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?


The Call for Session Submissions deadline was October 2, 2016; submissions are now closed. 

Student Papers and Posters:  

Call for Student Papers is now closed; submission deadline was January 13, 2017. 

Call for Posters is now closed; the submission deadline is January 13, 2017.  

The Conference at a Glance for ACA 2017 in Ottawa is now available.  

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

Please direct any questions to:

April Miller

Chair, ACA 2017 Conference Program Team


Prior Conferences

For information about ACA 2016 in Montreal last June as well as previous ACA conferences, click on the link to Past Conferences in the right side menu.