AAO News

  • 11 Mar 2020 10:05 AM | MacKenzie Gott (Administrator)

    Dear Membership,

    The Archives Association of Ontario is pleased to announce Archives Awareness Week 2020! This year’s event will run from Monday, April 6 to Sunday, April 12.

    Online tools and technology have revolutionized the way archivists work, and we pay tribute to these new developments with this year’s Archives Awareness Week theme: “Archives Online”. 

    To help with planning, we've put together a kit with a few resources and questions to get you started. 


    The following are some questions and prompts to inspire you and get you thinking about how the online environment has influenced your work as an archivist. Feel free to use as many as you want, or come up with your own.

    • What platforms and channels are you using to promote and provide access to your holdings?
    • Are you planning or have you planned any online exhibits?
    • How are you using social media at your institution? 
    • Do you have any online projects you would like to promote?
    • Are you doing any digitization work at your institution? What are your users asking to be made available online?
    • How have online capabilities improved your services? What have you accomplished or achieved?


    Use our AAW posters to celebrate and promote your events. Share them online or post them around your institution to get the word out. You can find them on the AAO website here.

    AAW Resource Page

    AAO members also have access to the AAW Resource Page. Click here for more ideas and tips on how to plan and promote your events.


    Do you have an AAW event planned at your institution that you want to highlight? Let us help you reach a wider audience! Contact archivesadvisor@aao-archivists.ca and we will share your event on the AAO website.

    Please reach out if you have any questions or comments, and don’t forget to use the #2020AAW hashtag. We can’t wait to see what you have in store!

  • 09 Mar 2020 2:57 PM | MacKenzie Gott (Administrator)

    Dear AAO members,

    In accordance with Section 20 (Amendments to the Constitution), the AAO Board is distributing proposed updates to the AAO Constitution, which must be distributed to the membership at least 60 days prior to the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

    AAO Board will be tabling two motions at the AGM regarding our Constitution: 1) To establish a standing committee, “A Student and New Professional Outreach Committee,” and 2) To revise the wording of the Institutional Development Committee’s membership requirements.

    These amendments will be sanctioned by a vote at the 2020 AGM at the annual conference in Belleville. Please find a summary of the recommended changes here.

    Thank you for your time and continued support in the AAO. We hope to see you in Thunder Bay!

    Please direct any questions regarding the AAO Constitution to myself.

    Kind Regards

    James Roussain

    President, 2019-2020
    Archives Association of Ontario (AAO)

  • 02 Mar 2020 11:01 AM | MacKenzie Gott (Administrator)

    This year’s Archives Association of Ontario conference theme is Building Bridges, Connecting Communities. The conference will take place at the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel in Thunder Bay, Ontario from May 13 to 15, 2020. 

    Conference details, including the program at a glance and information about the pre-conference workshop, travel discounts, and local information, are available on the conference page. 

    We are excited to see you in Thunder Bay!

    Social Events

    More information about the social events can be found on the social events page and in the conference program:

    • First Timers Reception
    • Opening Reception
    • Pub Night
    • Alexander Henry Tour
    • Conference Banquet
    • Port Arthur Historical Walking Tour
    • Informal Dinner at a Local Restaurant
    • Casual Archives Crawl

    Register: https://aao-archivists.ca/event-3768944

    Please email aao@aao-archivists.ca with any questions.

  • 20 Feb 2020 12:13 PM | MacKenzie Gott (Administrator)

    Nominations are currently being accepted for two (2) positions on the Board of Directors of the AAO. Each term will commence upon election at the AAO’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), to be held on May 15, 2020, in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

    Volunteering as a Director on the AAO Board offers an invaluable professional development experience. It provides candidates with an opportunity to network with other professionals in the field, develop their leadership skills, and to apply their existing knowledge and skill set to the service of Ontario’s archival community.

    The positions that are currently open for nominations include:

    Vice-President/President Elect: Three-year term (May 2020 – May 2023)

    The Vice-President/President Elect (VP) serves as the deputy to the President, and provides assistance in all aspects of Board planning and policy decision-making. Along with the President, the VP may represent the AAO at meetings with the Association's stakeholders and within the broader Canadian archival community. Specific duties include:

    • Liaising with AAO Standing and Special Committees and/or Sub-committees thereof, and Special Interest Groups (SIGs);

    • Performing the duties of the President in cases of absence or inability; and

    • Supporting the President in providing general supervision of the operations of the AAO, its staff, and the secretariat office.

    The VP assumes the position of President in the second year of their term; and in the third year serves as a non-voting member of the Board in the capacity of Past President.

    Director Without Portfolio: Two-year term (May 2020 – May 2022)

    The Director Without Portfolio position provides assistance in the general governing of the affairs of the Association. Specific duties may therefore include:

    • Serving as a Board liaison to one or more of the Standing and Special Committees of the AAO, and/or Sub-committees thereof;

    • Participating fully in Board decision-making; and

    • Contribute to the development of Association policies, procedures and guidelines.

    You are invited to contact the following current Board members with any questions about the available positions:

    Nominations are being accepted by email only. 

    Please complete and submit the form to the AAO Office at aao@aao-archivists.ca, using the subject line “Nominations 2020”, and direct your message to the attention of the Nominations Committee. 

    Nomination forms must be received by the AAO Office by close of business on Monday, April 6, 2020.


    James Roussain

    President, 2019-2020


    Archives Association of Ontario (AAO)

  • 18 Feb 2020 10:35 AM | MacKenzie Gott (Administrator)

    Dear Member,

    The AAO Board of Directors invites you to participate in a membership survey aimed at seeking your opinion of AAO programs and services. Your participation is crucially important to assist us in determining the association’s strategic direction, as well as identify gaps in programs and services the association should be developing for its membership. 

    The survey should only take about 15 minutes to complete, and will run from February 18th to March 6th, 2020.

    Please click here to begin the 2020 AAO Membership Survey.

    We thank you for your time and continued support in the AAO!


    James Roussain

    President, 2018-2020 | Archives Association of Ontario

    e: president@aao-archivists.ca

  • 10 Feb 2020 2:47 PM | MacKenzie Gott (Administrator)

    The AAOEe is currently looking for new members to join the Executive to help shape the Chapter’s program of archives and information professional development in Eastern Ontario.

    What does the AAOEe do?

    The Archives Association of Ontario East / est (AAOEe) Chapter is a volunteer-led organization under the AAO umbrella. The Chapter serves and engages our membership, provides programming and workshops, and promotes archives, heritage and information management to the public through events. We also connect with the AAO Board to support its efforts to build membership and advance the organization’s development.

    The Executive meets roughly 8 times per year and consists of the following roles, all of which are one-year terms that are elected at the Chapter AGM (2 April 2020) and are open for the 2020-2021 year. In addition to the responsibilities described below, all members contribute some time to program development and implementation.

    Which role do you want to fill?

    -       President

    The President provides leadership to the Chapter. This includes acting as spokesperson for the Executive, the membership, and stakeholders to the AAO Board and other interested parties. For Executive meetings, work includes scheduling, setting the agenda and chairing the meetings. The President also ensures that the Chapter is fulfilling its responsibilities to the AAO Board, such as submitting required reports. Time commitment: 5 hours per month, with additional time required for the AAO Leadership Meeting and AAO Annual General Meeting

    -       Treasurer

    The Treasurer looks after the Chapter’s finances. Duties include preparing budgets and financial statements, writing cheques, managing deposits and investments, and reporting on the previous year’s finances at the AAOEe AGM. Time commitment: 3-4 hours per month, with additional time required for the AGM.

    -       Secretary

    The Secretary is the official recordkeeper for the Chapter. They take minutes of all meetings and distribute documentation to the Executive and the general membership as required. Time commitment: 2 hours per month

    -       Vice-President

    The Vice-President performs the duties of the President in their absence and advances the interests of the AAOEe. This often means providing support with planning and program development. The VP is encouraged to stand for President upon completion of the latter’s term. Time commitment: 3 hours per month

    -       Member at Large

    The Member at Large position assists the Executive to build capacity in subject areas that may be pertinent to the broader membership.

    For example, the Communications Officer is a portfolio assigned to a Member at Large. The Communications Officer updates the AAOEe Facebook page with upcoming events, tours and workshops. Other social media tools may also be used.

    The Member at Large may be elected at the AGM with assigned responsibilities, or it may be project based and appointed by the Executive at any point in the year. The role often builds upon the subject expertise of the volunteer. Time commitment: flexible, 2-4 hours per month

    Note: the AAOEe encourages student participation, particularly through the Member at Large position. There is no limit on the number of Member at Large positions.

    For more information on any of the roles described above, and to discuss how you can contribute, please contact us at aaoeast@gmail.com.


  • 05 Feb 2020 3:37 PM | Grant Hurley (Administrator)

    The newest issue of Off the Record is hot off the presses to warm your digital screens! The issue is available to members here

    This issue is quite generously-paginated thanks to a fantastic suite of contributions from talented archivist-writers across Ontario. It includes great writing from Adele Torrance on the Ingenium Library and Archives' big move, Melissa Caza on McMaster's "rebel" med school's golden anniversary, and John Smart on the sad closure of the Algonquin College Archives and Records Management program. 

    Two contributors offer useful notes from recent archival events held in Toronto this Fall: Jennifer Grant provides a detailed summary of TAAG's successful Teaching with Archival Records Unconference, and I close the issue with a transcription of the panel talk "Doing Digital Preservation," featuring the smart thoughts of Amy Furness, Steve Marks, Danielle Robichaud, and Sarah Romkey.    

    Among our regular features is the talented Lisa Lawlis of the County of Lennox and Addington in the member spotlight, and a crucial checklist on archives security provided by AAO Archives Advisor Iona McCraith.

    Winter 2019's issue is now open here

    Happy reading!

    OTR Editor

  • 03 Feb 2020 1:56 PM | MacKenzie Gott (Administrator)

    Are you interested in contributing to the Archives Association of Ontario? AAO committees are a fantastic way to network with other professionals in the field and support Ontario’s archival community.  

    The AAO Institutional Development Committee (IDC) is currently recruiting two new members! 

    The IDC advises the AAO Board on all matters pertaining to the interests of institutions and the development of a provincial archives system and assists the AAO in meeting its strategic objectives. The IDC is a voice for the AAO's institutional members and runs the annual Institutional Issues Forum. The IDC is currently drafting its 2020-2023 Strategic Plan.

    IDC members serve for a two year term. The positions are open to all AAO members, including those with individual memberships. Members must attend approximately 6-8 teleconference meetings per year and are expected to contribute to all committee discussions and activities.

    If you’re interested in joining the IDC or want more information on the mandate of the committee, please contact IDC Chair, Matthew Fells (idc@aao-archivists.ca).

    Matthew Fells,

    IDC Chair

  • 28 Jan 2020 4:17 PM | MacKenzie Gott (Administrator)

    Greetings archival community of Ontario!

    It’s midwinter and you know what that means… time to share information on archival accessions with your colleagues and the wider public.

    The Archives Association of Ontario wants to invite each and every institution in the province that collects archival records to contribute to the 2019 edition of the Ontario Archival Accessions Register (OAAR). As in previous years, we are asking repositories to submit basic details on new accessions by completing the attached reporting form. We hope to continue building on past surveys by encouraging even more institutions to participate, whether they are currently AAO members or not.

    Please use the attached form to report material legally acquired by your institution in the calendar year 2019.  Completed forms should be directed to: chairs@aao-archivists.ca  The deadline to submit responses is Friday, February 28th, 2020. The collected data will be made available on the AAO’s website during Archives Awareness Week in April.

    Background information and FAQs on the OAAR and the Provincial Acquisition Strategy of which it forms a part can be found on the AAO website.

    Drawing upon data received during the first three years of this initiative, we are pleased to offer the following facts about archival accessioning in Ontario:

    Participation and scope

    • 2016 – 17 institutions took part, resulting in 638 entries in the register
    • 2017 – 11 institutions, resulting in 413 entries
    • 2018 – 17 institutions, resulting in 587 entries
    • 2016-2018 totals – 26 separate institutions together contributing over 1,600 entries to the OAAR

    Oldest accession - Grant of land in Leeds County, Ontario, 1798, accessioned by the Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County (CABHC)

    Most recent accession – 2018 (multiple institutions)

    Who to talk to about your dinner party? – CABHC, acquired 2 table cloths and a plate in 2017

    Digital records: just over 215 GB plus numerous DVDs, USBs, MP3s, etc.

    Number of entirely new accessions (as opposed to accruals): 657

    Number of accessions with descriptions in ARCHEION: 184

    Records of or donations by people with the name Bob: 5

    Top three most popular subject keywords of accessioned records (in terms of ARCHEION subject headings):Community Life (293 entries), Organizations (175), Arts and Culture (160)

    Bottom three most popular subject keywords of accessioned records (in terms of ARCHEION subject headings): Labour (8 entries), Birds (1), Cemeteries (1)

    Best regards and happy reporting,

    Aaron Hope,

    On behalf of the Provincial Acquisition Strategy Working Group

  • 13 Jan 2020 1:54 PM | MacKenzie Gott (Administrator)

    The AAO Awards Committee is pleased to announce that nomination for the 2020 AAO Awards are now open.

    We are accepting nominations for the 5 awards given out annually by the association: the Alexander Fraser Award, the James J. Talman Award, and the AAO Emerging Leaders Award, which are presented to individuals, as well as the Corporate and Institutional Awards which recognize archives, corporations and other organizations which have made significant contributions to the archival community in Ontario.

    The awards will be presented at the AAO Conference being held in Thunder Bay, 13-15 May 2020.

    For more information on the awards criteria and nominations process, please visit https://aao-archivists.ca/page-18198

    Nomination are due by March 13, 2020.

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

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

aao@aao-archivists.ca  |  (647) 343-3334


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