Report of the 17th ICA Congress in Brisbane and other archival meetings in Australia


1. 17th International Council on Archives Congress in Brisbane

Date: August 20 - 24, 2012
Host: International Council on Archives, Australian Government and the National Archives of Australia
Theme: A Climate of Change - Sustainability, Trust, Identity
Venue: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland, Australia
            Queensland State Archives (for the conservation workshop)

(1) Professional program
   The Congress enjoyed more than 1000 attendees from over 95 countries/territories this year. Among them were about 30 delegates from Japan, including staff of the National Archives of Japan (NAJ).
   The professional program from August 21 to 23 was composed of keynote speeches in the morning, various presentations in the afternoon and 30-minute feedback sessions at the end of the days. In parallel, meetings related to the management of ICA were held as well: an Executive Board meeting of the East Asian Regional Branch of ICA and the Forum of National Archivists on August 21, a board meeting of the Fund for the International Development of Archives on August 23, and the Annual General Meeting of ICA on August 24, respectively. NAJ staff members including the president and the executive advisor attended these meetings.

(2) Presentations and workshops organized by NAJ
   On August 21 and 22, eight presentations to introduce current Japanese archival issues were given by prominent academics in their fields and NAJ staff, covering the outlines of the Public Records and Archives Management Act, university archives and local public archives in Japan, response of archival society to the Great East Japan Earthquake and digital archive development.
>>List of the presentations and workshops organized by NAJ [PDF]
>>Presentation materials [PDF]

   All of these presentations widely attracted an audience of some 80 people, and were favorably covered by the ICA Flying Reporters, a group of young professional archivists who follow ICA conferences and provide their news through a blog.
>>Media coverage by the Flying Reporters [PDF]

   Conservation technique workshops were held at the Queensland State Archives on August 24, with 25 participants. After a 30-minute lecture by Professor Katsuhiko Masuda of the Showa Women’s University under the title of “Changes in Conservation Techniques in Japan,” three conservators of NAJ instructed the participants in traditional Japanese conservation techniques.

(3) Forum of National Archivists (FAN)
   Following its first meeting in 2011, the 2nd FAN was held in Brisbane. Heads of national archives from over 30 countries/territories discussed the following five themes actively: open government; modern appraisal for digital information resources; development of trusted digital repositories; descriptive standards for unpublished material; and skills and competencies.

   In his presentation under the title of “Skills and Competencies -Selection in a Digital Environment-: From Experiences in Introducing the Records Schedule System in Japan,” President Takayama presented his views on right credentials necessary for government records management, briefly introducing selection and appraisal processes at NAJ as well as NAJ-hosted seminars targeted at those who work in Japanese administrative organs.

(4) ICA Annual General Meeting (AGM)
   At AGM in Brisbane, a new constitution was voted into existence. As a result of this full-fledged revision, the new text is more simplified with details provided for in the Internal Regulations. Other substantial changes include that the voting right at AGM, which had long been limited to Category A (federal/national archives) and B (professional associations) members, is now extended to Category C (local archives and international organizations) members. At issue was new Article 16, which provides for ICA membership as a prerequisite for membership of regional branches of ICA. CARBICA, the Caribbean Regional Branch of ICA, submitted an amendment to the contrary; however, it was voted down.

   Issues related to future meetings were also announced. First and foremost, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil had officially withdrawn its invitation to host the Annual Conference of 2013 owing to its financial hardship. ICA Secretariat is negotiating for an alternative venue. Girona, Spain, on the other hand, made a presentation as a candidate city to host the Annual Conference of 2014. Finally, next ICA Congress will be held in Seoul, Korea in September 2016 with the theme of “Archives, Harmony, and Friendship.“

   In addition, AGM approved the following issues in Brisbane: new scales of membership dues for 2013; various ICA activity reports of the first half of the year 2012; audited financial report of 2011; draft budget for 2013; text of the Principles on Access to Archives; and nomination of new ICA fellows.

(5) FIDA Board meeting
   Board of Trustees of the Fund for the International Development of Archives had a meeting in Brisbane on August 22, which the executive advisor of NAJ attended as a trustee. There, progress of projects supported by FIDA was reported and newly applied projects for 2012 were reviewed individually.

* Further details of the 17th ICA Congress in Brisbane will be reported in No. 48 of our journal “Archives” to be published in November 2012.

2. Conservation technique workshop hosted by AICCM
   On August 27, a one-day conservation workshop was held at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane, to which three NAJ conservators were invited as instructors. Upon request from the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials (AICCM), it was designed exclusively for member attendees of the 7th AICCM Book, Paper and Photographic Materials Symposium. The program attracted 21 professional conservators from Australia and New Zealand, and received favorable comments to live demonstrations of Japanese traditional conservation techniques.

3. Post-Congress meeting hosted by NAA
   After the ICA Congress in Brisbane was over, another meeting was held in Canberra from August 27 to 29, at the invitation of the National Archives of Australia (NAA). With the aim of open exchanges of opinions on archival issues, from a management aspect in particular, heads of national archives from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore and West Samoa attended this meeting at NAA.

   In addition to operational priorities national archives commonly face, issues such as archives regulations, management of audio-visual materials and furtherance of digitization were covered here

  • Feedback session, ICA Congress in Brisbane
    Feedback session, ICA Congress in Brisbane

  • Presentation by President Takayama
    Presentation by President Takayama

  • Conservation workshop: practice of backing
    Conservation workshop: practice of backing

  • At the entrance of the National Archives of Australia
    At the entrance of the National Archives of Australia


3-2 Kitanomaru Koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0091

Copyright©2007 NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF JAPAN. All Rights Reserved.