Association of Canadian Archivists—University of British Columbia

International Seminar and Symposium:
We Shape Our Tools, and Our Tools Shape Us

6-8 February 2013, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada


This year’s 5th annual ACA@UBC International Seminar and Symposium explored different technologies along the records lifecycle and examined how they have come to influence the way records are being created, retained and ultimately preserved for current and future generations of archivists, records managers, and users. The Symposium provided an excellent opportunity for experts, visiting professionals, and students to discuss and explore the different types of technologies available to them today, as well as the different challenges that these same tools present to current and future users.

Seminar Presentations

Wednesday, February 6 - Open to UBC Students and Faculty only, 10:00-5:00, Lillooet Room, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

  1. Have our tools gotten the better of us? The unintended consequences of digital evidence in our legal system
    Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, University of Washington
  2. Social Media Guidance and the Capture of Social Media Records
    Bethany Cron, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
  3. Durable Skills and Programs for Digital Curation and Preservation
    Nancy McGovern, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thursday, February 7 - Open to UBC Students and Faculty only, 10:00-5:00, Lillooet Room, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
  1. Integrating SharePoint with a System of Record
    Bruce Miller, RIMtech, Canada
  2. Trusted Digital Repository Design or The art of “shaping” our preservation tools
    Richard Marciano, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  3. Tools for Structuring and Searching Text
    Frank Tompa, University of Waterloo
  4. A Talk About Increased Use of Forensic Tools in Archival Practice, Teaching, and Research
    Erik Borglund, Mid Sweden University

Symposium Presentations

Friday, February 8 - Open to general public and UBC students, 8:15-4:30, Frederic Wood Theatre
  1. Introductions - Keynote
    Mary Lynne Young, Associate Dean, Communications and Strategy, Faculty of Arts, The University of British Columbia

  2. Curation and Preservation Services: Adapting Frameworks and Tools to Enable Sustainable Programs
    Nancy McGovern, Head of Curation and Preservation Services, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Abstract: Since 1996, the digital preservation community has been developing and refining standards and practice. For more than a decade, organizations responsible managing digital content over time have been adapting and adopting the results of those community efforts. This paper looks at organizational examples of using community documents such as Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities, Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model, and Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification (TRAC), and other community documents as frameworks for developing and sustaining digital curation and preservation programs. The backdrop for this work is the organizational developmental model developed by Kenney and McGovern for the Digital Preservation Management workshop series that has been running since 2003.

  3. Analyzing and Visualizing Big Cultural Data
    Richard Marciano, Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Abstract: This presentation discusses “big data” management and visual analytics techniques across a variety of projects including big cultural content.

  4. Recordkeeping for SharePoint 2010
    Bruce Miller, President, RIMtech, Canada
    Abstract: Learn the unbiased, unvarnished recordkeeping capabilities and limitations of SharePoint in this detailed overview. See exactly where Microsoft has both succeeded and missed the mark with recordkeeping. Compare SharePoint’s out-of-box capabilities against 5015.2 and non-government requirements. Examine what 3rd party SharePoint RM plug-ins will deliver. Learn how to develop a roadmap for successful RIM implementation with SharePoint. Form a clear RIM strategy for moving forward with SharePoint 2010. Upon completion of this session, attendees will be able to:
    1. Assess SharePoint’s out-of-box capabilities against your particular RIM requirements and quantify the specific limitations you will have to overcome.
    2. Develop a high-level roadmap for overcoming SharePoint’s out-of-box RIM limitations, including detailed product customization and configuration requirements.
    3. Know if, when, and how to apply 3rd party RIM plug-ins for SharePoint.

  5. Managing Virtual Records in Relational Databases
    Frank Tompa, Professor, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
    Abstract: Many business records, from invoices to personnel records, are generated from the data stored in relational databases. As a result, effective records management is highly dependent on vigilant data management, and a relational database management system is a tool for managing (virtual) records. We start by defining the corporate records whose lifecycles are subject to various policies, including data retention and other compliance requirements: for this we use database views. Next we use constraint diagrams to specify the business rules and lifecycle policies to be enforced on those views. The diagrams are then translated into either database triggers that monitor transactions and the passage of time to ensure compliance or a collection of logical formulas from which a constraint satisfaction program can uncover inconsistencies or unanticipated constraints.

  6. Are Forensic Tools a Silver Bullet for Modern Electronic Records Management? Or Yet Another Werewolf?
    Erik Borglund, Associate Professor, Archival and Information Management School, Mid Sweden University
    Abstract: In this presentation the focus will be on the increased use of forensic tools in modern electronic records and archival management. The forensic tools help archivists to authenticate electronic records and to ensure that no one has tampered with the records during transfer between authorities. In this paper I will show how how forensic tools are used in different aspects of archival practice, outline why they can be very useful and what kind of new knowledge we can gain by using forensic tool kits. I will also explore the extent to which the use of forensic tools may be a silver bullet for the problems related to electronic records and their authenticity. But is it possible that forensic tools are yet another werewolf, more destructive than helpful to an archivist working with authenticity and electronic records?

  7. Absorbed by the BORG: The Tools and Rules We Need to Manage Liability in the 21st Century
    Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, Director, Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, University of Washington
  8. Abstract: The Internet has overwhelmed us, we are being absorbed. What are the rules and tools that can allow us to work efficiently while allaying undue legal risks to individuals and entities? To date, most work of information security technologists, lawyers and policy experts has not been integrated well. Solutions from silos ultimately delay the benefits of more fully integrated—truly interoperable—identity systems. We need to expand beyond traditional technical development to create structures for ongoing, dynamic integration that can 1) meet legal requirements, 2) provide “Tools and Rules” for stakeholder self-governance, and 3) begin engaging already respected self-defined and organized groups, such as the OIX and CSA, whose purpose is the dynamic evolution and standardization of “Tools and Rules” that fit the economics and business logic of online commerce. The structuring of relationships across broad populations, and the integrated technology applied toward those ends, offers unique risk and liability-reducing opportunities. We’ve also never done this before! What does it mean to be absorbed by the BORG?

  9. Social Media Records in the US Federal Government
    Bethany Cron, Archives Specialist, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
    Abstract: Federal agencies are increasingly using social media platforms to engage with their employees and the public. Social media serves several purposes including reposting information available on agency websites, posting information not available on publicly accessible agency websites, soliciting and responding to comments, and providing links to non-governmental websites. Such activity may result in the creation of Federal records that must be captured and managed in compliance with Federal records management laws, regulations, and policies. This session will discuss the guidance produced by the National Archives and Records Administration to address the challenges agency records management staff face in managing social media records along the records lifecycle. The session will also discuss the high-level requirements, additional guidance, and best practices for capturing records created when Federal agencies use social media platforms.

  10. Closing Remarks

Symposium Speaker Biographies

Erik Borglund
Erik Borglund, Ph.D. in computer & System science, is an associate professor in computer & System science at the Archival and Information Management School of Mid Sweden University. He is involved in teaching at the bachelor, masters and doctoral levels. His main research interests are digital recordkeeping, document management, information systems in crisis management, information systems design and Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). Dr. Borglund's research is taking place in between information systems and archival science and, foremost, he is focusing on research problems that can be related to the wide management of records born digital. Dr. Borglund was a sworn police officer for 20 years before he became 100% academic.

Bethany Cron
Bethany Cron is an Archives Specialist at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. She is a member of the Records Management Policy Section within the Office of the Chief Records Officer. The Records Management Policy Section has produced guidance on Web 2.0/Social Media Records, cloud computing, and e-mail archiving applications. Bethany is a 2008 graduate of the School of Information at the University of Michigan where she specialized in Archives and Records Management. While in graduate school, she worked at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and served on the board for the SAA Student Chapter. She previously worked on the Digital Preservation Management Workshop at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). She currently serves as the vice chair of the Society of American Archivists’ Records Management Roundtable.

Barbara Endicott-Popovsky
Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, Ph.D., is Director for the Center of Information Assurance and Cybersecurity at the University of Washington, designated by the NSA as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research, Academic Director for the Masters in Infrastructure Planning and Management in the Urban Planning Department of the School of Built Environments, holds an appointment as Research Associate Professor with the Information School, and was named Department Fellow at Aberyswyth University Wales (2012). Her academic career follows a 20-year career in industry marked by executive and consulting positions in IT architecture and project management. Her research interests include enterprise-wide information systems security and compliance management, forensic-ready networks, the science of digital forensics and secure coding practices. For her work in the relevance of archival sciences to digital forensics, she is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists. Barbara earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science/Computer Security from the University of Idaho (2007), and holds a Masters of Science in Information Systems Engineering from Seattle Pacific University (1987), a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Washington (1985) and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.

Richard Marciano
Richard Marciano is a Professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Director of the Sustainable Archives and Leveraging Technologies (SALT) lab, and Co-Director of the Digital Innovation Lab (DIL). He leads development of data cyberinfrastructure projects funded by NARA, NHPRC, IMLS, NSF, DHS, UNC, and the Research Triangle Park (RTF) Foundation. Recent grants include a 2012 JISC Digging into Data award with UC Berkeley and the University of Liverpool, a NARA/NSF award on “big data” management and analytics, and a $5M Andrew Mellon Foundation / UNC award in the digital humanities and “big data”. Richard holds a BS in Avionics and Electrical Engineering, and an MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science, and has worked as a Postdoc in Computational Geography. He conducted interdisciplinary research at the San Diego Supercomputer at UC San Diego for 13 years, working with teams of scholars in sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

Nancy Y. McGovern
Nancy Y. McGovern has been the Head of Curation and Preservation Services at MIT Libraries since February 2012. Her responsibilities include ensuring long-term access to the digital and physical assets of the Libraries and developing appropriate long-term strategies for an expanding range of digital content. Before MIT Libraries, she was the Digital Preservation Officer (DPO) and a Research Assistant Professor at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a social science data archive at the University of Michigan that was established in 1962. She has more than twenty-five years of experience with the long-term management of digital content, including a decade at the Center for Electronic Records at the U.S. National Archives, more than two years at the Open Society Archives, and five years of experience at Cornell University Library. She completed her Ph.D. on technology responsiveness for the digital preservation community at University College London in 2009. Her research interests include the organizational infrastructure for life cycle management and the means for organizations and communities to continually respond to the opportunities and challenges of evolving technology. She was designated a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in 2009 and a Digital Preservation Pioneer by NDIIPP in 2010.

Anne R. Kenney and Nancy Y. McGovern, “The Five Organizational Stages of Digital Preservation,” in Digital Libraries: A Vision for the Twenty-first Century, a festschrift to honor Wendy Lougee, 2003. Available from the University of Michigan Scholarly Monograph Series website.

Bruce Miller
Bruce Miller, MBA, is President of RIMtech, a vendor-neutral e-records consulting services firm. Mr. Miller is widely regarded as the inventor of electronic recordkeeping software. He pioneered the world’s first electronic recordkeeping software, now owned by EMC/Documentum Corp. In 1997 he achieved the world’s first e-Records software certification against the US DoD 5015.2 standard. He developed the world’s first e-Records software engine for business software, later acquired by IBM. Mr. Miller received ARMA Canada’s National Capital Region’s Ted Ferrier Award of Excellence for his contribution to the field of records management. Mr. Miller is the recipient of the prestigious 2003 Emmett Leahy Award, considered the highest international recognition given to professionals in the field of information and records management. Bruce’s ground-breaking book Managing Records in Microsoft SharePoint 2010 has been circulated worldwide and is published by ARMA International, available at the ARMA bookstore. He is currently authoring a book titled “Implementing Electronic Recordkeeping Software – a Methodology for Success”, scheduled for publication in 2013. He has produced educational videocasts on electronic recordkeeping topics, available on Bruce holds a Diploma in Electronics Engineering Technology, and a Masters in Business Administration from Queen’s University. Bruce consults on electronic recordkeeping issues such as product selection and evaluation, implementation readiness and planning, and technology assessment, where he helps buyers understand the capabilities and limitations of proposed solutions. He publishes technical assessment reports on his website, and blogs on current electronic recordkeeping topics at

Frank Tompa
Since completing his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto in 1974, Frank Tompa has been on the faculty in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. His teaching and research interests are in the fields of data structures and databases, particularly the design of text management systems suitable for maintaining large reference texts and large, heterogeneous text collections. He has co-authored papers in the areas of database dependency theory, storage structure selection, query processing, materialized view maintenance, text matching, XML processing, structured text conversion, database integration, business policy enforcement, and text classification. He is a co-founder of Open Text Corporation, a co-author of Communicating with XML (Springer), a Fellow of the ACM, and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.