Project work is an important part of the activity of any Section of the International Council on Archives. Within ICA, these are difficult times for the funding of Sections, and a number of our projects may go ahead without receiving financial support from ICA. This is a summary of the projects in progress and in prospect:
World-Wide Directory of Repositories holding Artistic & Literary Archives. This project (announced in 2009) lists all known archival repositories which hold some literary and/or artistic papers. The project was updated, with the help of a small grant from PCOM (the ICA Programme Commission) in 2015, and is nearing completion. Assistance is needed for entries for China, Korea and Japan in particular.
Directory of Literary Manuscripts outside the Home Country. This project (announced in 2009) has been taken forward by our colleagues in the Diasporic Literary Archives Network. See the latest listing here.
Authors and their Papers. This project (first discussed at Toledo in 2011) aims to provide guidance for authors’ heirs and for living literary authors who are considering depositing their literary archive. The project has been taken forward by our partners in the Diasporic Literary Archives Network and the Group for Literary Archives and Manuscripts (GLAM). See the latest report here.
Directory of Resources for Literary Copyright. This project (first proposed at the ICA Congress in Vienna in 2004) was put on hold with the formation of ICA’s Working Group on Intellectual Property. That Working Group has now been discontinued and responsibility passed to FAN (the Forum of National Archivists), with a focus on advocacy rather than information-sharing. In 2016-2017, the possibility of resuming this SLA project will be discussed.
“How to use” guidance for researchers using literary archives. This project was taken forward by our partners in GLAM-NA. See their report here.
Literary Archives in Namibia. This project was not funded by PCOM, but went ahead very successfully as a non-ICA project, and may serve as a template for the collecting of literary archives in other countries, especially in Africa. See the report on Literary Archives in Namibia here. Among the outputs was a draft memorandum of understanding between the National Archives of Namibia and the National Library of Namibia; a draft collecting policy; a draft agreement for depositors (including copyright arrangements); and a future work-programme.
Literary Archives in other African countries. The possibility of the Namibia project serving as a template for other countries will be explored at the ESARBICA conference, Johannesburg, July 2017.
Caribbean Literary Archives. This project is unlikely to be funded by PCOM, but may go ahead with SLA support in 2017, and should also have “best practice” template value. It is hoped that the project will investigate the particular problem of the archives of neglected women authors in Caribbean societies.
Documentary Heritage at Risk. SLA will continue to be a partner in this UNESCO-led initiative (reported to PCOM in April 2014).
Archival Safe Havens. SLA will work with ICA’s Human Rights Working Group and the Diasporic Literary Archives Network on the development of policies on Archival Safe Havens, following the themes of the keynote address by Trudy Huskamp Peterson at the Diasporic Literary Archives / British Library conference, 4 April 2016. There will be a panel on this topic at the ICA Seoul Congress, September 2016, with speakers from ICA’s Human Rights Working Group, SLA, Swisspeace and UNESCO.
Protecting the Archives of Dissident Writers. This SLA project (first outlined in 2012 and later codified and reported to PCOM, April 2014) became a potential sub-project of the Documentary heritage at risk initiative, but may be revisited in 2016-2017 as a separate project, in partnership with PEN International.