadian Archivists in the Membership and Mentor Committee and Co-Chairs the Markham Fair’s Demonstration Committee. 

    In the words of her nominator, “Jill is a consummate professional, incredibly knowledgeable about the archival profession and always eager to lend a helping hand. She has shown immense promise and enthusiasm for the AAO, and the archival community in Canada, and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the title of “Emerging Leader”.”

    The Alexander Fraser Ward

    Named after the first Archivist of Ontario, the Alexander Fraser Award is given to individuals who have contributed in a significant way to the advancement of the archival community in Ontario. Achievements may range from written and visual work to involvement in organizations or participation in projects. This award is designated to recognize cumulative contributions rather than any single activity. Generally speaking, contributions need to go beyond a specific archives or community.

    The AAO presented the 2019 Alexander Fraser Award to Margaret Bignell for contributions to the archival community in Ontario in the field of archival conservation and preservation.

    Margaret, recently retired conservator at Queen’s University Archives, has a history with the province’s archival community that pre-dates the AAO, having presented a workshop on disaster planning at the Ontario Association of Archivists annual conference June 1992 which led to the production of the booklet “An Introduction to Disaster Planning and Prevention for Small Archives”.  

    Margaret served for many years on the conservation/preservation committee of the Archives Association of Ontario, and helped to review and adjudicate CPCAR/NADP grant applications as the external invited preservation expert on the AAO’s Institutional Development Committee. Under Margaret’s supervision, Queen’s University Archives was one of the regional depots for the Archives Association of Ontario’s Thermohygrograph Program. Margaret was also an active member of AERN (Archives Emergency Response Network) since its inception, and further, she served for many years on the Canadian Council on Archives Preservation Committee.  She has also served as an incredible ambassador of the archives and the conservation profession, appearing regularly in news stories on her important work. In addition to her work at Queen’s Archives, she also taught paper conservation at the Masters of Art Conservation program at Queen’s, mentoring students who have ended up working in institutions across the province and across the globe.

    In the words of her nominators “anyone who had the opportunity to interact with Margaret quickly discovered how generous she was with her time, how patient she was with the barrage of questions that inevitably came her way, and how knowledgeable she was about conservation and preservation in archives.”

    The James J. Talman Award

    The James J. Talman Award was named after the second Archivist of Ontario, serving from 1935 to 1939. Talman subsequently served as Chief Librarian for the University of Western Ontario until 1969. The Award is given to individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding level of imagination and innovation in contributing to the profession, their institution, or the archival community, or who have challenged conventional thinking about archival work.

    This year, the Talman Award was presented to Robin Keirstead for his imagination, innovation, and progressive, unconventional thinking which he has demonstrated throughout his career.

    In 1989 he pioneered the archives and records program for the Region of Waterloo when he became the Region’s first Records Manager (soon re-titled Manager of Corporate Records and Archives). The amount of imagination and innovation required by the challenges that come with starting a new program is considerable. Robin then did it all again when he became Western University’s first University Archivist in 2001. There he developed a program and helped design a building that provides the University with a unique range of services: archives and research collections, rare books and special collections, library book depository, and a records centre.

    Robin has served the profession throughout his career by participating in the work of the CCA, the AAO, and ACA. He has been an instructor at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies - Western University, as well as teaching at Simon Fraser University and George Brown and Mohawk Colleges, mentored students and early-career professionals. Anyone who has attended one of Robin’s many workshops and conference presentations will appreciate the imagination, not to mention humour, that he includes.

    Additionally, he is always willing to provide guidance to other institutions and is a deeply respected source of advice.

    According to his nominators, Robin “emulates many of the qualities that were held by James J. Talman. They both served as leaders for Western Libraries and in their communities and they are both recognized for their intellectual approach and kind manner.” And, as one of his nominators wrote, “Robin does not adhere to any archival ‘party line’. Rather he seeks out creative solutions to problems, even if those solutions do not fit a traditional archival mould.”

    The AAO Institutional Award

    The AAO Institutional Award is given to an archival institution that has contributed significantly to the advancement of the archival field or community, or has demonstrated a significant level of innovation and imagination in the establishment of outstanding or model programs or services. Recognition may be granted for an individual project of particular merit or for a program that integrates many facets of archival enterprise.

    The AAO presented the 2019 Institutional Award to Elgin County Archives for its innovative Green Screen Program, which combines technology with archival photographs to bring these photos to life in a very personal way.  

    Time Travel with Elgin County Archives is an outreach program that uses green screen technology to photograph participants and superimpose them into historic photographs, to make it appear as if they are traveling back into their local history. Archivists Gina Dewaele and Amber Mandich conceived, developed, organized, and delivered a series of innovative Green Screen events at local libraries, community events, schools and long-term care homes. The program has captured the interest of community members by offering a stimulating and creative activity that allows staff to start conversations to raise awareness of the archives' collections and resources, and of archives in general.

    This program appeals to all ages: younger participants enjoy the technology and the idea that they are "time traveling," which offers a unique opportunity to engage with a group that rarely visits an archival institution in person while older participants reminisce about former streetscapes, buildings, and the people who used to live and work in their community. This is a creative and imaginative way of making archival resources available and relevant to all age groups. 

    The program was initially launched in partnership with the Elgin County Library, consisting of 10 branches throughout the County, but expanded to local cultural institutions and events, as well as being included in an intergenerational program involving a local nursing home and an elementary school. In its first year, there were nearly 700 participants in the program.

    The AAO was pleased to recognize the Elgin County Archives’ for their Green Screen Program, which combines technology and archival photographs in an innovative way to bring these images to life for community members of all ages.

    Congratulations to all of this year's award winners! 

  • 16 May 2019 8:06 AM | Anonymous

    The Board of Directors has begun to develop the AAO's 2020-2023 Strategic Plan and we want to hear from our members!

    The Strategic Plan Working Group has drafted a set of five strategic objectives and we want input from our membership. Have we captured the essence of the AAO's priorities? Is there something we missed or should focus on instead? Please visit our Strategic Plan 2020-2023 Member Feedback page to view the slide presentation and provide input. 

    Member feedback will be accepted until July 31, 2019. 

    Thank you! 

  • 06 May 2019 8:39 PM | Anonymous

    On behalf of the AAO Conference Planning team, I am pleased to announce that the full program for the 2019 AAO Conference is now available on the website. For a printable version, click here.

    In this document you will find session descriptions, locations of events, and biographies of our plenary speakers.

    For information on traveling to Belleville, social events, conference sponsors, the code of conduct, and other pertinent information, please see the Conference page.

    For AAO members attending the conference, please note that you will have an opportunity to learn more about, and contribute to, the AAOs 2020-2023 strategic plan. Please plan to attend the AAO Board Update taking place at 5pm in the Link Lounge on Thursday, May 9th.

  • 06 May 2019 7:58 AM | Anonymous

    We are looking forward to welcoming delegates to the AAO conference in Belleville next week. 

    For those who are driving to Loyalist College, free parking is available for conference attendees in lot P1 (see plan), which is close to the Link Lounge location of the event.

    Free bus travel is available on Belleville Transit buses for the duration of the conference on presentation of your conference badge.  There is a transit map and schedule online at this link and we have copies of this in your conference packs.

    A Belleville Transit bus will be making a special morning run on the Thursday (9th) and Friday (10th) for those staying in the Country Inn and Suites or at the Travelodge, picking up outside these hotels at 8:15 and 8:30 respectively.

    For the conference banquet, a Belleville Transit bus will collect delegates from Loyalist at 6pm, from the Travelodge at 6:15 and from the Country Inn and Suites at 6:30, arriving at the Signal Brewery at 6:45. The bus will return at 10pm.

    On behalf of the local arrangements committee, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable journey to Belleville. Please contact Amanda Hill of the Local Arrangements Committee at, if you have any questions. 

  • 03 May 2019 1:11 PM | Anonymous


    Please find the 2019 revision to the 2000 Institutional Standards, as discussed at last year's Institutional Forum.

    As described in the Preface, this document is an update of that early work, designed to serve as an aspirational document, setting out norms for archival institutions in Ontario. It will be brought forward next week at the AGM for acceptance by the membership.

    Your comments are appreciated.


    Paul J Henry CA SIG

    Institutional Development
    Archives Association of Ontario

  • 30 Apr 2019 1:51 PM | Anonymous

    To the AAO membership,

    The Archives Association of Ontario’s Communication and Advocacy Committee (CAC) has addressed the Government of Ontario’s recent funding cuts to the Southern Ontario Library Services (SOLS) and the Ontario Library Service--North (OLSN) in this letter.

    We remain ardent supporters of our GLAM colleagues and proudly add our voice in support of the great work they do for the citizens of Ontario.


    Bailey Chui

    Chair, Communications and Advocacy Committee, 2019-2020

    James Roussain

    President, Archives Association of Ontario, 2019-2020

  • 29 Apr 2019 10:07 AM | Grant Hurley

    Hello AAO,

    As springtime seems to drag its heels, here's to hoping that this fresh issue of Off the Record will encourage the flowers to bloom and the trees to bud! 

    The Spring 2019 issue is now available for members.

    This issue features news and updates, a member spotlight interview with Ellen Millar, articles by the AAO's Iona McCraith on security and Lisa Snider on searching tips for Archeion, and feature contributions from Rebekah Mitchell on a volunteer-driven photo rehousing project, and by John Smart on the crucial role of the Friends of the City of Ottawa Archives in a fight for funding in 1996. 

    The equally sunny Spring 2018 issue is also available for everyone.

    Happy reading!


  • 09 Apr 2019 9:12 AM | Anonymous

    Dear AAO members,

    It is with great pleasure that the AAO Nominations Committee announces the following slate of Directors put forth to the AAO Membership for election at the Annual General Meeting in Belleville on May 9th, 2019. Please note that the new position of Web Administrator is contingent upon membership approval at the AGM.

    Vice-President/President Elect: Jennifer Grant

    Jennifer Grant is an assistant archivist at the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University Libraries. She previously worked in Corporate Records and Archives at the Law Society of Ontario. Jennifer has a MISt (2008) with a specialization in archival studies from the University of Toronto.

    Secretary/Treasurer: Jessica Barr

    Jessica Barr is the University Archivist and Records Manager for the University of St. Michael’s College, where she is responsible for the official records of the University. She also manages the University art collection, the records of the Faculty of Theology, and the records of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.

    Director Without Portfolio: Samantha Shields

    Samantha Shields is a Photographic Archivist with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and a member of the AAO’s Professional Development Committee. She holds a BAC (Honours) in Psychology and Art History from Queen’s University and earned her MLIS from the University of Western Ontario. Sam’s interest in the Archives sprouted while researching early Canadian photography during her undergrad. Her primary interests of research are the archival processing of born-digital photographs, and the exploration of using machine learning for assisting with image indexing and description.

    Web Administrator: MacKenzie Gott

    MacKenzie Gott is the Heritage Collections Officer at the Canadian Research Knowledge Network. She has worked in private, public, and non-profit settings as an information professional since graduating with a MA from York University and a MI from the University of Toronto. MacKenzie joined the Archives Association of Ontario in April 2016 as a member of the Communications and Advocacy Committee; she became the web administrator in September 2017 and since then she has revamped the website, co-wrote the social media policy, and published content on social media.

    Nominations from the floor will also be accepted during the AGM.

    See you at Belleville!

  • 04 Apr 2019 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    As part of its celebration of Archives Awareness Week, the Archives Association of Ontario is pleased to release the third edition of the Ontario Archival Accessions Register.

    Based on a survey of accessions received across the province in 2018, the OAAR presents basic information on newly acquired records, including the collecting institution, the record creator, a brief summary of the scope and content of the accession, outside covering dates, associated subject headings, reference codes or accession numbers, extent, and information on the relationship of the accession to existing holdings and descriptions (where applicable).

    The OAAR was developed as part of the AAO’s Provincial Acquisition Strategy to provide a common place for archives in Ontario to share accessions information in a spirit of openness and transparency intended to encourage cooperation and collaboration in archival acquisition. The data is also made available to allow for analysis of collecting patterns and trends, enabling the archives community to identify gaps in the archival record as we work toward ensuring our collective holdings are representative of the whole province and all its people.

    This third edition of the OAAR includes contributions from 17 archival institutions, together providing information on nearly 600 individual accessions received in the last calendar year. The range of participating archives is once again diverse, including municipal archives, community archives, university and college archives, museum archives, specialist archives and the Archives of Ontario.

    Download the 2018 OAAR from the AAO website and see what archives in Ontario have been collecting.

The Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) is led by a committed community of volunteers from across the province. 

705-1 Eglinton Ave. East, Toronto ON, M4P 3A1  |  (647) 343-3334

Join us today. When clicked on, you will be taken to the Membership application page.        `  

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software