National, Provincial and Territorial Archivists Conference (NPTAC)

Background

The National, Provincial and Territorial Archivists Conference (NPTAC) has supported federal, provincial and territorial dialogue between Canadian archives since 1970. NPTAC constitutes, with the Canadian Council of Archives (CCA), a pillar of the Canadian archival network.

The group meets twice per year; one meeting is via teleconference in the fall and the other meeting is in person, taking place at the same location where the Association of Canadian Archivists Annual Conference is held in the spring. For the in-person meetings, the host province or territory provides hospitality and logistical support. Each organization is responsible for travel and hospitality related costs to attend the meetings.

  • Next teleconference call: November 14, 2019
  • Next in-person meeting: June 10, 2020 (location TBD)

The Librarian and Archivist of Canada is both a permanent Co-Chair and a member. The Deputy Librarian and Archivist of Canada, and Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) Stakeholder Relations and International Affairs (SRIA) also attend each meeting. See Annex A: Membership, Co-Chairs, and Secretariat; and Annex B: List of Members.

Main Work Output—Qualitative and Quantitative Reports, Co-Chairs Statement: Each spring, NPTAC collects qualitative and quantitative data:

  • The Qualitative Report includes accomplishments and highlights from the previous year and outlines priorities for coming year;
  • The Quantitative Report (QR) includes budget; programs; staff complement; salaries; total holdings per type of records; collection management; onsite, digital and remote access; traditional and social media use. Starting next fiscal year, the QR will also collect data regarding the number of acquisitions;
  • Responsibility for compiling the data from all NPTAC members rotates to a different member every two years, by alphabetical order;
  • LAC’s office of the Deputy Librarian and Archivist of Canada (Operations Sector) leads the development of data on behalf of LAC;
  • The SRIA Secretariat is responsible for drafting and approval process of the Co-Chairs Statement, a short document summarizing the highlights and the direction of the group;
  • Once approved, the Co-Chairs Statement is shared on ARCAN-L mail listserve, an email to subscribers with a shared interest in the Canadian archival community.

Quantitative/Qualitative Reports: Every year, NPTAC members discuss and debate whether to publish the quantitative and qualitative reports. While some jurisdictions are comfortable and willing to publish both reports, consensus has never been reached amongst all NPTAC members. To date, both reports are prepared for and used by NPTAC members only. For the Quantitative Report, LAC and fellow NPTAC members have expressed concerns regarding publishing the data including the compatibility of methodologies, mandates and governance structures used by all jurisdictions; seeking and obtaining correct authorization to release information; and political climate sensitivities within some jurisdictions. There is less of a concern for the Qualitative Report as the information captured showcases the annual highlights of each respective NPTAC member. As both reports are not made public, the purpose and added value of these reports remaining unpublished remains a sensitive issue for some NPTAC members. Each year, members discuss and agree to include only the key highlights as part of the publicly released Co-Chairs Statement.

Consideration

Since 2015, LAC has advocated for the publication of both reports. For next year, NPTAC members should discuss whether to publish both reports, or at least aim to have unanimous agreement to publish the Qualitative Report. This question should be raised at the next NPTAC meeting on November 14, 2019, with a view to have a final discussion and decision at the June 10, 2020 in-person meeting.

50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act—2019: LAC is currently reviving its efforts to support Official language minority communities (OLMC).

  • LAC is planning to invite OL Champion, Linda Savoie and Alain Roy (Strategic Research and Policy, OL Advisory Committee Member) to the November 14th NPTAC meeting to: (1) update members about LAC’s progress; (2) express interest in what other jurisdictions are doing; (3) seek support and discuss links into historical societies, universities and other local and regional partners willing to increase and improve OLMC collaboration; and, (4) inform and invite members to a planned conference in May 2020.

SME:

Patrick Latulippe, Analyst, Stakeholder Relations and International Affairs Directorate (SRIA)
Francesco Manganiello, Director, SRIA
Email: patrick.latulippe@canada.ca
francesco.manganiello@canada.ca
Tel: 613-853-4103
613-462-8359

Annex A: Membership, Co-Chairs, and Secretariat

Membership: There are 14 NPTAC members, each representing a provincial, territorial and federal archive. Heads of each organization usually attend the meetings. CCA attends as an observer. NPTAC is the Council of Provincial and Territorial Archivists (CPTA) plus LAC.

  • The purpose of CPTA is to ensure active and relevant participation by provincial and territorial archivists in the national archival network and to ensure a close working relationship with the CCA (CPTA Secretariat). CPTA meets twice per year, providing a venue for the discussion of issues and sharing of ideas particularly relevant to provincial and territorial archivists.

Co-Chairs: There are two Co-Chairs: the Librarian and Archivist of Canada (permanent) and the Chair of CPTA (rotates every two years). New Brunswick is Co-Chair until 2020. British Columbia accepted the mandate for 2020-2022.

Secretariat: LAC’s Stakeholder Relations and International Affairs Directorate (SRIA) provides Secretariat functions: agenda setting, strategic advice to libraries and archives on LAC items/issues, organizing internal briefings, collecting and sharing all supporting documentation, managing translation, drafting minutes and other documentation.

Working Groups: NPTAC regularly creates Working Groups (WGs) to address issues facing the Canadian archival community, when the need and willingness are present.

  • The current WGs are all focused on digital management and they all include one LAC staff member: Digitization Standards (Sharon Smith, LAC), Roles and Responsibilities (Marie-Claude Côté, LAC) and Long-term Digital Preservation (Roslynn Ross, LAC). The current WGs are working in collaboration with the Federal Provincial Territorial Records Council (FPTRC). Recent WGs had been working on audiovisual preservation cooperation, collaborative acquisitions, and statistical reporting.

Useful FPT forum: NPTAC remains a useful vehicle whereby all Canadian archival jurisdictions have a chance to discuss accomplishments, share information, while addressing complex issues and challenges in a formal setting.

  • For example, in 2018, NPTAC members found a solution to an outstanding ownership issue resulting from the transfer of records from provincial and territorial archives to the Privy Council Office as part of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Annex B: List of Members

Members Organizations
Leslie Weir, Co-Chair Library and Archives Canada
Fred Farrell, Co-Chair New-Brunswick Archives
Leslie Latta Provincial Archives of Alberta
Joanne Orr Royal BC Museum
Emma Wright (Non-voting member) Government of British Columbia
Edward Atkinson Nunavut Archives
Patti Bannister Nova Scotia Archives
David Schlosser Yukon Archives
Scott Goodine Archives of Manitoba
Hélène Laverdure Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
Linda McIntyre Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan
Erin Suliak Northwest Territories Archives
John Roberts Archives of Ontario
Jill MacMicken-Wilson Public Archives and Records Office, Prince Edward Island
Greg Walsh The Rooms Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador
Observers Organizations
Christina mNichols Canadian Council of Archives
Joanna Aiton Kerr Canadian Council of Archives
Normand Charbonneau Library and Archives Canada
Patrick Latulippe (Secretariat) Library and Archives Canada
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