#AnArchiveIs … always in a state of becoming

Vicenç Ruiz Gómez

Vicenç Ruiz Gómez

Among the different initiatives included in this year’s programme for the International Archives Week, #AnArchiveIs#UneArchiveCest#UnArchivoEs has turned out to be the first social media campaign launched by the International Council of Archives (ICA). It is a chance for our professional and user community to define what an archive is through Twitter and Facebook. Hopefully, thousands of individual professionals will login into their profiles and write down their definition or idea of what an archive is in the standard “records” (tweets and posts) of both these information platforms. In addition, a functional link will be maintained between the different representations of this activity through the use of the campaign hashtags.

In short, this social media campaign will become an archive in itself (a collaborative one, in fact). Or, more precisely, it can turn into an archive once its long term preservation has been ensured and once its collective creators have acquired complete control over the context and content of all the records produced. If these two characteristics (agency and preservation) cannot be obtained, it seems clear that there can be no archive and, especially, it will never be your archive.

To this end, the Society of Catalan Archivists and Records Managers is collaborating with the ICA Secretariat by recording the #AnArchiveIs campaign from the corporate platforms where it is currently hosted. This will make it possible, among other things, for the data across the campaign to be converted into truthful information by analysing and visualising its scope (number of participants, countries, main concepts, …). This is just one example of the benefits of using an archival approach for dealing with online content in these post-truth times. It is also the ICA’s first step towards building a web archiving policy, including social media, that will surely motivate many of its archival institution members that have not yet developed their own.

Vicenç Ruiz Gómez, Vocal de recerca de l’Associació d’Arxivers-Gestors de Documents de Catalunya

www.arxivers.com @arsnotariae