Fonds PR0075 - Archives Society of Alberta fonds

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Archives Society of Alberta fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the records.

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    • 1979-2017 (Creation)

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    11.08 m of texual records and other materials.

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    Administrative history

    The Archives Society of Alberta (ASA) has three predecessor organizations (the Directors of Alberta Archives (DAA), the Alberta Society of Archivists and the Alberta Archives Council (AAC)). The Directors of Alberta Archives (1978 - 1986) first convened in Edmonton on January 10, 1978. This was an ad hoc arrangement rather than a conscious move to establish a permanent or formally incorporated society. Between 1978 and 1985 meetings were held annually (except 1981, when no meeting was called) at locations across the province. Although the organization was informal, minutes were kept.

    The membership included directors of archival institutions throughout Alberta. The DAA continued to meet following the organization of the Alberta Society of Archivists in 1981. The President of the Alberta Society of Archivists or a representative of the Society was considered a member of the DAA in an ex officio capacity, and minutes of DAA meetings were sent to the Alberta Society of Archivists. At the January 1983 meeting the group adopted the following as its purposes: to share information, develop provincial network planning, develop appropriate publications, lobby and plan for staff exchanges, further student practica when possible, and discuss funding.

    The Alberta Society of Archivists (1981 - 1993) was formed in 1981 to advocate and meet the needs of archivists and those interested in archives. The objectives of the organization were to provide a forum through which all those engaged or interested in archives work could meet and discuss common concerns; to provide an effective voice for archival interests in Alberta; to promote and advance the collection, preservation, and use of archival materials; and to encourage and develop archival skills among those involved in archival work by holding seminars and workshops on archival principles and procedures and by distributing information relating to archival administration and practice. Membership was open to anyone subscribing to the objectives of the Society.

    The Alberta Archives Council (1986 - 1993) was formed in May 1986 in response to the Canadian Council of Archives' (CCA) requirement that each province and territory create a "best fit" representative provincial council with authority to implement CCA programs.

    "The Directors of Alberta Archives will be replaced by a provisional council to be known as 'The Alberta Archives Council.' For the time being its membership will be the same as the former DAA" (8 July 1985, AAC Minutes)

    The objectives of the AAC were: to establish priorities for archival development in Alberta (including standards for archives operations and procedures based on needs and requirements identified in an ongoing survey of the state of archives in the province); to co-ordinate implementation of projects of mutual interest to Alberta's archives; to co-ordinate development of an archival network; to advise the CCA and other funding authorities on the allocation of funds to Alberta Archives; to encourage the development of conservation facilities and services in Alberta; and to encourage the development of training facilities for Alberta's archivists.

    Membership in the AAC was open to any institution in Alberta which was primarily engaged in the preservation of historical records for research purposes. Institutions had to have a written operational mandate approved by the parent body, an ongoing commitment of financial support from the parent body to provide adequate staff and facilities, and regular hours of operation for public use. The AAC and the Alberta Society of Archivists had a good working relationship and, although the organizations' mandates differed, both groups soon recognized that co-operative efforts, particularly in funding, adjudication of grants, and publications, were more effective than duplication of effort. Several joint committees were struck between 1986 and 1993. The Alberta Society of Archivists had representation on the Council and there was much overlap of membership.

    The Archives Society of Alberta was formed at a joint meeting of the Alberta Society of Archivists and the Alberta Archives Council on June 25, 1993. The AAC was dissolved and the constitution of the Alberta Society of Archivists amended to become that of the Archives Society of Alberta. Two new executive positions were created; Institutional Member-at-Large and Individual Member-at-Large. The amalgamation of the Alberta Society of Archivists and the Council was meant to provide one strong voice for Alberta's archives community and to streamline procedures.

    Amalgamation had been a topic of debate for several years. A committee was struck to consider the issue in 1990, and resulted in the formation of a Joint Management Committee and a Joint Publication Committee. It became apparent, however, that joint committees were not the most efficient solution, and the issue of amalgamation was revisited. In 1992, another committee was formed to study the issue. It concluded that amalgamation was both feasible and desirable, and presented its findings and a draft constitution for the new society to the Joint Management Committee. The executives of the Alberta Society of Archivists and AAC accepted in principle the Committee's recommendations and took the issue to their respective memberships.

    The ASA is incorporated under the Alberta's Societies Act as a not-for-profit organization governed by five volunteer board members elected at annual general meetings and one board member elected by institutional members at the Institutional Forum, an advisory body to the board that meets annually. The Society has staff members that include a full-time Executive Director/Archives Advisor as well as part-time positions including an Administrative Coordinator, Database Administrator, and Financial Coordinator. The ASA also has a number of committees tasked with various projects designed to accomplish the ASA's core objectives:

    • Alberta on Record (previously Archives Network of Alberta (ANA)) Committee (responsible for advising the Board on issues related to the AOR database)
    • Communication Committee (advises the Board of Directors on issues of public awareness and advocacy and other matters which affect the operations of Alberta's archives, archivists, and members of the Society. Major projects include overseeing Archives Week events.)
    • Conference Program Committee (The Conference Program Committee is responsible for the planning, implementation, and follow-up of ASA's bi-annual conference.)
    • Education Committee (responsible for the development, implementation, and co-ordination of archival education programs for the membership.)
    • Financial Review Committee (responsible for reviewing the year-end financial records of the ASA to ensure that the Society is managing its funds in accordance with its mission and mandate.)
    • Fonds D'Archives Committee (The Fonds D'Archives Committee is responsible for advising the board on issues related to the management and maintenance of the ASA Journal Fonds D'Archives.)
    • Grants Committee (The Grants Committee advises the Board of Directors on matters relating to the allocation of grants to institutional members and the establishment of criteria to determine such allocations.)
    • Nominations and Awards Committee (The Nominations and Awards Committee is responsible for soliciting and receiving nominations for elections of Officers, determining the eligibility of nominees, informing nominees of their duties, distribution of ballot papers and electoral information at the AGM, conducting ballots, adjudicating and recommending applications for awards and honorary members to the Board of Directors, recommending new awards to the Board of Directors, and developing terms of reference and forms of recognitions for awards.)

    The ASA's membership consists of Honorary, Individual, Associate Institutional, and Institutional members.

    Beyond their regular association activities, the ASA has also participated in activist movements and advocacy campaigns related to funding for archives. On May 28, 2012, a group of approximately 30 archivists and archives supporters gathered at Canada Place in downtown Edmonton, Alberta to protest the funding cuts affecting Library and Archives Canada (LAC), and in particular the cuts to the National Archival Development Program (NADP) that had funded numerous beneficial archival projects in Alberta. Wearing white gloves and holding protest signs, the protesters chanted slogans including “Information is a Right / Join Us in the Fight” as well as “You Gotta Fight / For Your Right / To Archives.” The protest in Alberta mirrored the larger protest in Ottawa, where approximately 150 protesters marched from Major's Hill Park in Ottawa along Wellington Street to the Library and Archives Canada building at 395 Wellington. Also wearing white gloves, marchers carried a small coffin and held a mock funeral for federal funding for archives that included eulogies by Members of Parliament and representatives of the Canadian Council of Archives and other groups. At that time, the ASA also encouraged its members to raise their concerns about the funding cuts to their local Member of Parliament.

    Custodial history

    In 1997 the Archives Society of Alberta embarked upon a records management and archival project. To conduct the project, the Archives Society retrieved its records from various sources. While some records came from past Board members, the main body of records came from the Provincial Archives of Alberta, which released custody of the various accessions of Archives Society of Alberta records it had received since 1985. All records were turned over to contractors to appraise, arrange and describe. In 1999, the contractors completed the project and submitted their report.

    Scope and content

    Fonds consists of records relating to the administration of the Archives Society of Alberta (ASA), including minutes, reports, correspondence, business records, newsletters, posters, surveys, seminar and workshop papers, reviews, and membership lists.

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    Immediate source of acquisition

    The Archives Society of Alberta donated its records to the Provincial Archives of Alberta in early 2000, with continuing subsequent donations.


    Arrangement note: The Archives Society of Alberta records held by the Provincial Archives of Alberta were originally divided up into 12 different accessions. These records were later taken off-site by the ASA for an arrangement and description project. They were returned in 2000 in the new order of the described records. Those original accessions were closed and a new accession file was created, PR2000.0935, which contains all documentation pertaining to the ASA arrangement and description project.

    The fonds has been arranged into seven series: ASA Executive Records (PR0075.0001); ASA Administrative Records (PR0075.0002); ASA Committee Records (PR0075.0003); ASA Publications (PR0075.0004); Joint Archives Society of Alberta/Alberta Archives Council Series (PR0075.0005); Alberta Archives Council Executive and Administrative Records (PR0075.0006); and, Alberta Archives Council Grants Records (PR0075.0007)

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        The material is in English.

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        Access Conditions: None

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        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

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        File list is available.

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        Further accruals are expected.

        General note

        Some information found in the biographical sketch has been taken from [accessed February 26, 2020].

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        Includes the following accessions:


        Physical description

        Includes ca. 175 photographs, 33 negatives, 10 floppy disks, 5 CD-Rs, 8 posters, and 3 DVDs.

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