ICA Statement on Exceptions for LAMs - SCCR36

Mr. Chairman, I represent the International Council on Archives. I thank the Chair and the Secretariat for the draft action plans. I assume that the various activities in these plans will advance the work on exceptions for LAMs. But to what end? It is not clear how these activities lead to the end goal, which presumably is agreement on a solution, be it a treaty, model law, or a statement of principles.

From the ICA’s perspective, I have questions about specific components of the action plans.

  • I thank you for your clarification of “typology,” which has mystified many of us.
  • Why do we need more brainstorming? Isn’t that simply more talking? Brainstorming should be done at the beginning of a project, not at this stage.
  • But my biggest question is why we need a scoping study of archives. What exactly is a scoping study? Why is archives being separated in this way? How do you propose to deal with the many archives that are part of libraries and museums? This committee has always treated libraries and archives together, and it is disheartening to see them separated in the plan. I have been assured that the intention is not to isolate archives, but how will the data collected in such a study relate to the museum study currently underway, or to the library sector?  Apparently the Crews study provides sufficient data for libraries but not for archives, even though archives have always been included in the Crews study. Data from 3 separate studies conducted by different people using different methods to address different research questions are unlikely to add anything to what we already know – that LAMS have common interests already identified in document SCCR34/5 (the former chair’s chart).

In short, the proposed action plans separate our clear common needs, ignore the considerable work already done by the Member States, and stall the progress already achieved. The NGOs representing LAMs have produced an alternative action plan that streamlines the work and keeps the three sectors together. We urge member states to consider this alternative.


Jean Dryden
International Council on Archives