Date: March 2, 2018

Location: Viking Union 565
Western Washington University Campus, Bellingham, WA

Time: 10:00AM - 4:00PM, doors open for registration and coffee social at 9:30 AM

Cost: Free for Western Students, $15 for Non-Western Students, $25 for Non-Students

Fee includes coffee social and lunch. Register online before March 1st. Late registration will be available at the event. Parking information and directions are available. Parking in 6V (Zone 1206), located closest to the Viking Union (VU), is limited. The C lots are also available. Additional details and directions are available in WWU's campus parking map.

On Archival Networking in the Digital Era

The 21st century has seen an explosion in computer-mediated networks which allows unprecedented opportunities for connecting, communicating, and collaborating with others. This has opened up new opportunities for archives to connect with the public and allied fields. The way users research and engage with archives is changing, and archives need to evolve in order to stay relevant and useful. This year's conference explores the ways in which archivists in Canada and the United States engage with these technologies.

Conference Schedule

10:00 - Emily Jones, Opening Remarks

10:10 - Luciana Duranti, "Developing Archival Science Through Interdisciplinary International Research Networks: The Case for InterPARES"

10:55 - Kate Theimer, "Archiving the Apocalypse"

11:40 - Break

11:50 - Greg Bak, "Becoming Networked: Debates over Digital Archives from the 1960s to the Naughts"

12:30 - Lunch

1:30 - Natasha Varner, Geoff Froh, and Caitlin Oiye Coon,"Activating Archives for Social Change"

2:15 - Break

2:20 - Roundtable Discussions

3:15 - Richard Pearce-Moses, Closing Remarks

Luciana Duranti - "Developing Archival Science Through Interdisciplinary International Research Networks: The Case of InterPARES"


Dr. Luciana Duranti is a Professor of archival science and diplomatics in the master’s and doctoral archival degree programs at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She is Director of the Centre for the International Study of Contemporary Records and Archives and InterPARES, Duranti is the President of the Association of Canadian Archivists (2016-2018) and Co-chair of the Steering Committee on the Canadian Archival System (2018-2020).

Abstract: This presentation will show how computer-mediated communicatio supports the involvement of the archival profession in academic research, fosters the understanding of archival purposes, functions and issues by experts in a variety of disciplines (from law, political science and philosophy to computer science and engineering), favours the internationalization of practices and, in the process, nurtures the development of the archival discipline as a science. It will do so by discussing the InterPARES research project, which has been building up an international interdisciplinary network of researchers on the archival endeavor since 1998.

Kate Theimer - "Archiving the Apocalypse"


Kate Theimer is the author of the popular blog ArchivesNext and a frequent writer, speaker and commentator on issues related to the future of archives. She is the editor of many works, the author of many books and has published articles in the American Archivist and the Journal of Digital Humanities. Kate served on the Council of the Society of American Archivists from 2010 to 2013. Before starting her career as an independent writer and editor, she worked at NARA.

Abstract: Unprecedented hyperconnectivity has led to a society that is both more tightly bound together into like-minded tribes, and at the same time more widely divided, as people share less in common with those outside their networks. Our seemingly-endless access to information has also given many people a sense that they have a greater awareness of the perils facing our planet and our society. And those perils come with a sense of urgency that drives many people—across disciplines—to change the way they view their professional responsibilities and personal priorities. At the same time, other changes are taking place which encourage the blurring of professional distinctions and the formation of bonds around purpose, not practice. This talk will examine a role for archivists as anything but neutral participants in the documentation of our societal crises and individual activists in the cause of creating a better world.

Greg Bak - "Becoming Networked: Debates over Digital Archives from the 1960s to the Naughts"


Greg Bak is an associate professor of History (Archival Studies) at the University of Manitoba. He was previously a senior digital archivist with Library and Archives Canada. He has published on a range of topics in archival studies and information science. He has been involved in the creation of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba and the 2006-2012 project at Library and Archives Canada to create a Trusted Digital Repository.

Abstract: In the 1960s the Public Archives of Canada (PAC) was at the forefront of digital archiving, making use of mainframe computers at the Taxation Data Centre in processing the papers of prime ministers and acquiring its first computer-derived magnetic media from the Alouette Satellite in 1966. Following this auspicious start were thirty years of fits and starts, as archivists debated whether computers threatened “the dignity of the archivist”, whether computer usage in government and society was revolutionary or evolutionary — or irrelevant — and whether digital information could rise to the level of an archival record. Today these concerns seem quaint as we routinely rely upon a full range of digital technologies in our professional and personal lives. My paper will draw upon histories of computing, archival work and archival theory to offer an account of how archives and archivists became networked.

Natasha Varner, Geoff Froh and Caitlin Oiye Coon - "Activating Archives for Social Change"


Natasha Varner, Geoff Froh and Caitlin Oiye Coon play leading roles at Densho. Caitlin Oiye Coon is the Digital Archivist at Densho. She helped establish archival digitization processes, manages their digitization program, and trains partners in digital preservation and digital repository software. Though trained as a social scientist before joining as Densho’s Deputy Director, Geoff Froh has over 15 years of experience developing technology and information management strategies for a variety of for-profit and non-profit ventures, ranging from small think-tanks and startups to the Department of State, the Adobe Corporation and his Holiness the Dalai Lama. Natasha Varner is Densho’s Communications and Public Engagement Manager. She edits and contributes to the Densho blog, manages print and digital communications, media and community relations, and public events.

Abstract: We all know that archives and special collections are rich sources of knowledge, but how do we put that knowledge to work in the world outside the repositories that house them? Join us as we discuss how Densho, a cultural heritage non-profit, uses oral histories and other primary source materials in conjunction with digital technologies and social media to engage the public. Members of the Densho team will highlight our efforts over the last year to increase engagement in civics and social justice initiatives.

Thank you to our WWU sponsors:


The WWU Student Chapter of the Society of American Archivists, Canadian-American Studies, Department of History, Office of the Provost, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and Western Libraries.

If you have any questions, please contact: Emily Jones: jonese30@wwu.edu

Page Updated 02.20.2018