Archives Association of Ontario conference starts tomorrow

With the recent opening of the Archives of Ontario on York’s Keele campus, it is only fitting that the Archives Association of Ontario’s (AAO) 2009 annual conference would bring a slate of presentations on new beginnings.

The opening night reception of the AAO conference, New Beginnings: Facilities, Technology and Education, will take place tomorrow from 6 to 8:30pm in the Archives of Ontario building, along with tours of the new facility. On Friday, June 12, provincial archivist Miriam McTiernan will deliver the opening keynote address in the Seymour Schulich Building, on York’s Keele campus.

McTiernan will talk about the archive’s transition from its previous location in Toronto to York and what was involved in moving precious and delicate records. Archive staff Stewart Boden, Sarah Jensen and Mark Epp will also address the issue, outlining the challenges and successes of the move.

Right: The newly opened Archives of Ontario building on York’s Keele campus. Photo courtesy Archives of Ontario.

York University Archivist Michael Moir, head of the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, will then speak about the development of special collections and archives programs at the University during the late 1960s and 1970s, the merger of these programs during the 1980s, the challenges of co-habitation during the 1990s, as well as opportunities for development in the 21st century.

In the afternoon, Sharon White, coordinator of the AAO’s ARCHEION Web site, an online catalogue of descriptions of records located in archives across Ontario, will look at online technologies for reaching new audiences. White will demonstrate a Beta version of the ICA-AtoM software as an example of new directions for online description. Amanda Hill, archivist for Deseronto Archives, will then show how one very small municipal archive has achieved effective outreach with minimal investment by using Web 2.0 technologies such as blogging, Flickr and Twitter.

Consultant Laura Millar will provide an overview of her recently completed Professional Development Study, commissioned by the AAO and funded by the National Archival Development Program. She will give recommendations, based on her study, as to how the AAO should revamp its Professional Development Program, making it more accessible, efficient and relevant to the current and future needs of archivists in Ontario.

For more information on the conference, visit the AAO Web site.