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Calgary, Alberta (May 14, 2009)


A barcamp for Archivists. A BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. They are designed to be fast-paced, intensive, fun events with discussions, demos and interaction from participants.


ArchivesGeekFest will be a laid-back event designed for archivists interested in IT and digital culture to hang out, exchange ideas and have some geeky fun. There is no minimum IT experience requirement, alpha-geeks and wannabe-geeks are equally welcome. The only requirement is that you are expected to participate in some manner, whether that is doing a brief presentation, blogging about the event, facilitating a brainstorming group, etc..



Calgary, Alberta

Main Branch - Calgary Public Library,

616 MacLeod Trail, S.E.

May 14, 2009


This will be a one-day event before the Association of Canadian Archivists' conference at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in Calgary, Alberta.


SIS/Committee Meeting Conflict?

As with last year, some ACA Conference attendees will need to attend SIS & Committee meetings on the afternoon of May 14. You are still welcome to sign-up and join us for ArchivesGeekFest in the morning. We expect to split up into smaller, flexible hackfest/brainstorm groups in the afternoon for those that are still remaining.



Due to room size, registration is limited to 40 participants. Cost per person: $40 + HST which includes snacks, coffee and a snazy ArchivesGeekFest t-shirt. Sign-up for ArchivesGeekFest as part of your ACA Conference registration (http://archivists.ca/conference/registration.aspx). Be sure to indicate your t-shirt size (if you've already registered for the conference, just e-mail Duncan with this info).

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Please post any further questions about this event or issues with this wiki page to the ACA listserv (arcan-l@mailman.srv.ualberta.ca) with the word ArchivesGeekFest somewhere in the subject line.y mieszkaniowe wino kredyt mieszkaniowy sprzedam mieszkanie sprzedam bilet






9:30 - 10:30 Create Schedule.  Guess the Avatar.
10:30 - 11:30 IT Balderdash. Pimp My Website
12:00 - 1:30 LUNCH
1:30 - 2:30 SISER meeting
2:30 - 3:30 Lightning Talks
3:30 - 4:15

Group Brainstorming

4:15 - 4:30 PowerPoint Karaoke
  Planning for 2010


Participation Sign-up (please add your name to the list below)


Event facilitator (1)

  1. Jeremy Heil

Design ArchivesGeekFest T-Shirt (1)

  1. Jeremy Heil (done)

Prepare a Battledeck/PowerPoint Karaoke presentation (2)

  1. Jeremy Heil (done)
  2. Peter Van Garderen

Present a Battledeck/PowerPoint Karaoke presentation (2)

  1. Peter Van Garderen (although I doubt I can top Jim Suderman or John Roberts' performances from last year)
  2. Jill Teasley 

Prepare and present IT Balderdash terms/acronyms (5 to 10 terms?)  (1)

  1. Tim Hutchinson

"Pimp my website" - show and tell of web initiatives with group brainstorm of top 5 improvements (?)

  1. John Lund: City of Red Deer Archives
  2. Jeremy Heil: Stones: A Guide to the Social History of Kingston

Archives & IT Lightning Talk

  1. Peter Van Garderen: integrating open-source tools to create an OAIS-compliant digital preservation system (City of Vancouver Digital Archives project)
  2. Evelyn McLellan: comparison of file format validation software
  3. Greg Bak: mass archiving of unstructured data (i.e. files without metadata) (BTW I am coming with questions, not answers!)
  4. Jill Teasley - EDRMS

Group Brainstorming

     1. Archivists & Digital Preservation Debate - dry run


Post an ArchivesGeekFest summary to this wiki, ARCAN-L, Canadian Archivists Blog, and the ACA Bulletin (3)

  1. Greg Bak 

Post ArchivesGeekFest photos to this wiki and/or Flikr

  1. Susan Walker 



Facilities Info

  • ArchivesGeekFest will be held in the Main Branch of Calgary Public Library (just around the corner from the hotel)
  • free wireless access is available for all
  • at least one LCD projector will be available
  • participants are encourage to bring their own laptops or at least a USB memory key for transferring files




  1. Jeremy Heil - Queen's University Archives
  2. Peter Van Garderen, Artefactual Systems
  3. Evelyn McLellan, Artefactual Systems
  4. Greg Bak, Library and Archives Canada
  5. Tim Hutchinson, University of Saskatchewan Archives
  6. Susan Walker, Fort McMurray Historical Society
  7. Judi Rempel, Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta
  8. Les Mobbs, City of Vancouver Archives
  9. Jill Teasley, City of Vancouver Archives
  10. John D. Lund, Red Deer and District Archives


Suggested Activities

(This list still contains a lot of what we had last year...ok, I just copied and edited slightly from last year (hey, a lot of it worked really well!) - still, add or change whatever you want!)


  1. Guess the Avatar
    1. Create and upload your avatar to the wiki - Mii, Simpson face (http://simpsonizeme.com/), etc., etc. - but keep them anonymous!
  2. Review/revise agenda
  3. Battledecks/PowerPoint Karaoke
    1. what is Battledecks/Powerpoint Karaoke? Someone prepares a PowerPoint deck of random or related slides. No more than 10. Usually from some obscure, pre-existing presentation. Another person who has never seen the presentation before, pretends its theirs and 'sells it' to the audience. The hilarity ensues as the presenter tries to keep some coherent message to the whole thing without knowing what slide will pop-up next. Two presentations/presenters. Audience votes for winner. Winner gets lame prize (e.g. stuffed toy unicorn).
    2. a great example from DemoCampVancouver03: http://www.video.ca/video.php?id=1366004857
  4. IT Balderdash
    1. Last year we did the Archives & IT quiz, which was awesome (at least from my perspective - I won a toothbrush! - jer.).  This year, I suggest we try to define a list of awkward tech words and acronyms, with points awarded for a) accuracy, or b) originality (or best laugh).
  5. Archives & IT Lightning Talks
    1. short 10-15 min presentations
    2. PowerPoint, demos and/or just a steady stream of chatter
    3. audience feedback/questions during presentation
    4. possible topics: "Look, my IT rules!", "Help!, my IT sucks!", digitization projects, putting databases online, web exhibits, archives information system upgrades, electronic records preservation, e-records systems RFPs, blogging, why GoogleBooks is evil or good, what I learned at conference/course xyz, etc.
    5. please propose more... (nothing formal expected, feel free to use something directly from work, a good way to get feedback on existing, in-progress projects)
  6. Hackfest/Group Brainstorm Projects - break up into groups, report back at end of afternoon
    1. eg, fun: functional requirements for the world's worst Archives IT system/website (hint: good way to figure out what the ideal system is by flipping it around)
    2. eg, geekie: add a GoogleMap mashup to your online archival descriptions
    3. eg, serious: let's solve this pesky little appraisal of electronic records problem, once and for all.
    4. please propose more (nothing formal expected, feel free to use something from work, a good way to get feedback and actual work done on existing, in-progress projects)



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