Ms. Iona McCraith
Archives Association of Ontario
22 Slalom Drive
Bethany, ON L0A 1A0
Fax: (705) 277-2091
Ms. Margaret Bignell
Queens University Archives
Kathleen Ryan Hall
Kingston ON K7L 3N6
Telephone: (613) 533-2378
Fax: (613) 533-6403
Mr. Gilles Lesage
Société historique de Saint-Boniface
340 Provencher Blvd
Saint-Boniface, MB R2H 0G7
Telephone: (204) 233-4888
Fax: (204) 231-2562
Ms. Martine Ménard
Ville de Québec
Service de police
Division des affaires administratives et stratégiques
1130, route de l'Église, bureau 123
Arrondissement de Sainte-Foy-Sillery
Québec (Québec) G1V 4X6
Telephone: (418) 641-6411, ext. 5693
Fax: (418) 641-6494
Ms. Claire Trainor
Archives and Preservation Advisor
Archives Council of Prince Edward Island
P.O. Box 1000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7M4
Telephone: (902) 368-5473
Library and Archives Canada
Responsible to the Board of Directors, the Preservation Committee promotes, coordinates and provides leadership to the archival community in comprehensive preservation management by:
1. Reviewing all applications, forwarding comments and recommendations to the Board of Directors, and advising applicants on particular projects requiring specialized expertise.
2. Identifying and coordinating with partners to secure future funding for preservation activities.
3. Supporting the development of appropriate education programmes in preservation management, training and education through workshops.
4. With partners, developing, reviewing, updating and recommending for implementation national preservation strategies and plans.
5. Coordinating and supporting preservation research activities.
6. Promoting and supporting the development and diffusion of guidelines and standards in preservation management.
7. Communicating the results of research, the activities of the committee and the strategic approaches to preservation management to the archival community.
8. Coordinating the promotion and development of preservation management through liaison with provincial and territorial councils.
9. Playing an advocacy role in all issues and activities associated with the preservation of Canadian archival records.
10. Supporting the continued development of relationships with international preservation bodies.
Introduction and Background
Archivists and archival conservators in Canada have increasingly expressed the need for a concerted effort to facilitate communication, both as an effective means of exchanging current information and learning of new developments, and as a means of fostering a sense of community and common purpose. The aim of communication for the Canadian Council of Archives Preservation Committee is to promote the implementation of a preservation management approach in the care of all archival holdings, by explaining its principles and application, and to foster the exchange of information and facilitate cooperative efforts among archivists, conservators and related heritage and technology professions.
This document is built upon several premises; firstly, that communication is not an end in itself, but will improve preservation and support strategic directions of the Preservation Committee. Secondly, this is a plan for the establishment of two-way communication and stresses the importance of feedback and establishing communication channels and networks. Finally, the ultimate results and effectiveness of this plan must be assessed in terms of preservation benefits to archival collections. Since these broad benefits are beyond the immediate and direct influence of the Preservation Committee, the Committee will strive to establish appropriate indicators that reflect its role as a facilitator and contributor to the collective purpose of preserving archives in Canada.
The Communication Plan provides a structured framework for ensuring that communication issues receive due attention, and outlines how the Preservation Committee intends to implement these concerns within the scope of its mandate and current resource levels. In addition to specific roles for the Canadian Council of Archives (CCA), the Preservation Committee, and the essential partnership with provincial and territorial councils, this plan also recommends a significant role for archival conservators and acknowledges the importance of international contacts and communication links to related professions and institutions.
In 1993, a meeting of provincial and territorial representatives was held at which strategic directions in preservation were determined. These were the basis for The Preservation Strategy for Archives in Canada, which was to guide preservation activities across the country from 1994-1999. A communication plan was developed for the Preservation Committee in 1994 to aid in the implementation of these activities from the Committees point of view. This momentum was maintained with the Forum on the Future Direction of CCA Preservation Management Initiatives in 1999, where the Preservation Committee again brought together representatives from each province and territory to discuss the role of the Preservation Committee, and the status of preservation activities in each area. The Forum Report (March 19, 1999) has provided the blueprint for future preservation activities, and will serve as a guide for the work plan of the Committee. This updated Communication Plan will provide guidelines for implementing that plan.
It must be stressed that throughout this planning process, the need for effective and coordinated communication both from the CCA and between the CCA and provincial/territorial councils and associations was paramount.
Roles and Responsibilities
In the spirit of cooperation, support and exchange, this communication plan relies on a vital partnership among the major participants: the CCA, the CCA Preservation Committee, and the provincial/territorial councils.
As the umbrella body for the Preservation Committee, the CCA ensures that the opportunity for including preservation messages in its general communications vehicles is extended to the Preservation Committee. It also ensures that its general publications and documents reflect consistent preservation messages, and that a consistent preservation message is represented in its publications dealing with other archival issues.
Clearly the lead and primary responsibility for communication lies with the CCA Preservation Committee. It must maintain communication with the CCA Board, other national and international organizations concerned with preservation, and with provincial/territorial councils.
The Committees role vis a vis communication is to: produce communication vehicles to respond to the needs of the archival community; produce or package material that can be adapted/disseminated by provincial/territorial councils; disseminate and exchange archival preservation material to provincial/territorial councils, archives conservators, and organizations and institutions in related fields; and to facilitate cooperative efforts and exchanges by establishing networking avenues. However, the first objective of the Preservation Committee is to accomplish its mandate. All of the Preservation Committees activities require communication at some level, but the activity itself is the primary objective of the Committee in fulfilling its mandate.
The provincial/territorial councils are responsible for articulating the needs and concerns of their members, and for communicating and implementing the initiatives. They provide input on their needs and participate in the articulation of country-wide plans and initiatives, adapt and disseminate materials prepared by the Preservation Committee, and provide updates and feedback on preservation implementation in their area.
Throughout the planning period of the Preservation Committee, the theme of taking responsibility for implementing preservation management in archives was key. After having introduced the concept of preservation management, and the assess, plan, act approach, communication messages have begun to address more specific technical information and specific results, while still maintaining preservation management as an underlying theme. Each communication item should be consistent with the principles of preservation management. The types of communication messages have been organized into the following categories: Preservation Committee activities and Programmes; updates and results of specific activities or initiatives; basic manuals and preservation information; updates and news on preservation issues.
1) Preservation Committee: it activities and funding Programmes -
basic reference information
This set of topics is most directly related to the CCA Preservation Committee, its authority and mandate. It covers the Committees activities, and includes official statements and criteria in areas for which the Committee is responsible and accountable. Additional effort should be taken to transform basic administrative documents (such as mandate statements, program descriptions, planning documents, application forms) into accessible communication products. These are likely one-time publications or releases, or periodic/annual releases timed in conjunction with application deadlines.
- information on the CCA Preservation Committee (Programmes and activities in general)mandate and objectives; membership; how it functions; relationship to CCA; relationship to provincial/territorial counterparts
- funding Programmes administered through CCA Preservation Committee (CPCAR, research projects, etc.)objectives; eligibility criteria and guidelines for applicants; examples of successful grants and application forms; procedures
2) Preservation Committee
-reporting, advocacy, analysis and updates
This set of topics is intended to be more timely, as opposed to the more constant reference information above. It will address the particulars and rationale behind activities, Programmes and plans specifically undertaken through the authority of the Preservation Committee. This category of communication is intended to facilitate participation and input from the archival community by providing analysis of results and reasoning behind Preservation Committee activities. This category also includes a public awareness aspect, where the Preservation Committee may speak for the archival community on timely issues.
- reporting information or status reports on country-wide, provincial and territorial implementation of preservation strategy
- preservation strategy updatesplanning process, content/decisions/directions/objectives and implications
- analysis or news on Preservation Committee funding Programmes giving summary analysis of projects completed as well as list of CPCAR grants awarded
- specific focus on research project results and progress information
- other Preservation Committee Programmes and activities
- public awareness and criticism of issues directly related to archival preservation
3) Basic Manuals and Preservation Information
This set of topics will continue to fulfill the need for basic information applied specifically to the archival environment. The Red Book is the model precedent in this category. These are major projects, viewed as one-time releases. While other parties may produce communications on similar topics, the identification of these items here reflects the need for tailored material that can be applied to the Canadian archival experience, and the need for Preservation Committee participation in endeavors which serve archives in general. These projects will be undertaken as partnerships when appropriate. While the Committees participation in producing material in this category is part of its ongoing, operational mandate, the strategic role in the context of this plan stresses the communications aspect. Particular attention must be focused on relevant, usable presentation formats and content, and the effective identification of user needs that these materials are intended to address.
- Preservation Assessment Guide for Audio-Visual Holdings
- Revision of Basic Conservation of Archival Material: A Guide
- Disaster Recovery of Optical and Magnetic Media
- Guidelines for Humidity and Temperature in Canadian Archives
4) Updates and News on Preservation Issues
The topics in this section respond to an ongoing need for the latest information relevant to archival preservation management. The intent here is to provide links to activities in other related fields such as science and technology and other heritage professions, as well as Canadian and international archival and conservation issues. These topics require intermediary interpretation, or analysis and explanations of applicability to archival preservation.
- news, update information and annotated compilationson relevant preservation activities in Canada and abroad; who is doing what; where to go for information
- training opportunities, plus reports from those who attended
- technical scientific and standards informationinterpreted or distilled for application to preservation management in archives
This section identifies the intended audiences. It provides not only a practical listing of target groups to assist in the choice of language and interpretation of the communications material, but it also serves a strategic role in the particular context of this plan by directly addressing the issues of individuals isolation and links between professions. The Preservation Committee will maintain distribution lists based on these target audiences, and may develop tailored diffusion lists for each of its communication products.
The Archival Community
- upward feedback to the CCA, in order to ensure integration of preservation concerns and reports on results and concerns
- parallel communications to provincial/territorial councils presidents/executives, conservation/preservation committees, archives & conservation advisors
- general diffusion to management and operational professionals
- education committees of ACA/AAQ/BCA
- provincial/territorial education committees
- archival science teachers and Canadian program administrators
The Conservation Community
- archives conservators
- professional organizations in Canada
- conservation teachers and Canadian program administrators
- concerted effort to encourage information exchange and establish communication among archivists, conservators, institutions, and organizations internationally
Related Heritage Professions and Institutions in Canada and Abroad
- heritage societies
- historical research organizations
(in concert with general CCA communications)
- government/public sector
- in archival institutions (administrators, boards)
- potential supporters/sponsors in the non-profit and private sectors
Communication Products and VehiclesHow
This section presents a combination of existing mechanisms to be continued, as well as proposing new mechanisms to be developed. It also suggests the occasions which should be viewed as communications opportunities, such as regular reporting and planning documents. It is not a priority listing, but rather a base list which can be applied to the particular requirements when matching the subject content with the target audience.
Preservation Committee basic information package
- updated CCA-PC brochure
- list of current members and secretariat contact information
- annual list of funding Programmes, brief descriptions, annual deadlines
- description of current research projects
- summary of the Preservation Strategy
- What is preservation management? bulletin
- order information for CCA publications
- other timely material
CPCAR application package
- regular reports to the CCA Board of Directors
- CCA Bulletin
- Annual Report
Formal Committee documents for external diffusion
- National Preservation Strategy
Public Awareness Documents (analysis and discretionary reporting)
- targeted to limited groups such as politicians, heads of institutions, issued at timely occasions such as the approval stages of analysis of cost-shared Programmes; how resources were allocated, what was achieved, needs and shortcomings
Preservation Committee Information Bulletins
- prepared in style of extended news releases
- activities, Programmes, services, summary reports, news
Articles (technical and non-technical)
- contributions to publications and journals
- presentations/participation in conferences, seminars, meetings
- personal liaison by Preservation Committee members, building on their existing expertise, contacts and interests
- CoOL- Conservation On-Line
The Preservation Committee Communication Plan must be implemented with existing resources including staff and budget of the CCA Preservation Committee secretariat; the expertise, volunteer time, and contacts of the Preservation Committee members; the support of the CCA; plus an existing infrastructure of communication vehicles both in the immediate and extended spheres of heritage preservation. In addition to the targeted communication tools listed in the action plan below, the Committee will endeavor to incorporate a concern for communication in all of its activities.
- ensuring opportunities for communication feedback and exchange during the course of strategic planning cycles
- communicating reports, funding application forms and external diffusion documents effectively
- including a requirement for communication applications in contract deliverables, such as research projects