February 14, 2014, Friday from 9am-4pm at the Frederic Wood Theatre  

8:00 – 9:00


9:00 – 9:20

Opening Remarks

9:20 – 10:00

Bruce Montgomery

10:00 – 10:40

Silvia Schenkolewski

10:40 – 11:10


11:10 – 11:50

Rania El-Gazzar

11:50 – 12:30

Hrvoje Stancic

12:30 – 1:30


1:30 – 2:10

Mpho Ngoepe

2:10 – 2:50

Basma Makhlouf Shabou

2:50 – 3:30

Anna Szlejcher

3:30 – 4:00

Closing Remarks



Rania El-Gazzar – “Cloud Computing Adoption Challenges in Developing Countries: Case of Egypt”

Abstract: Cloud computing is receiving a noticeable interest from practice and academia nowadays. Cloud computing brings promising capabilities to enterprises; however, it also poses major challenges as well. These challenges vary from industry to another, country to another, as well as company to another. This involves legal, ethical, cultural, and technical issues regarding the adoption of cloud computing. These issues affect the way enterprises perceive and use cloud services, for instance, the notion of involving third parties to maintain enterprise data and IT infrastructure makes the responsibility of and control over data is fuzzy. This in addition to migration hassle makes it difficult to ensure reliable storage and preservation of records. Alongside these cloud related issues, there are regional issues – particularly in developing countries – such as limited technical expertise, bandwidth, and IT resources. A case of cloud computing adoption in developing world demonstrates how technical, cultural (i.e., at the country and enterprise level), and legal issues influence enterprises integration and use of cloud services as well as change management and preserving records.

Basma Makhlouf Shabou – “Archives and the Preservation of Human Rights and Public Memory in Democratic Transition: Case of Tunisian Revolution”

Abstract: According to the Universal Declaration on Archives that was adopted by UNESCO in November 2011, “Open access to archives enriches our knowledge of human society, promotes democracy, protects citizens’ rights and enhances the quality of life.” The accessibility of the records and data of public institutions is no longer a simple and desired quality in information resources, but also a necessary condition for the democratization of government activities. Transparency of policies and government processes is now a key issue in the emerging democracies in the Arab world. In Tunisia, for example, during the last decades, the relationship between citizens and public authorities is marked by real tension and disagreement due to the absence of communication about public affairs. Transparency and openness of data for public communication is not a very developed area in Tunisia because of the repression that distinguished the last political regime. After its revolution, Tunisia has confirmed its commitment to a restructuring of its constitutional and democratic institutions. These recent developments have repositioned the archives as relevant evidence in support of two areas: government activity and human rights. Our presentation will set the context of the Tunisian revolution and the role of records and archives in democratic transition in Tunisian public services. Examples and pertinent cases will be presented and explained.

Bruce Montgomery – “Seizure and Repatriation: Iraq’s Contested Archives”

Abstract: More than a decade after the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, most Iraqi state documents stemming from Saddam Hussein’s regime and his security forces remain in the hands of various parties in the United States. The U.S. seized the majority of them in the invasion and occupation, more than 100 million pages of documents and thousands of audio and videotapes from Hussein’s various bureaucracies of repression. Another 5.5 million pages of secret police files, seized by Kurdish peshmerga in the 1991 uprising and chronicling the notorious Anfal genocide against Iraqi Kurdistan in the 1980s, also remain in American custody. Additional millions of documents that once belonged to the Ba’ath Party were also spirited out of Iraq under an agreement between the Pentagon and the Iraq Memory Foundation, a private Washington, D.C.-based group that entered Baghdad in 2003 as a U.S. military contractor to preserve the records of Saddam Hussein’s regime. These documents were later deposited at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University amid much controversy. Finally, a rich trove of looted Iraqi Jewish texts, some dating back centuries, was discovered by U.S. military forces in the basement of the Mukhabarat’s headquarters in Baghdad and transported to the U.S. under an arrangement providing for their repatriation after conservation treatment. These materials have since become internationally contested cultural property between Iraqi officials and international Jewish groups and others whom seek to block its return to Iraq. This paper will address the complexities of seizure and repatriation surrounding each of these sets of Iraqi records.

Mpho Ngoepe – “To Hell or Heaven? Destruction and Repatriation of Records in pre- and post-Apartheid South Africa: Implications on Social Memory and Justice”

Abstract: In terms of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act (No. 43 of 1996), ‘no public records may be transferred to an archives repository, destroyed, erased or otherwise disposed of without the written authorisation of the national archivist’. Yet archivists and activists in archival arena talk of a chunk of records destroyed on the eve of democratic South Africa and the years immediately after 1994 without the written authority from the national archivist. This is also highlighted in Chapter 8 of Volume One of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report which reveals ‘mass destruction of records’ sent to ‘hell’ (destruction) as opposed to ‘heaven’ (national archives repository for permanent preservation). This has had severe impact on the country’s social memory and justice. This paper reports on the results of the informetrics analysis of media coverage of the extent of records destruction in South Africa and the implications on social memory and justice. Chapter 8 of the TRC report is revisited and a narrative of what transpired after the release of the report is provided.

Key words: disposal, destruction, social memory, justice, archives, records, South Africa

Silvia Schenkolewski – “Symposium presentation: Jewish Archives and Jewish Archival Documents – Israel and the Diasporas”

Abstract: Throughout 2000 years of exile, Jews have amassed documentation reflecting their creativity and organization wherever they lived. Communal archives dating since the Middle Ages have survived. In addition, documentation about Jews is found in archives of rulers, governments, and cities. Conditions changed in the twentieth century due to new developments: the rise of the Jewish national movement, leading to the establishment of the State of Israel, and the destruction of thousands of communities and their cultural possessions in the Holocaust perpetrated against European Jewry by the Nazis.

The centrality of Eretz Israel and Israel in Zionist ideology led to the concept that it should be the locale for Jewish archives. Thus, for example, in 1933 the archives of the World Zionist Movement were transferred from Berlin to Jerusalem. The situation became more acute after WWII: if entire or partial archives of destroyed communities survived, to whom do they belong – the states in which they were created or the Jewish People? This dilemma also faces existing communities without archival consciousness. Should everything be concentrated in Israel?

In recent years there has been a change in the paradigm of Israel-Diaspora relations. In a global trans-national world, with constantly developing technical means, archives can remain in the communities that created them, provided they are maintained and made available to the public in accordance with accepted archival practice.

Hvroje Stancic – “From Traditional to Digital Archives: The Case of Croatia”

Abstract: The author shows the transition from traditional to digital archives in Croatia. There are 18 state archives in Croatia. Most of them are still working with the traditional archival materials but are introducing digitization activities. On the other hand, several archives are already deeply involved in the digitization processes. The author also gives the example of development of national digital repository of archival materials – ARHiNET. The author shows how the digitization activities are aligned with the national strategy for digitization of cultural heritage being developed. Also, the author gives the example of development of e-government services and comments on the issues it can potentially raise in connection of long-term preservation of records created by such services. Finally, the author gives insight into the state of the legal framework relevant for the management of electronic records. All addressed aspects of archival activities together show the multifacetedness of issues significant for enabling appraisal of electronic records into modern digital archives, but also show the modalities for possible (digital) repatriation of archival records.

Anna Szlejcher – “Some considerations about the records of the missing persons in Argentina”

Abstract: Argentina are trying to recover from a traumatically silenced past and meet the claims of post–dictatorial societies. The complex evolution of society in our country, together with the transformation of the socio-political regional and international panorama, has generated interpretative challenges that are still under debate. This highlights the special importance of human rights and open archives for documentation of crimes against humanity in times of dictatorship and stratocracy and the importance of research on historical memory and the role of records and archives.

The preservation of records is essential to concern with ensuring the survival of such documents, which are seen as essential in determining responsibility, in guaranteeing any eventual damages, in reconstructing social history or in preserving the memory and identity of the missing persons; as well as in dealing with the implicit ethical questions raised by the custody and care of such documents.  It was in relation to the crimes of lese-humanity carried out in Latina America and Argentina, so close to our feelings in favour to the human rights and the need to preserve the testimonies belonging to the judicial archives.

Archives can not only be used, but that it also must be expanded with the entry of new parts, such as oral histories or documentary series, and that it is only meaningful if it is widened and also guarantees the possibility of referral.