ArchivesCanada: Public communications

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This page captures some of the public communications associated with the ArchivesCanada upgrade project, including user forum posts, announcements, project updates, broadcast emails, and other relevant public communications associated with the upgrade of ArchivesCanada to AtoM. For further context and history, see the ArchivesCanada project timeline page, and the background on the project landing page.

December 16, 2011 - CCA update


The following was posted in the Arcan-L Canadian archival mailing list by Louise Charlebois, as part of the CCA's regular update newletters (No. 70 - December 2011, ISSN 1710-8330), reposted on Arcan-L for broad distribution. The post included a section on plans for ArchivesCanada, copied below:

1. Holiday message from the Chair of the CCA Board of Directors

Season's Greetings!

2011 has been a good year for CCA, as we saw the continuation of the National Archival Development Program, as well as funding for Young Canada Works in Heritage Institutions, work on the National Needs Assessment of Archives, productive meetings with Board and Committee representatives, and our first (!) web and phone-based General Assembly. I would personally like to thank the CCA Board, committee members and other volunteers for their tremendous work on behalf of the community, and to the secretariat for their support to all.

We have an exciting year ahead of us! Among the priorities for 2012, we will be dedicating significant effort and resources towards the launch of our new website and the implementation of the ICA-AtoM software for the national catalogue of archival descriptions, The more robust and scalable hosting infrastructure will be rolled-out in Spring 2012 and will also include a mobile-friendly search interface. Our sincere thanks to Library and Archives Canada and the Council of Provincial and Territorial Archivists for their generous financial contributions towards this important project.

From the smallest volunteer-run archives, to our largest institutions, Canadian archives are deeply committed to preserving our documentary heritage and we frequently go "above and beyond" to assist our users and communities. This spirit of collegiality and dedication is the backbone of the Canadian archival system; it is my hope that this holiday season will provide you with time away from your regular day-to-day work schedule and that you are able to enjoy a well deserved break with fun and celebration with your loved ones.

On behalf of the CCA Board and Secretariat, warmest wishes to our members and partners for the holidays and 2012!


Lara Wilson, CCA Chair

April 13, 2012 - CCA update


The following was posted in the Arcan-L Canadian archival mailing list by Louise Charlebois, as part of the CCA's regular update newletters (No. 72 - March/April 2012, ISSN 1710-8330), reposted on Arcan-L for broad distribution. The post included a section on plans for ArchivesCanada, copied below:

1. Message from the CCA Board of Directors is the national gateway to archival resources found in over 800 repositories across Canada.

We are pleased to announce that on September 28, 2012 an upgraded ARCHIVESCANADA.CA site will be launched using the 2.0 release of the open-source ICA-AtoM software ( ICA-AtoM software development is led by Vancouver-based Artefactual Systems ( on behalf of a growing community of international implementers. This includes the provincial association portals of British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

As announced last summer, CCA contracted Artefactual Systems to develop an enterprise search index plugin for ICA-AtoM 2.0, a mobile-friendly search interface, as well as a new 'Dominion' theme to help relaunch the new site.

There are no license fees to install and customize the AGPLv3 licensed software and these enhancements will become freely available to all ICA-AtoM users in the 2.0 release.

To date, Artefactual has completed a detailed usability analysis of the site which resulted in a revamped homepage, the Dominion theme application templates and mobile interface. These have been integrated with the new enterprise search index. Ongoing work includes data migration from the current system and upgrades to the administrator import interface to improve ongoing transfers of descriptions from provincial contributors.

An update on this work and sneak peak of the new site will be provided during the ICA-AtoM session at the ACA conference in Whitehorse.

June 15, 2012 - CCA update following the elimination of the NADP


The National Archival Development Program (NADP), a $1.7 million dollar contribution program administered by the CCA on behalf of Library and Archives and distributed to Canada's 13 provincial and territorial councils to support local archival development projects, was eliminated in April of 2012. As part of a response to this unexpected development explaining its impact on current CCA projects, Lara Wilson, CCA Chair, posted a message to the Arcan-L Canadian archival mailing list, which included the following about the ArchivesCanada project: re-deployment of using ICA AtoM will launch as expected in September 2012. LAC will no longer be involved as a host for the national catalogue and contributors' databases.

June 12, 2013 - ArchivesCanada Beta site announcement


The following post was made in the AtoM User forum on Wednesday, June 12, 2013. The ArchivesCanada Beta site was launched just before the beginning of the annual Association of Canadian Archivists conference, held in Whitehorse that year. The original thread, as well as some community responses, can be seen at:

Additional feedback, in a separate thread (begun on June 17, 2013 - "Feedback on Archives Canada Demo Site"), can be seen at:

Greetings AtoM Community,

After many months of exciting development work, we are pleased to make the Archives Canada Demo Site available for you to review: Archives Canada is running on the new AtoM 2.0 - Interim 1, and displaying a customization of the new Dominion theme. For more information about the AtoM 2.0 development schedule and the upcoming release, and its relationship to the current ICA-AtoM 1.3.1 branch and the ICA-AtoM 1.4 development and upcoming release, please view:

AtoM Users will notice that the UI has undergone extensive redesign to showcase digital collections, improve navigation to archival resources through faceted search results and provide better context for the relationships and links between records, persons and institutions. We are also excited to announce that AtoM 2.0 will be mobile friendly!

Our aim in releasing access to the Archives Canada Demo Site is to receive constructive feedback from our amazing Community of Users! Please remember that AtoM 2.0 is in-development. Feel free to respond to this announcement by starting a thread in the ICA-AtoM User Forum.


Jessica Bushey

AtoM Product Manager

June 2015 Arcan-L discussions on updates


On June 2, 2015, Lara Wilson (Chair of CCA), posted a message in Arcan-L, the Canadian archival mailing list, about new developments in AtoM sponsored by the CCA so that the CCA's Directory of Archives could be maintained in ArchivesCanada once it is launched. The message is copied below.

This prompted a very interesting and important discussion about how to manage updates to ArchivesCanada going forward. To preserve these discussions, they have been added as a sub-page to this one, here: June 2015 discussion of future updates to ArchivesCanada

The features discussed were included in the AtoM 2.2 release.

Dear Colleagues,

The Canadian Council of Archives has noted with interest the recent postings relating to estimates on the number of archives in Canada.

Generally, the community has used the number 800 as a ball park figure to reference the number of repositories. However, over the years the Directory of Archives at<> has expanded up to 1200 institutions. The directory lists all self-identified archival institutions regardless of status. The Directory of Archives does not certify that an institution meets the definition of an archives (see Article 2.1 of the CCA's by-laws )

An archives may be listed in the Directory of Archives even though it does not conform to the full definition of an archives. Further, many provincial and territorial councils have established additional criteria required to be officially considered an institutional member, and they have processes in place to formalize the recognition. Thus, while there may currently be 1100 institutions listed in the Directory of Archives the official number of archives may be less.

Programming is now complete on a new comprehensive repository listing at<> and it will replace the outdated Directory of Archives at<>

CCA and Artefactual have recently started the upload process from the regional networks and a launch date for<> 2.0 will be announced very soon -- stay tuned!

Lara Wilson, MA, MAS Chair | Canadian Council of Archives