CALL TO ACTION
To members of the archival community and archives supporters
The following call to action is in response to the elimination of the National Archival Development Program by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) on April 30, 2012, and the resulting impact on Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial archives councils, and the Canadian Council of Archives.
On April 30, 2012, LAC eliminated the National Archival Development Program (NADP), a 1.7 million contribution program administered by the non-for-profit Canadian Council of Archives (CCA) for LAC and distributed to Canada’s 13 archives councils to support archival activities locally. Through the councils, NADP funding is on the ground in our 10 provinces and 3 territories, ensuring that Canada’s history is preserved in local communities. Canada’s archival councils provide user-centred services, providing support to archives and archivists so that they may better serve all Canadians.
A one-of-a-kind program, NADP’s goal is to assist in the preservation and accessibility of Canada’s archival heritage through the following objectives:
- Increase access to Canada’s archival heritage through the national catalogue of archival descriptions ARCHIVESCANADA.ca
- Increase awareness and broaden use of Canada’s archival heritage
- Increase representation of Aboriginal peoples and under-represented ethno-cultural groups in Canada’s archival heritage
- Increase the capacity of archival networks to undertake strategic and development activities; and;
- Increase the capacity of archival institutions to preserve Canada’s heritage.
NADP funds the following activities across Canada:
- Development of the national on-line catalogue of archival descriptions, and its provincial and territorial counterparts, so all archives, including the very small, can reach Canadians
- Provision of archival and preservation advice to archives
- Job exposure for new graduates from Canada’s archival and information studies programs
- Access to archival holdings information on-line
- Outreach and educational activities in communities to help small institutions manage their treasures
- Cataloguing of archival materials to make them accessible to the public
- Training opportunities for local archives run by volunteers or one-person operations
- Site assessments to both urban and rural archives, to safeguard Canada’s documentary heritage
- Preservation of at-risk documents and other archival materials, including electronic records
NADP was a joint federal/provincial/territorial initiative; NADP, and its predecessor financial assistance program, was a critical source of funding to the community – CCA has operated for 26 years; elimination of NADP means that 11 of the 13 provincial and territorial councils will collapse within 30 days to 6 months, without any financial support. A number of councils have suspended their operations. The CCA’s physical office in Ottawa will close its doors to the public effective May 4, as the organization moves to a virtual office and staffing has been immediately be reduced from 8 FTE to 4 FTE, and will soon be further reduced to a maximum of 2.5 FTE. Further adjustments may be necessary – but at this time minimum administration services will be maintained for the small program Young Canada Works in Heritage Institutions, ARCHIVESCANADA.ca, Arcan-l and other secretariat services.
WHAT CAN YOU DO:
If your MP is a Cabinet Minister, call the local office and offer a briefing as well as the letter.
Write the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable James Moore, and your MP asking them to stop the NADP cut.
Members of Parliament -
Use the following key messages:
• Canada’s documentary heritage is preserved it its over 800 archival institutions
• NADP supports archives to preserve Canada’s documentary heritage for Canadians
• NADP leverages financial and partnership opportunities for archives across the country
• CCA serves the Canadian public. CCA’s work ensures the preservation of Canada’s heritage for the benefit of all Canadians-now and for the future. Through initiatives such as www.ARCHIVESCANADA.ca , CCA is the window through which the world may access Canadian archival information
• Archives support Canada’s economy. Sustaining Canada’s knowledge-based economy means sustaining and facilitating access to our knowledge resources. Archives are fundamental to the success of countless public, private, and educational enterprises.
• Archives preserve Canada’s past. Millions of historical documents, photographs, maps and audio-visual materials are held in archives across the country
• LAC’s stakeholder forum meetings cannot and will not take the place of an archival network of dedicated professionals and volunteers across Canada that took 26 years to build. The damage done by elimination of NADP will take years to re-build.
Tell your own story about the value of the NADP and CCA’s services; use the following examples:
• books and other outputs that have utilized holdings made accessible by NADP
• non-traditional users whose access has been facilitated by NADP
• achievements realized through expertise made available to you through archives advisors, preservation services, training opportunities.
• how has www.ARCHIVESCANADA.ca and provincial/territorial networks helped users find you
• what holdings have been preserved through NADP and in what ways has that had public acknowledgement
• what activities by other groups have been assisted through the results of NADP funded projects
• what federal initiatives have benefitted by records that were preserved or made accessible through NADP
Join “Archivists on to Ottawa Trek” go to http://groups.google.com/group/archivists_ottawa_trek for more information!