Comma

General reflections on improved access and public engagement in the past, present and future in Canada

Comma (2015), 2015, (2), 49–53.

Abstract

Public engagement has been a central part of the author’s archival career in the course of the last three decades even if methods of offering services to the public have changed. The article is a personal reflection of how the author’s generation of archivists in Canada developed access to archival resources, and learned how to adjust to the changing needs and demands of society. In the 1980s, when raising public interest in archives was not a major goal, resources were made available through, for example, index cards and printed brochures. When computers were introduced in the late 1980s, archival institutions invested a large amount of financial resources and training time to develop rules of description and create electronic finding aids. Computers changed the traditional functions of the archivist even more when, in the late 1990s, archival institutions began to create websites to market their services. A high level of connectivity between archivists, creators and users is becoming more important: innovative projects developed with local Franco-Albertan communities are described; this level of deep public engagement may become even more necessary over the coming years in a modern world where marketing is essential for archival institutions to survive.

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Details

Author details

Roberto, Claude M.