The May Queen, 1953. - Elgin County Archives, Alma College fonds, R6 S3 Sh4 B1 #268

CCA - Archives Today


Over the past twenty years, unprecedented growth has occurred in Canadian archives. As the number of archives has increased fivefold over this period, new challenges impel us to work together more closely. No longer can we be content to preserve historical records without prior consultation, without a clear mandate and without a realistic look at the scope and implications of our objectives.

Events such as the formation of national and regional professional associations, the publication of reports dealing specifically with archives, the conditions required for the advancement of research and the establishment of a coherent cultural policy have fostered new attitudes and approaches in the archival community.

Even the concept of "archives" has evolved in recent years to reflect changes in outlook. In essence, archives are said to represent a "tool for administrative effectiveness"; they reflect and document the agency, individual, or community that created them, they are the foundation of Canadian studies, and even more broadly, the "nation's collective memory". This broader concept implies better coordination of work and resources. The definition of "archives" is not restricted to actual records, produced or received by any individual or organization in carrying on their work. It also refers to the institution or program responsible for taking charge, arranging, describing and conserving archives and making them accessible.

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