Abstracts

Susan Laidlaw | BC Government Records Service | “Implementing a Duty to Document – the BC Government Experience”

In April 2019, British Columbia became the first jurisdiction in Canada to legislate a requirement for government employees to document key government decisions. This presentation will describe what constitutes an “adequate record” and what types of government decision must now be documented by law.  This presentation will describe the 5 elements of BC requirement: defined roles and responsibilities; documented policies and procedures; appropriate recordkeeping systems; training and awareness; and compliance monitoring. The presentation will outline the factors that led up to the decision to bring the requirement into force, and how it was implemented across the BC Public Service.

Matteo Manfredi | Director of Archival and Record Management program, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar | “RIPDASA: the Ibero-American Network for the Digital Preservation of Audiovisual Archives”

RIPDASA is a research project whose  objective is to develop networking between different research groups from several Ibero-American countries (among them Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Chile, Brasil, Uruguay). Its purpose is to identifying, analyze, create awareness and promote sustainable digital preservation alternatives for sound and audiovisual documents and to reduce the risk of losing them. The ultimate goal is to create an observatory for geolocalization of these kind of archives.

Gabriele Bezzi | Archival Digital Centre of Emilia-Romagna | “An experience in digital preservation in Italy”

The presentation will focus on the case of the Polo Archivistico dell’Emilia-Romagna (ParER). It is the digital archive center of the Emilia-Romagna region, responsible for the permanent preservation of digital records transferred from all regional public administrations. It is considered one example of the Italian best practices in preservation of digital archives. It was established in 2009, as part of IBC – Istituto Beni Culturali della Regione Emilia-Romagna, the regional agency for cultural heritage. For 10 years it has implemented and applied in practice policy and procedures to ensure that all records transferred from the public administrations can be safely stored, in order to be accessible in the forthcoming years. ParER has its own technological infrastructure and has developed a preservation system, called “Sacer, based on OAIS and national standard. It is also involved in definition of national models and rules on recordkeeping, appraisal and digital preservation. ParER preserves different digital record typologies: administrative, educational, cultural, health care, etc. Up to now, it has preserved over one billion of records, from over one thousand public administrations.

Andrew Ross | Library and Archives Canada | “Selective Memory: Appraising the Records of the Government of Canada”

In 2014, LAC re-established government records appraisal programme on the basis of macroappraisal. This methodological approach focuses on the selection of records at the point of creation, appraises documents in relation to societal values rather than research potential or creator choice, and aims to document the impact of the federal state on Canadian society. My presentation will give an overview of the tools and processes that have proven effective in shaping the memory of the Government of Canada, while also addressing emerging challenges to the LAC approach.

Andrea Riley | National Archives and Records Administration | “Managing Elephants: How the National Archive and Records Administration Has Approached Scheduling and Appraisal of Electronic Records”

Electronic records are the elephant in the room. We all see it. We all know that it is there. It’s big. And while we know some ways to deal with it, it’s still a problem. In the case of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), it’s more like managing a herd of elephants as we have nearly 300 agencies of various sizes and complexities, each with their own electronic records issues. This presentation will discuss three approaches NARA has taken to manage these electronic records “elephants”: media neutrality, flexible scheduling (also known as “big buckets”), and the Capstone approach to managing electronic messages. Each policy has been a critical building block in NARA’s solutions for scheduling and appraising electronic records. The presentation will conclude with some thoughts on the future of scheduling and appraisal at NARA in light of the recent strategic decision to move to taking in only digital records after 2023.

Adrian Cunningham | National Archives of Australia | “Recordmaking by design: Australian experiences with using appraisal to help governments make and keep good records

This paper will review the political context that drove changes in public recordkeeping laws and standards in different Australian jurisdictions from the 1990s onwards, most particularly the advent of legislative requirements for government agencies to make and keep full and accurate records. It explores the archival professional response to these developments over the past 25 years, including the adoption of ‘records continuum’ thinking and an ongoing reconceptualisation and reoperationalisation of appraisal. It will argue that the achievements of the Australian records profession in implementing new approaches to appraisal have been mixed. It will consider the lessons that can be learned from these experiences and what the profession internationally can do to help ensure that full and accurate records are indeed made and kept by public agencies.

Dieter Schlenker | Historical Archives of the European Union | “Archival appraisal in a transnational environment – Policies, practice and challenges of archival appraisal in European Union institutions”

Archival practice in Europe evolved for long time on a national level. With the establishment of the European Communities after World War II a completely new concept of regional integration with a supranational ambition started. Archivists working in Community institutions (likewise international organisations) had to develop new approaches to their profession, and process of standardisation and harmonisation of archival science and practice began. The key question of appraisal, which records to keep and how, was asked and defined in new ways, adapting to very different political climates and administrative environments. The presentation will seek to locate and define the specificities of appraisal in a transnational environment compared to national practice on the one hand and international developments on the other.

Darrell Evans | Canadian Institute for Information and Privacy Studies | “Democracy and the ‘Duty to Document’ A documentary produced by The Canadian Institute for Information and Privacy Studies InterPARES Trust and Capilano University Documentary Unit”

Democracy depends on having comprehensive, trustworthy and accessible government records, but we are experiencing a paradigm shift in how records are created and managed, driven by technological change and institutional resistance to transparency. Could legislating a ‘Duty to Document’ government decisions and actions enable us to ensure effective record keeping and an empowered electorate?

Paul Young | The National Archives (UK) | “A Practitioners Perspective of Challenges of Digital Transfer”

In the UK, government departments are required to transfer records after 20 years to TNA. For digital records this means we are now approaching the millennium and a large increase in the scale of digital records produced by departments. Much of the current approaches to appraisal and selection, sensitivity review and transfer of digital records to TNA revolve around processes based on the paper transfer model. With the increase in scale new approaches need to be considered. Technology offers opportunities to reduce the burden of manual work required. TNA has launched a project entitled ‘AI for selection’ to examine Artificial Intelligence products. It is also developing the Transfer Digital Records (TDR) system to create a more automated approach to transferring records. Technology however will need to be coupled with a willingness to embrace cultural change, acknowledging the inherent messiness and uncertainty which can often come with digital records.