Governance and Recordkeeping, January 2020



ISSN 1916-5714

Download a printable version of January 2020, vol. 6, no. 4 (PDF 1.17 MB)

In this issue

Section 1 — General News


Federal Government — Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada becomes an institutional member of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has become the 77th institutional member of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network.
See also: LAC joins the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative as an institutional member; Construction begins on LAC's new preservation facility

Federal Government — Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Policy on Service and Digital in effect on April 1, 2020

The policy and supporting instruments serve as an integrated set of rules that articulate how Government of Canada organizations manage service delivery, information and data, information technology, and cybersecurity in the digital era. The government will place its focus on the use of new technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence.

Amendments made to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act

Legislation has passed that incorporates changes to the Access to Information Act (ATI) and makes consequential changes to other acts including the Privacy Act. Changes to the ATI include providing the Information Commissioner with the power to make binding orders to government institutions to release records, and they put into practice the principle of “open by default” in the digital age by making key information available proactively, without the need to make a request.


New South Wales government creates “digital restart fund”

The fund provides support for across-government digital projects.
See also: Victoria government unlocks data with application programming interface (API) portal


European Union agency releases recommendations for trustworthy artificial intelligence

The High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLEG) has released a report with 33 recommendations that can guide trustworthy AI toward sustainability, growth, competitiveness and inclusion.
See also: European AI Alliance


Decree regarding the categories of administrative documents that may be made public without being subjected to an anonymization process (French only)

The anonymization process decree came into effect in December 2018.

Hong Kong

Innovation lab to improve public services

The government of Hong Kong has launched the Smart Government Innovation Lab to develop products to improve public services.


Government chief information officers to coordinate digital endeavours

The government has issued a decree mandating that all government agencies in the country must now appoint a chief information officer to coordinate technological agendas between different authorities.


National Library of Ireland announces the opening of new book repository

The new book repository has 4,700 linear metres of storage with state-of-the-art safety features.


“Next Digital Library” launched

The National Diet Library has launched its “Next Digital Library” content-based retrieval system prototype with advanced functions using artificial intelligence, so that future digital library services will be easier to use.
See also: National Digital Library (India); Digital Library (Kuwait); Open Data Portal (Qatar)


Kenya is more prepared for artificial intelligence than any other African country

Kenya ranks first among African countries in being prepared for artificial intelligence.


Swiss National Film Archive opens new research centre

The research centre collection includes 85,000 film titles, comprising 700,000 reels, as well as 2.5 million photographs, 500,000 posters, 26,000 books, and 2,000 rare film cameras.


E-Government Bill approved  

The bill will enable the coordination, oversight and promotion of electronic government initiatives.


First in-country artificial intelligence–enabled cloud platform launched

The platform offers a complete range of cloud services to the public and private sectors.
See also: Cloud Service for the public sector launched (includes video)

United Arab Emirates

World’s first single-letter portal domain name    

The portal is designated with a single letter representing its domain name and will facilitate access to the country’s information, services, projects, strategies and laws.

United Kingdom

Information Commissioner to focus on public awareness and Freedom of Information reform

The Information Commissioner’s Office will be focusing on the reform of data-access laws and communicating this to the public. A strategy document has also been published.

Chief Digital Information Officer position created

The officer will oversee the digital, data and technology function across government.
See also: Brazilian government seeks data governance director

United States

Federal Government

Guidance on transition to electronic records issued

As of the end of 2022, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will no longer accept paper records “to the fullest extent possible.” A new memorandum has been published with guidance to help agencies meet this deadline.
See also: NARA statement on memorandum; 2022 electronic records deadline

Cloud computing strategy released

The government has released its cloud computing strategy (PDF 3.01 MB), which will speed up the adoption of cloud platforms by federal agencies.
See also: Library of Congress hybrid cloud approach

Section 2 — Events

Annual Meetings and Conferences


May 2020

2020 Archives Association of Ontario Conference   

13–15 May 2020
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

International Association of Privacy Professionals Canada Privacy Symposium 2020

21–22 May 2020 (training: 19–20 May; workshops: 20 May)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

49e Congrès de l’Association des archivistes du Québec (French only) 

27–29 May 2020
Québec, Quebec, Canada

June 2020

ARMA Canada InfoCON CAN 2020  

1–3 June 2020
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians Conference (CAPAL20) 

2–4 June 2020
London, Ontario, Canada

Atlantic Provinces Library Association 2020 Conference

9–12 June 2020
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada

2020 Association of Canadian Archivists Conference     

11–13 June 2020
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


May 2020

International Internet Preservation Consortium General Assembly and Web Archiving Conference

11–13 May 2020
Montréal, Quebec, Canada

June 2020

Open Repositories 2020

1–4 June 2020
Stellenbosch, South Africa

LIBER 2020 Annual Conference

24–26 June 2020
Belgrade, Serbia

July 2020

2020 NAGARA Annual Conference

7–11 July 2020
Denver, Colorado, United States

DH2020 (Digital Humanities)

22–24 July 2020 (workshops: 20–21 July and 25 July)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

7th Annual International Conference on Library and Information Science

27–30 July 2020
Athens, Greece

August 2020

Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists and the Society of American Archivists

2–8 August 2020
Chicago, Illinois, United States

Australian Society of Archivists 2020 Conference

25–28 August 2020
Brisbane, Australia

Section 3 — Current Trends and Products

Recordkeeping: Current Developments, Projects and Future Initiatives


DuraSpace and the University of Toronto Libraries—DuraCloud Canada: Linking Data Repositories to Preservation Storage project

Begun in November 2018, and continuing into 2020, the purpose of the project is to create a service called DuraCloud Canada. By connecting preservation storage services to data repositories through the DuraCloud software, researchers will be able to access different storage services through a single interface.
See also: Machine learning for digital repository searching (United States)

University of Waterloo and York University—Archives Unleashed project

The project will make petabytes of historical Internet content accessible to scholars and others interested in researching the recent past. Web archive search and data analysis tools are being developed to enable scholars, librarians and archivists to access, share and investigate recent history since the early days of the World Wide Web. Includes video.
See also: Over 100,000 digitized heritage items now available on web portal and Harvesting Quebec websites (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec)


Australian Government—Digital Records Transformation Initiative

This initiative supports the development of modernized digital records and information capability across the Australian government and applies to non-corporate Commonwealth entities. The common function of recordkeeping will be modernized by taking advantage of new technologies, particularly those that automate the capture and classification of records.
See also: Platforms for Open Data program


NewsEye project

This research project introduces new concepts, methods and tools for digital humanities by providing enhanced access to historical newspapers for a wide range of users, to improve ways of studying Europe’s cultural heritage by researchers, experts and the general public.


National Archives—Pilot project for mass digitization

The project will digitize approximately 450 shelf-metres of archived official documents using the new process and technology in compliance with digitization requirements.


National Library—open data website (French only)

As part of the government’s open data strategy, data is available to the public in English through the website. Datasets and metadata from periodicals digitized by the Library can now be downloaded. There are plans to have a French version of the website in 2020.
See also: Release of high-quality datasets; Capturing Luxembourg elections; National Library’s new site; Nouveau bâtiment de la Bibliothèque nationale du Luxembourg (French only)

New Zealand

National Library—How the National Library preserves New Zealand's digital heritage (Web Archiving program)

As more information is being posted online, the National Library must decide what to keep and how. The challenges, including digital decay and collecting social media, are among the topics discussed, along with legal issues and the library’s next project.

United Kingdom

National Archives—Digital Archives Learning Exchange

Developed out of the Digital Learning Set, the Digital Archives Learning Exchange explores digital challenges, builds capacity, improves digital skills, highlights examples of best practice and projects across the archive sector, and provides an introduction to a range of initiatives led by The National Archives.
See also: Going behind the scenes at The National Archives at Kew

United States

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory—Using machine learning to reveal hidden information

Researchers used a machine learning algorithm to search for information that people were unable to find, to analyze relationships between words in scientific papers. This new application of machine learning can be applied beyond scientific information.
See also: Prepwork for handwritten text recognition (United States); Development of a deep learning optical character recognition system (Japan); Technology helps decipher historic handwritten documents (Archives New Zealand)

Library of Congress—Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud project

The project will test a cloud-based approach for interacting with digital collections; data and research experts will experiment with solutions to problems that can only be explored at scale to help produce models for supporting cloud-based research computing.
See also: Project to extract and make available sets of files from the Library’s web archives holdings (May 2019 and October 2019); Web archive data sets

Products and Tools from Around the World


Federal Government—Library and Archives Canada—Collection Search Tool

The goal of the tool is to offer an easy and efficient method to search Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) collection items from one location. Collection Search will eventually cover more than 100 stand-alone databases currently on LAC’s website.

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ)— La numérisation des documents administratifs : méthodes et recommandations (French only)

This guide presents in a simple and practical way all of the archival and legal requirements as well as the specificities and other technical, organizational and technological recommendations that must be taken into consideration to carry out any digitization project, from conception to realization.

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta—Guidelines for managing emails

The guidelines were published in March 2019.
See also: 8 tips for managing emails


Australian Human Rights Commission—RADICAL (Record and Document Innovation & Capture— (Artificial Learning) platform

The commission faced the challenge of efficiently managing records. In response, a fully automated electronic document records management system (EDRMS), using artificial intelligence and machine learning, was implemented, forming the basis of RADICAL.
See also: Launch of RADICAL; RADICAL: Artificial intelligence used to classify electronic documents

State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales—Advice and Resources home page

The home page includes subjects such as digitization; digital continuity; digital archives; metadata for records and information; retention and disposal; and a records and information management policy checklist.
See also: Managing Information home page (State Records of South Australia)


Tus Collaborative E-government Platform

This data platform enables data sharing and exchange that is cross-departmental and hierarchical, without the need to centralize, crawl for, or publicize the data.
See also: eVault (digital repository for exchange of documents) (Germany)


National Archives—Preserving digital data: What are we talking about? (French only)   

Subjects include sustainablity and actions to implement sustainability.
See also: @docs (simplifying the right of access to public information) (French only)

New Zealand

National Archives—Public sector archival selection statement

The statement contains three main principles that will inform decisions about the selection of information and records of public sector archival value.
See also: Appraisal statement (updated: version 2); Disposal statement

United Kingdom

British Film Institute—Ooyala Flex Media Platform

As part of its Heritage 2022 project to transcode and aggregate access to its digital archive of moving image assets, the British Film Institute is using this platform to provide broader functionality and orchestration of its distribution workflows, which will ensure greater compatibility with any additional systems and applications.

Digital Preservation Coalition Rapid Assessment Model

This maturity modelling tool is designed to enable rapid benchmarking of an organization’s digital preservation capability and is applicable for organizations of any size in any sector, and for all content of long-term value.

United States

CSDC Inc.—New Amanda Freedom of Information Solution

This enterprise case management solution will assist government officials who need to manage Freedom of Information requests. It includes an integrated redaction capability and advanced analytics and reporting tools that help make operations and compliance reporting easier and more efficient.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)—Records Management Training Online Lessons

NARA has published a series of records management training online lessons.
See also: New search feature: Optical Character Recognition (OCR); NARA's Record Group Explorer: a new path into NARA's holdings

Studies and Surveys

United Kingdom

What to Keep: A Jisc Research Data Study
Author: Neil Beagrie (Charles Beagrie Ltd.), February 2019.

The study was commissioned by Jisc and undertaken by Charles Beagrie Ltd. from May 2018 to January 2019. The study considered a broad range of evidence from interviews, desk research and a stakeholder workshop that reviewed emerging findings and draft recommendations.

What to keep in terms of research data has been a recognized issue for some time, but research data management, and in particular appraisal and selection (i.e. “what to keep and why”), has become a more significant focus in recent years as volumes and diversity of data have grown, and as the available infrastructure for “keeping” has become more diverse.

The purpose of the What to Keep study is to provide new insights that will be useful to institutions, research funders, researchers, publishers and Jisc on what research data to keep and why, the current position, and suggestions for improvement.

United States

Digital Transformation in the Public Sector: A Candid Survey of Modernization in Federal, State, and Local Governments (download is free)
Published by Government Business Council, underwritten by KPMG, August 2019.

As the scale of public sector data grows, government is gaining access to an increasingly large set of digital tools. What will be required for agencies to accelerate their journey to effectively harnessing and applying these tools? To learn more about the challenges agencies face, and their perceptions of their digital transformation journey, Government Business Council surveyed 388 federal, state and local government employees.


Survey: State of the Industry—Content Services (download is free)
Published by AIIM, 2019.

Three hundred and seven decision makers from around the world were surveyed about their focus on Content Services (also known as ECM) to answer these three core questions:

  1. What kinds of critical information management problems are users trying to solve with Content Services?
  2. How is automation revolutionizing user expectations about records management and information governance?
  3. How are the spending patterns for Content Services changing and evolving?

Section 4 — Selected Readings and Recordings

Articles, White Papers, Presentations, Reports, Videos and Podcasts


Report: Blockchain Technology and Recordkeeping (PDF 1.93 MB)
Written by Victoria L. Lemieux, PhD; Darra Hofman, JD, MSLS; Danielle Batista, BARM, MIS; and Alysha Joo, MASLIS. Project underwritten by ARMA Canada Region. Published by ARMA International Educational Foundation, May 30, 2019.

The goal of the report is to provide an overview of blockchain technology, offering knowledge to information professionals that they will find useful in addressing the challenge of effectively managing records in these emerging recordkeeping environments.

L’évaluation archivistique à Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) : approche et cadre conceptuel (French only)
Published by BAnQ, 2019.

This document sets out BAnQ's approach to archival evaluation and provides its staff with a framework to guide their actions and the sorting practices in effect at BanQ, as described in the document Normes et procédures archivistiques – Chapitre sur le tri d'archives published in 2005.


Article: Social Media Recordkeeping Requirements in Australia
Written by Michael Schloman, co-founder and Executive Director at Miktysh. Featured in idm (information & data manager), May 9, 2019.

The article discusses the definition of social media records within Australia, what is legally required to be kept, whose responsibility it is, the challenges of social media recordkeeping, and a social media archiving tool called Brolly.


Article: Archivage électronique : comment (bien) archiver des données sensibles ou confidentielles? (French only)
Written by Clémence Jost. Featured in archimag, October 3, 2019. Updated October 30, 2019.

Electronic archiving is a must for all organizations wishing to dematerialize their processes and documents. Topics discussed include what is sensitive or confidential data, and the three components of digital archiving of sensitive data and how to set up an infrastructure.

New Zealand

Chief Archivist’s Report on the State of Government Recordkeeping 2017/18

The report was published on May 9, 2019. Topics include: Regulating government information; Digital transformation—what this means for information management (includes case studies); and Understanding the Public Records Act and the role of Archives New Zealand.
See also: Chief Archivist’s Report on the State of Government Recordkeeping 2018/19

South Africa

Article: Data Migration: Where to Begin?
Written by Alison Job for JMR Software. Featured in IT Web, March 6, 2019.

Data migration can be challenging, but following a few simple rules can be the difference between success and failure.
See also: Know your data; Ingredients for a successful digital transformation

United Kingdom

Article: Unstructured Data Compliance: Obstacles and Solutions
Written by Stephen Pritchard. Featured in, June 24, 2019.

The author discusses the risks of having too much unstructured data, how the risks can be reduced, and its challenges and benefits.

United States

Article: More Than Meets AI
Written by Dan Chenok. Featured in FCW, February 28, 2019. Additional contributors: Claude Yusti, Tatiana Sokolova and Alayna Kennedy from IBM; Peter Kamoscai and Katie Malague from the Partnership for Public Service.

As government use of AI [Artificial Intelligence] evolves, agency leaders will look for pathways to capitalize on opportunities, and the workforce will need new technical and social skills to succeed in AI-augmented workplaces. A new report—More Than Meets AI: Assessing the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Work of Government—aims to assist in that effort.

Audio interview: Data Hoarding and Records Management with John Cofrancesco, vice president, Business Development at Active Navigation, March 19, 2019.

AIIM claims that 50 percent of an organization’s retained data has no value, also known as redundant, obsolete or trivial data (ROT). Some even talk about data “hoarding.”
John Cofrancesco provides advice and discusses the challenges and advantages of managing ROT.
See also: Podcast: What are the experts saying about the changing role of records management?
(December 4, 2019)


Selected Readings

Peter Botticelli, Martha R. Mahard and Michèle V. Cloonan, Libraries, Archives, and Museums Today: Insights from the Field (2019).

There are new ways to share cultural heritage materials through online finding aids, exhibits and other initiatives. What has been accomplished across libraries, archives and museums? The authors consider that question by using case studies to explore activities in 14 libraries, archives, museums and other heritage organizations. They consider what can be learned from current collaborations within and across libraries, archives and museums, and why some collaborations are successful while others cannot be sustained. Their findings are based on observations and interviews at institutions and organizations in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Edited by Aaron D. Purcell, The Digital Archives Handbook: A Guide to Creation, Management, and Preservation(2019).

The Digital Archives Handbook provides archivists with a road map to create and care for digital archives. The first section is focused on processes and practices, including chapters on acquisitions, appraisal, arrangement, description, delivery, preservation, forensics, curation and intellectual property. The second section is focused on digital collections and specific environments where archivists are managing digital collections. These chapters review digital collections in categories including performing arts, oral history, architectural and design records, congressional collections, and email.

Edited by Paul Gooding and Melissa Terras, Electronic Legal Deposit: Shaping the Library Collections of the Future (2019).

Electronic Legal Deposit draws on evidence gathered from real-world case studies produced in collaboration with world-leading libraries, researchers and practitioners, and it provides a thorough overview of the state of legal deposit at an important juncture in the history of library collections.

Francesca Musiani, Camille Paloque-Bergès, Valérie Schafer and Benjamin G. Thierry, Qu'est-ce qu'une archive du Web? (2019) (French only)

This book introduces the reader to the human and technical issues of web archiving, from collection to analysis, and including the creation of web archives and the legislative framework. It also discusses how web archives, in addition to their role in heritage, can be used today by different actors, particularly for research purposes.

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