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ICA New Professionals Newsletter no. 17 - June 2021
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Welcome to the 17th ICA New Professionals newsletter!

Click here to read this newsletter in French!

Hello from your newsletter editors and welcome to the ICA New Professionals Programme newsletter!
 
During the last few months, the New Professionals group has had the chance to virtually meet ICA president David Fricker, the ICA Secretary General Anthea Seles and Vice President Programme Normand Charbonneau as well as members of the ICA Expert Groups and has had the opportunity to gain interesting insights into their work. We have been enjoying getting to know each other better (virtually through multiple time zones) and have been having lots of interesting discussions about the projects we wish to do for this year. Earlier in the year we put out a poll on our social media platforms asking what you would like us to focus our efforts on: digital preservation, archival activism or advocacy and visibility. The results were very closely tied so instead we are hopeful that we have chosen a project that intersects these three areas. We have also had great success launching the new Instagram account and now have over a hundred followers.

In this newsletter:

Get to know the Active New Professionals, learn about their careers, professional interests, and activities. In this newsletter we are launching a series of articles featuring the six New Professionals of the 2020/2021 cohort. This time, Luz Narbona from Chile tells us about her engagement for archival heritage in her home country and Razan Ahmad from Jordan shares with us her experience with digitization projects.

We are pleased to announce to you the New Professionals’ webinar during International Archives Week on 8 June 2021. We will then have a discussion on the New Professionals’ project on digitization strategy. Read on to know how you can join us. We would love to have you with us!

Also in this issue: Makutla Gibson reports on the second UNILISA biannual conference organized by the Department of Information Science (DoIS) at the University of South Africa, which promoted a lively professional exchange of the Library and Information Service (LIS) community.
 
Have you checked out our New Professionals Instagram? Get to know both us and our mentors and learn more about the programme. We also use the profile to post jobs and PhD opportunities from around the world and provide updates on our current project.

We would also love for you to get in touch and show us what you do in your job so everyone can learn about the different roles of archive and records professionals. If you would be interested in taking part in an ‘Instagram Take-Over’, please get in touch either via the New Professionals official email or by contacting us on social media for more details.

Please do contact us at any time with your questions, ideas or suggestions. We'd love to hear from you!

With warmest wishes,
The 2020/2021 New Professionals Programme cohort: Luz María, Zoe, Elisabeth, Francesca, Razan and Makutla.
 

Announcement of New Professional Webinar at International Archives Week
Whose stories do we tell? A New Professional's Picnic Blanket on Digitisation Strategy
 

We (the New Professionals) are excited to announce that we will be hosting our first webinar on 8 June at 5pm (CEST) to celebrate International Archive Week. The goal will be to introduce our new survey on digitisation before it goes out to the wider community, and promote engagement and discussion around the topic. Our survey looks at discussing how digitisation affects whose stories we tell, and how marginalised groups are often overlooked when organisations consider their digitisation strategy. We will be welcoming some guests to take part in the discussions and there will be a chance for everyone to ask questions and take part via the chat.

You can find a link to our webinar and the other events that the ICA is hosting here and we hope you will find time to join us!

Spotlight on New Professionals

We’ve decided to introduce ourselves in more detail so, in each newsletter, two of the New Professionals will be writing about their jobs, projects and volunteering in the archive sector.
 

Luz María Narbona

My name is Luz María Narbona, I have a degree in history (Universidad de Chile), a postgraduate degree in archival science (Archivo Nacional Chile and Universidad de Chile) and a master's degree in history of science (Universidad de Barcelona).

I am currently working on two projects related to archives. The first one is related to making a diagnosis of the state of the historical archives belonging to science museums in the state where I live. In general, institutions are not aware of the importance of the documentation housed in their facilities. Therefore, our work seeks to identify the historical archives of science museums, which will contribute to strengthening the scientific heritage in Chile.

The second project I am working on is the creation of an archive of the social scientist Grete Mostly, an Austrian researcher who escaped from Nazism and arrived in Chile in 1939. She dedicated herself to developing the archaeological discipline in Chile, and was the first woman to direct the Museum of Natural History in our country between 1964 and 1982. Last year, in one of the halls of the museum, a group of researchers found part of the documentation that Grete Mostly produced during her life. The idea, then, is to create a documentary collection that gathers Mostly's documentation in order to give the public access to this material.

Both projects are financed by the Heritage Fund provided by the government, for which we competed with a group of colleagues because we strongly believe in the importance of rescuing, valuing and providing access to this documentation. However, despite the existence of these funds, in my country efforts like these are quite rare. There is a lot of documentation that has been completely abandoned. This is one of the difficulties we archivists face and one of the challenges I have: the little state support and the little archival awareness that exists in Chile. This problem is also a driving force for our work, since we are aware of the importance of archives in society. And it is linked to an important part of what I like about my job: rescuing and enhancing the value of archives and providing citizens with access to information.

The work I do in the field of archives is also has a political dimension. I work as a volunteer in two different organizations: Archivists Without Borders-Chile and Assembly of Archivists of Chile. Through my active participation in the first of these organizations, I seek to contribute to the visibility of the relevance and value of archives outside the traditional bodies -academic and cultural - to bring them closer to the community, social organizations and individuals. This year 2021, and thanks to a project funded by FIDA (ICA), we are developing a work panel on free software applied to Archival description, which will work with AtoM and Mukurtu software. Two specialists with theoretical knowledge and recognized experience in their implementation will train 20 people involved in work with community archives, with the aim of helping them to learn to use these systems and training them to be able to transmit such knowledge between their local networks in the future.
 

Razan Ahmad
 
I was working at the American Center of Research (ACOR) as archival assistant and technician where I was responsible for scanning collections and digitized more than 18,000 slides including those of British photographer Jane Taylor, and journalist & political analyst Rami G. Khouri, British official Charles Wilson, and archaeologists George Bass, Robert Schick, and Linda K. Jacobs.
 
I scan media according to established project standards; maintain an established alphanumeric file naming system, adjust color and manipulate images as necessary using the software provided (e.g. Epson Scan, Silverfast and Adobe Photoshop). I regularly select historical images to be shared on the projects Instagram account (@acorarchives) and the institutional Facebook page and Twitter account (@ACOR Jordan).
 
I contribute and present digitization reports to Archives Team meetings. I was an Archival Assistant (2018) where my main task was to support the preparation of materials for scanning, including labelling archival materials, and maintaining the order of the physical collections according to established ACOR standards. I was responsible for handling archival materials properly with care, in the process of cleaning slides, negatives, prints, transparencies, video tapes and other media, as well as calibrating the monitor on a weekly basis and the scanner or other digitization equipment as required by ACOR Archive standards.
 
I started as a digitization intern in 2017 working with Library and Archives Team members to train new team members in digitization of relevant archival materials and to produce digitization guides for training purposes. I also worked with library and archives team members to digitize 35 mm slides, negatives and VSH \Betamax tapes and born digital videos.

I’ve taken lots of courses and webinars to improve my experience and skills and was very happy to work as a technician as I was seeing the past in front of my eyes but there are many challenges. For example, one of them is that we don’t have a standards agenda for archival technicians. You have to read and ask lots of people to solve your technical issues. You have to read something like 300 books to digitize one photo of Jerash in 1976.

I wish we had lots of organizations in Jordan widely specializing in Archive and had a standard way to do all the work.
 

 
Job Opportunities

Archives Graduate Trainee, Kew Gardens

Where: London, UK
Who:  Career starters, no archive qualification required
When:  Applications close 9 June 2021

Link to more details and application can be found here

Archives Assistant, Churchill College Cambridge
 
Where: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Who: Career starters, no archive qualification required
When: Applications close 11 June 2021
Link to more details and the job application can be found here
 
Archivist, Stanford University
 
Where: California, United States
Who: Graduate archivists
When: Ongoing applications
Link to application can be found here

If you have any great opportunities for new professionals and students that you would like to share, please get in touch with us!

Second UNILISA Biennial Conference goes virtual

by Makutla Mojapelo, South Africa

It is commendable that Library and Information Service (LIS) as a research field plays a critical role in the fulfilment of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It is for this reason that the Department of Information Science (DoIS) at the University of South Africa opted to organise biannual conferences under UNILISA flagship as an overarching global concept. Through these conferences, the DoIS has successfully created an element of connectedness for archive and library enthusiasts. This success became evident through the 2nd UNILISA biannual conference which became a significant catalyst in crafting a new agenda for the LIS niche going forward. The conference was held from 08 - 10 March 2021 under the theme “Information services for a sustainable society in an era of information disorder“ and attracted approximately 40 multi-disciplinary scholarly presentations. This was done in line with the University of South Africa’s mission, of being an African University shaping futures in service to humanity. Because of Covid 19 which has caused worldwide disruption in the way business is conducted, the world is pacing itself for virtual connectivity and online lifestyles using several platforms. One such platform is the Webinar-jam platform through which the 2021 UNILISA conference was conducted.
 
Through the Webinar-jam, UNILISA developed and enhanced online communities to service existing and new audiences to enrich the public’s knowledge on archives and information science matters. International LIS institutions in other countries found solace in Webinar-jam as a global phenomenon for scholarly, social relations, commercial enterprises as well as educational and knowledge-sharing initiatives across age groups.

Unlike other ordinary conferences where there is exchange of ideas, UNILISA was applauded by scholars due to its commitment towards learning development. As always, the first day of the conference was dedicated to a doctoral forum, where students who are registered for PhD were given an opportunity to present their studies and receive immediate feedback from a panel of world renowned scholars.
Call for Translators and Newsletter Article Submissions

As always, the ICA New Professionals Programme invites all new professionals from across the globe in the broader discipline of archives and information management to share short stories and articles based on their work experience and endeavours. The objective of the ICA NP newsletter is to encourage the professional growth of all new professionals through sharing of their work activities, research projects and other experiences they encounter in the process of executing their tasks as information management practitioners. This is a great opportunity to be published, engage with the global ICA community, and get some practice on writing about your work and ideas. Please note that this is an open call - submissions to the newsletter need not follow a particular theme.

Who can submit?

Both ICA members and non-members with less than five (5) years of experience in the archives and / or records management profession are welcome to contribute to the newsletter.

Submission guidelines
·         Articles must be submitted in Word format
·         Maximum 500 words
·         Submissions may be in English, French or Spanish

Feel free to include section headings in your article, and inclusion of illustrations is encouraged to emphasise your piece.
Please send your submissions to  newprofessionalsprogramme@gmail.com by 16 July 2021.

We also need translators to help us with Spanish and French translations for our future newsletters, or sometimes for other projects we have on the go. This is a great way to get involved with the program and your foot in the ICA community door. If you would like to help us out or have any questions about newsletter submissions, please get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or email - links below or at the beginning of the newsletter.
Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for our next issue.
Click here to read previous issues of the newsletter.
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