ASA 2021 BIENNIAL CONFERENCE
Archives In Interesting Times
Dates: May 28, 2021
Keynote Speaker: Shelley Sweeney
Shelley Sweeney is Senior Scholar and Retired Head, University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, Winnipeg, where she started in 1998. She was the University Archivist at the University of Regina (1983-1998). She was in the first class of the Master of Archival Studies program at UBC (1985) and received her Ph.D. in Archival Enterprise from UT Austin (2002). She has taught sessions in the University of Manitoba Masters of Archival Studies program, and sat on a number of thesis defense committees. She was President of the Association of Canadian Archivists, Secretary of the Academy of Certified Archivists, Secretary General of the Bureau of Canadian Archivists, and helped found three archival associations, among other professional work. She spoke about the profession at the ACA conference in Whitehorse in 2012, and has spoken and written widely about the history of the archival profession, archival education, and the possible creation of the information super-professional. Shelley has written journal articles about shortfalls in funding for archives and academic archivists as agents for change, an encyclopedia article on provenance and a textbook chapter on primary and archival sources, among others. She co-chaired the establishment of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in 2013.
We are witnessing turmoil around the globe, including a pandemic, economic struggle, climate change and the Black Lives Matter protests. Archives are not isolated from what is happening and there has been much stress to archives as a result. Our profession is challenged by funding cuts which are especially prominent in our oil and gas-based economy in Alberta. The pandemic has also contributed to a lack of revenue, but of significant note, the pandemic has changed our work. In addition, we are still seeing natural disasters affecting our facilities as climate change is increasingly becoming an issue. There has been a rise in the outcry against social injustices which has made archives re-examine their colonial-based policies in hopes for new policies that are more inclusive. Our holdings bear witness to some of these social injustices. Keeping in mind the tornado of events that are changing our professional life, ASA’s 2021 Conference looks at our profession in interesting times.