Conference Registration now open

The Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) warmly invites you to the 2018 ARA Annual Conference to be held at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow from 29 August to 31 August 2018. Our theme is: 'People make records' and the draft programme is now available here

The ARA conference offers the best-value inclusive package for a three-day conference in our sector, and we also have excellent-value daily rates if you wish to attend just for one or two days. Even better value, early-bird prices are available if you register on the site by 30 April 2018. Details here

The slogan of the city where our Conference is taking place is 'People make Glasgow' and this provided the inspiration for our theme 'People make Records'. It has clearly inspired the responses to our call for papers in a huge variety of ways and we have tried to reflect this in the programme. There are sessions on representation, community archives, oral history and sound, innovative ways of increasing access and engagement, records management, the latest techniques and challenges in conservation, volunteers, workforce diversity and skills, and much more.

Within the overall theme, each day will have its own separate theme: People in Records; People using Records; People looking after Records. This is designed to make each day attractive in its own right for those who are unable to attend the whole conference – though of course we hope that as many of you as possible will benefit from being in Glasgow on all three days!

The programme follows the now well-established pattern with parallel strands on Archives and Records, Digital, and Conservation. Each day will feature a Keynote Speech, and at the Information Village you see and discuss the latest ideas from companies and innovators in our sector. However, this year we have also been able to squeeze in a few new ideas and some extra sessions. 'Lightning Talks' will see people pitching their big idea in a fast-paced session, and we have given greater prominence to Poster Presentations. Practical and hands-on issues will be in the form of '30 Minute Makeovers', and for those who wish to explore their creative side, Artist Archivist will be in residence. We will also be increasing our use of technology to offer a Tweetwall and voting in big debates.

All of this will give delegates exposure to the major issues affecting our profession in 2018, either through programme and keynote speakers, diverse expert panels, or networking with your peers. Our colleagues at ARA Scotland will be highlighting the wide diversity of recordkeeping in their home patch, and provided all the important local information for visitors. We also hope that there will be the opportunity for a visit to an archive.

Of course we haven't forgotten the social side: our official drinks reception this year will be at the impressive Glasgow City Chambers, courtesy of our friends at Bruynzeels. Obviously, as we are in Scotland, the Gala Dinner will feature a ceilidh band. And if you're feeling fit, why not join me the Chair's Morning Run along the River Clyde?

Finally the venue itself. The Grand Central is a refurbished nineteenth-century railway hotel in the heart of the city which positively oozes history. In 1927 it was the Glasgow destination for John Logie Baird's first-ever broadcast of television pictures in the UK – sent over 400 miles on telephone lines from London. The list of famous guests includes Laurel & Hardy, Frank Sinatra, John F Kennedy, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

A great venue, a fantastic city, and a varied and thought-provoking programme. You really won't want to miss #ARA2018.

See you in Glasgow!

Mike Anson
Chair, ARA Conference Committee

Joint ICA-ARA statement on 2019

After discussion and careful consideration, the International Council on Archives and the Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) have decided not to offer a joint conference in 2019. We tried hard, looking at a number of options, but in the end were not able to reconcile the needs of both organisations or their members.

Each organisation will now move forward with its own conference for 2019. The Executive Officers and the Secretary General of the ICA are in discussions with other venues and plan to communicate more information to the membership by mid-October 2018. The ARA is now looking at alternative 2019 venues in the UK and Republic of Ireland and will communicate the alternative choice to members in due course.

If ICA members have any questions or concerns they can contact Anthea Seles, Secretary General at:

ARA members should contact the CEO (John Chambers) at:


2018 Sponsors

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