Annual Conference

ACA 2017 : Archives, disrupted

June 7 - 10, 2017, Ottawa, Ontario  Canada

The 2017 ACA Conference will be held in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa.  Not coincidentally, July 1, 2017 will mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation and Ottawa will be the center of many commemorative and lively events.  Confederation was at once Canada’s celebrated beginning, but it was also disruptive to the people and institutions within and without Canada’s borders.  Likewise, the archival endeavor is not immune to disruption, and when confronted with it, archivists and archival institutions may hold fast to their principles and practices; but they may also let go.  Is this anarchy?  No… it’s archives.  

The conference will explore how archivists and archival institutions progress, respond, change and persevere in response to disruptive forces, which may arise from outside or can be self-imposed.  How and why is our profession challenging its past and the status quo?  At the same time, examining the profession’s past with a presentist lens may distort its future.  Conference sessions will explore how the archival endeavor can emerge strengthened and changed from the effects of disruptive forces, and define a new path that is relevant and valuable to its practitioners, institutions, users and stakeholders.

The 2017 ACA Program Committee invites proposals for papers, panels, debates, lightening talks, etc., from all areas of archival theory and practice that focus on the power and effects of disruptive forces on the profession, and particularly how this may strengthen archivists and archival institutions to be better.  Proposals may address the following:   

  • How does the archival community challenge its past practices and methods for the benefit of their work, their users, their stakeholders, and others?
  • How do issues of access, openness, and institutional transparency challenge the status quo?
  • How can disruptive forces advance and improve our ideas on custody and provenance?
  • Are archivists disrupters?  Are they activists?  Should they be?  How do they reconcile their support for the societal good with the obligation to employers?  Who decides what constitutes the “societal good”?
  • How do archivists break their own rules and standards?  What effect does this have on their records, users, donors, employers, systems, etc.?
  • Are other allied professions affected by the strength or movements of the archives and records management profession?  How is the archival profession affected by theirs?
    • Technology is disruptive, yes.  But does technology and the development of software to support archives reinforce the status quo of archival practice?
    • How do changes to legislation transform our profession?


Click to obtain a PDF of the Call for Submissions, ou en français l'Appel de propositions,

Use this link for an individual submission, (e.g., paper).

Use this link for a full session or workshop submission.

The Call for Submissions deadline is October 2, 2016.

Complete session proposals are most welcome, but individual paper proposals will also be considered and if accepted, slotted into appropriate sessions. Sessions are usually 1-1.5 hours. Proposals can be either practical or theoretical, in a variety of formats including:

1. Traditional session: formal presentation of papers; approximately 20 minutes per speaker, with questions to follow as time allows.

2. Panel discussion: abbreviated presentation of papers; approximately 10-15 minutes per speaker, with discussion to follow.

3. Roundtable: brief 5-7 minute presentations with open discussion.

4. Focused Debate on a specific topic: brief presentations with open discussion & debate to follow.

Workshop Proposals - are submitted using the Full Session submission web form; these submissions will be forwarded to the Professional Learning Committee, which will make its decisions in November.

Workshop is defined as a full 1-day or 2-day event, generally combining presentations, group

discussions and hands-on activities for a group of about 25 – 30 participants. Workshops can

cover any topic/subject, and may not be related directly to the conference theme.

Use this link for a workshop submission.

For tips and pointers on how to prepare proposals and a general overview of the conference program development process, click here

Student Papers and Posters: There will be a Call for Student Papers as well as a Call for Posters later this year, with submission deadlines in January 2017.

Please direct any questions to:

April Miller

Chair, ACA 2017 Conference Program Team


ACA 2016 : ‘Futur proche’:  Archives & Innovation

Montreal, Quebec,  2-4 June 2016

News from ACA 2016 in Montréal, Québec

Following a successful completion of the 2016 Annual Conference sessions and events in Montréal, the Board of Directors is pleased to provide the following highlights:

  • 303 individuals attend, with 280 delegates and speakers  
  • participating in the 28 plenary and concurrent sessions and visiting the 10 exhibits participating in the trade show.
  • 118 individuals participated in a number of Tours organized by the Host Team
  • Team East won the Doughty Cup
  • ACA’s Foundation annual fund-raising raised at total of $2,973 with just under $1,000 from the raffle, over $2,000 from the silent auction and $25 from a Host Team’s pizza sales donation.

 At the Awards Luncheon, Jennifer Douglas, Archivaria General Editor and Catherine Bailey, former General Editor announced the winners of these prizes:

  • Raymond Frogner was awarded the W. Kaye Lamb Prize for his article “Lord, Save Us from the Et Cetera of the Notary”: Archival Appraisal, Local Custom, and Colonial Law which appears in Archivaria #79,
  • Tom Nesmith was awarded the Hugh Taylor Award for his article Toward the Archival Stage in the History of Knowledge which appears in Archivaria #80
  • Grant Hurley was awarded the Gordon Dodds prize for his article, Community Archives, Community Clouds: Enabling Digital Preservation for Small Archives published in Archivaria #81

At the Awards Luncheon, Kathryn Harvey, ACA President, presented the following Member Awards:

  • Laura Millar was recognized as a Fellow of the Association, …
  • Loryl MacDonald was presented the Member Recognition Award for her outstanding contributions to the Association over the past 12 years.

At the Association’s Annual General Meeting, the following individuals were elected to the Board of Directors, with terms beginning January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018

  • Luciana Duranti, President
  • Amanda Tomé, Director at Large
  • Chris Trainor, Treasurer

Prior Conferences

For information about previous ACA conferences, click on the link to Past Conferences in the right side menu.