Friday, 31 May 2019

International Archives Week: Designing the Archives in the 21st Century

As we bid farewell to the month of May this weekend, we start Monday off with International Archives Week. Running from June 3-9, this year's week long campaign focuses on Designing the Archives in the 21st Century:
"The campaign theme will focus on how in the 21st Century our profession - data and information managers, records managers and archivists - can provide opportunities for human-centred design approaches to ensure we deliver benefits to citizens, customers, stakeholders and communities."

Since the 1970s, the responsibility of caring for the archives of the Archdiocese of Toronto has fallen to a full-time archivist. The first Archdiocesan Archivist, Rev. Gordon Bean, was appointed by Archbishop Philip Pocock in 1969. Following this, the archives were designed with the intent of better serving the Chancery's own reference needs and the needs of historians.

Portrait of Rev. Gordon A. Bean
[after 1955]

Special Collections: Photograph Collection
PH24B/11P

In April 1996, the Archdiocese of Toronto consolidated their administrative offices and moved to 1155 Yonge Street, our current location. A section of the 5th floor was reserved for the archives, which includes a reading room, processing room, administrative offices and storage facilities.

Photograph from the blessing of the fifth floor. The newly designed archives are through the door in the upper left corner.
May 27, 1996

Special Collections: Photograph Collection
PH31C/1689P

The photographs below were created and used in the very first archival display at the new Catholic Pastoral Centre in May 1996.

They depict our previous building at 355 Church Street:

Chancery Office at 355 Church Street
May 1996

Special Collections: Photograph Collection
PH31C/1681N

And our new Catholic Pastoral Centre at 1155 Yonge Street:

Catholic Pastoral Centre at 1155 Yonge Street
May 1996

Special Collections: Photograph Collection
PH31C/1681N

Much was accomplished in the 20th century in terms of designing the Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. As we move into the 21st century, we look forward to expanding beyond serving the needs of Chancery Staff and historians, to engaging all members of our community.

As the physical design of our archives may be set in stone for the next little while, we look forward to turning our attention to designing programs, displays, and outreach initiatives that ensure we are delivering benefits to our users, staff, community members and stakeholders.

Our new display case on the 5th floor of the Catholic Pastoral Centre

For more about the history of ARCAT, click here.

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