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Call for Papers on Preservation of Electronic Records, deadline April 30, 2002

Symposium 2003
Preservation of Electronic Records: New Knowledge and Decision-making
September 15 to 18, 2003
Ottawa, Canada

Call for Papers
Submissions are now being invited for Symposium 2003 - Preservation of Electronic Records: New Knowledge and Decision-making. This symposium, hosted by the Canadian Conservation Institute, the National Archives of Canada, and the National Library of Canada, will be held in Ottawa, Canada, from September 15 to 18, 2003.

During the last quarter of the 20th century, heritage collections have included increasing amounts of information stored on magnetic and optical media (videotapes, audiotapes, computer tapes and disks, CDs, and DVDs). Although archives and libraries have the largest amounts of this material, much is also found in museums and even galleries (e.g. oral histories, documentation of relevant recent events or performances, and contemporary artworks).

Leading archives and libraries are increasingly aware of the challenges of preserving these materials and the information stored on them. The purpose of the symposium is to expand this awareness by bringing expert and leading edge opinions to a larger audience including small and medium-sized archives, libraries, and museums. The focus will be on making decisions and finding practical solutions that can be implemented immediately, especially for the materials that are at risk of being lost within the next 10 to 20 years. Participation is encouraged from experts in larger archives who are knowledgeable of the preservation of such collections, as well as collection managers and conservators who have the responsibility for this sort of material but may not be as well informed about the issues and approaches.

The program for the symposium will be based on a decision tree (i.e. the
chronological decisions that need to be made as electronic records come into
the heritage institution to ensure they are preserved). Papers emphasizing
new knowledge, case studies, or critical reviews are encouraged for each
step of the decision-making process outlined below.

Value Criteria: What criteria can be used to identify records that should be preserved? How do libraries, archives, museums, and galleries approach this? Are they fundamentally different? Authenticity Criteria: What criteria can be used to assess the authenticity of records that will be preserved? How do libraries, archives, museums, and galleries approach this? Are they fundamentally different? Factors to be Considered in Developing a Preservation Strategy: What professional and institutional requirements must be considered in developing a preservation strategy? Does current information technology meet specific preservation requirements? What is the likely nature and quantity of future acquisitions? Preservation Strategies for Information Content: What is the best strategy to preserve information content - maintain old technology, emulate old technology, migrate records within proprietary format, convert to a standard format, or create a persistent object? Media Knowledge: How do media (CDs, DVDs, magnetic tapes and disks) deteriorate? How should media be stored (including survey methodology) and handled? What is the longevity of media? What is the best method of recovering media from a disaster? How is good quality media selected?

Presentations at the symposium will be limited to 30 minutes (including time for introduction and questions), and may be in either English or French. Simultaneous translation will be provided.

Call for Posters
In addition to formal papers, submissions for posters are also welcome. Posters may be presented in the traditional fashion on boards, or electronically in the form of Web pages. Computer stations will be set up at the symposium venue to allow delegates to view electronic posters.

Submission Procedure
Submissions should include the speaker's name, address, e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers, a short one-paragraph biographical note, the title of the presentation or poster, and an abstract of 400-500 words. Submissions must be received by April 30, 2002.

All abstracts will be considered by the Program Committee, and suitable papers and posters selected by June 15, 2002. Selected authors will be provided with guidelines to assist them in preparing their papers or posters, first drafts of which will be due by December 15, 2002. These drafts will be carefully reviewed by the Program Committee and final selections made by March 15, 2003. Final papers will then be due by June 30, 2003. These papers will be incorporated into a CD to be distributed to delegates at the symposium, and eventually published as postprints.

Note: Following the symposium, authors will have until October 31, 2003 to revise their papers to incorporate any new knowledge they may have gained during the conference; if no amendments are received by this date, the final draft papers will be used in the postprints. All papers will undergo a full peer review before publication.

Please send your submission to:
Symposium 2003 Program Coordinator
Canadian Conservation Institute
1030 Innes Road
Ottawa ON K1A 0M5
tel: (613) 998-3721
fax: (613) 998-4721
e-mail: cci-icc_publications@pch.gc.ca