Download the Conference Handbook here.


Latest Conference news!!

Conference accommodation at the conference hotel is now full. We are still accepting bookings for conference without accommodation and bookings for day delegates.

Conference 2018: a Day in the Life?

ARA Annual Conference, Glasgow, Scotland – 29-31 August 2018
Day Themes: ‘People in Records’; ‘People using Records’; ‘People looking after Records’.
Bursary Winners Announced

With two months to go until the 2018 ARA Conference in Glasgow, you may want to attend the full three-day programme, but cannot. If so, why not hop on a cheap early flight or train and attend for just one day? The great thing is that our Glasgow venue is in the concourse of Glasgow Central train station and just a short bus ride from Glasgow airport.

Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

For ARA members, the day rate comes in at just £190. And, in an innovation for 2018, Conference will consider designated individual day themes that work coherently across the three main streams: archives and records, digital and conservation. The three daily themes are:

  • ‘People in Records’
  • ‘People using Records’
  • ‘People looking after records’


People in Records – 29 August

Leading off the first day is keynote speaker Professor Gus John. Gus will speak for the marginalised in the records and explain how record-keepers and archives can act as a counter-weight to the emergence of ‘cultural enclaves’.

Professor Gus John

Scotland will feature heavily in the day’s programme, which will consider how we improve the representation of under-served communities in records, as well as six concentrated sessions on how to better understand, preserve and exploit oral history, film and sound records. The day’s individual papers will include women’s resources, community archives and engagement, employee records, oral history fieldwork, digital acquisition, video archives, people shaping business records, and more.

People Using Records – 30 August

Day two starts with a keynote from Michelle Caswell of UCLA taking us on a thought-provoking journey about the crucial importance of records for the identity of marginalised communities and how they can strengthen community cohesion.

Michelle Caswell

There follow morning sessions on rethinking the concept of ‘users’ as audiences and helping people navigate machine-made records, along with promoting access to records as diverse as pension papers and our shared industrial heritage. In the afternoon, we go a step further into access and representation and using records in organisations, with a focus on helping disabled people and residents of care homes access archives, partnerships in Black and Asian-community heritage, using data visualisation tools and the archives of the medical profession, and much more.

People looking after Records – 31 August

The final day of Conference really enables you to broaden your horizons. Charismatic disability rights activist and thought-leader Martyn Sibley will kick things off by challenging us to think afresh about inclusive records management and archiving.

We then branch out into three inter-connected streams – diversity in the workforce, volunteers, people in records management – alongside a complementary conservation stream. Morning sessions here include a significant Scottish thread and papers on information asset-owner engagement and education, what works and what doesn’t in volunteering and collaboration, marginalised workers, record-keepers working in isolated environments, network-collaboration, and using crises as opportunity, to name but a few.

In the afternoon, we expand the conversation with reflections on the three days and panel sessions on digital skills and independence and support, alongside specialist items on the preservation of sporting and religious records.

Martyn Sibley

Don’t Forget…

All the above is but a taster of what is on offer. As ever, we retain an impressively-full preservation conservation stream, numerous networking events (including a gala dinner and sponsored reception at the historic Glasgow City Chambers).

But there are lots of other innovations this year, too. We will have short ‘lightning talks’ on specialised subjects, ‘thirty-minute makeovers’, and posters by ‘the artist archivist’ on day two (featuring work by Peter Morphew of the University of Glasgow).

The ARA Conference enables you ‘pick and mix’ your preferred sessions across all the major ‘streams’ and also catch up with many of those you have to miss (we video a number of sessions each day for you).

So, come and join several hundred colleagues and peers for tailored presentations and workshops that address the main issues facing our sector today, such as representation and diversity in records, amongst users and of those responsible for caring for records, as well as service provision, records and accountability and how we should evolve as a profession. It’s a whole year’s worth of training in three days!

Announcing our Bursary Winners

Congratulations to all of this year’s Conference bursary winners. Here’s the roll of honour:

ARA Bursaries

Susan Shanks

Alicia Chilcott

Jennifer Hancock

Rachael Jones


New Professionals Bursary

Gillian Boll

Sarah Wilcox (one-day winner)


Local Authority Bursary sponsored by Ancestry

Tracy Wilcockson


Diversity Bursary sponsored by kevinjbolton limited

Iram Safdar


The Basics again…

A quick reminder, if it were needed! For the full Conference programme, registration details, and information on the fees - for the full three-day programme or just one - visit: 

(Note: the ARA organises Conference and prices it to break even. It is not profit-making)

See you in August!


John Chambers