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  • 23 Apr 2022 10:56 AM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    The University of Manitoba has a long and storied history in this province.  In the following blog post, Shelley Sweeney, Archivist Emerita from the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, highlights the work of volunteers to shed light on this institutions history.

    Volunteers at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections work on projects that interest them that augment the regular work done by staff. This latest project by Wayne Chan, a research computer analyst with the Centre for Earth Observation Science at the University of Manitoba, explores the forgotten places and spaces at the University using the new web version of Google Earth. Through this platform people are brought to three different campuses: the Fort Garry campus, the Bannatyne medical campus, and the old Broadway campus.

    Visitors to the site can fly between campuses and hop between various locations, or they can use the table of contents to jump to a particular place, or they can click on a pin to find out what used to be in the space before. On the right-hand side of the screen, people can read a brief description of what was there, accompanied by archival photos and short videos. The majority of these archival materials were obtained from the University of Manitoba Archives, augmented by a few photos from publications or other institutions. Wayne deliberately chose quirky or interesting places to highlight, and further enhanced his choices with unusual facts that will surprise many visitors to the site.

    Thus, visitors to the site can discover that the University of Manitoba used to be the place for an ice-making plant, where men would cut blocks of ice from the Red River to use for people’s home refrigeration. There was a provincial experimental fur farm on the Fort Garry campus, and the University had to provide its own water before being hooked up to the city system. Students used to swim in the Red River, practice shooting rifles, or play broomball on an outdoor rink. In later years, when tired, students could borrow a pillow and blanket to sleep in the University Centre Nap Rooms! In the early part of the last century the Dean of Medicine used a horse-drawn sleigh to make his way around in winter. The tour provides a fascinating glimpse of both the University and broader society in general through these historical vignettes.

    This format is ideally suited for the pandemic and for people who are interested in the University without wanting to deal with the trek out to the campuses or the confusion of making their way around the labyrinthine spaces once they get there. The tour allows people to sample the histories as they have time without having to commit to a lengthy visit. This type of interface brings archival material to new audiences and importantly, drives people to the Archives’ website. Other archives may find this format useful. I have it on Wayne’s word that the format is very easy to master through the various online tutorials.

    To visit the virtual tour, or to learn about other parts of the University’s history, go to https://libguides.lib.umanitoba.ca/c.php?g=501019&p=3430707. And if you have knowledge of other lost places on one of the University of Manitoba campuses, let the Archives know at archives@umanitoba.ca!


  • 21 Apr 2022 12:11 PM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    Committee Reports

    A printable version of this document can be found here.

    Digital Initiatives: The Committee hosted the annual MAIN (Manitoba Archival Information Network) training session on March 25. The participants learned how to create and edit data within MAIN and also received a brief overview of archival description.

    Education and Advisory Services: The Education Committee is planning a workshop on archiving emails. This workshop will be based on the first year of experiences shared by several archivists who are currently working on the process of archiving emails. A second workshop will discuss trauma related to archival research and the role of the archivist in addressing it. Look for registration information in the early autumn.

    Finance and Grants: The AMA has received the yearly audit report in draft form. The revenue totaled $44,376 during the 2021 financial year. A surplus of nearly $20,000 is remaining from the 2021 financial year.

    Indigenous Relations: Dr. Karine Duhamel will present an introductory webinar on the MMIWG inquiry, final report, and Calls for Justice. Thursday, May 19, 7-8 pm. Registration will be available on our website soon.

    Information and Outreach: The City of Winnipeg Archives Renovation Project is on the agenda for the Winnipeg City Council Meeting, Thursday 28 April. You can watch it streamed live on YouTube from a link on this page: https://winnipeg.ca/clerks/council/meetings.stm/?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D156433384  

    Earlier this month, Information and Outreach submitted a letter in support of the initiative to the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage, and Downtown Development: https://clkapps.winnipeg.ca/DMIS/ViewDoc.asp?DocId=21722&SectionId=641741&InitUrl=

    Membership Committee: Reminder to renew your membership for April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023. Visit https://mbarchives.ca/Membership to renew online.

    Special Initiatives Member-at-Large: The Manitoba Day awards ceremony will be a hybrid event (online and in-person) held on Thursday May 12th, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, in the Cross Common Room at St. John's College, University of Manitoba, with light refreshments being served. The judges are currently evaluating the 10 nominations, and this should be completed by April 25th. Stay tuned for registration info.

    Student Member-at-Large: Students interested in volunteering with the AMA can send an email to ama1@mts.net or reach out to us on our social media.

    Special Announcements

    AMA Photo of the Month

    The City of Winnipeg Archives submitted the AMA’s April photo of the month.


    Aerial of a Royal Canadian Air Force bomber that crashed into the St. James area of Winnipeg on February 17, 1957. Miraculously, there were no fatalities or serious injuries. Photo taken by David Portigal and Co. and used in consultation with the family. Part of the City of Winnipeg Archives Photograph collection (P52 Item 126).

    To participate in Photo of the Month, please submit a photograph along with a caption, to webmaster@mbarchives.ca.  We would love to showcase the collections from local institutions!

    Reconciliation and Heritage webinar

    The National Trust for Canada / Fiducie nationale du Canada webinar with Miranda Jimmy is available for viewing on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlOlpqvHycU

    Miranda Jimmy is the incoming Manager for Reconciliation, Diversity and Inclusion at the National Trust for Canada. She is a member of Thunderchild First Nation.

    Call for Volunteers

    We are always looking for members to join our committees. Volunteering with the AMA is an excellent way to network with archivists, build skills, and shape the future of archives in Manitoba. If you are interested, please contact the Chair, or a Committee chair, at one of the email addresses listed on this page https://mbarchives.ca/contact

    AMA Heritage Trust Fund (Endowment Fund)

    The Association for Manitoba Archives Fund, supported by Endow Manitoba and administered by The Winnipeg Foundation, will provide the AMA with a reliable, meaningful source of operating income today and in future years as we continue to build capital through ongoing contributions. The AMA is grateful for the financial contributions made by The Winnipeg Foundation, the province of Manitoba, and from individual AMA members to date. To learn more about this fund and the opportunity to donate to it, please follow this link:  https://www.mycharitytools.com/gift/wpgfdn/donate?fund=894   


  • 24 Mar 2022 8:01 AM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    Message from the Chair

    A printable version of this document can be found here.

    With Spring around the corner and public health restrictions being lifted, the following months will present new opportunities and challenges.  Institutions and individuals will be faced with new decisions to make.  The AMA looks forward to working with you during this process.

    -Andrew Morrison, Chair of the Association for Manitoba Archives

    Committee Reports

    Digital Initiatives: The Committee is working to maintain the website, blog, and to provide training on MAIN.  

    Education and Advisory Services: The Committee is looking for more members to help organize and promote AMA educational services.  Please contact the AMA for more details.

    Finance and Grants: The Association raised 299.30 in membership fees during February 2022. Our year-to-date income totaling 45,145.10 (including grants) and expenses are 23,919.86 showing a surplus of 21,225,86 between April 2021 and February 2022. Our current assets in cash and equivalents in at 133,922.38. As a change in process our bookkeeping is now being handled by a third party.

    Indigenous Relations: The committee is continuing to plan an online event that examines the MMIWG2S Calls to Justice. We are also planning an online event about the “Reconciliation Framework: The Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce”: https://archives2026.files.wordpress.com/2022/02/reconciliationframeworkreport_en.pdf

    Information and Outreach: The Committee is looking to expand on its social media initiatives.  Also, the Committee is looking into the uses of culturally outdated terminology in archival descriptions.

    Membership Committee: The Committee is reviewing accreditation and investigating ways to improve the process.

    Special Initiatives Member-at-Large: The Committee would like to thank all applicants for the Manitoba Day Award.  More details to come regarding the ceremony!

    Student Member-at-Large: The Committee is working towards rebuilding the ACA Student Council.

    Special Announcements

    AMA Photo of the Month

    The AMA has launched a new initiative to promote the diverse and rich archival heritage in Manitoba by asking the community to submit a photograph from their collection to be featured in the AMA’s next newsletter.  If interested, please submit a photograph along with a sentence or two describing the records, to webmaster@mbarchives.ca.  We would love to showcase the collections from local institutions!

    Call for Volunteers

    We are always looking for members to join our committees. Volunteering with the AMA is an excellent way to network with archivists, build skills, and shape the future of archives in Manitoba. If you are interested, please contact the Chair, or a Committee chair, at one of the email addresses listed on this page https://mbarchives.ca/contact

    AMA Heritage Trust Fund (Endowment Fund)

    The Association for Manitoba Archives Fund, supported by Endow Manitoba and administered by The Winnipeg Foundation, will provide the AMA with a reliable, meaningful source of operating income today and in future years as we continue to build capital through ongoing contributions. The AMA is grateful for the financial contributions made by The Winnipeg Foundation, the province of Manitoba, and from individual AMA members to date. To learn more about this fund and the opportunity to donate to it, please follow this link:  https://www.mycharitytools.com/gift/wpgfdn/donate?fund=894   


  • 23 Feb 2022 3:34 PM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    A printable version of this document can be found here.

    Message from the Chair

    I am pleased to announce two new board members to the AMA, Katrín Níelsdóttir and Corser du Pont.  We continue to hold productive and informative board meetings and will continue to aim for responsive and productive services for the community.  I hope that everyone is keeping warm!

    -Andrew Morrison, Chair of the Association for Manitoba Archives

    Committee Reports

    Digital Initiatives: The Committee is working to maintain the website, blog, and to provide training on MAIN.  Planning is also underway for the annual MAIN training session.  More details to come!

    Education and Advisory Services: The Committee is promoting several professional development opportunities as well as planning additional workshops and discussing the future role of Advisory Services.

    Finance and Grants: The AMA would like to welcome Katrín Níelsdóttir, who recently began her position as Chair of the Finance and Grants Committee!  Katrín is the Special Collections and Rare Books Librarian at the University of Manitoba.

    Indigenous Relations: The committee is continuing to plan an online discussion that examines the MMIWG2S Calls to Justice. Our collaborators for this discussion, to date, are 1JustCity, SEED Winnipeg, Polonia Inclusive, and Winnipeg Police Cause Harm. Note that we have a new email address: indigenousrelations@mbarchives.ca

    Information and Outreach: The AMA would also like to welcome Corser du Pont as the new Chair of the Information and Outreach Committee!  Corser is currently the Acting University Archivist & Digital Curator at the University of Winnipeg.

    Membership Committee: The Committee is reviewing accreditation and investigating the possibility of including multi-year memberships as well as early registration prizes.  More details to come!

    Special Initiatives Member-at-Large: Brian Hubner and Terry Reilly have created the nomination forms for the 2022 Manitoba Day Awards.  The deadline for submission is March 14, 2022 and the form can be downloaded from this webpage: https://mbarchives.ca/mbdayaward.

    Student Member-at-Large: The Committee is working towards rebuilding the ACA Student Council.

    Special Announcements

    AMA Land Acknowledgement and David Suzuki Foundation Videos

    The AMA is working on creating a meaningful land acknowledgment for our organization. At our AMA board meetings, we are discussing the videos of the David Suzuki Foundation’s three-part series on the Land Back Movement as a way to deepen our understanding of our colonial history and our colonial present. We encourage you to view the Land Back videos at https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/what-is-land-back/

    AMA By-Law Revisions

    The AMA Board held a special meeting on January 27 to discuss the by-law revisions.  The Board is working to ensure that the by-laws reflect the current needs of the AMA and Manitoba’s archival community.  Stay tuned for future updates.

    AMA Photo of the Month

    The AMA has launched a new initiative to promote the diverse and rich archival heritage in Manitoba by asking the community to submit a photograph from their collection to be featured in the AMA’s next newsletter.  If interested, please submit a photograph along with a sentence or two describing the records, to webmaster@mbarchives.ca.  We would love to showcase the collections from local institutions!

    Call for Volunteers

    We are always looking for members to join our committees. Volunteering with the AMA is an excellent way to network with archivists, build skills, and shape the future of archives in Manitoba. If you are interested, please contact the Chair, or a Committee chair, at one of the email addresses listed on this page https://mbarchives.ca/contact

     

  • 31 Jan 2022 3:54 PM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    Manitoba has a variety of museums and archives housing diverse collections.  In this blog post Katie Lynch wrote the following describing her time working at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada.

    The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada has recently taken ownership of their newly built museum located on Wellington Avenue. The museum is set to open to the public in early 2022, and a lot of prep work is taking place now. While the museum was being constructed, the archives were put into temporary storage in Magellan Aerospace and have recently been moved into the museums off-site storage. Currently, inventory is being conducted by archival studies student, Katie Lynch.

    Most recently, inventory of the Randolph Fields fonds has been completed. This fonds garnered much attention from the volunteer restoration team at the museum.

    Randolph Fields was born in 1927 and worked as a mechanic for Canadian Pacific Air from 1940 until 1962. During his career Fields took many photographs of bush planes used throughout Manitoba and documented his travels and work with Canadian Pacific Air. Photos of the CF-AWR Bellanca Air cruiser came to aid museum’s aircraft restoration team in the restoration of the aircraft which will be on display at the museum.

    CF-AWR was used in the 1930s by Eldorado Gold Mines Ltd., to fly radium from Northern Canada 4,000 miles away to the refinery in Port Hope, Ontario by the Mackenzie Air Service. Only 23 Bellanca air cruisers were ever built, CF-AWR being one of them. The Bellanca was selected by Eldorado Gold Mines because it could land on both water and ice with either wheels or pontoons and could therefore be used all year. It also had an air-cooled engine, and could carry 4,000 lbs at a speed of up to 155 mph. The Bellanca can be easily identified the iconic shape of its wings in a “W” appearance, created by triangular struts from the bottom of the fuselage up to a point outboard on the main wing.

    The plane crashed many times, and the Fields fonds has a few photos of the crashes and subsequent repairs. One such photo shows the CF-AWR with its nose under the ice on Windermere Lake on Christmas Day, 1939. Another photo from January 24, 1947, shows the CF-AWR crashed in the bush after it force landed 4 miles northeast of Upturnedroot Lake, Ontario.  Several photos show CF-AWR parked in a hangar for repairs in Edmonton. The CF-AWR’s last crash was in 1947 when it ran out of fuel while carrying uranium concentrate in Northern Ontario but was so severely damaged it was abandoned. The wreck was retrieved by the museum in 1973 with the help of a helicopter from the Canadian Forces.

    The restoration team has worked to repair CF-AWR, but missing pieces of the landing gear have troubled the team in deciding how to most accurately restore the aircraft. No other resources existed for the restoration of the inner workings of the landing gear but the photos from the Randolph Fields fonds solved the teams’ problem. They used the photos of the landing gear to create blueprints, sent them out for production of the landing gear from an outsourced aircraft engineering company, and will soon be put on the aircraft.

    CF-AWR is now in the museum and can be viewed by the public soon.

    The CF-AWR with its nose under the ice on Windermere Lake on Christmas Day, 1939.

    The CF-AWR with its nose under the ice on Windermere Lake on Christmas Day, 1939.

    The CF-AWR crashed in the bush after it force landed 4 miles northeast of Upturnedroot Lake, Ontario. January 24, 1947

    The CF-AWR in for repairs in Edmonton. This was the photo used to make the blueprints. Note the landing gear is exposed.

    The CF-AWR during operations. Note the landing gear.


  • 27 Jan 2022 7:46 AM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    A printable version of this document can be found here.

    Message from the Chair

    Like most of the world, the AMA and it's members are continuing to face many challenges this January.  However, I am pleased to say that the AMA is beginning this year in a strong position.  This year the board plans on refreshing many of the organization's programs and procedures and I am excited to announce these changes in the coming months.  I also look forward to engaging with the AMA's continued response to the Truth and Reconciliation process.  Finally, I would like to thank the current and former board members who have helped me take on this position.

    Andrew Morrison, Chair of the Association for Manitoba Archives

    Committee Reports

    Digital Initiatives: This committee is working to maintain the website, blog, and to provide training on MAIN.  If your organization would like advice on how to use MAIN or would like to submit a blog post, please contact the committee at webmaster@mbarchives.ca. 

    Education and Advisory Services: Members of this committee wrote a blog post about their experience organizing the “Records Management for the Rest of Us” workshop.  You can read more about it here: http://mbarchives.ca/Blog/12203525.  The Committee is planning additional workshops and discussions about the future role of Advisory Services are continuing.

    Finance and Grants: This committee needs a Chair and new members. Maureen Dolyniuk is stepping down as Finance chair in January 2022 and the AMA is grateful for her thoughtful work.

    Indigenous Relations: The committee is planning an online discussion in March that examines the MMIWG2S Calls to Justice.  All are welcome to join. Please stay tuned for further information.

    Information and Outreach: The committee hosted a successful online Trivia Night on Thursday, January 20th.  Thank you to everyone who joined and contributed! The City of Winnipeg Archives advocacy sub-committee will be meeting with Mayor Bowman on January 25th. Remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! On Sundays, we post resources specifically about reconciliation.

    Membership Committee: This committee will be reviewing accreditation and accreditation procedures.

    Special Initiatives Member-at-Large: Brian Hubner and Terry Reilly are preparing for the annual Manitoba Day Awards. Look for the nomination form in early 2022. The event will be held in May.

    Special Announcements

    David Suzuki Foundation Videos and AMA Land Acknowledgement

    The AMA is working on creating a meaningful land acknowledgment for our organization. At the January 13th AMA board meeting, we reviewed the first video of the David Suzuki Foundation’s three-part series on the Land Back Movement.  The Board discussed the implications of the video’s message for our understanding of Canada’s history, for our shared future, and also for how we operate archival institutions.  The Board will continue to review the other videos in the series. We encourage you to view the Land Back videos at https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/what-is-land-back/

    AMA By-Law Revisions

    The AMA is drafting new and updated by-laws that the Board will present to the membership at the next annual general meeting.  Please stay tuned!

    Call for Volunteers

    We are always looking for members to join our committees. Volunteering with the AMA is an excellent way to network with archivists, build skills, and shape the future of archives in Manitoba. If you are interested, please contact the Chair, or a Committee chair, at one of the email addresses listed on this page https://mbarchives.ca/contact

  • 25 Jan 2022 3:45 PM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    Rural museums and archives are often the sole preservers local heritage.  In the following blog post, Al Thorleifson describes the ongoing project between the Pembina Manitou Archive and the Boundary Trail National Heritage Region Board to build archival awareness within the Southern Manitoba museum community.

    Over the past two years, the Pembina Manitou Archive has partnered with the Boundary Trail National Heritage Region Board to build awareness of archives and to encourage archival preservation in our Southern Manitoba museum and archive community.

    There are over twenty small community museums in the BTNHR, some focused on architectural heritage and some focused on settlement period agriculture. In every case, these small museums have been the recipients of documents, photographs, letters and other archival material which, to a large extent, have been sitting in a back room gathering dust. Why is this? Usually, it is because a document does not work with the average museum’s display of artifacts. As well, most visitors do not visit a museum to sit and read a document for an hour – the average museum visitor spends an hour touring the entire museum and then is off to other sites on their tour of the district.

    The PMA/BTNHR Partnerships with Museums Projects have four major purposes:

    • To create reports which are shared with participating museums. Each report focuses on the collection of a specific museum, highlighting some aspect of their collection. The purpose is to encourage museums to be aware of the collections of other regional museums and to encourage information sharing to promote each others’ collections.
    • To encourage local museums to continue the process of accessing and preserving their archival collections.
    • To encourage each museum to consider whether there are archival documents in their collection which would provide background information in support of their museum displays. Once these documents are identified by the museum, the Pembina Manitou Archive undertakes the digitization and the documents are uploaded to the PMA web site. The reports thus contain lists of documents from each partner community which have been added to the Pembina Manitou Archive’s web site.
    • The final goal is to encourage those interested in heritage and history to make use of the digital archive, especially in this COVID time when we are unable to access archives in person. As well, our most fervent supporters are those whose ancestors lived in the communities of Southern Manitoba. No matter where they currently live, they have access to primary documents about their ancestral communities from the comfort of their own homes anywhere in the world.

    Anyone interested in reviewing these monograph reports may do so by searching ‘Partnerships with Museums’ on the Pembina Manitou Archive web site at https://pembinamanitouarchive.ca .

    The Pembina Manitou archive is an open access web site which originally started as an online source of information for school students to provide them with access to primary archival documents concerning their community for use in school research projects. The archive has grown over the past decade to include over 53,000 documents.

  • 30 Dec 2021 10:23 AM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    Preservation is a challenging issue for archives, especially when the records are in proprietary formats that require specific outdated technology.  In the following blog post, the City of Winnipeg Archives faced these challenges with the records of the Board of Commissioners.

    The City of Winnipeg Archives has recently digitized the proprietary microfiche records of the Board of Commissioners.

    From 1972 to 1997, the Winnipeg Board of Commissioners provided leadership to civic departments and advice on key issues facing the City. Despite this important role, it was discovered in 2004 that the Board did not maintain its physical records, but rather, made microfiche copies of its paper files, destroying the originals. A proprietary type of Microx fiche was used, making the roughly 850,000 images on 24,000 fiche the only copies available for reference. Not only is this type of fiche sensitive to handling and the environment, but its proprietary nature means that it requires specialized, expensive, and difficult to acquire technology to access, and cannot be viewed using most microform readers.

    In 2012, the fiche was transferred to the Archives, which sought to have it digitized to make it accessible. However, the cost was prohibitive – estimated at over $70,000 – and there were few vendors capable of dealing with this uncommon type of fiche. As such, digitization was not pursued at that time. But the Archives did not give up. After consulting with imaging specialists, the Archives applied for an innovation grant to pursue the project, which it obtained in 2019.

    Data Repro Com Ltd. was awarded the contract and the fiche was shipped to them with encrypted hard drives, where they were digitized and indexed according to a file key. Despite having the proper technology, the volatile and proprietary nature of the fiche made them difficult to scan. The vast majority of scans turned out well, but some scans are difficult to read and several cannot be read at all. This exemplifies the pitfalls of destroying original records for the sake of convenience. Whether it’s microfiche or digitized records, destroying originals often costs more money and causes more problems in the long run. This also speaks to problems with using proprietary formats that are dependent on rare technology and are not widely used. This is especially applicable to digital records, the formats of which can become obsolete very quickly and may be dependent on technology owned by a private company to access.

    The digitized fiche will be ingested into the Archives’ open-source digital preservation system, Archivematica. The preservation system ensures the Archives’ digital records will be safe and accessible long into the future by constantly monitoring for data corruption, regularly migrating files into new, open, and widely used formats to keep pace with changing technology, and logging every preservation action taken in a machine-readable manner.

    This story is featured in the City of Winnipeg Records Committee’s 2020 annual report: https://winnipeg.ca/clerks/pdfs/2020RecordsReport.pdf

    Image tag: Two of approximately 24,000 proprietary Microx fiche.

  • 22 Dec 2021 1:31 PM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    Happy Holidays from the AMA!

    A printable PDF version of this newsletter can be found here.

    As the Holiday Season approaches, it is time for us to extend best wishes to family and friends.  When we look back on the year, we see all that we have accomplished despite COVID.  In this inaugural issue of the AMA’s newsletter, we would like to take the time to congratulate the hard work of volunteers in making our programming a reality.  It is through their work that that AMA can continue supporting Manitoba archives.

    Meet the new Board of Directors

    Chair of the Board/Chair of Management Committee: Andrew Morrison

    Chair of Finance & Grants Committee/Secretary-Treasurer: unfilled *

    Membership Committee co-chairs: Carmen Miedema and Heather Bidzinski

    Information and Outreach chair: Mary Horodyski

    Education and Advisory Services chair: Al Thorleifson

    Digital Initiatives chair: Chris Zaste

    Indigenous Relations co-chairs: Carmen Miedema and Mary Horodyski

    Special Initiatives Member-at-Large: Brian Hubner and Terry Reilly

    Student Member-at-Large: Carly Roberts

    * Maureen Dolyniuk is stepping down as Finance chair in January 2022.

    The AMA thanks our outgoing Chair, David Cuthbert, for his outstanding service.

    Committee Reports

    Digital Initiatives: This committee is seeking new blog posts for the website. View the published blog posts here https://mbarchives.ca/Blog and the call for blog posts here https://mbarchives.ca/Blog/10623164

    Education and Advisory Services: The November workshop “Records Management for the Rest of Us” by Carole Pelchat was very successful. Future plans for workshops on “How to Archive Email” and “Trauma-Informed Archival Practices” are underway. Discussions about the future role of Advisory Services are continuing.

    Finance and Grants: This committee needs a Chair and new members. Maureen Dolyniuk is stepping down as Finance chair in January 2022 and the AMA is grateful for her thoughtful work.

    Indigenous Relations: We have posted a list of resources on our website: https://mbarchives.ca/indigenous_resource_list  Plans are in development for a webinar examining the MMIWG2S Calls for Justice and for a discussion of the Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce https://archives2026.com/response-to-the-report-of-the-truth-and-reconciliation-commission-taskforce/

    Information and Outreach: We are hosting an online Trivia Night on Thursday, January 20th. There will be prizes! The event is free, but registration is required. Please register here: https://mbarchives.ca/event-4608495  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Instagram is coming soon.

    Membership Committee: This committee will be reviewing accreditation and accreditation procedures.

    Special Initiatives Member-at-Large: Brian Hubner and Terry Reilly are preparing for the annual Manitoba Day Awards. Look for the nomination form in early 2022. The event will be held in May.

    Student Member-at-Large: Carly Roberts organized another successful webinar in October on working as a records professional.

    Special Announcements

    Endowment Fund

    The Association for Manitoba Archives Fund with Endow Manitoba/The Winnipeg Foundation will provide the AMA with a reliable, meaningful source of operating income today and in future years if we can continue to build capital through ongoing contributions. We are pleased to report the current market value of the fund has reached $301,335, this a $91,562 increase over last year at this time! The AMA is grateful for the financial contributions made by The Winnipeg Foundation, the province of Manitoba and from individual AMA members. To learn more about this fund, and the opportunity to donate to it, please click this link:  https://www.mycharitytools.com/gift/wpgfdn/donate?fund=894

    Call for Volunteers

    We are always looking for members to join our committees. Volunteering with the AMA is an excellent way to network with archivists, build skills, and shape the future of archives in Manitoba. If you are interested, please contact the Chair, or a Committee chair, at one of the email addresses listed on this page https://mbarchives.ca/contact

     

  • 19 Dec 2021 10:30 AM | Digital Initiatives, AMA (Administrator)

    The Association for Manitoba Archives (AMA) offers educational programming on a variety of topics.  Digital Archivist & Oral Historian Sarah Story, with contributions from Carole Pelchat (Archivist, Information Security Officer & Privacy Office Coordinator) and Al Thorleifson (Archivist at Pembina Manitou Archives), wrote the following blog post on the records management workshop organized by the AMA’s Education and Advisory Committee.

    The central role of the Association for Manitoba Archives (AMA) Education and Advisory Committee is to provide workshops and webinar training to its members. In November, the AMA hosted a 4-part webinar series on records management. 28 people attended these zoom teachings, doubling the AMA’s usual workshop enrollment for a workshop.

    The webinar series was instructed by Carole Pelchat and organized by Sarah Story with logistical support provided by Kathy Kushpel and Chris Zaste. The time and resources for Carole to create and deliver the webinar series were contributed (free of charge) to the AMA by l’Université de Saint-Boniface (USB). This enabled the AMA to offer a very affordable and accessible records management series. We are grateful to Carole Pelchat and the USB for this generous contribution to our members and the wider community!

    Why a Records Management Workshop for Archivists?

    In working with small archives, community organizations and non-archives that create, store and care for the business and historical records of their organization, Sarah Story has come to learn that one of the primary challenges across organizations of all types and sizes is often ineffective or absent official record keeping or records management.

    This results in the loss of significant organizational records, the piling up of unimportant documents in closets, desk drawers and servers, and elevated frustration among staff who experience difficulty finding records in a timely manner. Without effective systems in place, staff end up making their own decisions about what gets kept and destroyed. This results in inconsistency, loss of records of enduring value (archives!), overkeeping, and it even gets some organizations into legal hot water.

    Records Management (RM) ensures that an organization’s records of historical, legal, and fiscal value are identified, classified and preserved for as long as they are required. It also ensures that non-essential records are disposed of securely. Having an approved “retention and disposition schedule” with policies and procedures for departments and staff to guide them on what to keep, how long to keep it, and how to keep, transfer or dispose of it, can be a boon for any organization.

    Increasingly, archivists and other staff without formal training in records management find the responsibility for recordkeeping falling on their shoulders. However, training in RM can be cost-prohibitive and similar to archives, there is professional jargon that can be intimidating to even well-trained archivists. We wanted to make this available to this crowd of Manitoban’s working with archives and experiencing firsthand the impacts of poor recordkeeping in their organization on their work and archives, so we planned a “records management for the rest of us” approach to offering this series.

    Carole’s Experience and Approach

    We were delighted that Carole Pelchat accepted our committee’s invitation to create and deliver this series. In her own words she explains her personal RM experience:

    “I have been an archivist for over 25 years and in my experience, records management has always helped me better explain the need to preserve records. I started taking courses to familiarize myself with the concepts and theories in RM. The first few workshops and classes were quite overwhelming, and I would go home saying, “I will never be able to use this stuff!” However, the more I learned about records management, the more I liked it. The idea that we can manage records from its creation was quite a new concept and gave me a different perspective.”

    Carole also highlights the importance of archivists sharing their firsthand knowledge with others in the field and encourages further learning,

    “I have given records management workshops in the past for the francophone community and when the AMA asked me to do the workshop, I was more than happy to share my knowledge. I figure the best way to learn is from one’s peers. I hope participants were able to see the difference between the world of records management and the world of archives. I hope the participants will not give up and continue learning about records management. I myself learn new things every time I participate in workshops!”

    Pembina Manitou Archives

    Al Thorleifson of the Pembina Manitoba Archives really appreciated Carole’s attention to detail. He plans to take her advice and RM protocols and put them into action, Al says:

    “Carole’s presentation overall put the role of archives in the context of records management. This was especially interesting given the tendency of local businessmen to just dump off boxes while saying they do not know what is good to keep and what is not. Although I have developed a protocol to help them to sort the personal from the archival, Carole’s guidelines will encourage me to be more precise and to ask them to do more before they bring in the boxes.

    Also, Carole dealt with one problem which I have struggled with. As an archive which has over the past five years received thousands of documents, our naming of files has been less ordered than it should have been. Carole’s suggestions for ensuring predictable, consistent naming of files in fonds was very helpful. It will mean I WILL HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO to sort out the files named imprecisely; I am glad to do it because I know it will make it easier for our users to search the records in upcoming years. Thank you, Carole, for a job well done.”

    Offering Workshops That Matter

    The AMA is a volunteer-run organization so our offerings are based on our volunteer’s capacity to serve our community. Our goal is to learn from our members what classes would be of most value, especially for those archivists working in smaller archives and community-based or project-based settings.

    We want to highlight that AMA webinars and workshops do not need to be taught by “experts” or those working in large archives within post-secondary and governmental  institutions – your firsthand experience or knowledge from your rural, lone arranger or small archives setting matters. It is worth sharing your strategies with others working in similar settings, often on a very small to non-existent budgets.

    If you have an idea for a workshop or webinar, archival knowledge and experience that you want to share, or want to help us create educational opportunities for members by volunteering, please reach out to us at: advisoryservices@mbarchives.ca.

    We would love to hear from you!

    As always, thank you for your time, participation and support,

    Sincerely,

    Sarah Story
    On behalf of the AMA Education & Advisory Services Committee


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