Building Digital Bridges: Digitisation for Collaboration and Networking (UNESCO)

Date and Hour: June 9th 2021 / 10:00 - 11:15 CET 

Language: English and French (interpretation will be provided in English/Spanish - Spanish/English, English/French - French/English).   

In collaboration with UNESCO Archives and the UK National Commission for UNESCO.

With the support of the Judicial Branch of the State of Mexico.


Collaboration and Networking explore how networking and collaboration enable us to empower archives and the profession to help us achieve our goals and objectives for the profession and our institutions through the support of allied professions while helping other sectors and the general public understand what we do. 


Webinar Summary 

Digitisation presents exciting new opportunities, but it is also a complex, resource-intensive process. Digitisation poses fundamental questions about global imbalances, deep-rooted systemic processes, and ownership of archival holdings. However, it can also be a mechanism to help build collaborative relationships and facilitate dialogue. The webinar will focus on the digitisation of UNESCO Constitution documents for UNESCO’s 75th anniversary, and will feature speakers from various national archives as part of an exploration of the challenges and opportunities of digitisation for empowering archival communities around the globe.



Adama Aly Pam

Adama Aly Pam

Chief Archivist of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 

Adama Aly Pam is Chief Archivist of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He is in charge of the management of the historical archives, library and records management programme. He is leading an ambitious project to modernize and enhance the institutional memory of the Organization. 

Mohammad Afsar RahbeenMohammad Afsar Rahbeen

Director of the National Archives of Afghanistan

Mohammad Afsar Rahbeen is Director of the National Archives of Afghanistan. He is a poet, translator and journalist, and member of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Writers. Among other official roles, he has acted as the Cultural Attaché for the Afghanistan Embassy in Tehran from 2014-2017, the Cultural Attaché for the Afghanistan Embassy in India from 2005-2008, and Chairman of Culture in the Ministry of Information and Culture from 2012-2014. He served as the head of Literature and Arts for Afghanistan state television RTV from 2001-2003. He has published numerous literary works and acted as Editor in Chief for publications including Awaaz magazine, Faryaad-e-Asr Weekly and Farhang magazine.

Seydou DiabateSeydou Diabate 

Director of the National Archives of Mali

Seydou Diabate is the Director of the National Archives of Mali since 2015, after having served as Deputy Director of the National Archives of Mali from 2005-2014. Since 2013, he has been the Secretary General of the Malian Association of Librarians, Archivists and Documentalists. He teaches courses in archival science at the University of Social Sciences and Management of Bamako, and in 2004 co-authored the Guide pratique de Gestion des archives des Collectivités Territoriales. 

gemma_maclagan_ramGemma Maclagan Ram

Head of Licensing, Publishing and Digitisation at The National Archives (United Kingdom)

Gemma Maclagan Ram is Head of Licensing, Publishing and Digitisation at The National Archives. She is currently leading the much anticipated 1921 Census Online project, which will make the largest English and Welsh Census to date available online in 2022. Her team oversees all aspects of licensing, both commercial and non-commercial, with the aim of expanding access to the collection and generating income. She is also in charge of publishing, the Image Library, the Digitisation team which produces digital images of the archives’ millions of records, and third-party collections. 

Gemma started her career at the Imperial War Museum, working across their public engagement area, with a focus on publishing and licensing. She then spent a decade in non-fiction book publishing, managing lists across a range of genres including history, pop science and art and design, before moving to The National Archives in 2017. 

Odile WelfeléOdile Welfelé 

Head of International Archival Cooperation at the National Archives of France

Odile Welfelé is an archivist-palaeographer and General Heritage Curator. Since 2009, she has been responsible for international archival cooperation at French National Archives (Archives de France). After completing a thesis on “Feminism and journalism - La Fronde (1897-1905) – The story of the first French feminist magazine” (Féminisme et journalisme – La Fronde (1897-1905)  - Histoire d’une entreprise de presse) at the École des Chartes, Odile embarked on her professional career working on contemporary scientific archives (national archives task force at the French National Centre for Scientific Research – CNRS), specialising more particularly in the current use of laboratory records and written recording practices in observational and experimental sciences (physics, mathematics, geography, chemistry, etc.). She then moved on to head the ethnological heritage task force at the Architecture and Heritage Department of the Ministry for Culture before taking charge of the plaster casts department at the French Monuments Museum (Musée des Monuments français), part of the Architecture and Heritage City (Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine). She is a member of the Executive Board of the International Council on Archives and of the Bureau of the International Association of Francophone Archives (Association internationale des archives francophones).



David Fricker

David Fricker

ICA President

David Fricker joined the National Archives of Australia as Director-General on 1 January 2012. David’s career has included positions within the Australian public and private sectors as well as consultancy roles. He has managed major projects in the fields of border management, business process improvement, systems architecture and digital records management. 

David is currently the President of the International Council on Archives and a Vice-Chair of the UNESCO Memory of the World International Advisory Committee.  He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Professional Member of the Australian Society of Archivists.