Library Archives Canada: a national, accessible treasure

Credit: Library Archives Canada

One thing that we love about indexing is the opportunity to read books that we might not discover on our own.

There is another other group that encounters interesting books on the job—the people at Library Archives Canada. This government organization is responsible for preserving Canada’s documentary heritage in all its mediums and formats.

“Preserved heritage” might conjure up the image of books and documents locked away in dark, dry vaults, accessible only with permission granted by secretive bureaucrats. It turns out that the vaults are real, but the access is generous and the “secrecy” is untrue.

In the spirit of the concept that heritage belongs to the people of Canada, LAC puts content online for the public. Besides providing searchable databases, they produce podcasts on the collections and accompany them with Flickr albums. They have a YouTube channel with archival videos and recordings. One initiative still going strong is “Project Naming”, in which they “digitize and identify, through Facebook and Twitter, the Inuit, First Nations and Métis peoples and communities seen in historical photos from our collection.”

Credit: Library Archives Canada

About the vaults, LAC offers a guided tour of their state-of-the-art Preservation Centre. It’s in Gatineau, Quebec, just across the river from downtown Ottawa, which is where we’re having our annual conference May 24-25. You can view the photos of the facility on their Flickr album here, and visit our conference page here.

A Gift to Yourself

In an interview, David Allen, the creator of “Getting Things Done”, described a Year End Review that will motivate and inspire you for the year ahead.

First, bring closure and acknowledgement for the past year. By yourself, or together with your partner, make a list of all your accomplishments. It’s likely you’ll find that your perspective has changed—which can be enlightening and satisfying. Also, ask yourself what has been left unfinished.

Second, take some time to clean a space in your house. David compares the effect to “discovering the fresh breeze that blows through your brain when you clean a drawer in your desk.” He adds, “Cleaning a space gives you a place to make those New Years ideas and new directions and new habits come from a much more natural and organic place.” Reserve a day, or even half a day, to clean and let the creativity flow.

When that is done, block some time and ask yourself, what do you want to be true next year? What does that look like? What do you want less of than last year, and what do you want more of?

Does your vision for 2019 include more socializing and networking? Professional development? Fun and adventure? A gift to yourself? Then write on the top of your list, “Book travel for ISC/SCI Conference in Ottawa, May 24-25”. You can visit the conference page here.

Conflicting Views

View of Tete Carre in Nice (not the Canadian War Museum)

Have you ever indexed a scholarly book with views that you disagree with? It would have felt good to ignore the offending paragraphs or put quotes around the headings you dislike. But you did the right thing and treated the material with same unbiased analysis that you gave to the rest of the book. The author has the right to his views, and you have the duty to index them.

It might be a comfort to know that your index exposes content that could be re-examined by future scholarship. As historian David Bercuson said, “No serious scholar…should be saved from the age-old processes of historical review, revision and re-writing to reflect more recent research when it is more accurate.”

The scholars Bercuson was referring to are authors as well as museum staff, and the topic was the exhibit on the Combined Offensive of World War II at the Canadian War Museum.

After the new building opened in 2005, war veterans complained loudly about a panel text which they believed portrayed the Allied bombing of German cities as “terror bombing and akin to war crime.” The museum stood by its words. The fight escalated with both sides bringing in historians to weight in. When the conflict was over, the museum director had been forced out and the panel text was revised, almost by committee.

Four years later, Bercuson, who was pressed into consulting on the exhibit, wrote about his experience and his evaluation of the text. It’s a fascinating look at how historians work and think about scholarship.

The Canadian War Museum is both a history museum and a place for reflection and contemplation. You can visit the museum when you come to Ottawa for the ISC/SCI Conference May 24-25, 2019.

Save the Date for ISC/SCI Conference in Ottawa

Ceremonial Guard Band on Parliament Hill
Ceremonial Guard Band on Parliament Hill (Ottawa Tourism)

Mark your calendar for the ISC/SCI annual conference on May 24-25, 2019, in Ottawa, Ontario.

The conference theme,“Beyond the Page—New Platforms, New Realities”/«Au-delà de la page—nouvelles plateformes, nouvelles réalités» recognizes that the publishing and information world continues to bring new challenges and new opportunities. At this conference, we’ll fine-tune our indexing practices, grow our business skills, offer our support and encouragement to newcomers, and pick the brains of those who have experience.

Ottawa is more than the political centre of Canada. It’s also home to some of the nation’s most important cultural venues. (Our conference site, which is on the University of Ottawa campus in the city’s centre, is just across the street from the new Ottawa Art Gallery.)

To help you plan your travel, here’s the draft schedule of activities:

  • Thursday, May 23: a late afternoon or evening pre-conference event
  • Friday, May 24: Breakfast around 8, sessions from 9 until 5, followed by our banquet dinner
  • Saturday, May 25: Breakfast around 8, sessions from 9 until 5, followed by a post-conference event
  • Sunday, May 26: we’re leaving room for a possible workshop or other event

Watch the conference page for more details and announcement in the weeks to come.

The new Bulletin is here

The post-conference issue of the Bulletin is now here. In this issue:

  • Stephen Ullstrom reports on the ISC/SCI conference in Winnipeg and gives us the highlights and take-aways.
  • Maureen MacGlashan talks to Christine Jacobs about her fascinating career as a diplomat in some of the world’s hotspots, her experiences as editor of The Indexer, and her thoughts on what makes a gifted indexer.
  • Moira Calder reports from Cleveland on a Special Interest Group meeting and the sessions at the ASI Conference.

Plus, there’s the Ewart-Daveluy and Tamarack award winners, Executive Committee activities, membership news—and the crossword puzzle!

This issue was brought to you through the efforts of the Ad Hoc Bulletin Policy Committee. They sourced a new design, layout, and template, developed a more efficient workflow, and tested it all in producing this issue.

Now it’s time to put Bulletin production in the hands of a managing editor. Could that be you? If you have editing experience, a desire to put things together and be at the helm, and are interested in bringing ISC/SCI’s news to your fellow members and to the world, the committee would like to hear from you. Send an email to bulletin_editor@indexers.ca and let them know.

Press Release: Mary Newberry Mentorship Program

Today we made the great announcement to our industry contacts and affiliated societies. The press release is below.

Included in the announcement is our new web page for the mentorship program.

Toronto, Canada, September 4, 2018

ISC/SCI announces mentorship program for indexers

The Indexing Society of Canada / Société canadienne d’indexation (ISC/SCI) is excited to announce the development of the Mary Newberry Mentorship Program.

The voluntary program will assist new indexers who wish to develop their skills and business. Mature indexers will also use the program to develop expertise in new disciplines and skills.

The program framework was announced at the ISC/SCI 2018 Annual Conference in Winnipeg in June. Stephen Ullstrom, chair of the program committee, and Linda Christian have been named the program’s first coordinators. They plan to have it running by January 2019.

Ullstrom, who is also the regional representative for the Prairies and Northern Canada, points out that most indexers are freelancers, and they could live almost anywhere. “The mentorship program will give anyone who lives in a remote area an additional resource and community that is usually only available to indexers in well-populated areas.”

“This program is a great achievement,” says Siusan Moffat, ISC/SCI executive member. Christian adds, “We had a lively discussion in the online forums on the need for mentoring in our industry. The timing couldn’t be better.”

The program is named after ISC/SCI member Mary Newberry in recognition of her many years of mentorship and teaching.

To learn more about the program, contact Stephen Ullstrom (mentorship@indexers.ca) or visit indexers.ca/resources/mentorship.

2018 Conference Survey

Please follow the link below to complete the anonymous online survey by July 16.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NYG8FGH

When you are done, we invite you to check out the conference presentation page for attendees only. Some presenters have made their presentation and handout files available online. Note that you’ll need the password to gain access. To obtain the password, send an email to communications@indexers.ca

http://indexers.ca/conference-presentations/

These files will be available until September 30. More files may be added, so please check back before the end of September.

A big thank you to our conference donors and sponsors

Dish of CandyThanks to the wonderful donors and sponsors of our 2018 Conference in Winnipeg!

Their contributions of door prizes and equipment helped make the conference a success.

Another Successful Conference

Our June 2018 ISC/SCI annual conference brought old and new friends together sharing information and laughs.

Patricia Wilkinson, Gregory Younging, Alicia Peres, Pierre Joyal
Mary Newberry, Nancy Wills, Heather Ebbs, Merridy Cox Bradley
Conference Committee (minus JoAnne!)