What's new in ICA - February 1997

Dear STAMAsters (apologies for cross-postings)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 03:18:41 -0500
From: George MacKenzie <100523.3375@compuserve.com>
To: Archives-NRA <archives-nra@mailbase.ac.uk>
Subject: What's New in ICA

What's New in the International Council on Archives February 1997

Forum on Electronic Records
Several ICA experts took part in a forum on electronic records organised
by the European Commission in Brussels at the end of 1996.  The meeting
drew together archivists, information technologists and administrators to
discuss the particular problems of the new types of record.  One of the
conclusions was that a draft document produced by the Commission should
be harmonised with the Guidelines on Managing Electronic Records from An
Archival Perspective, produced by ICA's Committee on Electronic
Records and presented at the Beijing Congress.  For ICA,  John McDonald
(Canada) and Hans Hoffman (Netherlands), both members of the new Committee
on Electronic and Other Current Records,  will work with the Commission
consultant on this during the early part of 1997.

European Programme
Brussels was also the venue for the first meeting of the new European
Board.  This  body directs ICA's European Programme, which aims at
promoting co-operation and development, with a particular emphasis on
modernising the archival systems in the emerging democracies of Eastern
and Central Europe.    The meeting identified access and standards as
priority areas for action, and noted that guides to instances of common
heritage, or archives which are of importance to the history of more
than one country, should be produced.  The Board also welcomed the
opportunity of co-operation with the Council of Europe on projects in the
countries of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States - the former
USSR).  Future initiatives will include regional expert seminars and exchange
programmes. An action programme will be discussed at the next Board meeting
during the European Conference in Barcelona.

ICA Programme
Work is underway on ICA's Fifth Medium Term Plan, which will carry us
forward to 2000.  Committees, Project Groups and Sections are all
developing their plans for the coming years, and the first draft of the
new Plan will be presented to the Executive Committee at its Spring meeting,
in Germany.  

Working with UNESCO
A survey of dispute archival claims is in progress.  Initial invitations
were sent
to 83 national archive administrations who were considered likely
to have claims and well over 33% responded positively.  A fuller
questionnaire has been sent to them, and the results will be analysed
by Leopold Auer, of the Austrian archives.  As well as gathering vital
information on outstanding claims, and publishing the results, it is
hoped that the survey will lead to the development of advice to help in the
resolution of claims. 

An Internet discussion group has been set up on the legal and ethical
question of access to archives containing personal information.
Participation from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific, as well
as Europe and North America makes this is a truly international
discussion.  Directed by Mike Swift of the National Archives of Canada, the
group will make an initial report to the UNESCO sponsored InfoEthics
conference in Monte Carlo in March.  The group has had to be limited in
size, to make it manageable, but key texts will shortly be made available
on the
Internet, on the UNESCO and ICA Web pages.  This is the first entirely
electronic initiative of this kind ICA has been involved in.  Anyone
wanting more
information on the group should contact the ICA Secretariat.

ICA has also been asked by UNESCO to carry out an important project to
safeguard the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Havana,
Cuba, which were damaged by a tidal wave some time ago.  Discussions are
under way with the Spanish and Cuban archives about implementing this

Working with the Council of Europe
A standard European Policy on access to archives was discussed by an
expert group convened by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in January.  A
working document presented at the meeting is now being redrafted and is
intended to serve as the basis for a Council recommendation on the

Bosnia Project
ICA is co-operating with the Open Society Archives and the Council of
Europe on a project to identify the location, extent and condition of
archives relating to individual rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  A
visit by George MacKenzie in January kicked off the project, which will be
implemented by Bosnian nationals between now and June.  Support for
training and for basic equipment will be provided. =20

Terminology Project
The Working Group on Terminology met in Moscow at the end of January,
at the invitation of Rosarhiv, the Archives of the Russian Federation.=20
Braving winter temperatures, they completed work on the English,
French, Spanish and Russian terms.  Once further work on the German terms
has been completed, the text of DAT III, the third edition of the ICA
dictionary, should be ready for publication. 

European Conference
Archivists wanting to combine business and pleasure should seriously
consider going to Barcelona in May, for the European Conference on
Archives.  Held every 3 years, this gathering covers the area of UNESCO
Europe, which includes North America and Israel.  The 1997 theme is the
Archival Profession - Back to Basics and is aimed particularly at
younger archivists, who may not have attended an international conference
before. The organisers also want to encourage wide participation from both
of the Mediterranean basin, including North Africa, for which Barcelona is
ideally placed.  Internationally renowned  speakers will lead
discussions on three main themes: Preservation and Conservation, the
Principle of Provenance, and Archives and their Users.  For further details,
Jordi Serchs
Associacio d'Arxivers de Catalunya
Arxiu Municipal, Ajuntament de Barcelona
Fax: +34 3 482 71 58
Montserrat Canela
Arxiu Central, Departament de Cultura
Rambla de Santa Monica 8
08000 Barcelona
Fax: +34 3 301 2234

1997 Round Table
The annual International Conference of the Round Table on Archives
(also known as CITRA from its French abbreviation) will be held in Edinburgh,
Scotland, in September.  This is an invitational conference, which
brings together the national members of ICA, namely the national archives and
the professional associations, together with the Chairs of the ICA
Sections. The Round Tables are held in each of the intervening years between
Congresses, and each 3 year cycle is devoted to an overall theme.  The
current one is access to archives, and the Edinburgh Conference will
examine legal aspects of access. 

Secretariat Staff
Philippe Charon, the new Programme Director, took up his post on  4
February 1997.  Deputy Secretary General, George MacKenzie returned to
Edinburgh at the end of his 2 year secondment, but has been chosen by
the ICA Executive Committee to succeed to Charles Kecskemeti when the
latter retires in September 1998.

For further information, contact:
George P MacKenzie
Deputy Secretary General, ICA
Scottish Record Office
H M General Register House
Edinburgh EH1 3YY
United Kingdom
Tel (direct) +44 131 535 1313
Fax +44 131 535 1360
e-mail: george_mackenzie@compuserve.com
Philippe Charon
Directeur du Programme
Conseil international des Archives
60, rue des Francs-Bourgeois
75003 Paris France
Tel Direct +33 1 40 27 61 10
e-mail: 100640.54@compuserve.com


*   Gavan McCarthy - Director                          
*    Australian Science Archives Project                         
*     University of Melbourne                                         
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*        Carlton, Vic. 3053 Australia                                  
*         gavan@asap.unimelb.edu.au                             
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*           ASAPWeb! on http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/          
* ------->Recovering Science and Technology in Australia