Jo-Ann Munn Gafuik
Jo-Ann Munn Gafuik
Jo-Ann Munn Gafuik’s first experience with archives was working as an Archives Assistant at York University. Moving to Alberta, she received her B.A. (History) from the University of Alberta in 1981 and, in the process of doing contract work, joined the staff of the University of Calgary Archives as a contract archivist in 1987. She was appointed Acting University Archivist in 1992 and served as the Manager of the University Archives from 1994 until her appointment as University Archivist in 1997. Shortly after her appointment as University Archivist, she began to become involved with professional associations within the archival community, serving as the secretary-treasurer of the Association of Canadian Archivists from 1998-2000.
In Alberta, she served as the president of the Archives Society of Alberta from 2000-2004, a critical time in the evolution of the Society. She played a key leadership role in obtaining and managing the $1,225,000 grant from the Government of Alberta’s Centennial Legacies Program that allowed the ASA and its institutional members to greatly expand their online presence. The existing Archives Network of Alberta (ANA) database was expanded to include additional descriptions, and new databases, Alberta InSight and Alberta InWord, were developed to include digitized photographs and documents. An online archives tutorial was designed to introduce new users to the world of archives.
Leveraging the provincial funding, Jo-Ann wrote applications totaling almost $1,000,000 for additional online projects that took the form of online learning objects that brought archival records to the classroom. Ultimately, three projects (Archives in the Classroom: Letters from the Trunk; The Prairie Populist Project; and Seeing With New Eyes: A Journey through Blackfoot Knowledge) resulted from these initiatives, bringing archival records and theory to new audiences. Although her term as ASA president ended in 2004, she remained on as chair of the Special Projects Committee to see the online projects through to completion.
Jo-Ann’s vision, commitment to archives in Alberta, and willingness to spend untold hours writing grant applications and guiding projects through from conception to completion is the primary reason why the ASA has the hugely successful online databases, tutorial and learning objects that we can boast about today. The archives community as a whole in Alberta has benefited from her work -- the ANA grants and the digitization funds that have been available through our three special projects have given each and every one of ASA’s institutional members the opportunity to obtain funding to make records in their holdings available online. The impact that Jo-Ann has had on our community will shape the direction that the ASA will take over the next 25 years.