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Comma 2021:2 – Archives and Climate Change

Rising temperatures, shifting climate zones, extreme weather events: climate change poses a great threat to humans and ecosystems. Along with many other social sectors and institutions, archives and archivists are also threatened by these changes. They will only be able to safeguard the documentary heritage of humankind in the long term if global warming is stopped and rising temperatures are reversed. Business as usual is not possible, not even for archivists.

Comma 2021-1

This issue of Comma contains a rich variety of themes and programmes. As the first issue we have published as Editors-in-Chief for Comma, we are both inspired by and grateful to all the authors in this issue for generously sharing their research, ideas and insights with the international archival community. These contributions advance critical dialogues within the profession, while imagining what is possible and reflecting on lessons from the past.

Comma 2020 1-2: Archives and Human Rights

The publication of this special issue of Comma represents a new step in the ICA’s commitment to the crucial role of archives in the defence of human rights, and the role of archivists and records managers in defending these rights. This volume is also a very important milestone for the members of the Section on Archives and Human Rights of the International Council on Archives (SAHR-ICA), who, with this publication, are achieving one of the Section’s key objectives. The variety of contributions provides a rich coverage of many aspects of our subject area.

Comma 2019-2: Archives and Intergovernmental Organizations

The Section of International Organizations of ICA (ICA SIO) has put together this special issue, which has seven articles published by records and archives professionals from five Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) located in different parts of the world.

Comma 2019-1: Yaounde Conference 2018/Miscellany

This issue includes a number of papers that were presented at the ICA Annual Conference in Yaounde, Cameroon in 2018. They address issues such as the role that archives can play in realising sustainable development goals and potential solutions to dealing with the challenges associated with archival heritage that is shared across national boundaries. Many of the articles have a particular focus on archives in Africa. The Yaounde papers are supplemented by a miscellany of articles submitted to Comma in response to an open call for papers. These include articles on managing digital photographic heritage, the utility of standardised archival statistics, developments in international copyright law, and how provincial archives in China are managing the personal archives of famous individuals. The issue also includes an interview with former ICA Secretary-General Charles Kecskeméti.

COMMA 2018-1/2 – University and research institution archives

In Salamanca, Spain, between October 3 and 5, 2018, the annual meetings of the Conference of Archivists of the Spanish Universities and the Section on Archives of Universities and Research Institutions of the International Archives Council (ICA-SUV) were held. The topic chosen for this joint 2018 conference, held during the commemorations for the 800th anniversary of the University of Salamanca, had four sub-themes which provided the structure for the sessions: the identity of university archives; the role of archives within the university community; the management of the historical record; and the dissemination of archival heritage. The articles in this special issue are arranged in the same way, though with the caveat that in many cases authors have not limited themselves to one sub-theme, with several touching on two or more.

COMMA 2017-2 Miscellany

A miscellany issue, by its very nature, is difficult to categorize. A medley of different ideas, themes and foci, it can be challenging to find the common thread or tease out a leitmotif running through the submissions. The 2018 miscellany edition of Comma is no different. We have submissions in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. The authors hail from South, Central and North America, Europe, Africa and Australia. These articles cover records management issues, (including autoclassification software, access barriers to administrative records and records management taxonomies), archival concerns (decolonization of archives, reprography, histories of archives, physical access challenges, archival theft, open government and Wikipedia); and professional concerns (job requirements in the international field, the need to further standardize Arabic archival terminology). Not only do the fourteen contributors write in different languages, come from different places and reflect on different issues, but their experience-levels range from new students of archival science to well-established professionals.

COMMA 2017-1 Literary Archives

This special issue of Comma devoted to literary archives has been devised and written mostly by active members of the Section for Archives of Literature and Art (SLA) of theInternational Council on Archives (ICA) and in particular by the new team which took responsibility for rebuilding the Section from 2010 onwards. The institutions which are the principal collectors of literary archives vary considerably from country to country, and this is described in more detail in the article by Veno Kauaria and David Sutton.