Weekly news–September 23, 2018


*Details emerge of destruction at Brazil’s national museum, September 13, 2018, story by the U.K. based Museums Association online journal on the international effort that is underway to salvage knowledge, artifacts, and research from Brazil’s National Museum . Here is an excerpt:

“…An international effort is underway to salvage knowledge, research and images of the museum and its artefacts, including a campaign by researchers to digitally recreate the museum’s research archive. The campaign is seeking copies of dissertations, theses and historical studies connected to the museum.

The museum itself has asked visitors to help digitally reconstruct the museum by uploading photos to museunacional.ufrj.br/memoria. Institutions that are interested in offering “concrete” support are asked to email the museum’s director.

Seperately, Wikipedia has also launched a project to collate images of objects from the museum. “We’re asking people everywhere to join our global community and help the world recover from this collective tragedy,” said Katherine Maher, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation…”

*The Museum Journal also includes a story on last week’s warning issued by the International Council of Museums (Icom) that cuts in “public expenditure on cultural heritage threatens the very existence of museums in many parts of the world.”

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) calls on policy- and decision-makers worldwide, in the wake of the National Museum of Brazil disaster, to recognise the need to care for museums, to allocate adequate funding and to develop policies that will allow these cultural institutions to carry out their vital role in society for generations to come.”

*Other stories related to the Brazil fire include an article in Wired (link also provided in last week’s Global Notes): “Brazil’s Museum Fire Proves Cultural Memory Needs a Digital Backup,” and a Sept. 14, 2018, SciShow news segment posted on YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovy2yYvD5W8&feature=youtu.be

 Other news:

*Documentary Heritage News, September 20, 2018, http://documentary-heritage-news.blogspot.com/


* Jody Butterworth, Andrew Pearson, Patrick Sutherland and Adam Farquhar (eds.), Remote Capture: Digitising Documentary Heritage in Challenging Locations, Open Book Publishers, 2018,https://www.openbookpublishers.com/product/747

* Digitales Frauenarchiv, https://www.digitales-deutsches-frauenarchiv.de/

(Portal documenting the history of the German women’s movements.)


CFP: “Enumeration, Epistemology, Etcetera:  Lists and List-Making in Literature and Culture” – Freiburg 07/19. https://www.hsozkult.de/event/id/termine-38131



Weekly News – September 14, 2018

International archives news:

Call for applications:

  • November 19 – The British Library will open the call for applications for the Endangered Archives Programme grants on September 24.
  • December 15 – Mortenson Associates Program offers individuals working in  library setting outside the United States an opportunity to explore current issues and trends in the field.

Call for papers:

Brazil…a personal reflection

By Tewodros Abebe*

The news was shocking.  A massive fire has destroyed the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The loss was catastrophic; a tragedy not only to Brazilians but to the entire world.  It is estimated that the September 2, 2018, fire may have destroyed about 90% of the museum’s holdings which included 20 million items.  The disaster has brought global media attention to the 200 year-old institution, one of the largest in the Americas.  And what we are learning from news reports has exposed years of neglect that the museum suffered prior to the fire.  Among other challenges, severe budget cuts had weakened the museum’s ability to serve as the guardian of the nation’s treasures.  Its grand building, for instance, was not insured due to the lack of funds.

The irreplaceable national treasures that Brazil has lost due to the calamity will compel all of us, especially archivists, to think of some unsettling questions:  What is the state of national museums and national archives around the world?  How many are at risk of facing a similar disaster?  Most importantly, how much importance do governments and the public give to national museums and national archives?  Shouldn’t there be an effective global mechanism through which the capability and safety of such institutions can be assessed, regularly?

All I can do for now, as an individual, is ponder on such questions and offer my heartfelt sympathy to our Brazilian sisters and brothers.  The incalculable loss the Brazilian people suffered will  leave a painful void in our global heritage. It is my sincere hope that the unfortunate incident will prompt all stakeholders to focus on cooperation endeavors aimed at the protection of national treasures around the world.

*Tewodros Abebe is the Senior Archivist at Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center in Washington, DC and co-chairs the IAAS.   

Weekly News-August 31, 2018

International archives news:

* “Eviction of the National Archives of Peru from the Superior Court of Lima Premises,” letter by David Fricker, president of the ICA, to Dr. Alfonso Martel Chang, President, Superior Court of Lima, Paris, August 28, 2018.

* Documentary Heritage News – Nouvelles du patrimoine documentaire Vol. 11 no 52

(A rich weekly review of news on documentary heritage and archives, compiled and edited by David Rajotte. “Its objectives are to survey what is happening around the world, but also to focus specifically on news from Canada.”)

Call for applications (funding):

* FIDA (Fund for the International Development of Archives) CALL FOR PROJECTS 2019

“We encourage applications, which contribute to the development of archives and archivists (not just national ones) in developing countries in particular.

To aid this process the Trustees will expect applicants to have read the Guidelines for candidates and to explain in their application what they want to develop and how they intend to do it.

The ICA secretariat will be able to advise on likely partners and specialists, if these are required, and on any other matter relating to the awards. The maximum amount available for each project is up to 10,000 Euros.”

Applications deadline: 15 September 2018.

*Open Call: First Aid to Documentary Heritage under Threat: The Prince Claus Fund, through its Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme and the Whiting Foundation, announce a second round of the Open Call for First Aid to Documentary Heritage under Threat. We invite proposals for projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean to safeguard documentary heritage that is acutely threatened by recent conflict or other disaster, whether natural or man-made.

Conferences, webinar, and calls for papers:

* The annual conference of the University and Research Institution Archives of the International Council of Archives (ICA / SUV) will be held in Salamanca, Spain, October 3-5, 2018. The conference is titled: “Historical documents in the university archives, an added value”, and will focus “on one of the most important problems faced by university archives today: their relevance and their value to our institutions.”

The full program (including the abstracts) is accessible from the ICA/SUV website:


* Call for papers:

The international conference: Technical and Field Related Problems of Traditional and Electronic Archiving in Radenci/Slovenia, April 3-5, 2019.

The key topic of the conference will be: “Personal and other sensitive data at creators and in the archives.” (Collecting, processing, protection)

The organizers kindly ask to submit the application no later than September 1st, 2018.

*Society of California Archivists, webinar: Applying Radical Empathy Framework in Archival Practice, Monday, September 17, Monday, September 17, 2018, 10:00-11:00 am (PST).

* ICA Yaounde 2018 «  Archives : Governance, Memory and Heritage » 26 – 28 November 2018.

The website for the Conference ICA Yaounde 2018 is now online and the registration system is open! Register now to have the benefit of the early birds fees!


SAA Annual Meeting 2018

IAAS Annual Meeting

SAA conference is this week in Washington DC. The International Archival Affairs Section will hold its annual meeting on Friday, August 17,  at 11:00 a.m. in Room Washington 4, Exhibition Level of the Marriott Wardman Park hotel.  We hope to see many of our members there. The agenda promises a rewarding experience. It will be a joint meeting with the Latin American and Caribbean Heritage Archives Section. We will hear from two international speakers.  IAAS is delighted to welcome Monserrat Canela Garayoa, Chief of Section, Records and Archives, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Archives in Geneva, Switzerland. LACCHA is bringing Hilda T. Ayala, Research Services Librarian from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez.

Full agenda for the meeting:

11:00 am:              Welcome, LACCHA & IAAS Updates
11:10 am:              Hilda Teresa Ayala-Gonzalez, LACCHA Guest Speaker
11:35 am:              Montserrat Canela Garayoa, IAAS Guest Speaker
12:00 pm:              Q & A, Announcements
12:15pm:              Adjourn


Looking forward to seeing you there!

IAAS Steering  Committee


Human Rights Working Group Newsletter July 2018 and petition in support of the AHPN Archive in Guatemala

The July 2018 newsletter of ICA’s Human Rights Working Group has been published. The newsletter includes a petition on the last 2 pages in response to a threat to the Historical Archive of the National Police (AHPN) in Guatemala.ICA HRWG News 2018-07

If you or your organization decide to support the petition, please contact Kate Doyle at the National Security Archive, who is collecting institutional and individual signatures to be forwarded to Archives without Borders, which will coordinate the international response. To sign, send your name (individual or institutional) to kadoyle@gwu.edu with the subject line AHPN signature.