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AAO News

  • 14 Jan 2016 4:09 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    [The following message has been edited from the original, which was first circulated on ARCAN-L.]

    On January 15th Wikipedia turns 15. To celebrate the Wikipedia Library has developed a week-long #1Lib1Ref event. Conceived as a 'micro-contribution drive', the aim is to encourage librarians to contribute references to Wikipedia pages. The edits are a way of mirroring reference services and passing on subject expertise. The event is also an important step toward diversifying the current landscape of Wikipedia editors

    Although #1Lib1Ref is aimed at librarians, the initiative is an excellent opportunity for archivists to share their knowledge. As a result of our day to day work we all know the biographies, historical accounts, and articles that do a particularly good job of bringing the people and events captured in our collections to life. Why not visit the page(s) related to your holdings to see if those resources are referenced? If they aren't, why not take things a step further and work them in?

    If you would like to learn more about the types of contributions archivists can make to Wikipedia, the Wikipedia Library has a great primer available for Cultural Professionals. I am currently drawing on several of the outlined suggestions as part of my (virtual volunteer) work as a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar at the McMaster University Library and as an co-instructor of the AAO's Wikipedia for Archivists workshop running later in February of this year. 

    To follow the #1Lib1Ref event online, I recommend the corresponding thread on Twitter.

    Happy editing!


  • 30 Oct 2015 11:43 AM | Danielle Robichaud

    The Canadian Council of Archives (CCA) has been contracted by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to update and revise the Rules for Archival Description (RAD). Ahead of a national Meeting of Experts during Winter 2016, the CCA is seeking input from the Canadian archival community regarding the future of RAD.

    The Archives of Association of Ontario (AAO) has created a SURVEY to facilitate the communication of member input, based on available background information provided by the CCA. This collection of data will inform the AAO's official feedback regarding the RAD review. It complements community consultations being led across the country by other provincial and territorial councils, including the recent Archives Association of British Columbia's Roundtable on The Future of RAD held October 23rd, which was captured, in part, using #rethinkRAD on Twitter.

    AAO members and other interested members of the Canadian archival community are encouraged to fill out the following survey before November 30th to ensure that their views play a role in shaping the future of RAD. Individuals wishing to submit additional comments directly to the CCA, separately from the AAO, will be provided with an opportunity to do so at a later date as will be communicated by the CCA.

    Warm regards,
    The AAO Board of Directors

    Direct link to the survey:

  • 05 Oct 2015 9:46 AM | Danielle Robichaud

    Registration for the AAO Emergency Response and Salvage workshop has been extended to October 12, 2015.    

  • 23 Sep 2015 2:54 PM | AAO (Administrator)

    On the heels of the Archives Association of Ontario's (AAO’s) successful conference in London, the Institutional Development Committee would like to invite all AAO members to attend the Institutional Issues Forum on October 22, 2015 (right before the AAO Leadership Meeting).

    The focus of the Forum will be a discussion of two items, for which your input is required to ensure the success of the community: (1) the creation of a provincial acquisitions strategy, which is becoming a necessary reality as we look to the future, and (2) exploring how we can take the world by storm during Archives Awareness Week 2016!

    Please find the agenda here: AAO IDC Forum Agenda

    If you are interested in joining us for the day, the event details are as follows:

    October 22, 2015 from 10:00 to 4:00; coffee at 9:30.

    Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd., Toronto

    Coffee and light refreshments will be provided. A variety of restaurants are available on the York University Campus for lunch.

    There is no cost to attend the forum but we do ask that you register. Maximum number of participants is 45.

    To register please visit our website:

  • 15 Sep 2015 3:31 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Below is an email from Jean Dryden that originated on the ARCAN-L listserv about the current Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations.

    Beyond signing the petition, AAO members may find this list of talking points provided by Dryden of use while talking to or emailing candidates running in the current federal election. 

    * * *

    As you may know, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is being negotiated behind closed doors with no public discussion or input.

    Here's an update about the status of the talks -- apparently the US representative is trying to squeeze in a meeting by the end of September and it is a slim possibility that they will manage to finalize the agreement.

    Once the negotiations are concluded, Canada would be required to extend the term of copyright protection to life plus 70 years from the current life plus 50, and amend the law in other ways that make copyright law even more restrictive than it is now. Michael Geist ha written eloquently about this.

    You may want to sign a petition against the copyright provisions of TPP that is being run by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Since we are in the middle of an election, you may also want to take the opportunity to raise this matter with candidates who are seeking your vote.


    Jean Dryden

  • 03 Jun 2015 9:18 AM | Danielle Robichaud
    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) has released its findings, including an Executive Summary and Calls to Action. Both have implications for archives and the public record. 

    Visit the TRC's website for more information about its mandate and documents pertaining to its findings

  • 28 Apr 2015 1:21 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    The fine folks at Wikipedia Library are in the process of developing a Cite Archives templatefor use as a citation guideline when contributing to Wikipedia. As part of the development process the Wikipedia Library is inviting comments from the archival community on the template draft's Talk Page.

    Currently there are myriad templates that align with print and electronic resources, but none of them reflect the nature of archival material. Of the available options the Cite Web templateis (arguably) the most appropriate template for archival material, as it allows editors to tease out the name of a digital collection, along with the name of the item. It does not, however, allow for the nuance of archival specific practice, like the difference between fonds vs collections, or the (straightforward) identification of the parent institution where archival material is held.

    The development of a citation template for archival material is particularly important given the rise of digitized archival content. As the availability of digitized material continues to grow, the potential for that content to be used in Wikipedia pages as a citation source increases dramatically. At the same time, from an outreach and access standpoint, it is simply really, really exciting.

    While digitized images of graphic material have made a mark on Wikipedia pages in a variety of ways [1][2][3], there is great potential for digitized textual records, and supporting websites or finding aids, to be used in the same way as books, newspapers and other print documents. For example the Louise Nevelson papers are cited throughout the Wikipedia page for Nevelson. The content was integrated by Sarah Stierch a former Wikipedian in Residenceat the Archives of American Art.

    Archives and Wikipedia is a topic that I'm quite interested in and I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.I'm also running a workshop called Wikipedia for Archivists with Amanda Hill at the upcoming AAO Conference.

    For those of you interested in learning more about how archives can contribute to Wikipedia, the Wikipedia Library's Share Your Archives page is a great starting point.

    Best wishes,


    Director Without Portfolio/Web Administrator




  • 28 Apr 2015 1:12 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Now available at the Archives of Ontario - newest release of historical Vital Statistics records on microfilm

    The Archives of Ontario’s newest release of historical Vital Statistics records is now available on microfilm in our reading room and through Microfilm Interloan Service. Vital Statistics are some of our most heavily used records, and are a highly valuable tool for genealogical research. The newest release covers registrations for Ontario births from 1917, marriages from 1932 and deaths from 1942, as well as all indexes.

    Click here to learn more about the Archives of Ontario Microfilm Interloan Service. To discover the wealth of information available at the Archives to help you trace your family history, click here.

  • 05 Mar 2015 11:17 AM | Danielle Robichaud
    Join the Archives of Ontario for Archives Awareness Week 2015!  From April 7th to 11th, we will be celebrating archives’ unique potential to inspire and excite people, bring communities together, and tell memorable stories about the past with a number of exciting events.

    Come to the Archives of Ontario all week long to enjoy our Customer Appreciation Week, and to learn about our collections and services

    On Thursday, April 9th, we will be hosting at the Archives a special series of activities, where you can:

    • Ask an expert about preserving your family heirlooms
    • Tour the Archives of Ontario building
    • Attend presentations about current initiatives in Ontario archives and archival organizations
    To end off the week, visit our table at the “Finding Your Upper Canada Ancestors” workshop on Saturday, April 11th to get expert help with your genealogical research.

    Don’t miss out on these exciting events, where you can experience firsthand the thrill of discovery! Find more information about our Archives Awareness Week activities and to register for our April 9th presentation series and tour here.

  • 26 Jun 2014 1:18 PM | Kelli Babcock

    On behalf of the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) I would like to congratulate the Honourable Michael Coteau MPP (Don Valley East) on his recent appointment as Ontario's Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and as Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. An MPP since 2011, Mr. Coteau previously served as the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

    The AAO would also like to thank the outgoing Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Honourable Michael Chan, for his outstanding support of Ontario's archival and heritage communities, and congratulate him on his new portfolio as Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade. 

    The AAO is continuously grateful to the the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for the ongoing support of our association through the Provincial Heritage Organization Operating Grant. We look forward to continuing to promote wide public access to Ontario's heritage, and encouraging public participation in heritage conservation activities, with the Ministry's support for many years to come. The AAO will also be taking this opportunity to request a meeting with Minister Coteau, in order to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing our profession, and to extend our congratulations in person.   


    Ned Struthers
    President, 2014-2015

705-1 Eglinton Ave. East

Toronto ON

M4P 3A1

(647) 343-3334

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