Glossary of terms often used in ICA

Type: Terminology


ACOM : See Audit Commission

Access to Memory : See AtoM

AGA : See Annual General Assembly

AIAF:  Association Internationale des Archives Francophones, an organization of institutions, professional associations and individual archivists who speak French. Its main achievement is a portal, PIAF (Portal international des Archives francophones), providing professional information and online training modules. The AIAF is a partner of ICA.

Annual General Assembly: The yearly meeting of ICA voting members. Observers can attend. See  the ICA Constitution. 

Archival Solidarity : A project of SPA, which promotes archivists helping archivists across national boundaries. Archival solidarity is a project supported by the Programme Commission.

Archivists without borders  See AsF

AsF : Arxivers sense Fronteres, Archivists without Borders, Archivistes sans Frontières. An international NGO based in Barcelona, Spain, with associations in France and Mexico, among others, whose members volunteer to work on international projects supporting archival development. AsF is a member of ICA.

Archivum : This is one of the former names of ICA archival review (see JANUS and COMMA). Each issue was devoted to a single topic, and it also carried the proceedings of the international congress.

AtoM : Access to Memory. An ICA flagship project initiated by the ICA Human Rights Working Group to develop open source software that supports archival functions.

Audit Commission : The ICA knows that its ability to deliver against its strategic plans is critical to its own success and the achievements of its members. Consequently, the Audit Commission has a vital role of evaluating the performance of the ICA programmes and the Council's internal and external communications, as defined in the Constitution.

Beijing agenda : A document agreed by a joint meeting of ICA and IFLA held on 1 September 1996, between the congresses of the two organizations in Beijing, and providing a framework for future co-operation between them.

Blue Shield : The Blue Shield is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. It is the protective emblem specified in the 1954 Hague Convention (Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict) for marking cultural sites to give them protection from attack in the event of armed conflict. The Blue Shield network consists of organizations dealing with museums, archives, audiovisual supports, libraries, as well as monuments and sites. See also ICBS

Branch : See Regional Branches

"Category" members : The system used by ICA to distinguish between types of members. Currently there are categories A, B, C, and D. See link to "Our members". Also see Members

Business plan : The ICA strategic directions are underpinned by a business plan indicating how ICA will meet these ambitious objectives. This document shows what ICA is going to do, and when. The framework for this business plan has been informed by the draft work programmes of many branches and sections. The plan comprises the main activities in the organization, including projects and other initiatives proposed by ICA bodies and individual members. The ICA Business Plan is kept under constant review to take account of new opportunities and challenges, and the new projects and programmes which will be developed accordingly.

CCAAA : See Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations

CITRA : The International Conference of the Round Table on Archives (rather  known by the French acronym CITRA, the English acronym is never used). The last CITRA was organized in 2011.

COMMA : is the professional and scientific journal of ICA. COMMA is published twice a year in hard-printed copies, and freely available for members only.

CongressICA International congresses are held every four years and are the major international gathering of the profession. They are open to all.

Constitution : The rules governing ICA

Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives associations : CCAAA represents the interests of worldwide professional archive organisations with interests in audiovisual materials including films, broadcast television and radio, and audio recordings of all kinds. Although predominantly working in the public sector, we reflect a broad range of interests across the broadcast media, arts, heritage, education and information sectors. The professional archivists that CCAAA ultimately represents work in institutions such as archives, libraries and museums at national and local level, university teaching and research departments, and broadcasting organisations. ICA has got a representative in the Council.

Curacao Consensus : The agreement reached at the CITRA meeting in Curacao in 2006 for reform in the management of ICA, adopted by the AGM.

Deputy Secretary General : The Deputy Secretary General (Deputy Secretaries General) is (are) appointed on the recommendation of the Secretary General. Each Deputy Secretary General is responsible to the Executive Board. The Deputy Secretary General(s) is (are) responsible for the planning and execution of the ICA programme as directed by the Secretary General. Deputy Secretaries general can be in charge of a specific domain (for example, Programme, Congress, Annual Conference). 

EB : See Executive Board

European Conference : Prior to the creation of EURBICA, European branch of ICA, the ICA Section of professional association (SPA) organized a series of European conferences on archives, in recognition of the many SPA-member associations in European countries. When EURBICA was created, the conferences moved to a co-organizer framework, with both SPA and EURBICA represented on the planning committee.

Executive Board : The body responsible for carrying out the policies and programmes adopted by the AGM.  Its composition and  powers are listed in  the Constitution. It normally meets at the Annual Conference or Congress and once in the Spring.

FIDA : The ICA fund established in 1975 with the aim of assisting development initiatives in the regional branches as outlined in  the Constitution.

Flash:  Flash is the newsletter of the ICA. It's packed with news about ICA activities and current issues in archives. Flash comes out two times a year and is only available to ICA members. It is published in French, English, Spanish and Arabic.

International archives development fund : See FIDA

ICA-ISAAR (CPF) : International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families. See ICA standards

ICA-ISAD (G) : General International Standard Archival Description. See ICA standards

ICA-ISDF : International standard for describing functions. See ICA standards

ICA-ISDIAH : International standard for describing institutions with archival holdings. See ICA standards

ICA-Req : ICA standard "Principles and functional requirements for records in electronic office environments". See ICA standards and ISO

ICA standards : ICA plays a leading role in developing and implementing  standards which cover the main areas of professional practice throughout the world while respecting as far as possible the various jurisdictions, cultures and professional concepts.

ICOM : International Council of Museums . An ICA partner, in particular in the framework of the ICBS.

ICOMOS : International Council on Monuments and Sites. An ICA partner, in particular in the framework of the ICBS.

IFLA : International Federation of Library Associations. An ICA partner, in particular in the framework of the ICBS. See also Beijing agenda.

International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) : The International Committee of the Blue Shield, founded in 1996, comprises representatives of the five Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working in this field: the International Council on Archives, the International Council of Museums, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations. National Blue Shield Committees have been founded in a number of countries. The Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS), founded in December 2008, is coordinating and strengthening international efforts to protect cultural property at risk of destruction in armed conflicts or natural disasters. The ANCBS has its headquarters in The Hague. See also Blue Shield

International Conference of the Round Table on Archives : See CITRA

ISO  International Organization for Standardization. Among other standards, responsible for ISO 15489 (records management) and ISO 8601 (writing dates and times in numbers; referred to in ICA ISAD (G) standard). The ICA standard Principles and functional requirements for records in electronic office environments has been adopted by ISO in 2009.

Janus : Janus was the former name of ICA professional and scientific journal.

Logo : The ICA logo represents the double perspective of the archivist, towards the past and towards the future. It also depicts the circulation of different types of information, with which archives are concerned, from the earliest forms of documents through the electronic byte. The logo should be used on all official ICA business and publications. Copies are available in electronic form from the secretariat.

MCOM : See Management Commission

Management Commission :this body was suppressed in 2012 under the new constitution. 

Members : The ICA is a successful and effective organization because of its diverse membership. The Council has a global membership drawn from all types of record keeping bodies, large and small. There are four types of membership which split between institutional (central or national archival institutions, national professional associations and international organisations) and individual (any professional archivist or student archivist). All members are equally valued by ICA and benefit from being part of an international network where they can learn about professional practice, exchange views and news, seek help and give archives a strong profile in the international community. See also "Category members"

Paris Office : Colloquial reference to the ICA headquarters in the French National Archives complex in Paris.

PCOM  The short version, pronounced PEE-com, of the ICA Programme Commission. See Programme Commission

PIAF : Portail International Archivistique Francophone. A site created by AIAF to provide free training and professional resources in French. See AIAF

Programme Commission : The Programme Commission is headed by an elected ICA vice-president and is responsible for all professional and technical programs of ICA  according to  the Constitution.

RAMP studies : A series of volumes which were produced under the UNESCO records and archives management programme. Some of them remain valid. Available here.

Regional branches : The 13 regional groupings of ICA members. Normally known by their abbreviation, which mainly end in ICA, e.g. PARBICA (the PAcific Regional Branch if ICA). Regional branches elect their own offices and carry out their own programmes, which must be consistent with the ICA constitution and strategic directions.

Roundtable : See CITRA.

Secretariat : The Headquarters in Paris, to which all communications should be directed. The Secretariat is responsible for the administration of ICA (general matters, membership matters, correspondence, preparation for meetings, etc.). Its role is also to support the membership and carry out decision of the General Assembly and other ICA governing bodies.   

Secretary General : The Secretary General is employed by ICA as its Executive Director. He or she is responsible for the administration of the business of ICA and the management of the ICA Secretariat and staff. The Secretary General is accountable to the Executive Board. The Secretary General shall plan and co‐ordinate the programme activities of ICA and its subordinate bodies, circulate information relating to the business of ICA and prepare for the Annual General Meeting and meetings of the Executive Board. He also maintains relations between ICA and other organizations.

Sections : With the regional branches, the principal structures within ICA for members to share "common professional interests or activities" and to "strengthen co-operation within their professional competence," as defined in f the Constitution. Sections are grouping members either individuals or institutions.

SPA : The initials for the Section of Records Management and Archival Professional Associations, pronounced "spa," almost never called ess-pee-a. For most of its history, the name of the section was the Section of Professional Associations, from which came the acronym "SPA". The formal name was changed to accommodate the membership of ARMA International, the records management association, but the acronym remained.

Strategic direction : At its Annual General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur (July 2008), ICA committed itself to a new Strategic Direction over the next ten years, and in particular to six key strategic objectives. They are underpinned by a business plan. See also business plan

Study series : One of ICA publications. Studies are shorter works on professional subjects.

Vice-Presidents  The ICA President is assisted by Vice-presidents whose role are defined in the constitution : Vice-President Finances (elected) and Vice-President Programme (elected).

UNESCO : The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. UNESCO was instrumental in the foundation of ICA. In 1996, UNESCO reorganized its relations with NGOs and accorded ICA the closest status, that of associate relations, enjoyed by around 12 other organizations. 

Working languages : The working languages of ICA are English and French, following the UN model, stated in  the Constitution.