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AAO News

  • 17 Aug 2020 9:47 AM | Anonymous

    Are you an AAO member who has enjoyed reading or contributing to Off the Record (OTR), the quarterly digital newsletter published by the AAO? Or are you looking for opportunities to connect with and learn from other members of the archival community in Ontario? Or perhaps you’re an archivist with great organizational and editorial skills to share with the AAO?

    If so, the AAO has a volunteer opportunity for you as the new editor of Off the Record!

    Off the Record publishes quality writing on archives by the AAO community, the AAO Board of Directors, chapters, special interest groups and AAO staff on a variety of subjects. Issues include articles sharing professional knowledge, updates on outreach activities, profiles of archival workers, features on archives-related projects and events, and news and announcements about the AAO’s activities.

    Off the Record is published four times per year in the spring, summer, fall and winter. Back issues are located on the AAO website here.

    The OTR Editor is responsible for collecting, editing, and formatting submissions, and publishing the issue. The Editor also assists with coordinating advertising and reporting annually to the AAO Board of Directors. The term for this position is typically two years with an option for renewal. This position can also be configured as a co-editorship for two people on a staggered term basis.

    Please contact Jennifer Grant or current OTR Editor, Grant Hurley, with expressions of interest or for more detailed information about this position.

  • 14 Aug 2020 10:25 AM | Anonymous

    The Municipal Archives Interest Group (MAIG) is seeking article submissions to include in our 2020 edition of the MAIGazine. This year we are looking for articles about your new projects or any updates and interesting news you would like to share. How have you been staying connected with your patrons, communities, and peers this year? What new virtual services are you now offering? What steps have been taken at your archives to diversify your community’s historical narrative? We want to hear from you!

    If you are interested in submitting an article, please send your submission as a Word Document to Megan Lockhart ( by September 4th. Please submit any photos you would like included in your article separately as a JPEG or TIFF. Feel free to contact Megan with any questions about submitting your article.

    For information about MAIG, the MAIGazine or to view past issues, visit our webpage at .

    Thank you in advance for your submissions, we look forward to reading them.


    Gillian Shaw, Megan Lockhart and Gina Dewaele

    MAIG Executive​

  • 28 Jul 2020 11:34 AM | Grant Hurley

    Dear AAO friends,

    I am pleased to announce that the Summer 2020 issue of Off the Record is now available for all readers. In recognition of the need to support knowledge-sharing and professional development during these difficult times, the AAO has generously made this issue open access.

    Readers can access the issue here.

    This issue includes four very topical, thoughtful and engaging feature articles that reflect the authors' experiences of the current moment and addressing the future of our profession:

    • Stefanie Martin, Tamara Rayan and Moska Rokay, the convenors of the recent BIPOC Forum at the 2020 ACA conference, describe their work advocating for support of BIPOC students at the University of Toronto iSchool and outline the insights, experiences and outcomes of the Forum. 
    • Rebekah Mitchell presents an honest and thought-provoking look at the subject of mental health and resilience for archivists. 
    • Two pieces reflect on the rapid changes in services from physical to virtual at the Oxford County Archives (Megan Lockhart) and the Archives of Ontario (Teresa Maljar-Hupel, Jay Young and Sean Smith).

    The issue also features AAO news and community updates, including citations for the 2020 AAO Awards, a message from AAO Archives Advisor Iona McCraith, a member spotlight featuring David Sharron, an exhibit announcement from the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives, and more!  

    The previous Summer 2019 issue is also now accessible to all here.


    OTR Editor

  • 23 Jul 2020 2:32 PM | Anonymous

    Do you want to get involved with the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO)? Are you a new professional looking to meet fellow archivists and contribute to the field? If so, you’re in luck! The AAO is looking for individuals to help support our mandate of furthering the education of Ontario’s records and information professionals and advocating for the interests of the province’s community of archives, heritage organizations, and records institutions.

    The AAO is currently looking for volunteers for the following committees:

    • Professional Development Committee (PDC)
    • Advancement Committee
    • Communications and Advocacy Committee (CAC)
    • Student and New Professionals Outreach Committee 

    The Communications and Advocacy Committee and Digital Access and Preservation Committee also have vacancies for the position of chair. 

    Detailed committee descriptions and a listing of current membership can be found on the AAO website

    If you are interested in volunteering or wish to learn more about these opportunities, please reach out to Director Without Portfolio Samantha Shields at

    Best regards,

    Jennifer Grant

    President, 2020-2021


  • 14 Jul 2020 4:22 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Membership,

    We are pleased to announce the 2020-2021 AAO Board of Directors. Together we look forward to working alongside the Ontario archival community to uphold the values of the association. 

    Thank you to exiting directors for their dedication, wisdom, and contributions, especially Juanita Rossiter who has served as Special Advisor, Michael deJong who served as the Chapter Stakeholder, and to Lauren Halsey for serving as Director Without Portfolio.


    Jennifer Grant

    Vice-President / President Elect

    Krista McCracken

    Secretary / Treasurer

    Jessica Barr

    Institutional Development Committee Chair

    Matthew Fells

    Director without Portfolio

    Tys Klumpenhouwer

    Director without Portfolio

    Samantha Shields

    Chapter Stakeholder

    Claire Sutton

    Past President

    James Roussain

    Web Administrator

    MacKenzie Gott


    The minutes from the 2020 Annual General Meeting are available on the AAO website here for review. 


    Best regards,

    Jennifer Grant

  • 26 Jun 2020 1:06 PM | Anonymous

    The AAO Awards Committee consisting of Jean Dryden, Matt Szybalski, David  Sharron, and Rodney Carter – were pleased and honoured to announce the winners  of the 2020 AAO Awards at the AAO’s AGM held on June 25th, 2020. 


    The James J. Talman Award was named after the second Archivist of Ontario, who  served from 1935 to 1939. He subsequently served as Chief Librarian for the  University of Western Ontario until 1969. The Award is given to individuals who  have demonstrated an outstanding level of imagination and innovation in  contributing to the profession, their institution, or the archival community, or who  have challenged conventional thinking about archival work. 

    This year, our first Talman Award is presented to Anna St. Onge.  Anna is the Director of Digital Scholarship Infrastructure at York University  Libraries. Prior to taking on this role, she was the Digital Projects and Outreach  Archivist at York’s Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections.   As Director of Digital Scholarship Infrastructure, she is establishing the  infrastructure that supports digital scholarship, including collaboration, access, data  curation and long‐term preservation solutions, digital pedagogy, rights  management, and research dissemination. In this capacity, she is leveraging her  considerable archival experience to develop strategies, policies and processes  around the management and use of digital records, and by extension is raising  awareness of what archivists have to offer beyond the strict confines of the archives.  According to her nominators, Anna’s work has shown how integral the archives are  to the digital work that is ubiquitous in libraries and that notions of discovery,  dissemination and preservation need to be considered using an archival lens. Anna’s  influence is true to her characteristic grassroots nature, where she has tirelessly  participated in meetings to ensure that archival viewpoints are heard and integrated  into functional requirements. Her work in this capacity is described as  “transformative” and that her being “at the leading edge of organizational change  within the libraries [has been] truly innovative as [she] challenges conventional  thinking about archival work and she has made archival practice inseparable from  digital librarianship at York University Libraries.”  

    In her work at York University and beyond it, Anna is, as her nominators write,  “generous with her time and knowledge, and imaginative and collaborative in her  approach. Anna has become a visionary and a champion of what the potential of  archives can be for future generations…” Further, they write that she “has  repeatedly used her position and voice within the profession to push important  questions forward. She has provided achievable ways of weaving values rooted in  equity, inclusion, reconciliation and the upholding of human rights into the  evolution of our practice.”  

    While her nominators note that Anna would be the first to state she does not do her  work alone, her work is exemplified by courage, commitment, integrity, generosity,  and leadership. She never hesitates to step up to take on difficult work, to speak out  when required, and never fails to support and uplift those she works alongside,  without seeking recognition for doing so.  

    For her innovative work in bringing archival theories and methodologies to digital  scholarship and for her continuing efforts to put challenging ideas and beliefs into  action, we are thrilled to present Anna St. Onge with the James J. Talman Award. 


    The second Talman Award for 2020 is being awarded to Paulette Dozois.  Paulette is currently Senior Lead Archivist/Block Review Team Leader in the Public  Services Branch of Library and Archives Canada. She will be retiring this year, after  forty‐three years at LAC, during which time she has brought new ideas and  approaches to her own work and that of her institution. 

    Throughout her career, Paulette has championed researchers’ rights and sought to  make the federal public records held by LAC open and available. Exemplifying her  innovative approach to access has been Paulette’s key role in the development and  implementation of Block Review at LAC. 

    Block Review is the systematic review of blocks or series of archived government  records which incorporates a risk‐based approach that looks at both the age of the  record and the subject. It is completed by using various sampling strategies to  determine whether the records can be opened for public access under both the  Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The process involves identifying and  examining representative parts of the archival record and opening the records  based on the findings of the examination. 

    The methodology was first developed in the early 2000s but despite early promise  being shown, the programme soon faltered. In 2010, Paulette was chosen to revive  Block Review, renewing and enhancing its methodology, and she was responsible  for cultivating the political will within LAC to ensure its success. Despite being  redeveloped during a tumultuous time at LAC, under Paulette’s leadership, the  project was able to garner early important successes and she was able to  strategically exploit these successes to ensure Block Review became a permanent  feature of LAC’s accessibility regime.  

    Using sampling techniques to review large swaths of archival records, Paulette has  been successful in adapting and improving traditional archival principles in the  review of archival records to proactively open records in a fast and efficient manner,  even before researchers have a chance to ask for access. To date, Paulette and her  team have been able to open in excess of fifty million previously closed and  restricted federal government documents, opening more than 10 times the number  of records opened in a traditional manner. 

    Paulette has made presentations and given workshops on the new method across  Canada and internationally and this methodology is now being considered for  adoption by a number of provincial and even international archives.  

    Paulette’s nominators recount a CBC News interview from December 2015 where  LAC archivists were asked about their most unusual finds among the papers of ex‐ Prime Ministers and Paulette recounted how, while working with the Mackenzie  King Papers, she found one of his molars among the files. "I wore white gloves," she  said. The nominator continued, stating “Paulette Dozois has worked more than forty  years in the archives field. She has worn white gloves when appropriate, but more  often, she has had the gloves off as she fought to preserve Canada’s historical  records, to tell the world about them, and to get them into the hands of researchers.”   In recognition of her long career working to provide access to Federal records,  culminating in her innovative work in developing Block Review, the AAO is  delighted to present Paulette Dozois with the James J. Talman Award. 


    The AAO Corporate Award is given to organizations, corporations, or agencies of  any kind that have been particularly supportive of archives and/or the archival  community. Nominees may include: organizations that have provided significant  support to the promotion of education, publication, and/or other professional  activities; organizations that have provided significant support to the activities of a  particular institution; and organizations that have demonstrated imagination or  creativity in the use of archives. 

    The AAO is pleased to present the 2020 Corporate Award to PortsToronto.  PortsToronto, formerly known as the Toronto Ports Authority and, prior to that, the  Toronto Harbour Commission, is the agency that is responsible for the management  of city’s harbour and waterfront, including Terminals 51 and 52 of the Port of  Toronto, the Outer Harbour Marina, and the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. The  archives of PortsToronto was founded in 1975 and contains records dating back to  the creation of the Toronto’s Harbour Trust in 1850 and the archives documents the  management and evolution of the city’s waterfront from that time to the present.  With the passing of the 1999 Canada Marine Act, the Toronto Harbour Commission  became the Toronto Port Authority and the records fell under federal jurisdiction.  While the records could have been transferred to Library and Archives Canada, it  was determined they should remain in Toronto as they still had a great deal of  administrative, legal, and historical value for the Authority and for researchers in  the city. The archives are used to determine rights and responsibilities with  developers, to assist with contaminated soil remediation and for other  environmental purposes, and for promotional purposes, historical research, and use  in exhibitions. 

    In 2017, following the rebranding of the agency to become PortsToronto in 2015,  the agency’s building – and the archives’ home ‐ at 60 Harbour St was sold.  PortsToronto moved into the Queen’s Quay Terminal building but a new location  was needed for the archives. PortsToronto undertook a major renovation of storage  rooms at Terminal 52, creating a modern archival storage space, complete with  HVAC system, fire‐suppression and security systems, and additional shelving.  Archival reference is provided out of the Queen’s Quay Terminal offices.   In the words of the nominator, “Over the course of 45 years, the Toronto Harbour  Commission and PortsToronto have been keepers of a documentary legacy that  began in the mid‐19th century. It has used its archives in innovative ways that offer  corporate and public benefits. The costs of preservation and access could have been  avoided by transferring these holdings to Ottawa. Instead, PortsToronto has  ensured that these significant records remain in the region in which they were  created and are accessible to promote an understanding of the historical context  that shapes contemporary challenges facing Toronto’s waterfront.” 

    For its long track record of stewardship and its recent investment in the storage of  its archives, the AAO is pleased to present PortsToronto its Corporate Award for  2020. 

  • 17 Jun 2020 4:20 PM | Anonymous

    Thanks to generous donations from AAO supporters, the AAO is holding a virtual silent auction! This event, usually held in person at the AAO’s annual conference, supports the Shirley Spragge Bursary. Because of the cancellation of our 2020 conference, the AAO Awards Committee will be awarding two bursaries for the 2021 AAO conference in Sault Ste. Marie!

    Auction info:

    You will find the auction here.

    In order to bid, you will need to create a free account with 32 Auctions

    • You have the option of exact bids or proxy bidding. See more about bidding here.
    • The auction will run for a week before the AAO AGM, beginning at 6:00 am on June 18th EDT and ending on June 25th at 7:00 pm EDT
    • Auction winners will be invoiced by the AAO office - you won’t be asked to pay for your item through the 32 Auctions website
    • Auction winners will receive their items after payment has been received by the AAO office
    Questions or concerns? Contact

    Thank you to all participants for your support of the AAO! Happy bidding!

  • 15 Jun 2020 9:54 AM | Anonymous

    The Archives Association of Ontario will hold its 2020 annual general meeting (AGM) virtually on June 25th, 2020, between 2:00 and 3:30 via Zoom. You can register to attend the meeting here. We have a number of items to discuss this year, including the launch of the AAO’s 2020-2023 Strategic Plan. The Board sincerely wishes to welcome as many members as possible to this virtual event.

    Details on how to join the meeting will be sent to registered attendees in advance of the meeting. Please register by June 22nd if you wish to attend the meeting.

    Please register to attend the AGM here.

    Please review the following documents:

    • The AGM Agenda and proposed constitutional amendments, here.

    • The official AGM Package, containing all year-end reports and the 2019 AGM draft minutes, here.

    • The 2019-2020 final financial audit, here.

    • AGM vote transfer form (proxy form), here. Please complete the form and return to by June 22nd 2020 if you wish to enact a proxy vote.

    • The AAO 2020-2023 Strategic Plan, here.

    Draft financial statements will be circulated prior to the AGM and appended to the AGM package once available. 

    This year, there are two positions available on the AAO Board of Directors: Vice-President/ President Elect and Director Without Portfolio. You can read more about the current slate of nominated candidates for these positions here. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor during the AGM.

    Please register to attend the AGM here.

    Hope to (virtually) see you there! 

  • 19 May 2020 1:08 PM | Anonymous

    Dear AAO members,

    It is with great pleasure that the AAO Nominations Committee announces the following slate of Directors put forth to the AAO Membership for election at the Annual General Meeting on June 25, 2020. More information about the AGM will follow within the week.

    Vice-President/President Elect: Krista McCracken

    Krista McCracken is an archivist and public historian. Since 2010, they have worked at Algoma University’s Arthur A. Wishart Library and Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, in Baawating (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and Métis people. Krista’s work focuses on community archives, Residential Schools, access, and outreach. Krista is also an editor of the popular Canadian history website They have a range of board experience including serving on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Public History and the board of Thinking Rock Community Arts.

    Director Without Portfolio: Tys Klumpenhouwer

    Tys Klumpenhouwer has worked at the University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services in a variety of roles since 2013. Since August 2019, Tys has served as University Archivist. In addition, Tys has taught the graduate course, INF2175: Managing Organizational Records at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information for several semesters. He has also held key leadership positions within the archival and records management communities, including the Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities Records Managers Group, the Secretary of the Toronto Area Archivists’ Group, and is an active member of the Association of Canadian Archivists.

    Nominations from the floor will also be accepted during the AGM.

    We look forward to your participation at our AGM in June.

    AAO 2020 Nominations Committee


  • 06 May 2020 1:26 PM | Anonymous

    Donate items to our first-ever Virtual Silent Auction, to be held June 18-25, 2020!

    The in-person 2020 AAO Conference was cancelled this year, but our commitment to supporting Ontario archivists continues!

    We are looking for AAO members and supporters to donate non-perishable items that can be mailed, such as (but not limited to):

    Artwork – Archival supplies – Books  –

    Hand-crafted pieces (e.g. jewelry, knitted wares) – Pottery –

    Gift Cards (e.g. food and drink, goods, services)

    In an effort to support small and/or locally owned businesses during this time, we encourage our supporters and members to consider donating gift cards from these types of businesses that can ship items in Ontario.

    Funds raised from this auction will go to the AAO Shirley Spragge Education Fund, to encourage the continuing education of archivists in Ontario. Your donations are greatly appreciated. A donation to the virtual silent auction would not only support this fund, but would honour the memory of a respected colleague. All items donated (including shipping costs) will receive a tax receipt.

    If you are interested in donating to this year’s virtual silent auction or have any questions, please email

    On behalf of the AAO’s Advancement Committee

705-1 Eglinton Ave. East

Toronto ON

M4P 3A1

(647) 343-3334

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