Session 1.7 - New thinking in National Archives


Toivo Jullinen, Tatiana Antsoupova, Kevin Wong

Date Added:

24 October 2019

Chair: David Swift, Director, Queensland State Office, Treasurer PARBICA.

Thursday, 24 October 2019



a. Digital transformation: what it means and how to achieve it by Toivo Jullinen

Estonia is a society that has digitally transformed itself during last decades and has built an efficient, secure and transparent ecosystem that saves time and money and is user-friendly at the same time. This talk will describe how the National Archives of Estonia being part of that ecosystem has digitally transformed its way of offering traditional services and designing new ones.


Toivo Jullinen, Deputy National Archivist of Estonia, historian by training, joined the NAE in 2000. He was active at starting the project for building up digital preservation system for the NAE (2005). For years he was head of the Appraisal Committee at the NAE and is a co-author of the current Estonian archives act (2011). He is member of the Estonian Council on Digital Cultural Heritage and has been representing Estonia since 2003 as a member of the European Archives Group (EU). He served as the chair of the Document Lifecycle Management Forum (Brussels-London, 2008 to 2010) and is Estonian National Focal Point at the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.


b. How emerging technologies affect the 'physical and moral defence of archives': National Archives of Australia experimenting by Tatiana Antsoupova

This paper will report on the National Archives’ work in experimentation and prototyping as an individual institution and as part of collaboration. This includes testing of automation and machine learning algorithms for selecting archival records, helping build the Longitudinal Spine of Government Functions and looking further afield for how artificial intelligence and semantic analysis can influence what archives we will have in the future and how we can best provide the ‘physical and moral defence’ for them.


Tatiana Antsoupova worked in collecting and government archives for over 20 years, with 9 years at the Noel Butlin Archives Centre of the Australian National University and 14 years in various roles at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra. She is currently an Assistant Director, Governance and Policy, in the National Archives’ Information Governance area. Before coming to Australia, she was a government archivist in Russia. She has a degree in history and archives management from the Moscow State Institute of Archival and Historical Studies and completed special non-degree course work in archival studies at the School of Library and Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


c. Strengthening the management of public records in Singapore through a records management community of practice by Kevin Wong

The National Archives of Singapore (NAS), an institution of Singapore's National Library Board, has purview over all records created or received by public officers in government agencies in Singapore. Acting on its legal mandate under the National Library Board Act, the NAS recently intensified its efforts to strengthen records management activity in government agencies, as part of a government-wide records management programme. Recognising that the success of such a programme is largely dependent on the competency and commitment of public officers, whether those creating and receiving public records or those tasked to manage record-keeping for their agencies, NAS has stepped up its engagement with and training of such officers. Thus far, this has included employing a records management business partner model, running records management workshops and engagement sessions, and providing eLearning modules which all public officers could use to learn about their record-keeping responsibilities and best practices. However, this approach focuses on introducing basic records management knowledge. It does not address specific records management challenges in agencies.

Through this presentation, I aim to share on NAS’ most recent effort to seed a government-wide records management community of practice. The aims of such a community of practice (COP) are threefold: 1) to provide participants with opportunities to discover what other agencies are doing, and thereby find solutions to shared problems and identify best practices, 2) to provide participants with opportunities to interact informally and form networks with counterparts in other agencies, for advice and support, and 3) to foster a sense of professional identity and commitment to the field. The COP programme aims to inspire a more ground-up, self service approach to records management learning. It includes sharing by agencies on their records management journeys, small group discussions, and informal networking time. I will conclude with the learning points and feedback from the COP sessions and their impact on NAS’ relationship with agencies.


Kevin Wong

Kevin Wong is an Assistant Archivist in the Records Management department of the National Archives of Singapore (NAS), where he works with partner government agencies to implement a framework for managing their public records, in line with NAS' own government-wide records management programme.