GLAM Update: Archives Association of BC

In March it will be two years since the AABC, BCMA and BCLA signed a BC GLAM MOU, which committed the three organizations to collaborate together and recognized the shared values the organizations and their members uphold across the sector. The central objectives of the MOU were to encourage member participation in learning activities and encourage knowledge transfer between members and institutions. Two years on, the three organizations have made great progress in meeting these objectives:

  • Each organization has introduced member rates for attendance at conferences and workshops for MOU partner organization members.
  • A Toolkit for BC GLAM sector partners was jointly produced and shared as a useable resource to grow existing partnerships and to create new ones within the local community.
  • A joint symposium was held in Richmond in May 2018 to showcase the power of collaboration in the gallery, library, archives and museum sectors. Given the extremely positive feedback received from this one-day session, the organizations decided to make it a recurrent event: the 2019 GLAM Symposium “Here and Now: Practical Ideas, Local Solutions” will be held on May 8th, 2019 prior to the BCLA conference. We are very excited about the day’s discussions and encourage all interested in future innovation and partnership to attend.

It has been fantastic to witness and be a part of this agreement coming to life and making a tangible difference for opportunities and collaboration for our members. Attending the first symposium, I was blown away by the “GLAM Slam”, hearing about exciting projects which museums, archives and libraries have been undertaking across the province, and being inspired to try similar approaches in my own institution. For the future, the MOU partner organizations have many more ideas in discussion, such as collaborative public GLAM outreach and advocacy projects and a dedicated online resource for all things GLAM. Where will GLAM be in the next few years? I hope there is a wider recognition of the alignment between the sectors, and consequently institutions are benefiting from collaborative ventures or increased funding. Regardless I know GLAM will be doing new, interesting and creative things, because one thing that’s certain is the power, magic and impact of what we can do when we work together.

Emma Wright is the President of the Archives Association of BC