Upcoming ICA-SLA business meeting and tour of Keats-Shelley House

ICA-SLA will be hosting a tour and business meeting at the upcoming ICA Roma conference.  We warmly welcome those SLA Members to join us who will be at the conference in Rome.  For those who are unable to attend, please stay tuned, as the Steering Committee is currently planning a few virtual events for this Fall. 

What:   Tour of the Keats-Shelley House with the Section on Archives of Literature and Art (SLA). All ICA members welcome.

When: Monday, 19 September 2022, 5:00 pm / 17:00.

Where: Keats-Shelley House, Piazza di Spagna, 26, Rome

Cost:      €6.00

RSVP:    Please RSVP to Heather Dean (hdean@uvic.ca) as space is limited. 

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What do we mean by Literary Archives?

As we look forward to the ICA Rome conference, to meetings of our Section, and to meetings with colleagues who may be considering joining our Section, it may be useful to try to define what we mean by Literary Archives.

This is the definition used by the British group known as GLAM (Group for Literary Archives and Manuscripts):

GLAM defines ‘literary’ as creative writing in all genres, whether or not intended for publication, including:

  • Poetry
  • The novel
  • Other forms of fiction (including short stories and novellas)
  • Other prose writing, such as essays and letters by or relating to ‘literary’ figures
  • Writing for drama, in the theatre, or for radio, television and film
  • Life writing, including literary biography, autobiography and self-representation
  • The writing of criticism (both theoretical and practical) relating to creative writing, including editing, reviewing and the histories of literature
  • The process of publishing or otherwise supporting the production and dissemination of literature

The definition is intended to hold good regardless of format. It includes book proofs, therefore, and both born-digital and digitised formats.

Do we have a similar definition for Artistic Archives?

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First International Meeting of Art Archives

A new initiative on art archives in Latin America is underway at the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Chile. Organised by Alejandra Wolff, a painter and Director of the Archivo y Patrimonio de la Facultad de Artes at the Pontificia Universidad Católica, the initiative held the First International Meeting of Art Archives on 28 April 2022. The program included representation from the Section on Literary and Artistic Archives, as well as speakers from Argentina, Perú, México, Colombia and Chile. The organisers’ goals include creating a network of art archives in Latin America and the development of policies and practices supporting regional work on art archives.

For more about this project, please see the news item on the Facultad de Artes website: ‘Faculty of Arts UC presents the 1st International Meeting of Arts Archives’.

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Archives, Access and Artificial Intelligence

A new edited collection entitled Archives, Access and Artificial Intelligence has recently been published on open access.

The open access book can be found here.

Publishers’ information: Digital archives are transforming the Humanities and the Sciences. Digitized collections of newspapers and books have pushed scholars to develop new, data-rich methods. Born-digital archives are now better preserved and managed thanks to the development of open-access and commercial software. Digital Humanities have moved from the fringe to the center of academia. Yet, the path from the appraisal of records to their analysis is far from smooth. This book explores crossovers between various disciplines to improve the discoverability, accessibility, and use of born-digital archives and other cultural assets.

Authors include: Lise Jaillant (who is also the Editor of the volume), Jane Winters, Mark Bell, Tom Storrar, Melissa Terras, Martin Paul Eve and Paul Gooding, with an Afterword by Richard Marciano.

This will be a valuable addition to published information about archives and digital humanities, linked to a number of earlier posts on this SLA blog.

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A Literary Collection in Cuba

One of the first things you see as you pass into the hallway of the Fundación Alejo Carpentier, in the elegant Havana suburb of Vedado, is a photograph of Carpentier with his arms around his two great protégés, Carlos Fuentes to his left and Gabriel García Márquez to his right. The photograph underlines that Alejo Carpentier is not only one of great figures of twentieth-century Latin American literature, but arguably its father figure.

As mentioned by Catherine Hobbs in an earlier post on this blog, from the ICA Conference in Mexico City, the collections of literary archives in the Fundación Alejo Carpentier – as well as comprising over twenty linear metres of outstanding literary heritage – present a remarkable story of collection unification.

The Fundación holds Carpentier’s personal libraries, photographs and personal effects; his literary archive, presenting an impressively complete record of his literary work (including manuscript materials for all his novels); biographical and family papers; papers relating to his journalism and musicology; and a wide ranging correspondence collection, including letters from authors such as Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortázar, Miguel Ángel Asturias and Raymond Queneau, among many others.

The archival collection now includes (1) all those archival materials previously held by the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí – including Carpentier’s own donations; (2) all the papers found in the house of Carpentier and his widow Lilia (Andrea Hortencia Esteban Hierro) – now the principal property of the Fundación; (3) the smaller collection previously housed in the Fundación’s first property, in La Habana Vieja; and (4) the suitcase full of Carpentier papers, from the attic of a rural French house, where it was hidden by Carpentier’s mother on the advance of the Nazis in 1940, and transferred to Cuba in 1989.

This unified collection is one of the world’s great literary archives, and the transfer of archives away from the national library to the non-profit literary foundation is internationally exceptional. The website of the Fundación Alejo Carpentier can be accessed here.

Posted in International perspectives, Literary / Artistic | 2 Comments

A Literary Collection in Colombia

The personal library and archive of the Colombian writer Alfonso Fuenmayor is now housed in the Library of the Universidad del Norte (Uninorte), in Barranquilla, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, and comprises some 3795 books, 704 journals (many of them rare), together with mimeographs and manuscripts by Fuenmayor and other Colombian authors. The collection is especially relevant to the study of the “Grupo de Barranquilla”, which recognised Fuenmayor as its “Maestro”, and also included Ramón Vinyes, Álvaro Cepeda Samudio, Germán Vargas Cantillo, Alejandro Obregón, Julio Mario Santodomingo, Orlando Rivera (“Figurita”), and Gabriel García Márquez.

García Márquez has written (beautifully) about the Barranquilla group and especially Fuenmayor in his autobiographical work Vivir para contarla. The Fuenmayor Collection was gifted to Uninorte by his family, and will be an essential source for the study of Colombian literature.

A fuller description of the collection and its significance, in Spanish, can be accessed here.

See also Alfonso Fuenmayor: Crónicas sobre el Grupo de Barranquilla. Bogotá: Instituto Colombiano de Cultura-Gobernación del Atlántico, 1981.

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My Devilish Friend Said ….

My Devilish Friend Said…

A Tribute to Lokman Slim

عن #صديقتي_الشريرة

تَحِـيَّـةٌ للقمان سليم

Feb 3 – May 1, 2022 | Mondays – Fridays, 11 AM – 6 PM @ The Hangar | Beirut

On the first anniversary of the assassination in Beirut of the campaigner and archival activist Lokman Slim, a new exhibition is open in Beirut in tribute to his life and work. Members of SLA worked with Lokman on the “archives at risk” project and always admired his combination of professionalism and humour in the face of adversity and danger.

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Rome 2022: conference themes

At the meeting of the ICA Executive Board in October 2021, the themes for the Annual Conference in Rome (19-23 September 2022) were confirmed. The linking theme will be “Bridging the gap”, and among the sub-themes will be “Bridging the cultural gap”. A number of the projects undertaken by SLA and by the Diasporic Literary Archives Network would fit well with this topic, and the SLA Committee would be keen to consider ideas and proposals from SLA members.

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ICA’s First Virtual Conference, beginning 25th October 2021

Empowering Knowledge Societies in the 21st Century 

[version française suit/versión en español al final del mensaje] 

Join us for the first ICA virtual Conference, Empowering Knowledge Societies, scheduled for the week of October 25th 2021. This event is an opportunity for the profession from all over the world to share innovative ideas and research on the changes, practices, and actions in the archives and records management fields.  

This year, ICA is expanding the conversation started during #EmpoweringArchives to a broader debate on Empowering Knowledge Societies in an event built with a myriad of voices from the international archival and records management communities.  

The archival, records and data landscape in the 21st century is changing public expectations, about how we do our work, what constitutes credible evidence and how we protect and make accessible our holdings. It is time for our profession to discuss, reflect and challenge existing practices to explore and expand the critical role played by archives and records professionals in 21st century knowledge societies.  

One of those challenges is to decolonize our archival principles with Indigenous knowledge methods, as stated in the Tandanya Declaration. This means “(…) to bring new dynamics of spirituality, ecology and Indigenous philosophy into the European traditions of archival memory.”  

The 21st century information challenges do not simply belong to archives and records professionals, they belong to everyone, so let’s share ideas and build networks to empower our knowledge societies! 

You’re invited! Sign up, register and do not miss out on being part of the ICA network!  

David Fricker 

ICA President 

PLEASE NOTE THAT REGISTRATIONS AND THE OFFICIAL CONFERENCE WEBSITE WILL BE LAUNCHED IN SEPTEMBER. Keep up to date by checking the ICA website and social media channels for information! 


Renforcer les sociétés du savoir au 21ème siècle  

Rejoignez-nous à la première conférence virtuelle de l’ICA, Renforcer les sociétés du savoir, prévue pour la semaine du 25 octobre 2021. Cet événement est l’occasion pour la profession du monde entier de partager des idées innovantes et des recherches sur les changements, les pratiques et les actions dans les domaines des archives et de la gestion des documents.   

Cette année, l’ICA élargit la conversation entamée lors de #RenforcerLesArchives à un débat plus large sur la manière de renforcer les sociétés du savoir dans le cadre d’un événement construit avec une myriade de voix issues des communautés internationales des archives et de la gestion des documents.   

Le paysage des archives, des documents et des données au XXIe siècle change les attentes du public, sur la façon dont nous faisons notre travail, sur ce qui constitue une preuve crédible et sur la façon dont nous protégeons et rendons accessibles nos fonds. Il est temps pour notre profession de discuter, de réfléchir et de remettre en question les pratiques existantes afin d’explorer et d’étendre le rôle essentiel joué par les professionnels des archives et des documents dans les sociétés du savoir du XXIe siècle.   

L’un de ces défis est de décoloniser nos principes archivistiques avec les méthodes du savoir indigène, comme le stipule la Déclaration de Tandanya. Cela signifie “(…) une nouvelle dynamique spirituelle et écologique, ainsi que sur la prise en compte de la philosophie autochtone dans les traditions européennes de la mémoire archivistique”.   

Les défis de l’information du 21ème siècle n’appartiennent pas seulement aux professionnels des archives et des documents, ils appartiennent à tout le monde, alors partageons nos idées et construisons des réseaux pour renforcer nos sociétés du savoir !  

Vous êtes invités ! Inscrivez-vous, enregistrez-vous et ne manquez pas de faire partie du réseau de l’ICA !   

David Fricker  

Président de l’ICA  

VEUILLEZ NOTER QUE LES ENREGISTREMENTS ET LE SITE WEB OFFICIEL DE LA CONFÉRENCE SERONT LANCÉS EN SEPTEMBRE. Tenez-vous au courant en consultant le site web de l’ICA et les canaux de médias sociaux pour obtenir des informations ! 


Empoderar las Sociedades del Conocimiento en el siglo XXI  

Acompáñenos en la primera conferencia virtual del ICA, Empoderar las Sociedades del Conocimiento, programada en la semana del 25 de octubre de 2021. Este evento es una oportunidad para que la profesión de todo el mundo comparta ideas innovadoras e investigaciones sobre los cambios, las prácticas y las acciones en los campos de los archivos y la gestión documental.   

Este año, el ICA está ampliando la conversación iniciada durante #EmpoderarLosArchivos a un debate más amplio sobre el empoderamiento de las sociedades del conocimiento en un evento construido con una gama de voces de las comunidades internacionales de los archivos y la gestión documental.   

El panorama de los archivos, los documentos y los datos en el siglo XXI está cambiando las expectativas del público, sobre cómo hacemos nuestro trabajo, qué constituye una evidencia fiable y cómo protegemos y hacemos accesibles nuestros fondos. Ha llegado el momento de que nuestra profesión debata, reflexione y desafíe las prácticas existentes para explorar y ampliar el papel fundamental que desempeñan los profesionales de los archivos y los documentos en las sociedades del conocimiento del siglo XXI.   

Uno de esos retos es descolonizar nuestros principios archivísticos con métodos de conocimiento indígena, tal y como se recoge en la Declaración de Tandanya. Esto significa “(…) introducir nuevas dinámicas de espiritualidad, ecología y filosofía indígena en las tradiciones europeas de la memoria archivística”.   

Los desafíos de la información del siglo XXI no pertenecen simplemente a los archivos y a los profesionales de la documentación, sino a todos, así que ¡compartamos ideas y construyamos redes para empoderar nuestras sociedades del conocimiento!  

¡Están invitados! ¡Apúntate, inscríbete y no dejes de formar parte de la red del ICA!   

David Fricker  

Presidente del ICA 

TENGA EN CUENTA QUE LAS INSCRIPCIONES Y EL SITIO WEB OFICIAL DE LA CONFERENCIA SE HABILITARÁN EN SEPTIEMBRE. Estén pendientes de la página y las redes sociales del ICA para más conocer más detalles de este evento. —

ICA International Council on Archives

60, rue des Francs Bourgeois

75003 PARIS


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New website for the ‘Safe Havens for Archives at Risk’ initiative

The Safe Havens for Archives at Risk initiative (described and discussed in several previous posts on this blog) has a new website, which all SLA members are invited to explore:


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