21 Nov 2013 01:00

International Archives Congress in Brussels

This weekend (23-24 November) the Belgian State Archives hosts the first ever Annual Conference of the International Council on Archives (ICA) at the Square meeting centre on Accountability, Transparency and Access to Information’.

Almost 500 archivists and information managers from all across the world gather this weekend in Brussels for an international congress with a varied programme. They will exchange ideas about the future of the archive sector and take strategic decisions. Philippe Courard, Secretary of State for Science Policy, opens the congress on Saturday morning. Willem Debeuckelaere, president of the Belgian Commission for the Protection of Privacy (the “Privacy Commission”) also addresses the plenum.

National Archivist Karel Velle explains why this world congress matters for the Belgian archives community: “First and foremost it is an outstanding opportunity to draw attention to the wider international context of our profession. We all want to keep updated about current trends such as the Open Government Partnership and the Open Data movement, and about the challenges and prospects of new technologies. A second reason has to do with the professional agenda: many of us have been reflecting for a long time now about which steps the archives sector has to take in the course of the coming decade, without knowing what the future will look like exactly however.”

Karel Velle is resolutely convinced that archivists can make a significant contribution to a more efficient administration and better management: information with high added value for society must be identified and registered, quickly made accessible and remain accessible in the future. Archives services must collaborate – with each other and with professionals from other sectors – in order to create a digital network for archives so that the huge volumes of relevant information can be linked digitally across borders and be presented within the context in which they were created. The final aim is to enable citizens, businesses and stakeholders to do useful things with the information – scientific research, re-use, developing new innovative products, etc.

The complete programme is available via http://www.ica.org/15130/about-the-annual-conference-2013/programme-of-the-conference-2013.html

Practical information

23-24 November 2013, start: 9.00 am
Square—Brussels meeting Centre – Glass Entrance
Rue Mont des Arts – 1000 Brussels

More info: http://icarchives.webbler.co.uk/14495/about-the-annual-conference-2013/2013-host-city.html
Holders of a valid press card can register for free. Please contact MCI Brussels via ICA2013@mci-group.com
Press contact
Karin Van Honacker – karin.van_honacker@arch.be, 02/548 38 23 or 02/513 76 80