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2021: Trustworthy Records and Relationships

With a new year upon us, we at Artefactual are feeling, dare I say it, reflective and rather tenacious. Covid is still here but so are we.

The global pandemic continues to affect our lives, including our relationships between colleagues and clients but also friends and family. Covid-19 and its mutating variants have affected work life for every Artefactual team member. Of course remote work has been part of our work culture for years but working from home in physical isolation during a global pandemic simply isn’t the same as working from home when you want to.

Last year saw several Artefactualites move on to other countries and other jobs or into retirement. Both past presidents of the company, Evelyn McLellan and Peter Van Garderen, have stepped away from day-to-day work with Artefactual though they remain on the governance team. We are welcoming some new faces in 2022 and announcements will be made about that in good time.

With the boundaries between personal and professional lives becoming more porous, workforce dynamics have changed. At Artefactual we have been investigating what we value as a company. This is a process that we began in 2020 and dug into in 2021. Identifying what ideas are most important to us has been a rewarding task and we hope to keep improving and seeking feedback on what we have learned and how we act.

We have written about and continue to reflect on the practice of care and what that means for our relationships and our services. We are turning more often to our core values – openness, trustworthiness, collaboration, and sustainability to see how they guide our work. Caring about each other and the work we do is not transactional; it’s relational. We seek long-term relationships with our clients so that we can increase capacity in the practice of archival access and digital preservation.

Partnership works best when being truly open to what we are being told – really hearing what people are asking for or telling us. How can we be the best partner to those who care for cultural memory? What does it mean to be a partner? What does sustainability mean both inside the company and within our larger community of practice? These are the questions we asked ourselves in 2021 and that we will continue to ask each other and our clients in 2022.

Artefactual completed some of our largest and most rewarding projects last year and we are proud of the wide-ranging work that we do and the clients we have. There is no shortage of interest in our products and 2022 has already started as one of our busiest years ever. As we move into this new year, this pandemic world, this new work, we want to ensure that our values show up in our interactions with each other and with our prospective and current customers. This is our wish, our resolution, our plan. Open. Collaborative. Sustainable. Trustworthy.

Happy New Year!

A typical staff meeting in 2021

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