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by Jon Tilbury

ICA Congress 2016: Creating value with digital preservation

The International Council on Archives (ICA) is dedicated to records management and the preservation of the world’s archival heritage.

September 20, 2016

The International Council on Archives (ICA) is dedicated to records management and the preservation of the world’s archival heritage. For over 60 years, the ICA has united archival institutions and practitioners across the world to share industry knowledge and expertise. The ICA is a truly international organisation, and this year held their Congress event in Seoul, South Korea.

With over 2,000 people from 190 countries attending, the ICA Congress is the largest international conference in the field of archives management. The event attracts a high number of senior practitioners including head archivists with extensive experience.

The event was opened by Hwang Kyo-ahn, the Prime Minister of South Korea, followed by a video message from the President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye. Such a high profile introduction demonstrates the importance of preservation and shows how highly regarded archiving is in South Korea and across the globe, highlighting the significance of archives to national identity, especially in newer countries.

Advocating Access

The key focus at the conference was access – more pointedly, access via the internet, which will drive young people’s interest in preservation and encourage the future generation of archivists.

Preservica’s Ann Keen, an esteemed digital preservation expert, delivered a session on Creating Value with Digital Preservation: The Living and Dynamic Digital Archive. The session discussed the importance of long-term protection and access to digital information, including building a flexible strategy to deliver institutional value and raise the profile of the archive, unlocking the value of digital content.

A personal highlight was John Hockings’ moving talk about the work by the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT): Out of the Box, Into the World. John’s talk offered an in-depth insight into the importance of preserving the MICT’s history, and why dark archives miss the point. It was also great to catch up with David Fricker, President of the ICA, and the PERSIST project to plan our next activities. Furthermore, it was fantastic to see how so many countries are using their archives to enhance national identity.

The Preservica team thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the conference and it was great to catch up with so many of our users and hear from such a prestigious line up of speakers.

Jon Tilbury, Preservica CTO