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May 2020, vol. 6, no. 5 (PDF 648 KB)
In this issue
Section 1—General News
Federal Government—Library and Archives Canada
New preservation facility to be completed in 2022
The new state-of-the-art preservation facility will increase Library and Archives Canada’s capacity to store Canadian documentary heritage and will set a new global standard for environmental sustainability and archival preservation storage.
See also: Design revealed for Ottawa Public Library–Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility
University of British Columbia
Blockchain program launched
Started in January 2020, the program is a blockchain and distributed-ledger technology training path for graduate students to build capacity, develop skills around emerging technologies that are in high demand, and fulfill the requirements for Canada’s blockchain industry.
See also: First blockchain school opens (Rwanda); Artificial intelligence and data science conversion courses begin in 2020 (United Kingdom)
New South Wales releases digital and customer strategy
The strategy reimagines service delivery and enhances citizen experience. Ten new whole-of-government “foundational” platforms will be created, and the focus will be placed on some of the state’s most monolithic legacy systems.
See also: Minister’s foreword
Guidelines for government agencies to adopt cloud computing specified
The concept for switching government agencies and organizations to cloud computing technologies has been specified, to improve the performance of government agencies and organizations by providing them with reliable information and telecommunications infrastructure.
Law establishing legal regime for archives adopted (French only)
Under the law, the government can acquire documents considered to be archives from private individuals, even if they do not want to give them away. There is an archive management plan in each department that defines which documents can be kept and which ones destroyed.
National Library of France changes its policy of access to its images (French only)
The National Library is changing how it disseminates its millions of digitized images in all of its collections. Images can now be used and shared freely for research purposes, high-definition files can be retrieved for free through an application programming interface, fees have been lowered or removed, and a new image bank is available.
National Library provides access to 200 million electronic documents
The National Library has given users access to more than 200 million electronic documents and databases.
See also: Greek cultural heritage now accessible through a portal
More government services will be delivered digitally
The government has announced plans for prioritizing digital transformation within the public service. The use of digital to modernize and streamline how public services are accessed and administered in 2020 and beyond will be accelerated. Priorities include ensuring that most services are used digitally as opposed to simply being available online.
See also: Digital toolkit to provide platform software for Northern Ireland public bodies
National Archives establishes outline for archivist certification system
A basic outline has been compiled for a public certification system for archivists, or experts who manage public records at the national institute and local government-run archives. The goal is to have 400 archivists, and approximately 600 associate archivists, certified by fiscal 2026.
Chief archivist investigates use of Office 365
The chief archivist of Archives New Zealand has announced that the impact of Office 365, along with other Microsoft technologies on government recordkeeping, are being investigated.
Government embraces open data initiative
The government is taking steps to fully embrace the open data initiative, including making non-sensitive government information accessible online, and the continuous digitization and uploading of high-priority data sets.
See also: E-government plan launched
Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Bill approved
The National Assembly has passed the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Bill.
See also: Access to Information law in force (Morocco) (French only)
United Arab Emirates
National strategy for artificial intelligence launched
The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 will improve customer services and assess government performance.
See also: Artificial Intelligence Lab; New Smart Dubai law issued; National artificial intelligence office created (Singapore)
The National Archives launches new digital capacity-building strategy
The strategy focuses on three main areas of digital archival work: engagement, access and preservation; a fourth relates to digital skills more widely, such as advocacy, conversations with information technology, and the ability to make informed decisions on software procurement.
See also: National Archives aims to create digital preservation “ninjas”
Social media archive now fully searchable
The social media archive of The National Archives now features a search function, allowing users to easily navigate the collection of tweets, Flickr images and YouTube videos from a range of central government departments and arm’s-length bodies.
2020 Action Plan for Federal Data Strategy released
The plan identifies initial actions for agencies that are essential for establishing processes, building capacity and aligning existing efforts to better leverage data as a strategic asset. This includes a series of pilot projects already under way and a set of government-wide efforts designed to support all agencies through the development of tools and resources.
Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act in effect
Signed into law in 2019, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act “creates a new paradigm by calling on agencies to significantly rethink how they currently plan and organize evidence-building, data management, and data access functions to ensure an integrated and direct connection to data and evidence needs.”
Notice: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please be advised that certain conferences may be held online, postponed or cancelled. This is the most recent information available as of publication.
Annual Meetings and Conferences
ARMA Canada InfoCON CAN 2020 (cancelled)
1–3 June 2020
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians Conference (CAPAL20) (cancelled)
2–4 June 2020
London, Ontario, Canada
Atlantic Provinces Library Association 2020 Conference
Postponed to Spring 2021
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada
2020 Association of Canadian Archivists Conference (moved online)
11–12 June 2020
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2020 Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) Access to Knowledge Conference
21–23 October 2020
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Dates to be determined
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) Annual International Conference 2020
Postponed until Autumn 2021. A virtual conference will be held in September 2020.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
iPres 2020: 17th International Conference on Digital Preservation
Postponed until October 2021
Archives and Records Association of New Zealand (ARANZ) 2020 Conference
23–25 September 2020
Dunedin, New Zealand
37th Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia (RIMPA) Live Annual Convention
12–15 October 2020
ARMA InfoCon 2020
26–28 October 2020
Detroit, Michigan, United States
National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) Digital Preservation 2020 Annual Conference
11–12 November 2020
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
International Council on Archives Conference 2020
Postponed until 2021
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
International Open Data Conference (IODC 2020)
Postponed until 2021
Section 3—Current Trends and Products
Recordkeeping: Current Developments, Projects and Future Initiatives
Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC)—Improving preservation of Canadian publications in Canadian libraries
CARL and LAC have joined forces to improve the preservation of Canadian publications in Canadian libraries. The two organizations have established a working group to design and implement a national strategy for collective print preservation and access for Canadian publications, building on some very successful regional initiatives.
McGill University—From Boxes to AtoM (Access to Memory) to Wikidata (video presentation)
Published October 10, 2019
From March 2018 to March 2019, three departments at the McGill University Library collaborated on a project to describe and make available a collection of archival fonds and explore ways of incorporating contribution to Wikidata in the process.
See also: AtoM : Comment exporter des données en format Excel? (French only)
National edeposit service
This service, a collaboration between Australia’s national, state and territory libraries, provides digital infrastructure to preserve Australia’s documentary heritage for future generations.
See also: National eDeposit Service Ready to Meet Australia; Video presentation: Building NED: National edeposit for Australia
The Impresso Project: Media monitoring of the past—Mining 200 years of historical newspapers
The goal of the project is to enable critical text mining of newspaper archives with the implementation of a technological framework to extract, process, link and explore data from print media archives.
See also: Europeana Newspapers: Capturing the details of daily life in the past
Digitizing the National Library of Scotland’s maps
The National Library of Scotland has over 1.5 million maps, with approximately 15 percent digitized. As of 2019, the goal is to scan over 30,000 maps per year over the next five years.
See also: Geocoding the Stevenson Maps and Plans of Scotland; Setting up a web-mapping interface for the Stevenson Collection; Find by Place viewer
New online access to the Federal Archives
The new online access brings a number of services together on a single web portal including obtaining information, conducting research, viewing documents, placing digitization orders and submitting requests to consult records, and ordering and downloading digital dossiers directly online. In the medium term, all dossiers will be made available for online consultation to order, and the capacity of the digitization infrastructure is being progressively expanded between 2019 and 2021.
See also: Audio interview: Accéder aux Archives fédérales en quelques clics (French only)
United Arab Emirates
National Archives—Kunooz (Digital Library)
Kunooz is considered a new model in archiving documents for reference at any time, with more than 5,000 documents including books, pictures, sound recordings, video and electronic texts.
See also: Arabian Gulf Digital Archive
National Archives—DiAGRAM—The Digital Archives Graphical Risk Assessment Model project
The project will produce an integrated decision-support system based on a risk model in the form of a Dynamic Bayesian Network. This system will allow archives to investigate potential mitigations to digital preservation risks based on their own current circumstances and communicate the relative effectiveness of different strategies and their costs.
Illinois State Archives—Processing Capstone Email Using Predictive Coding project
The project acquired, processed and provided access to a collection of email messages, with enduring value, from senior state government officials. E-discovery tools were reviewed using email messages secured through the implementation of the Capstone approach developed by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
See also: Smithsonian Institution Archives: Email Preservation—Collaborative Electronic Records Project
United States and United Kingdom
Microsoft and University of Southampton Optoelectronics Research Centre—Project Silica
Project Silica is a research project that uses recent discoveries in ultrafast laser optics and artificial intelligence to store “cold” data in quartz glass. As the first proof-of-concept test for the project, Warner Bros. has successfully stored and retrieved the entire 1978 Superman movie on a piece of glass roughly the size of a drink coaster 75 by 75 by 2 millimetres thick.
Products and Tools from Around the World
Association des archivistes du Québec—Best practices for managing personal archives in the digital age (French only)
Topics include the reasons behind the archiving of digital personal documents, the risks and challenges of digital archiving, the best practices to follow for archiving our digital personal documents, and good practices for archiving our presence on the web, whether in emails, blogs or social media.
See also: Guide to archiving personal data (The National Archives of the United Kingdom)
Canadian Conservation Institute—Error Analysis and File Recovery Software for Digital Storage Media – Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) Notes 19/2
The primary purpose of this CCI Note is to provide the necessary software tools to analyze the health of digital storage media and to recover files stored on them.
Element AI—Knowledge Scout
This software organizes and manages both structured and unstructured data with deep learning algorithms. It formulates a response by retrieving information from similar contexts through both structured and unstructured data sources.
See also: Access Governor (manages access to information)
National Archives—Data Interoperability Maturity Model
The model (PDF) enables an organization to assess its progress toward data interoperability: the exchange of data (including information) between different systems and organizations.
State Archives and Records, New South Wales—Sustainable File Formats
One of the strategies to ensure that records remain accessible or usable over a period of time is the use of sustainable file formats. Topics include criteria for selecting file formats and recommended file formats.
Opening up public cultural data: A practical guide (French only)
This guide (PDF) promotes the emergence and implementation of public data openness initiatives in the field of culture. It also ensures compliance with the legislative and regulatory framework of intellectual property rights and the protection of intellectual property rights and personal data.
See also: Practical guide to the publication and reuse of public open data (French only)
National Archives—Data Audit Tool
The tool identifies record series designated for permanent preservation as archives, and those that should not be retained beyond their business needs.
Nutanix enterprise cloud software
As part of Jordan's ongoing efforts to accelerate digital transformation across the kingdom, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship has successfully completed its migration to the software.
National Archives—Revised regulatory statement
The chief archivist has a primary statutory role to lead public sector information and records management, including the provision of an integrated regulatory framework for the systematic creation, management, disposal and preservation of public sector information (including data) and records. This revised statement describes Archives New Zealand’s approach to regulatory compliance.
This artificial intelligence tool searches, manipulates, and displays video and audio. It extracts information and nuance, so digital files can be searched for terms and even items recognized in video. Organizations of any size can use the tool, with the software being fully scalable and possessing the capacity to extract up to 120 languages.
National Digital Stewardship Alliance—Levels of Digital Preservation 2.0
The previous categories have been renamed to have the Levels of Digital Preservation 2.0 feature actions independent of specific formats, content types and storage systems, enhancing their usability across domains.
See also: French version (being drafted)
ZL Technologies—In-Place Records Management Functionality
The updated functionality for file shares, SharePoint sites and other employee-created data offers organizations the ability to apply retention policies to enterprise data sources and also to classify records without the traditionally required step of moving data into a separate repository.
See also: Outlook to SharePoint integration solution (Australia)
Studies and Surveys
Final Report of the Survey on Digital Preservation Capacity and Needs at Canadian Memory Institutions, 2017-18
Published November 2019, produced by Grant Hurley and Kathleen Shearer for the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) Digital Preservation Working Group
In 2017 and 2018, CARL surveyed galleries, libraries, archives and museums to determine the current state of digital preservation in Canada and to better understand the issues and needs stemming from this work. This report (PDF) presents a summary of the results of the CARL Digital Preservation Working Group survey on digital preservation capacity and needs at Canadian memory institutions. The purpose of the survey was to provide an updated and comprehensive picture of digital preservation activities in Canada and to identify existing gaps and outstanding needs at Canadian institutions.
See also: Webinar: Results of the Digital Preservation Capacity & Needs at Canadian Memory Institutions Survey
Survey of public sector information management 2018/19: Findings Report (PDF)
Published by Archives New Zealand, November 27, 2019
The survey was sent to public offices and local authorities, with 254 organizations surveyed and 228 responses received. The overarching goal of the survey was to collect quantitative and qualitative data about information management practices in the New Zealand public sector.
The survey and its results will provide a whole-of-system view of information management in the public sector, be able to be used by organizations as a self-assessment to benchmark their information management performance, provide feedback into Archives New Zealand’s ongoing monitoring and reporting activities, and enable the identification of potential improvements in advice, guidance and education, and plan service delivery.
Cohasset Associates and ARMA International: 2019 Information Governance Benchmarking Report
Published September 2019
The survey (PDF) was conducted using a web-based survey tool. Nearly 900 survey responses were recorded between February and March 2019, which included ARMA International members and associates, Cohasset Associates’ clients and prospects, Iron Mountain customers, and Records Management LISTSERV members. The survey asks the question, “Are we there yet?” The answer is “no,” but we are getting there. Metrics from the survey are used to examine “the state of information governance (IG) advancement, achievements and the obstacles resulting from and impacting IG, and actions and strategies that facilitate effective and efficient information lifecycle management.”
Section 4—Selected Readings and Recordings
Articles, White Papers, Presentations, Reports, Videos and Podcasts
Report: Digital Preservation Functionality in Canadian Repositories
Written by Tomasz Neugebauer (Concordia University), Pierre Lasou (Université Laval), Andrea Kosavic (York University) and Tim Walsh (Concordia University), on behalf of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries Open Repositories Working Group’s Task Group on Next Generation Repositories, December 2019
The Canadian Association of Research Libraries has published the second report (PDF) in a series by its Open Repositories Working Group (ORWG) focusing on preservation functionality in repositories.
See also: First report by the ORWG: Institutional Repository Statistics: Reliable, Consistent Approaches for Canada
Article: Historians’ archival research looks quite different in the digital age
Written by Ian Milligan, Associate Professor of History, University of Waterloo, featured in The Conversation, August 19, 2019
The author discusses the historical record transformation of society, including technical and ethical challenges. Institutions, including Library and Archives Canada, the University of Waterloo, and York University in Canada and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in the United States are highlighted.
Article: Records management by stealth: An Australian practitioner’s view
Written by Nicola Sanderson, Principal Consultant with an information governance consulting firm, featured in idm (information & data manager), July 12, 2019
This article presents options for planning and delivering records management by stealth, otherwise known as compliance by design (delivering compliant records management with minimal interaction from people); it includes a case study.
Article: Archivage électronique : optimiser et sécuriser les informations (French only)
Written by Florian Delabie, Association des Archivistes Francophones de Belgique. Featured in digital wallonia.be, September 9, 2019
With the Digital Act and the certification of electronic filing systems, organizations have two new legal tools to optimize the use of content and minimize the risks associated with their preservation over time.
LIBER Webinar: Generating Metadata with AI: Experience of the National Library of the Netherlands
Speaker: Martijn Kleppe, Head of Research of the National Library of the Netherlands, November 8, 2019
Lessons learned by the National Library during its first experiments and advice on experimenting with artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to automatically describe publications are shared. Slides and a white paper are included.
Article: Things you should know about document retention
Written by Alison Job for Nashua Business Solutions, featured in IT Web, November 19, 2019
Subjects include three key factors to consider regarding document retention and advice for businesses to protect their electronic records.
Information and Records Management Society podcast: Alan Pelz-Sharpe on Artificial Intelligence
December 5, 2019
Topics include lessons learned from existing information management projects involving artificial intelligence and machine learning, and why they offer a great opportunity for records management and information governance professionals.
Article: Blockchain Reaction
Written by Carrie Smith, featured in American Libraries, March 1, 2019
How are library professionals approaching blockchain technology and its potential impact? Five librarians and information professionals speak about what library workers need to know about blockchain, the role libraries can play in educating the public, and the ways that this emerging technology could affect libraries themselves.
See also: Est-ce que les bibliothèques ont besoin de la blockchain pour être disruptives? (France) (French only)
Article: The Challenge of Balancing Information Access Demands and Risk Management Throughout the Information Lifecycle
Written by ARMA International, December 20, 2019
This article explores some of the consequences of information getting into the wrong hands or not getting into the right hands at the right time and in the right form. It examines some of the factors that make managing risk and access demands a challenge.
See also: White Paper (PDF) and Webinar: How to Balance Information Access Demands and Risk Management Throughout the Information Lifecycle
Béchard, Lorène, Lourdes Fuentes Hashimoto and Édouard Vasseur, Les archives électroniques (second edition, expanded and updated) (2020) (French only)
Les archives électroniques has been designed for archival professionals and anyone involved in electronic archiving projects. It provides a step-by-step methodological approach, from determining the best electronic archiving strategy to fit a particular context, to defining the processes for each part of the archival chain (evaluation, collection, sustainability), to the implementation of an electronic archiving system.
Byström, Katriina, Jannica Heinström and Ian Ruthven, eds., Information at Work: Information Management in the Workplace (2019)
Information at Work provides a comprehensive account of information in the modern workplace. It examines and reviews the major concepts within workplace information, from overarching themes of information cultures and ecologies, to strategic concerns of information management and governance, to detailed accounts of questions and current debates.
Jackson, Laura Uglean, ed., Reappraisal and Deaccessioning in Archives and Special Collections (2019)
This is the first book dedicated entirely to the topic of reappraising and deaccessioning in special collections and archives. It features 13 chapters offering informed opinions, practical recommendations, and valuable examples for reappraising and deaccessioning.
Matthews, Joseph R. and Carson Block, Library Information Systems (second edition) (2019)
An essential management guide for administrators, librarians and other staff who implement and maintain information technology, this book addresses modern libraries’ challenges of integrating information technology, and it describes the evolution of library information systems, their enabling technologies and today’s dynamic information technology marketplace.
Žižka, Jan, František Dařena and Arnošt Svoboda, Text Mining with Machine Learning: Principles and Techniques (first edition) (2019)
This book provides a perspective on the application of machine-learning-based methods in knowledge discovery from natural languages texts. With explanations of principles of time-proven machine-learning algorithms applied in text mining, it also includes step-by-step demonstrations of how to reveal the semantic contents in real-world datasets using the popular R-language with its implemented machine-learning algorithms.