Caribbean Literary Heritage

The Caribbean Literary Heritage project, based primarily at the University of East Anglia, is developing a number of important new initiatives.

The project has the following aims, in respect of literary materials from the Caribbean region:

* to create a fuller literary history of the period 1940-1980
* to recover stories of forgotten writers and writings
* to help writers to become more aware of what to save of today’s manuscripts and papers for tomorrow’s researchers
* to develop case studies of writers, especially those writing from the region, that seek to understand the opportunities and challenges for their creative and collecting practices
* to bring together academics, archivists and writers from the UK, Caribbean and beyond to discuss the changing nature of Caribbean literary archives across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
* to create an open-access resource that maps where Caribbean writers’ papers can be found
* to enrich open access knowledge sources, such a Wikipedia, with entries on Caribbean writers, their papers, and literary archives in the region
* to work with and take guidance from senior figures in the region including the project’s official advisors

For more information, visit the Caribbean Literary Heritage website.

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SLA projects, 2010-2020

The ICA 2020 four-yearly Congress will be held in Abu Dhabi (mid-November 2020). It usually happens in ICA bodies that there are changes of personnel and priorities following the Congress, so this may be an opportune time to begin to think about reviewing the Section’s projects. There follows a list of the principal projects in which the Section has been involved since 2010:

* World-wide directory of institutions holding literary and artistic archives
* Directory of literary archives outside the home country (diasporic literary archives)
* Directory of resources for literary copyright
* Protecting the archives of dissident authors
* Collecting personal papers : principles and best practice
* Literary and artistic papers : guidance for authors and artists
* “How to use” guidance for researchers using literary archives
* Caribbean literary archives
* Collecting literary archives in African countries
* Documentary heritage at risk
* Safe havens for archives at risk
* A study of all the issues around correspondence within literary collections
* Collecting policies : principles and best practice
* Electronic media : the collection of literary and artistic material in the form of emails, electronic files, social media platforms, disks and diskettes, etc.
* Producing a special “literary and artistic” edition of Comma

Some of these projects have been completed; some are ongoing; and some need more work. But the Section’s officers would welcome suggestions for future activities by the Section after 2020.

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Survey of SLA members / Sondage de nos membres

Dear Colleagues,

The ICA Section for Archives of Literature and Art (SLA) is in the process of identifying future projects and initiatives. As a section member we’d like to hear from you about what direction and projects SLA should focus on. What are you excited about? Concerned about? How can SLA best support your work with literary and artistic archives?

Let us know by completing the following survey: (we promise it’s short and sweet!). The survey closes on Friday, July 19th.


Cher(e)s collègues,

La Section sur les Archives Littéraires et Artistiques (SLA) est en cours d’examen des projets et initiatives futurs. Nous aimerions savoir quels sont, pour les membres de la Section, les besoins et priorités à privilégier au cours de cet examen.

Faites-nous savoir en remplissant le sondage suivant: Le sondage se termine le vendredi 19 juillet.

Sincerely / Cordialement,

Heather Dean,
Secretary / Secrétaire
Section for Archives of Literature and Art / Section sur les Archives Littéraires et Artistiques

Associate Director, Special Collections
Special Collections & University Archives
University of Victoria

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Archives and Human Rights

Congratulations to our ICA colleagues Jens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio and Antonio González Quintana, who have signed an agreement with Routledge to produce a collection of essays on the subject of Archives and Human Rights, for publication next year.

Within ICA, the Human Rights Working Group is in the process of expanding into a Section on Archives and Human Rights. We hope this will happen later this year. Already the Section on Archives and Human Rights has the status of “ICA provisional section”. SLA is ready to welcome the new SAHR into the group of ICA Sections, and any SLA member who is not already a member of a second section is able to sign up now as a member of SAHR. Email the SAHR secretary at:

Meanwhile the Human Rights Working Group Newsletter continues to be published each month, marvellously edited by Trudy Huskamp Peterson, and ranging over events and activities all around the world. The May 2019 issue can be accessed here.

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ICA Annual Conference, Adelaide, October 2019

The Annual Conference of ICA for 2019, to be held in Adelaide, South Australia, will be a joint conference with the Australian Association of Archivists, the Archives & Records Association of New Zealand, and PARBICA (ICA’s Regional Pacific Branch), 21-25 October 2019. The conference title will be Designing the Archive. Registration is now open, and full conference and registration details can be found on the ICA website here.

Would any member of our SLA section who intends to be in Adelaide please let me know, so that we can arrange formal or informal section meeting(s). Many thanks.

David Sutton
Chair / Président
ICA Section for Archives of Literature and Art (SLA)

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Archives and Copyright

David Sutton presenting at the 38th session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, Thursday 4 April 2019.

ICA’s Section for Archives of Literature and Art (SLA) has taken a particular interest in copyright issues over the past ten years, and has worked jointly with other groups, notably the Diasporic Literary Archives Network, on copyright matters. Literary archives present typically more copyright challenges than many types of institutional archives, especially in respect of large correspondence collections which can have hundreds or even thousands of copyright holders in a single archival fonds. As a result, keeping involved in copyright issues has been a priority for the SLA

With this background in view, WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organization, based in Geneva), as part of its consideration of possible copyright exceptions and limitations for archives, invited the SLA President David Sutton to prepare a background paper entitled Archives and Copyright, and to present it to the meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights in early April 2019.

You can download David Sutton’s background paper on Archives and Copyright in either DOCX or PDF formats.

View video of David Sutton presenting the paper at the WIPO Assembly during the morning session of Thursday 4 April 2019.

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UNESCO SCEaR Newsletter

The latest Newsletter of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme’s Sub-Committee on Education and Research (SCEaR) has recently been circulated.

It includes interesting articles on various aspects of Memory of the World, together with a feature report on Literary Archives in African Countries.

The whole SCEaR Newsletter is available here : SCEaR Newsletter 2018.

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