COVID-19 and The Heritage Sector
The provincial response to COVID-19 has dramatically changed how the heritage sector normally operates. Our colleagues in the GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) both local and national, have risen to the challenge of continuing to promote heritage and have developed some useful resources that we are pleased to share.
Below are some links that may be of interest to you or your organization as you navigate daily operations while in the office or at home. This is not an exhaustive list of every project and online resource currently available...just a highlight and somewhere for you to start! Note that articles and websites as summarized in the links below may be edited or updated at the discretion of the parent organization.
Sept 2020 - The BC Museums Association (BCMA) has compiled a guide, which has then been reviewed by the Government of British Columbia, to assist museums, galleries, culture centres, and heritage organizations in preparing their sites to be reopened to staff, volunteers, and the public. This is a living document that will be updated as our understanding of the COVID-19 virus, best practices, government guidelines, and guidance from medical professionals evolves. The guide can be found on the BCMA website.
March 2022 - Worksafe BC has re-published guidelines for the heritage sector to help employers ensure that sites are safe for returning workers and volunteers. Note: while Archives are not specifically mentioned, many of the guidelines for museum and libraries are applicable for archives.https://www.worksafebc.com/en/covid-19/industry-specific-information/arts-and-culture
ACA Statement on Reopening Archives
May 14, 2020 - As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, archives across Canada are now considering how to prepare for reopening after an extended period of closure. Archives and records professional are just beginning to understand how this closure has changed the nature of their work, temporarily and permanently, and what effect this pandemic will have on the profession as a whole. The ACA has released a statement on reopening archives. To read the full statement, visit: https://archivists.ca/Latest-News-Announcements/8969717
Free online access to content from the last 4 years of Archivaria until June 30, 2020. All other previous issues are available in the Back Issues section of this site for your reading pleasure during these challenging times.
Administrative work, such as:
Collections work, such as:
Reference and outreach work, such as:
Staff development work, such as:
This is the most recent statement developed by ICA and the International Conference of Information Commissioners, supported by ARMA International, CODATA, Digital Preservation Coalition, Research Data Alliance, UNESCO Memory of the World and World Data System.
The statement is built on three principles: Decisions must be documented, records and data should be secured and preserved in all sectors, and the security, preservation, and access to digital content should be facilitated during the shutdown.
We hope the archives, records, data and allied communities will support the statement and join us in underscoring the importance of the duty to document, now and for the future.
*Includes sub-sections on Funding, Human Resources, general resources for Not-for-Profit Organizations, Digital Resources, general Provincial and Federal resources, and Mental Health resources
In July 2020, CCI published version 2 of “Caring for Heritage Collections During the COVID-19 Pandemic”, which compiled information and recommendations to help those who are responsible for ensuring that collections and heritage materials remain safe. Version 3 of this resource is now available online. This updated version provides results of research studies performed in the last year on the persistence of virus on surfaces, and includes updates on ventilation and air filtration in building spaces, as well as the impact of vaccination and variants in addressing reopening approaches.
Webinar Presentation: Caring for Heritage Collections during the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 21, 2020)
Cultural heritage institutions are coping with many challenges as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. While collections are not directly at risk, the pandemic complicates their care. In this webinar organized by the Ontario Museum Association, Irene Karsten shares information and recommendations compiled by the Canadian Conservation Institute to help those responsible for heritage collections. Questions about collections contamination, disinfection of museum spaces, and risks to collections during long-term shut down are addressed, based on the evolving collective knowledge of the public health and infectious disease research communities merged with what we know about keeping collections safe.
Emergency Management 3.5: Disinfecting Books and Other Collections (updated Sept 2021)
Archival colleague David Rajotte provides a weekly summary of documentary heritage and archival news from around the world.
What to do during Covid-19: A List for Archivists. A list that provides a summary of online courses, videos, podcasts and other activities for archivists.
Join Dr. David Berendes and Dr. Catherine Rasberry, from the Centers for Disease Control, for an overview of the CDC’s guidance for community settings and environmental disinfection, and a discussion of how libraries, archives, and museums can help mitigate COVID-19 when working with paper-based, circulating, and other types of collections.
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The Archives Association of British Columbia acknowledges that it carries out its work on the land of Indigenous nations throughout British Columbia. We are grateful for the continuing relationships with Indigenous people in B.C. that develop through our work together.