ICA’s Digital Records Curation Programme: Next Steps

Margaret Crockett

It has been a real privilege and pleasure for me to be involved in the Digital Records Curation Programme. The model curriculum is an excellent product, drafted by James Lowry, the first Secretary of ICA’s Africa Programme, an archival educator with enviable experience of working internationally. The curriculum benefited from critical review and input by many digital recordkeeping experts both in Africa and from around the world. It was introduced to a group of early career archival educators from English-speaking African countries at a Summer School facilitated by James and myself and hosted by Professor Nathan Mnjama and Professor Peter Sebina at the University of Botswana in 2019. The participants have tried and tested it by incorporating it into their universities’ curricula, as they describe in related blog posts. 

The model curriculum project’s main goal was to provide comprehensive content and references for further resources to enable anyone to develop a graduate or post-graduate level curriculum to teach digital recordkeeping to students. But it also provides training materials that trainers can use as the basis for teaching practitioners to manage digital records and archives. This could be face-to-face, via video conferencing or as an online course. The DRCP curriculum was developed with low-resource environments in mind. It will, however, be useful to and can be used by anyone, including trainers and educators as well as individuals looking for self-directed continuing professional development opportunities.  

ICA is planning to develop training courses via Zoom which are based on the DRCP materials 

to be delivered in the second half of 2021. Some of the alumni from the 2019 Study School have volunteered to deliver the training, which will be available to all ICA members, not just those in Africa. We very much hope that ICA’s archival educators will now take ownership of the DRCP materials. It needs to be regularly reviewed and updated to remain current and in line with developments in technology and modern recordkeeping theory and practice. It would also be good to identify and document case studies describing practical implementation of digital recordkeeping in low resource environments. The curriculum materials also provide an excellent basis for a web-based compendium with links to online, freely available resources and information on managing digital records and archives. This could easily fit into the structure of ICA’s online resource centre. I commend the DRCP model curriculum to all ICA members and look forward to working on, as well as seeing, future incarnations of the materials.