Archives recognized for innovation and community outreach
Queen’s University Archives (QUA) recently received the Institutional Award from the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) for innovation, imagination and outstanding public service.
“It’s a real privilege and a moment of pride to receive such an award from our peers,” says Paul Banfield, University Archivist. “The award is a testament to the hard work and dedication all the staff at Queen’s University Archives have put in over the years. They are a wonderful group of individuals—enthusiastic, innovative, and imaginative. They’re always coming with new ideas and new projects.”
The AAO praised numerous projects undertaken by QUA in recent years. Together they position Archives, archivists, and the records management team at Queen’s as leaders in information repository and accessibility in public institutions.
One example cited by the AAO is the new open source software implemented by QUA. The software allows databases for different mediums – audio, visual, moving-image, and text – to be linked in a single searchable database. The goal of the project is to make holdings more accessible and meaningful for users around the world. QUA is one of the first archival repositories to bring the software online.
QUA gears many of its projects toward community outreach. It regularly publishes an item of public interest from its extensive photograph collection in Kingston This Week, and contributes to the online community publication The Kingstonist. And it supports an online historical project called Stones: A Guide to the Social History of Kingston in collaboration with a number of community partners.
QUA also hosts the long-running Archives Lecture, and has instituted a new fellowship program through the generosity of a long-time supporter and donor to support original archival research by scholars, authors or artists at QUA.