The Centre for International Study of Contemporary Records and Archives (CISCRA) was established in October 1999 by the President of the University of British Columbia (UBC) and approved by the Board of Governors as the locus of local, national and international research partnerships about electronic records and archives.

Mission: The Centre for International Study of Contemporary Records and Archives develops, seeks and administers grants for, and disseminates the findings and outcomes of projects aimed at knowledge creation and mobilization in the area of electronic records and archives.

History: Building upon the results of the UBC Project, The Preservation of the Integrity of Electronic Records (Website Link), CISCRA has been responsible for several research endeavours, central among them the InterPARES Project, the Digital Records Forensics Project, and the Records in the Cloud Project. These and other projects webpages are accessible below.

Director: Dr. Luciana Duranti, Chair and Professor, Archival Studies ( lucianaduranti.ca )

Headquarters: School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies ( slais.ubc.ca )

Contact: Elise Koshman, Administrative Assistant, ekoshman@mail.ubc.ca | Phone 604-822-3774 | Fax 604-822-6006


InterPARES Trust

(2013-2018)

InterPARES Trust aims at producing the frameworks that will support the development of integrated and consistent local, national and international networks of policies, procedures, regulations, standards and legislation concerning digital records entrusted to the Internet, to ensure public trust grounded on evidence of good governance, and a persistent digital memory.

Records in the Cloud

(2012-2016)

Records In the Cloud (RIC) is a 4-year collaboration between the University of British Columbia (UBC) School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, the Faculty of Law, and the Sauder School of Business; the University of Washington School of Information; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science; and the Mid-Sweden University Department of Information Technology and Media, supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant.

InterPARES

(1999-2012)

The International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES) aims at developing the knowledge essential to the long-term preservation of authentic records created and/or maintained in digital form and providing the basis for standards, policies, strategies and plans of action capable of ensuring the longevity of such material and the ability of its users to trust its authenticity. The Canadian funding for InterPARES has been provided by two SSHRC MCRI grants, one SSHRC CURA grant, and the University of British Columbia.

The Digital Records Forensics (DRF) Project was a 3-year collaboration between the University of British Columbia's School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS), the UBC Faculty of Law, and the Computer Forensics Division of the Vancouver Police Department. This project was funded by a SSHRC Standard Grant.


Other Projects

At common law, records offered into evidence are subject to established rules of authentication, hearsay (with its traditional canons of exclusion), best evidence, and recently, with respect to digital evidence, tests of system integrity. The application of these rules is severely challenged by an inconsistent understanding of the nature of digital materials. This project addresses problem areas in the existing law of evidence identified via prior research, and propose solutions consisting of: refined concepts, criteria and procedures; re-formulation of evidentiary admissibility rules; and by defining procedures for the long-term, trustworthy preservation of documentary evidence used in trials. This project is funded for 3 years by a SSHRC Insight grant.

Innovation is key to improving Canada's productivity, economic prosperity and quality of life. Research and development (R&D) is an important factor in stimulating innovation. Key participants in R&D - both as funders and as performers - are found in the private, higher education and not-for-profit sectors, as well as in government departments and agencies. This project has investigated, through a synthesis of knowledge from legal scholarship and practice, and from diplomatics and archival theory and best practices, the disjuncture between the statutory and regulatory framework for evidence, and the records now prevalent in the digital economy.

Document: Final Report

International Council on Archives and InterPARES have collaborated in the developing modules of education in digital preservation, and a multi-lingual archival terminology database.

View Introduction Video for Modules
  • Module 1: Introduction - A Framework for Digital Preservation
  • Module 2: Developing Policy and Procedures for Digital Preservation
  • Module 3: Organizational Culture and its Effects on Records Management
  • Module 4: An Overview of Metadata
  • Module 5: From ad hoc to Governed - Appraisal Strategies for Gaining Control of Records in Network Drives
  • Module 6: Email Management and Preservation
  • Module 7: Management and Preservation of Records in Web Environments
  • Module 8: Cloud Computing Primer
Download Education Modules
View Multilingual Archival Terminology

University Institutional Repositories: Copyright and Long-Term Preservation was a collaborative research project between the University of British Columbia's Faculy of Law and School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. The project sought to address directly the issues of copyright and long-term preservation in university IRs before irreparable damage was done to the scholarly and research patrimony of the university.

This project was jointly funded by the University of British Columbia Hampton Research Fund and the InterPARES Project.

This project, funded by a Peter Wall Institute grant, brought together an international group of researchers in the disciplines that were called to address and solve these issues - information science, law, law enforcement, and journalism - to explore them focusing on the relationship between organizations and client groups (citizens, customers, etc.), in order to form an understanding of the meaning of trust in the context outlined above that can lead to the identification of the instruments we need to protect the balance between conflicting rights, such as privacy and access, secrecy and transparency, the right to know and the right to oblivion, in globally connected networks.

UNESCO Memory of the World

(2005-06 | 2012)

The CLAID Project: Adapting InterPARES Findings to the Needs of Caribbean and Latin America Countries, funded by a Memory of the World Program grant. This initiative brought to Vancouver researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and Mexico.

Download Documents

In cooperation with InterPARES and UBC, and with the support of a SSHRC Connection Grant, UNESCO organized an international conference from 26 to 28 September 2012 in Vancouver (BC) that explored the issues affecting the preservation of digital documentary heritage and produced the UNESCO/UBC Vancouver Declaration.

Vancouver Declaration (English)
Vancouver Declaration (Portuguese)
Presentations
Webcast Recordings
Download Full Proceedings (ZIP)
View Compressed Proceedings (PDF)