Speakers Profiles

Karina AashamarKARINA AASHAMAR (presenting with Eve Watson)

Is currently an archive trainee at the RSA archive she previously studied the History of Ideas at University College of Southeast Norway and prior to this she taught Norwegian language and literature.





Isilda is the Outreach and Learning Officer for East Sussex Record Office at The Keep. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Culture Studies and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies. Isilda has worked in Heritage for 16 years in Audience Development, Community engagement, project management. Access and participation are a significant part of her role.


Don’t forget about me!

“Archives are the raw material of history (…) of lives lived" Inclusive Archive of Learning Disability History Project is an AHRC funded research project led by the Open University. The project has worked in collaboration with East Sussex Record Office at The Keep and the London Metropolitan Archives to pilot a consent pathway, within the legal framework of the Mental Capacity Act, to support individuals with Profound Multiple Learning Disabilities to make a decision about depositing in archives and to make their stories visible and present in archive collections.

The experiences of people with complex learning difficulties are recorded in archives, largely as told by health professionals, social workers, teachers. It is important that, like any other community, they have ownership of their narrative. A strong message from the Open University’s inclusive research process is that people with learning disabilities want to deposit their material in archives; they want to make connections with their local archives and learn more about how they can get involved.

This paper will focus on a case-study as a starting point to explore the process in developing and piloting the pathway, and engaging individuals with high support needs with the meaning and role of archives, while involving them in the depositing process.  The talk will also trace the journey, reflect on opportunities for development and discuss how the learning from the pilot may impact on some elements of contemporary collecting practise as part of making our services and collections more representative and relevant.


MIKE ANSON                                                                                                                                                       

I am Archive Manager at the Bank of England Archive. In a previous incarnation I was a researcher at the Business History Unit, London School of Economics where I worked on the commissioned history of British Rail, and then the Government Official History of Britain and the Channel Tunnel based at the Cabinet Office. I have a PhD in Economic and Social History. In my position as Chair of the Business Archives Council I work to promote the preservation and use of business records. Much of my day is spent underground.


At last year’s ARA Wembley Conference I ran a session which invited people to think about setting goals for their development over the coming year. The result of this was more than 30 individual #12MonthChallenges. As well as encouraging people to think about their own goals, it was the intention that ahead of the 2017 Conference I would find out whether people had actually achieved their challenge. This session will do that, but as well as looking back, in line with the Conference theme I will be jumping around in the audience and inviting delegates to participate by adopting a new #12MonthChallenge with a view to setting the agenda.



Dr Jenna Ashton is Creative Director and Founder of arts and heritage organisation Digital Women’s Archive North CIC. She works across the disciplines of digital cultures, visual studies, sociology and cultural geography, and heritage. Her research specialisms include digital feminisms, alongside digital futures in arts, archives, museums and galleries. Additionally she works on feminist curatorial and archival practices, and methods of participatory collaborative research. She is editor of two-volume international publication “Feminism and Museums: Intervention, Disruption and Change” (September 2017, Museums etc). Jenna’s current positions also include Global Cultural Fellow at the Institute of International Cultural Relations, University of Edinburgh, and Honorary Research Fellow of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, The University of Manchester. She sits on the Trustee Boards of Victoria Baths and Delia Derbyshire Day.


Digital Feminist Archiving: Evidencing, Connectivity and Resistance

Digital Women’s Archive North CIC is an arts and heritage organisation supporting women and girls to identify, collect, disseminate and celebrate their cultural heritage through feminist creative and digital interventions.

This presentation explores how methods of digital feminist archiving – as a process and form – can offer new spaces for women and girls’ creative and cultural resistance through content curation and connectivity. As a technology of non-violence, digital women’s archives have the potential to educate, empower, and skill women for challenging threats of violence and oppression.

Examples will be drawn from the current cyberfeminist programme of Digital Women’s Archive North, as well as other national and international examples of innovative digital archive practice.

DWAN is co-creating a digital space that will function as an archive, educational resource and alternative media outlet, supporting the connectivity, campaigns and creative cultural resistance of feminist practitioners and organisations. The archive will specifically collect and showcase cultural and heritage projects and materials underpinned by a feminist ethos. The archive is a user-led space for artists, activists, storytellers and educators to document and share their practice.

Additionally, DWAN will also be a UK curatorial lead in the “Women’s March on Washington Archives Project”, an international participatory project led by archivists from the Society of American Archivists, Women Archivists Section (WArS), to evidence and capture the global events of 21 Jan 2017. The aim is to build a digital resource sharing and preserving materials. This could be the largest project of global feminist archiving ever undertaken in the face of new threats of oppression.



I have been City Archivist for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives since 2008. Born and brought up in Maidenhead, Berkshire, I ‘saw the light’ and headed north to Scotland in 1986 to study History at Aberdeen University. Subsequently working at the Orkney Archive for ten years and then the North Highland Archive in Caithness. I also worked as Records Manager at the University of Aberdeen between 2004 and 2008. I am currently a Trustee of the Scottish Council on Archives.


The Archive as a Tourist Destination: the pleasures and pitfalls of ancestral tourism

Figures from VisitScotland suggest that genealogical tourism is worth over £100 million to the Scottish economy every year: we know that as repositories of original records, archives are both uniquely placed to assist family historians and that they also have a special appeal to this sector. Indeed, most archivists can speak from experience of die-hard “genies” basing their entire holidays around research visits to regional record offices.

The ‘typical ancestral tourist’ is difficult to define however, with the search for such a definition posing a number of questions, such as whether our marketing strategy (if indeed we have one) is directed at the right people, and are archives getting the appropriate recognition for the significant contribution they make to this part of the economy?

Using the example of the Aberdeen and North East Scotland Ancestral Tourism Partnership, this paper examines efforts that have been made to develop a cross-sectoral approach to ancestral tourism, how this has raised the profile of the regional archive service and promoted cooperation and collaboration between partners in public, private and voluntary organisations.


Mark BarryMARK BARRY (presenting with Elizabeth Semper O’Keefe)

Mark has over 18 year’s professional experience working in architecture and is director of sustainable architectural practice, Architype.

Mark was the project architect for the pioneering Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre, and is keen to demonstrate how this game changing design can make archiving more effective and efficient in the future.

Mark studied at Birmingham School of Architecture, gaining a BA honours degree and postgraduate diploma in Architecture as well as a postgraduate diploma in Architectural Practice. He is a regular speaker and panelist at events across the UK.


Passive Preservation – The Future for Archiving?

In an informative and insightful presentation, Architect and Director of Architype, Mark Barry, will introduce Herefordshire Archive and Record Centre (HARC) to the audience. This is the first archive facility in the UK to be built to the Passivhaus Standard and the British Standard for archives, PD 5454:2012

Mark will explain what the Passivhaus Standard is and how it enables the repository environment to be controlled in a sustainable, low energy and secure way. Exploring the true cost and risks associated with conventional archive climate control strategies, Mark will explain how the design team for HARC had to re-think the needs and requirements of archive building and how implementing the Passivhaus standard has helped to answer each element of the brief.

Elizabeth Semper O’Keefe, Archives and Modern Records Unit Manager, will describe the process of getting the Herefordshire Council funded building from an aspiration to reality, including meeting TNA guidelines, and future-proofing.

Liz Bowerman, Senior Conservator will share the evidence data collated from post occupancy monitoring to demonstrate the environmental stability that the new archive has been able to achieve.

Mark will present comparative analysis on the initial and operational cost of the project, including insight into how the project was completed with a 4.5% capital budget saving.

The presenters will conclude with a discussion of lessons learned, during the process and post occupancy.



John Benson has over 25 years’ experience of working with libraries, museums and archives and has held positions during that time with Lancashire Libraries, Lancashire Record Office, Cheshire Archives & Local Studies, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shropshire Archives and Museums and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also managed several Heritage Lottery funded projects. John is now Archivist for Canal & River Trust, based at the National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port


In a world of ever shrinking local authority budgets an increasing number of archivists are finding themselves working with, for and in museums. I’m going to explore the pitfalls and possibilities here and to share my experiences as to whether archivists and museum professionals can be collaborative colleagues or belligerent bedfellows. What are the potential benefits of this arrangement and what does it bring to the archive’s audience, to the archive’s preservation and to the archive’s profile? What, for that matter, does this arrangement bring to the archivist’s professional and personal development? What actually is the relationship between archives and museum objects and does any of it matter? I’m interested in the informational value of museum objects and in the materialism of archives. An historic boat will give up a great deal of evidence and information if you know where to look. Similarly to hold a parish register, if you connect with it in some personal or devotional way, will be an experience as powerful as standing before the ruins of an medieval abbey or the industrial colossus of Saltaire. I think it’s time for us to look at our commonalities with our fellow heritage professionals.


DR CHARLOTTE BERRY (presenting with Dr Adrian Steel)

I am Archivist at Magdalen College, University of Oxford, and have worked in several archives in England, Wales and Scotland. I did the Aberystwyth course in 2000/1 and completed a part-time PhD on modern publishing archives for translated children’s literature at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. I am an ARA Board member (CPD and the Registration Scheme) and a Registration Scheme assessor and mentor. I am interested in professional parallels with object collections, having spent 5 years managing a collection of ichthyosaur fossils and 25,000 historic shoes at Clarks Shoes (Alfred Gillett Trust) in Somerset, and then archaeology collections at Hereford Cathedral. I am an Associate of the Museums Association (similar to ARA Registration) and a former Board member of the SW Museums Federation. I am a co-editor of the ARA journal and am editing a special issue of the ARA journal on museums and archives for 2018.


LIZ BOWERMAN (presenting with Mark Barry)

Liz followed a BA Hons in English with The London School of Printing Certificate in Craft Bookbinding. She began to train as a conservator at the National Library of Wales in 1989 and gained the Society of Archivist’s Certificate in Archive Conservation in 1993, and Accreditation in 1999. She moved to Jersey Archive in 2000 and was the island’s first archive conservator. She returned to Wales in 2005 to work for Welsh Government’s newly devolved body for Libraries, Archives and Museums (then CyMAL, now MALD) as the Collections Advisor. The coalface beckoned though, and she took up the post of Senior Conservator at Herefordshire Archives Service in 2008.



I currently lead a project called Capturing the Energy, based at the University of Aberdeen, which seeks to tell the story of the UK offshore oil and gas industry through documentary records, photographs and oral accounts.


The objectives are to document the sector’s technological achievements, to increase public awareness and understanding, and to assess its economic and social impact. This year sees the addition of a new collection about the Murchison field, and the creation of an interactive mobile app showcasing stories from the archives. I’m also supporting efforts by the industry to develop a consistent approach to the management of records throughout their lifecycle.

I was previously responsible for information management at Aberdeenshire Council where I coordinated the organisation's compliance with the Public Records (Scotland) Act, and I am currently the Marketing Director of the IRMS.

Archives and the Democratisation of Knowledge

It's often said these days that for much of the population, if something isn't online, it might as well not exist. Whether or not that's true, it points to the increasing reliance on (and convenience of) the internet for information and research.

The flip side of ever-widening access to the World Wide Web is that it throws off the shackles and gives just about anyone the freedom to express themselves and assert their own point of view; their own interpretation of events, of facts – of 'truth'.

This 'democratisation' of knowledge represents a significant challenge to the archive profession, which must come to terms with no longer being the gatekeepers to history. Archivists possess highly specialised, increasingly rare and no-less vital skills, but they nevertheless must adapt to the digital age or risk being seen as irrelevant.

There is nevertheless a huge opportunity for the archive profession amidst this upheaval. An effective archive – one that is comprehensive, accessible and above all focused on the needs of the user and not the owner – has a no-less (if not more) powerful role to play as an authentic voice telling the authoritative account of its subject.

But to be understood, that voice must first be heard. This paper presents – and attempts to tackle – this challenge from the perspective of a relative newcomer to the archive profession, with reference to the speaker's own experiences and to previous studies of this concept. It focuses in particular on the importance of language in how the sector is perceived.

It also seeks to add a new, contemporary aspect to the debate – that of the so-called 'post-truth' era with its "alternative facts" and popular disregard of "the experts". It culminates in a plea for archivists to use their knowledge and integrity to empower people to navigate their own path through today’s jungle of (mis)information.


Louisa ColesLOUISA COLES (presenting with Lou Robertson)

Louisa has worked primarily in the field of archives and special collections conservation since graduating with an MA in the Conservation of Fine Art on Paper from Northumbria University in 2008. She has been the Chair of Icon Photographic Materials Group since 2014, and since 2011 has worked as Paper Conservator at the Special Collections Centre at the University of Aberdeen. She combines time at the bench with preservation work, supporting the public engagement activities (exhibitions, school workshops and community events), surveying incoming collections, contributing to social media and general trouble-shooting


Lou Robertson / Louisa Coles

How do we get back to the bench? Or indeed should we?

The role of the conservator in the archives sector has altered substantially over the past ten years and there is increasingly an expectation that we will assimilate new responsibilities to reflect the strategic direction of our institutions. This might include increasing our social media presence and public engagement, whilst responding to pressure to lengthen exhibition displays and support growing digitisation programmes. While we work to widen access and strive to maintain and build on preservation standards, we can find ourselves squeezing the time we devote to the “bread and butter” work of intervention to improve access and meet the needs of our researchers and consumer base.

Conservators within archives and special collections increasingly struggle with competing demands to operate the traditional conservation studio. Emphases are shifting, and a new landscape is emerging. How do we fulfil new demands without compromising preservation and conservation priorities? Should we rely more on scientific models of deterioration and prevention and move away from intervention? Through a questionnaire circulated to Archive institutions we aim to gather evidence of current practice and canvas opinion about how best to meet the needs of collections care whilst also responding to the demands of institutional strategy.

In the face of great change, it is timely to stop, reflect, and take control of where we are going. We aim to present findings from our preliminary research with a view to stimulating discussion through a solutions focused approach to dealing with the ever-changing needs in dealing with collection care



West Glamorgan County Archivist since 2004, Kim Collis has worked in the archives in Swansea since 1992, before which time his career encompassed Sheffield Archives, Friends House Library and a number of temporary contracts in London repositories.

In 2007, West Glamorgan Archives was among a number of archives in Wales which broke away from the CARN ticket scheme to create the ‘Archives Wales’ reader’s ticket, with ID verification based on standards adopted by LMA.  Discussions with Axiell led to a live link between hitherto stand-alone CALM systems, but a link to the CALM document ordering module never materialised.  Since 2012, he has advocated a reform of the CARN ticket scheme which would pave the way for the widest possible use of a single reader’s ticket across the ARA area, thus bringing a much greater pressure to bear on the software providers to link ID verification and document ordering.  These are views which he has promulgated through CALGG, the CALGG Executive and the ARA Security and Access Group over recent years.  He believes the time has come to air these views more widely to try to develop a much broader momentum towards a catch-up for reader’s tickets with the 21st century.


Archive reader’s tickets: can they catch up with the 21st century?

For the majority of users of archive repositories in the UK and Republic of Ireland, their archive reader’s ticket (if they have one) possesses none of the functionality of the many other ‘smart’ cards which people habitually carry around with them.  Large numbers of local authority, university and specialist repositories do not even subscribe to a reader’s ticket scheme, preferring instead to accept users on trust without any ID verification and rely on a signing-in book.  This state of affairs has consequences for the security of our archive collections and leads to missed marketing and sponsorship opportunities for the archives sector.

Currently the most common archive reader’s ticket scheme in use is the CARN ticket which is open to local authority archives in England and Wales to join.  The idea behind the concept (register once, use in many locations) is where we want to remain but the system is outdated, restricted in geographical scope and by the type of repository which can participate. The Chief Archivists in Local Government Group (CALGG), together with ARA who administer the scheme, have been wrestling over the last few years with how best to replace it.

The purpose of the workshop is to outline the ways in which an ARA ticket scheme could work and what the current hurdles are for CALGG and ARA to achieving our goals.  More than this, it is an opportunity for anyone with a passion for this and related issues such as document security, archive discovery and marketing to express and share their views.

The speaker is of the strong opinion that an ARA reader’s ticket should be valid in any participating archive repository throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland through the mutual recognition of common standards of ID verification during registration. However, each of the home countries has a distinctiveness which must be recognised through separate brands for each country.  The views of practitioners in Scotland and Ireland and of university and specialist repositories would be most welcome to add to the discussion which has already taken place within CALGG.


SUSAN CORRIGALL (presenting with Simon Wilson and Dr Melinda Haunton)

I established the Electronic Records Unit at the National Records of Scotland where   I am currently Head of the Digital Records Unit.  My role includes developing and embedding the digital preservation services offered by the unit and operating as business change manager for this element of NRS’s Digital Preservation Programme.  Our services range from a new web continuity service to on-going improvements to the ingest process.  I also project manage two HLF-funded Skills for the Future trainees who are focusing on digital preservation and the support which NRS can provide to local authorities in Scotland.  I am a board director of the Digital Preservation Coalition, and I also sit on their staffing sub-committee.  In addition to this, I have an interest in copyright, and I represent ARA at the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. 



In 1963 Phil Crockett graduated from Southampton University with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering.  He emigrated to Canada and joined Abitibi Paper Ltd.  Returning to the UK in 1968 he joined Wiggins Teape Ltd., later Arjo Wiggins plc, as a project engineer and in due course became Manager of Corporate Engineering for the group.  In 1994 he left to become a consultant and worked as a project manager at several UK paper mills and retired in 2004.  He joined the British Association of Paper Historians in 1989 and was Chairman for a number of year’s, he is now its Treasurer.

The author will describe what paper is and its early manufacture in China going on to making paper by hand in Europe and Japan.  He will look at watermarking and then go on to describe early paper and board machines and the mechanisation of the craft.  He discusses the search for raw materials to replace rags in the 19th century, finishing with a brief look at modern papermaking.



Emma Dadson is Key Account Manager for Harwell Restoration, the leading service provider of specialist salvage for the heritage sector the UK and Ireland.

Emma has been named the 'Business Continuity Consultant of the Year' award at the Business Continuity Awards in 2007 and 2014 and is a previous Chair of the British Damage Management Association. She holds a Master’s degree in Classics from Oxford University and is an accredited Disaster Recovery Technician, Specialist Restorer and Honorary Fellow of the BDMA.

In 2012 Emma completed her book Emergency Planning and Response for Libraries, Archives and Museums (Facet Publishing). She is a regular invited speaker to events for the heritage sector in the UK and Ireland. In 2015 Emma was invited to sit on the International Council of Archives’ Expert Group on Emergency Planning and Disaster Response


Recent studies have shown that the majority of archives now have emergency plans in place, which is unsurprising given high incidence of escapes and incursions of water in archive spaces. In a six month period in 2007, Harwell Document Restoration Service was asked to assist in restoring material from over 100 heritage institutions.

In that capacity, HDRS observes the functioning of emergency plans in real incidents and is therefore able to give an insight into the key components which will ensure a plan is as effective and successful as possible in a real emergency. Whether you are writing your first plan or reviewing an existing version, this presentation will be useful in providing information on key content such as emergency management teams, supplier lists, key equipment, methods of training and communication of the plan, and presentation techniques. It will be supported by the circulation of a template plan electronically after the training.

Dealing with buildings after damage: what do you need to know?

Emergency plans for archives are increasingly well developed within the sector, but building restoration remains a weak area within emergency plans. Harwell/Polygon are the UK's leading experts in property damage restoration and have been involved with many restoration projects of buildings after fire and flood damage. This paper will discuss

* Techniques for drying properties after flooding

* Impacts of delays

* Drying challenging areas such as voids, plinths for mobile shelving

* Hazards associated with fire damage within buildings

* Preservation of unaffected collections in situ after flood damage during drying programs.  



Having studied History and Politics at an undergraduate level, I completed an MA in Historical Research Methods at SOAS, University of London. For four years I worked as a secondary school teacher in North London and maintained bookbinding and book repair as a side pursuit. Through the development of the Pothi Seva project (which is centred on the repair and conservation of historical Sikh prayerbooks and literature) I decided to dedicate myself to conservation and completed an MA (with distinction) at Camberwell College of Arts. The MA culminated in a project where I repaired a heavily damaged 16th century Indo-Persian manuscript from the Royal Asiatic Society. Following my MA I worked at Berkshire Record Office on a nine month project funded by the Wellcome Trust to conserve the Reading Gaol collection. Currently I am working as a conservator at the Oxford Conservation Consortium which serves the collections of many of Oxford’s most important and historic colleges.


Single sheet archival material is inherently prone to becoming physically damaged, mis-foliated and documents are prone to being mis-placed. Historically, libraries and archives have used generic guard-books to deal with such material but, in many cases, this caused more damage to material over time. Developed by Christopher Clarkson in the 1980’s in Oxford, fasciculing has been the most structurally sound method for managing single sheet material which had been previously stored in generically made guard books. Since these generic bindings were compiled arbitrarily with very little relationship to the historical documents, the fragmentation of the guard-book volume into individual fascicules is not problematic. However, there are some cases where it is ethically and aesthetically desirable to maintain the integrity of the original single volume format. This article will explore one attempt to produce a multi-fascicule, single volume binding when dealing with a set of 19th century documents from the Reading Jail archive now kept at Berkshire record office. The success of this project depended upon the synthesis of various historic and modern binding methods to produce a new structure allowing documents to be viewed and stored safely with the added aesthetic quality of maintaining the single volume format. This presentation will overview the key features of this binding method along with other insights made during the course of the project.


RICHARD DONE (presenting with Emma Dodson)

Richard Done joined Polygon UK & Ireland as Commercial and Complex loss Director in May 2016. He has 20 years’ experience in the Damage Control Industry.

Richard has worked on and overseen projects across Europe and in the USA. In the UK alone, Richard has brought his expertise to such projects as the flooding at Windsor Castle, a serious fire at London’s O2 Arena and major flooding events in Carlisle, Hull and Sheffield.

He now oversees a team of industry professionals at Polygon delivering solutions to a varied client portfolio.

Richard will offer an understanding of the mitigation measures that are needed immediately following a disaster and demonstrate how prompt action can help prevent secondary damage to both contents and property, enabling a swift return to business as usual.   


Lori DonovanLORI DONOVAN (presenting with Maria Praetzellis)

Lori Donovan, Senior Program Manager, Internet Archive: Lori works with partners and the engineering team to develop the Archive-It service so that it meets the needs of memory institutions. She also serves as Program Manager for the Internet Archive’s crawling with Library of Congress. She enjoys working at a mission-based organization, helping organizations fulfill their own missions by archiving the web. Lori has a Master’s of Science in Information from the University of Michigan, specializing in Archives and Digital Preservation. She previously studied history and political science at Boise State University. 



I am currently the Conservation Officer at Gwynedd Archive Service, Conservation Unit where I have worked for over 10 years. My background is in the Arts where I have a degree in Art and an MA in Heritage management.

I trained as an Archive materials conservator in house and completed the ARA Certificate in archive conservation. I am currently on the ICON pathway and working towards becoming accredited.

I am a Member of ICON and ARA.  


Title; An introduction to The National Conservation Strategy for Wales

In October 2014, the National Library of Wales commissioned Carline Peach to research a national conservation strategy.  The resulting report entitled ‘Research report for the development of a national strategy for conserving and preserving analogue documentary heritage in Wales’ built upon the work undertaken by Jane Henderson in her report ‘Surveying the Conservation Landscape’(2013). The Peach report considered how a national conservation and preservation strategy for documentary heritage could be developed for Wales. After consultation with the sector, this idea evolved and it was decided that a holistic approach was needed with the development of an overarching strategy that considered all collection types.

It was identified that there was a need for the sector to work collaboratively to develop strategic objectives that will deliver improvements in the conservation and preservation of all collections in Wales.

Facilitated by the Museums Archives and Libraries Division (MALD) of the Welsh Government, a steering group has been established to drive the development of a national conservation strategy.

The cross sector steering group has developed a statement of conservation principles which will guide the sector in making confident decisions and taking appropriate action to ensure the preservation of our vibrant cultural heritage.

The statement and conservation principles are targeted at the people who have a responsibility for the heritage of Wales and beyond. This presentation will enable an understanding of why this document was developed and how the principles provide a framework for conservation policy and how it will inform our approach to collections care.



Dr Luciana Duranti is a Professor of archival theory, diplomatics, and the preservation of digital records in the master's and doctoral archival studies programs at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies of the University of British Columbia (UBC). Duranti is Director of the Centre for the International Study of Contemporary Records and Archives (CISCRA-www.ciscra.org) and of the InterPARES project (1998-2018), the fourth phase of which, InterPARES Trust, focuses on the records created, managed, maintained and/or preserved in a networked online environment. She has also been the Director of the Digital Records Forensics Project and the Records in the Clouds Project, and she is co-Director of the Law of Evidence in the Digital Environment Project. Duranti is the President of the Association of Canadian Archivists (2016-2018).


Globalization and the archival profession – an archival association perspective
In this increasingly globalised world, one of the most endangered and yet acclaimed concepts seems to be that of identity: be it individual, professional, organizational, social, or cultural, identity is taking the centre place in the discourse of those who believe to have a distinct and clear identity as individuals or as groups and fear to lose it, and of those who are aiming to develop and affirm an identity that has so far evaded them and in their view can empower them. Professional associations have historically been on both sides of the fence. On the one hand, they are built to represent, support and nurture a group that already identifies itself as a profession and whose identity resides in a shared view of competences and responsibilities, and on the other their goal is ensure a continuing development of the profession and its growth by keeping up with and ideally staying ahead of changes (technological, social, political, etc.) that might put at risk the integrity of the professional identity they exists to protect and affirm, thereby fostering its ongoing mutation. This paper will discuss the concept of identity as it relates to professional associations in general and to records and archives associations in particular, will outline the challenges to such identity, as well as the opportunities presented by globalization, and will envision future directions for the archival profession and the associations representing it worldwide


Jennifer FeblesJENNIFER FEBLES (presenting with James Mortlock)

I am a Digital Archivist at HSBC Archives. In my role, I am responsible for the administration, training, implementation, development and management of the Global Digital Archives (GDA) system at HSBC. Prior to this, I worked in teaching and publishing before getting my Master’s in Digital Asset Management at King’s College London and joining HSBC in 2012.



Kirsty FifeKIRSTY FIFE (presenting with Emma Stagg)

Kirsty Fife is an archivist and curator currently working as Curator of Library and Archives at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. She qualified as an archivist in 2013 after studying at UCL, where she wrote her dissertation on archiving personal zines (self-published pamphlets). In previous roles she has worked in outreach, engagement, interpretation and cataloguing roles at the Parliamentary Archives, Screen Archive South East and Hoxton Hall. Outside of her paid employment she is a para-academic currently working on a collaborative research project with Hannah Henthorn about experiences of marginalisation in the archive sector, and a cultural organiser involved with radical spaces and collectives.


Joanne FineganJOANNE FINEGAN (presenting with Della Keating)

Joanna Finegan works in Digital Collections at the National Library of Ireland (NLI). She has previously worked in the Printed Books, Prints & Drawings and Outreach departments of the NLI. She manged the project to convert the library’s Guard Book and Joly music catalogues.




Jone Garmendia moved to the United Kingdom in 1994, after working at the Royal Chancery Archives in Spain. She became Amnesty International’s Archivist (1994-2000) and joined the then Public Record Office in 2000 as the Senior Archivist responsible for training and communications for the first online catalogue. She worked as Catalogue Manager from October 2007 and became Head of Cataloguing in April 2010.  She has contributed to a variety of projects linked to the development of online services, search interfaces, taxonomies and archival policies for both analogue and digital. Currently serves the ARA Section for Archives and Technology as secretary and treasurer.


This paper outlines the evolution of cataloguing practices for digital records in a large national archive. The disruptive impact of digitised and born digital collections has shaken ways of working as well as ways of interpreting the international descriptive standard, ISAD (G). Disruption is not new, however, as over the last sixteen years of digital catalogues archivists have moved forward with Freedom of Information, technology, user experience, social media, content sensitivity and digital transfer at scale. The presentation will explain how the UK National Archives is responding to these challenges. For example how referencing, levels of description, arrangement, dates and digital filenames are being handled and presented in Discovery, our catalogue. It will also describe our thoughts around digital cataloguing principles, current and future descriptive practices.



After studying paper conservation and book binding at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, Megan joined the Royal Library at Windsor Castle as a paper conservator, initially responsible for the conservation of The Cumberland Papers. In 1993, she graduated from The Royal College of Art with an MA, specialising in the conservation of photographic materials. Currently, she is the Senior Archives Conservator, a member of the Royal Bindery Team at Windsor Castle. Her most recent responsibilities include managing and providing conservation support for the digitisation projects in the Royal Archives, both internally and in collaboration with external partners


The Royal Archives was established in 1914 and is mainly housed in the Round Tower, Windsor Castle. It is a private archive which includes historic papers which can be accessed for research. Access to the collection is the responsibility of the Royal Librarian as the Assistant Keeper of The Queen’s Archives. Collections include papers from the 18th century, significantly the Stuarts in exile, the Cumberland Papers and those of George III, as well as the papers of George IV and Queen Victoria.

To enhance access and support research, the digitisation of sections of the collection has begun. Firstly, the digitisation of Queen Victoria’s Journals in association with the Bodleian Library in 2012, followed by Royal Household staff lists in collaboration with Find My Past. In 2016, in collaboration with Cengage, the Stuart and Cumberland Papers were digitised. Presently, a five year project is being undertaken to digitise over 600 volumes and 200,000 Georgian Papers in the Royal Archives.

These projects have all been supported with conservation resources in place to ensure the safe handling during the projects as well as to ensure the long-term stability of the collections post- digitisation. Conservation surveys were carried out prior to the start of the projects and post conservation treatments and considerations identified. This presentation will focus on the two most recent projects - the recently completed digitisation of The Stuart and Cumberland Papers and the current digitisation of the Georgian Papers.



Cécile Gordon is Senior Archivist at Military Archives of Ireland and works primarily as Project Manager of the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Project. The MSP Collection is the largest collection covering the revolutionary period in Ireland. The Project’s dual mission of preservation and access represents a challenging task mainly due to the size of the collection (between 250,000 and 300,000 files) and the complex nature of its various elements. Cécile has been working as an archivist for more than 12 years and prior to 2008, she was managing the archives of the Irish Mid-East region (Wicklow, Kildare and Meath County Councils). She has studied in Lyon, France, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. Her areas of interest include archival theory, the impact of the work of the archivist on the nature and the use of primary sources and the link between archives, identity, commemorations and collective memory.

JOINT PANEL ABSTRACT: The Irish government declared the period from 2012–2022 as The Decade of Centenaries, the purpose of which is to provide ‘an opportunity to focus on the development of access to historical records and primary sources from the time period, and for working with local and national cultural bodies to bring forward a series of exhibitions and public discussions’ which will address topics ranging from Ireland’s involvement in WWI, the 1916 Rising, War of Independence and Civil War. This panel will address the relevance of the archivist in this endeavour and explore some of the issues for archivists which have arisen so far and those which we are facing. Topics discussed will include the processing and making available of the The Military Service (1916–1923) Pensions Collection, Ireland’s largest single source covering the entire Irish revolutionary period; the demands and complexity of commemoration and the archivists’ role in this endeavour; the part played by archivists in documenting commemorations in the digital age.

 (Cecile Gordon talk only)

The Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection is the largest archive collection in existence relating to the independence movement and revolutionary period in Ireland. As the MSP Project is part of the Government’s plans for the Decade of Centenaries, the collection held an important place in the 2016 commemorations last year and will continue to be a very popular and unique primary source as the material continues to be released in the public domain in the next few years (particularly in relation to the centenaries of the War of Independence and the Civil War). The material in the collection had never been in the public domain prior to the first release of files (January 2014) and although the project is still ongoing, the collection has already participated in new discussions and when the Project reaches its conclusion, there is no doubt that it will offer boundless possibilities for many various and unexpected uses of the material for new and innovative research. The collection navigates between the personal story and its wider context and represents a fantastic source for a ‘history from below’. The ongoing processing of such a very large collection has, unsurprisingly, demanded archivists a significant amount of sensitivity towards the complex nature of the documents, how to best negotiate each release and how to promote the material. The successful 1916 Rising commemorations were due, in no small part, to the availability of this new primary source, which is breathing new life into the assessment of a troubled and contested period in Irish history. The MSP collection offers a more nuanced view of the period and its actors by adding layers of complexity to the ‘official record’.

The presentation will explain the nature of the collection and will illuminate some choices made in order to enhance meaning, balance, trust and transparency through modes of selection, release and promotion of the material, including the absolute necessity to look for context before focusing on the content. It will also reveal the power of the material and its impact on individual lives within circles of collective memories.



Ela Gorska-Wiklo, Preservation Manager and Icon accredited conservator at The Glasgow University Archives & Special Collections.

She received Master´s degree in Preservation of Cultural Property Conservation specialising in the Conservation of Paper and Leather Objects, from Faculty of Fine Arts at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Poland.

Throughout many years as a conservator, she was involved in a wide range of conservation and preservation projects in heritage sector. She is responsible for developing and implementing preservation program for the Archives & Special Collections at the Glasgow University.

She actively participates in work placement training programmes for students through educational projects on certain aspects of practical preservation and conservation treatments. She is passionate about the preservation of heritage materials and considers it a privilege to be a part of the team caring for collective past. She promotes preservation and conservation via Archives & Special Collections blog and weekly tweet series called Through Conservation Keyhole.


European and British standards in preservation and conservations in Archives: goals, knowledge, practice and gaps.

Archives and Special Collections are culture centres connected with tradition and fulfilling a very important task of preservation and popularization of cultural heritage. On the other hand, however, the fast development of civilization transforms the present day Archives and Special collections towards a service with information and communication technology. With common issues and concerns, a growing convergence of institutions – Archives and Special Collections face the same preservation and conservation challenges.

The presentation brings into focus all challenges including storage, display, research and exhibition areas that meet the needs of preservation and conservation standards, while also allowing for the increasing demand for access to original historic materials.

Presentation also discusses the needs, demands and requirements for collections in general, funding challenges and the prioritisation of resources in a difficult economic environment.



I am a professional archivist who has  previously worked as digital archivist and data policy manager at the National Library of Ireland, and the Digital Repository of Ireland. My current role is at the academic publisher Springer Nature, where I support research data management services and the implementation of standardised data policies.

Since 2014 I have been a doctoral candidate in the School of History and Archives at University College Dublin, where my research is investigating the connections between archival theory and practice and the management of research data.

I am a member of the Archives and Records Association (Ireland) Committee and chair of the Irish Archives Resource steering group.


Records Professionals and Research Data: a new role?

Journal publishers and funding agencies are increasingly mandating the retention and publication of the data underpinning academic research. In order to achieve this, researchers require support in the management, selection, description, publication and archiving of their datasets. Archives professionals have the training and expertise to contribute greatly to the theory and practice of research data management, and in many cases are actively involved in the running of research data support services.

In light of rapid developments in research data publication practice, the Research Data Alliance (RDA) was launched in 2013 and has developed as a community-driven, global organisation which aims to builds the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data. The RDA is formed of members who come together at six-monthly plenary sessions and address the challenges of research data management and sharing through the formation of working- and interest-groups. RDA members include librarians, records professionals, researchers, scientists and policy-makers, and the National Library of Ireland is a partner in the Horizon 2020-funded EU Support Action for the RDA. In 2015 the RDA Archives and Records Professionals Interest Group was created to facilitate discussion between records professionals working with research data, and to raise the profile of records professionals as data curators.

This paper will outline how records managers and archivists are currently engaging in the curation and preservation of research data; provide an introduction to RDA’s Archives and Records Professionals for Research Data Interest Group; and describe how archivists and records managers can participate in the RDA.


Dr Melinda HauntonDR MELINDA HAUNTON (presenting with Simon Wilson and Susan Corrigall)

Melinda is programme manager for Archive Service Accreditation, supporting the assessment of applications in England, the management and delivery of the UK partnership and planning for the future of the programme. She holds a number of roles for ARA including being secretary to the old-style Registration Scheme, a member of the CPD Steering Committee since its inception, and a member of the volunteering Sub-Committee. Melinda is also an honorary teaching fellow of the Centre for Archive and Information Studies, University of Dundee.



Hannah HenthorneHANNAH HENTHORNE (presenting with Emma Stagg)

Hannah Henthorn is an Archives and Records Management student at the University of Dundee, and was awarded the Diversity Education Bursary from the National Archives in 2015. She has worked at a wide variety of heritage organisations in either a paid or voluntary capacity, such as the National Records of Scotland, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives, Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Gloucestershire Archives, and the National Archives. Based in Edinburgh, she is currently working on a project with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, arranging and cataloguing the correspondence of Crimea War surgeon Thomas Goldie Scot. She is also working on a collaborative research project with Kirsty Fife of the National Science and Media Museum, examining experiences of marginalisation in the UK archive sector. 



Emily Hick is the Special Collections Conservator at the Centre for Research Collections (CRC), University of Edinburgh. After completing an undergraduate degree in History of Art at the University of Glasgow, she undertook an MA degree in Conservation of Fine Art, specialising in works of art of paper, graduating in 2013. Prior to starting at the CRC, Emily worked at Alnwick Castle Archives, and has been involved in conservation projects in India and Singapore


The Centre for Research Collections (CRC) at the University of Edinburgh, is developing innovative ways to carry out conservation work and engage with the student population. This paper will outline a two-day crowdsourcing event, the first of its kind ever held at the CRC, in which 30 students aim to rehouse section II of the Laing manuscripts – the University’s most important written collection.

Laing’s collection of charters and other papers is of national importance. It is an essential resource for the 18th century, however, it is in poor condition due to its current housing in unsuitable upright boxes and folders. Rehousing this collection is necessary to improve the condition of the collection and aid access to it.

The benefits of crowdsourcing this work is twofold. Firstly, it drastically reduces the amount of time needed to rehouse the collection. Secondly, we can significantly increase the number of people who can gain quality conservation experience at the CRC.

The presentation will describe the event, provide an evaluation of it, and discuss the challenges faced and ethical points considered. It will also give useful tips and advice for other institutions who are considering holding a similar event.  It is hoped that this paper will spark discussion and information sharing about how to help non-conservators engage with conservation treatment in a meaningful way whilst still meeting the need for an ethical approach.



I graduated as a paper conservator in 1988 from Camberwell Schools of Arts and Crafts. I worked as assistant conservator at Derbyshire Record Office and Walsall Metropolitan Council as conservator. I have been senior conservator at the Berkshire Record Office since 1995. I have a BA (Hons) in Fine Art, specialising in ceramic sculpture.


In 2014, the Curator of Eton College Natural History Museum made a chance discovery when he came across a unique specimen amongst the 4000 specimens at the museum, of which 300 specimens are seaweeds. This specimen is a first specimen from the species was originally described and scientifically very valuable. This unique specimen is attributed to Sir Joseph Banks and initiated the voyage to discover a method to handle and re-mount 40 brittle plant specimens. As the work progressed a variety of unorthodox mounting methods were revealed along with the restrictions imposed from the mounted specimens on surface cleaning and the constant worry the specimens had to be kept safe from destruction during the treatment process.


Victoria HoylesVICTORIA HOYLES (presenting with Laura Yeoman)

Victoria Hoyle is York’s City Archivist. She joined the archives team in 2010 and led the £1.6m Heritage Lottery Fund project York: Gateway to History (2012-2016). In May 2014 she became a founding member of Explore York Libraries and Archives, a community benefit organisation commissioned to deliver library and archive services in York. She is also a part-time PhD student, working on archival value and community engagement at the University of York.




Ruth Imeson is Heritage Services Manager at Inspire, a Community Benefit Society, where she manages the county record office, Nottinghamshire Archives, the county’s local studies provision as delivered through the library network, and a records management service on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council. Ruth has twenty years of experience in the sector, and has worked in specialist repositories, university, business and local government archives. Her first non-fiction book, on the life of airman Captain Albert Ball VC, will be published in the Autumn.



So, you’re an archivist or maybe a records manager: every day you think about how to catalogue, what to accession and what to destroy. How often do you consider why you bother? Have you ever told anyone else why they should?

Many years ago I was employed in Big Pharma and mentioned to a colleague that I had worked with information that was centuries old. She asked “What a waste of money: what’s the point?”. She really didn’t get it, really didn’t care and I really couldn’t explain. Just why do we collect all of this stuff?

Since then I have found my answer: I have found my why.

It’s simple.

Humans like to understand themselves and each other. We like to hear stories and who has more stories than an archivist? And ours are real, written by real people about real things that were important to them. They may want to save a ruined medieval palace, preserve a Viking meeting place or learn about their families, and we can help.

Archives are full of stories: from the Georgian spinster whose life resembles a soap opera, to a soldier poet, to a traumatised airman. We exist to explain to others what it is to be human; that your experiences are not unique; that you are not alone; that you belong.

We changed a few things at Nottinghamshire Archives and stopped being quite so “professional”. As a result, we have:

Quadrupled our income in less than ten months.

Doubled the number of visiting community groups.

Increased approaches from the public and involvement in partnership bids.

Diversified our holdings and audience.

Because we have been telling people “why”.

Maybe it doesn’t matter if some people never experience a medieval deed or complete their family history – maybe, just maybe, preserving their own experience of being human is enough.

People really are no different than they were centuries ago: that is my why. This paper will challenge you to discover yours.



I’ve worked for the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland since 1997 and am responsible for six of nine devolved Government Departments and associated Public Authorities, assisting them with retention, disposal and transfer of records under the Public Records Act (NI) 1923. I also run the bi-annual release of records under the 20 Year Rule, coordinating the sensitivity review by the departments. Since 2012 I have been our point of contact for the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, helping their research team based at PRONI.

Aside from my profound love for dusty records lying in dark basements, I like to don armour and get a bit of make up on as an extra on the Game of Thrones TV series. Needless to say, my loyalty to Ned Stark and his family is unswerving, coming even before my solemn duty under the Public Records Act (NI) 1923...


Since early 2012, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland have been involved in assisting the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry to fulfil its statutory role in determining whether there were systemic failings by institutions or the State in their duties towards children in their care, in Northern Ireland, between the years of 1922-1995. The Inquiry was an independent body chaired by Sir Anthony Hart, taking approximately four years to complete its work, following the enactment of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Act (Northern Ireland) 2013, with effect from 19th January 2013. One of the ways in which the Inquiry carried out its work was by gathering and examining historical records and information about the matters falling within its remit, and it was in this work that PRONI’s Records Management, Cataloguing and Access section provided assistance in facilitating the Inquiry research team. This paper examines the challenges faced and surmounted by both the Inquiry researchers and the archivists at PRONI. Primarily, this work centred on accounting not only for all records in PRONI custody covered by the terms of the Inquiry (with a view to making them available to the Inquiry’s legal counsel), but also in accounting for those records lost through the passage of time. The key issue of information and records management will also be examined, not only with regard to the historical record, but ‘moving forward’ in terms of retention and disposal polices across the wider public sector in Northern Ireland.



Shirley qualified as a paper conservator in 1997 before specialising in archives conservation via the (then) Society of Archivists’ Conservation Training Course. Since 1998, she has been employed at West Yorkshire Archive Service where she is now Head of Conservation. Professionally accredited (ACR) since 2008, Shirley is now also registered with the Institute for Conservation (ICON) as a mentor for other accreditation candidates.

Shirley is currently an instructor for the ARA Conservation Training Course, teaching trainees on placements for both the introductory and paper elements of the syllabus.

Shirley has also served on the ARA Council, contributing to the work of the Professional Development Committee and the CPD steering group.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a vital tool for developing new skills and for staying updated and in touch across archives, records management and conservation. An important role of the ARA as a membership organisation is to support its members in developing into reflective practitioners who can evaluate and build on their knowledge and expertise throughout their careers, at all levels of experience.

Building on the success of the current Registration Scheme and after extensive piloting, a new CPD programme will be launched this summer, 2017 providing a structured CPD framework and support for ARA members at all levels of their career. This talk will look at how Conservators may use this framework to map, complement and structure their learning and development.


Della KeatingDELLA KEATING (presenting with Joanne Finegan)

Della Keating works in Digital Collections at the National Library of Ireland (NLI) and is an archivist. She has worked on Web archiving in the Library since its initiation in 2011 and prior to that worked in different sections across the Library, as well as the National Archives of Ireland.



Web Archiving in the National Library of Ireland- The Petri Dish of Convergence

Since 2011 the National Library of Ireland (NLI) has been thematically archiving websites of Irish interest. This experience will be examined in the light of the questions “Why are social media and websites being 'archived' by 'library bodies' and “Is this a failure of our profession and sector to lead?”.

Web archiving in the NLI is considered in the context of international digital preservation practices and the organisation’s development as a memory institution holding national collections traditionally recognisable as either library or archival. Convergence of library and archival practices in the NLI are examined in the context of the development of the digital collections department and a team where the role of librarian and archivist is interchangeable.

Although initiated by archivists, many other professionals have contributed significantly to the development of the NLI’s web archive. While the archivist’s ability to appraise is essential in terms of selecting material for inclusion, the skills of both librarians and ICT professionals are also necessary. Librarians have extensive experience with published material and similarly, ICT professionals offer considerable technical expertise.

The unique nature of web archiving involves a collaboration of these professions and also affords the opportunity to learn new skills from other professionals. Will developments in web archiving lead to the continued blurring of the lines between librarian and archivist or will the role of the archivist as we know it be rendered redundant in the future?



After graduating from Northumbria University in 2006 with a MA in Preventive Conservation, Zoe took up an ICON internship based at Lancashire Archives. On completion of the programme she worked on the British Steel Project for the University of Teesside before moving to the National Media Museum, Bradford as their first conservator. In 2012 she returned to Lancashire Archives as a conservator, where she has combined archival work with supporting Lancashire Museum Service Conservation team.

ABSTRACT (there will be a small practical element to the discussion)

This talk will show the journey of one practicing conservator thrown into a completely different discipline and how the two entirely different universes now sit side by side and inform each other.   

Over the last year I have been studying podiatry at university and have been thinking a lot about the true meaning of the term "transferable skills". How can we as conservators improve our practice by looking at different professions?  Can conservators learn and take tips from health care?  How can we reflect upon our practice and strive to become better practitioners?  Are there other ways conservators can hold their scalpels? I will demonstrate one example of how learning to treat feet means I take better care of archives.



William Kilbride is Executive Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), a not-for-profit membership organization providing advocacy, workforce development, capacity and partnership in digital preservation.  William started his career in archaeology in the 1990s when the discipline’s enthusiasm for new technology outstripped its capacity to manage the resulting data.  He joined the DPC from Glasgow Museums where he was Research Manager and before that was Assistant Director of the Archaeology Data Service in the University of York.  Before that he was a lecturer in archaeology at the University of Glasgow where he retains an honorary position.


Save the Bits: Protecting Digital Collections under Threat

On 30th November 2017 the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) will observe the first ever International Digital Preservation Day; drawing together individuals and institutions from across the world to showcase the importance of digital preservation and the great work our community does to safeguard digital collections.

Organized by the DPC, International Digital Preservation Day is open to participation from anyone interested in securing our digital legacy. Data creators, curators and consumers will be invited to showcase their own ‘Digital Preservation Day’ through blog posts on the DPC website, and tweets using the hashtag #digipresday2017.

As part of the day’s activities the DPC will be publishing the first edition of the ‘At Risk Collections’ List (think IUCN’s ‘Red List of Threatened Wildlife Species’… but for digital information). Through this list of at risk file formats, file types and collections, the DPC aims to celebrate great digital preservation endeavors as entries make their way up the list becoming less of a ‘concern,’ whilst still highlighting the need for efforts to safeguard those still considered ‘critically endangered.’ In this interactive session, Executive Director of the DPC William Kilbride will introduce a selection of proposed items for the list before it is published, and ask ARA participants for their votes and suggested additions.



Jason King is Head of Records Services and Deputy Departmental Records Officer at the Department for Communities and Local Government. He is a professionally qualified Government Records and Information Management Specialist with over 10 years of experience in the records management field.

Jason is an Executive Committee member of the Association of Departmental Records Officers and Chair of the Archive and Records Association’s Section for Records Management and Information Governance. He is also an accredited member of the Information and Records Management Society and a member of both the Government Knowledge and Information Network and the Network of Government Library and Information Specialists.

Jason has spoken at a number of records management events and conferences.


The Changing role of the Records Manager

Years ago, being a Records Manager was about just managing paper records. Then out went the typewriters and in came these computer things. Everything then went crazy.  So now we have paper mountains and electronic bytes to look after. And whilst the mountains may be reducing (let’s hear it for retention schedules), the bytes are growing at an alarming rate.

So what’s the role now (and in the future) of the Records Manager in terms of trying to tackle all of this? What skills do we need to develop? Are we needed anymore? In this session, we shall try and found out….



Dr Victoria Lemieux is an Associate Professor of Archival Science at the University of British Columbia. Her current research is focused on risk to the availability of trustworthy records, with current emphasis on block chain record keeping contexts, and how these risks impact upon transparency, financial stability, public accountability and human rights. She holds a doctorate from University College London (Archival Studies, 2002), and, since 2005, has been a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). She is also the winner of the 2015 Emmett Leahy Award for outstanding contributions to the field of records management and a 2015 World Bank Big Data Innovation Award.


Globalization and the archival profession - an educational perspective

For decades, archivists have been appraising, preserving and providing access to digital records using archival theories and methods developed for paper records. However, social and technical trends inform the production and use of records, which in the digital era refers to the use of information and computer technology and data method. These methods have shown little or no connection to archival methods, often frustrating records and archives professionals’ efforts to instantiate records controls that would ensure long-term authenticity and accessibility.

If archives and records professionals are to successfully adapt to, and remain relevant in, the current environment, they must examine the theories and methods that dominate record keeping practices. At the same time, computer scientists are struggling with issues of digital preservation, provenance, trusted computing and sharing scientific data that can be addressed by reference to archival theories and methods. While there are early signs of change in the archives and records profession, the current situation calls for a formal articulation of a new trans-discipline which the presenter and her collaborators are calling Computational Archival Science (CAS). This new trans-discipline, they tentatively define as ‘preserving and engaging with digital materials through computational and archival knowledge.’ This paper will discuss the motivation for CAS, its objectives, the contributions to it from other disciplinary fields, and what a CAS curriculum might encompass and to what end.



Dr Elizabeth Lomas is a Senior Lecturer in Information Governance at University College London. Her research currently focuses on building an information governance maturity model and the ethics of managing information through time for a range of stakeholder needs. Elizabeth is a member of the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives as well as the Forum on Historical Manuscripts and Research. She is a Co-Editor of the Records Management Journal.


What’s in a name: archivists, recordkeepers or Information Governance leaders – where are we heading!

Over the last decade the role and responsibilities of archivists and records managers have shifted dramatically as record creation and capture has moved from paper to digital paradigms. Online collaborative tools have blurred the boundaries between personal and public spaces, authors and owners. Where and how records are created, held and owned? Where are the archives or records and to what extent is ownership and access guaranteed? With whom do we collaborate and cooperate? We are in a new world and the professional choices we make, together with the information ethics and legislation we shape, are now critical. This paper will discuss the emerging multi-disciplinary domain of information governance that our profession underpins but which also transcends and enfolds us. This paper will discuss the challenges faced in retaining, acquiring, holding and negotiating access to information through time. The discussion is positioned from a UK/European standpoint which provides a particular lens for the work, as Europe has possibly the toughest personal data and privacy legislation in the world which influences Information Governance leadership. The paper will seek to position this perspective within the context of wider international considerations. It will discuss our choices and the road ahead.



Kate Manning is the Principal Archivist, UCD Archives (within UCD Library). UCD Archives' core function is the curatorship of the university's archives; private paper collections documenting the modern Irish State; and many elements of the Franciscan manuscript patrimony. Kate took up a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh in 2000 where she worked with leading archival theorist, Prof. Richard Cox. Before moving to UCD Archives in 2001 as the archivist with responsibility for university archives, she worked as the Assistant Administrator and Records Manager for St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. She has served on the committees of the Irish Society for Archives and the Archives and Records Association, Ireland. She also served as Reviews Editor of the then Journal of the Society of Archivists. Kate is a participant in the 2016/17 Aurora Leadership Development Programme: a women-only leadership development programme organised by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, UK.

ABSTRACT (Panel Overview)

The Irish government declared the period from 2012–2022 as The Decade of Centenaries, the purpose of which is to provide ‘an opportunity to focus on the development of access to historical records and primary sources from the time period, and for working with local and national cultural bodies to bring forward a series of exhibitions and public discussions’ which will address topics ranging from Ireland’s involvement in WWI, the 1916 Rising, War of Independence and Civil War. This panel will address the relevance of the archivist in this endeavour and explore some of the issues for archivists which have arisen so far and those which we are facing. Topics discussed will include the processing and making available of the Military Service (1916–1923) Pensions Collection, Ireland’s largest single source covering the entire Irish revolutionary period; the demands and complexity of commemoration and the archivists rôle in this endeavour; the part played by archivists in documenting commemorations in the digital age.



Laurent Martin is a French book and paper conservator who worked for 18 years in the French national archives in Paris, the last of years of which he was Head of the conservation studios.

During his career Laurent Martin constantly trained and learned on various aspect of conservation, from medieval manuscript to photographic conservation, a new specialty that he set up for the national archives as the new archive centre was built in 2012.

Laurent Martin held various workshops on transparent papers, conservation bindings, book conservation, internally for the archives as well as for the French national library, professionals and INP (Institut National du Patrimoine) student conservators and archivists.

Laurent now works for a well know conservation supplies company where he develops new products.

Abstract: Conservation in the French national archives: 20 years of changes

As in many heritage institutions the National Archives of France inherited Conservation from the bookbinding legacy. In the 60/70’s the “bindery” became more and more a conservation studio and when the first Alkalay’s leaf casting machine in western Europe was installed, after joint research with the CNRS, the Archives really stepped into conservation.

In the 90’s some old traditional habits were still around but new generations of conservators along with the evolution of conservation technics slowly shaped a new way of working.

From single object focused actions to global projects, from deontology to pragmatic material approach as well as facing the new “trend” of digitization the French national archives slowly turned the page of the century and started a new chapter where tradition, innovation, dialogue and recognition will be the key points of its future.



Evelyn McAuley is an archivist at the Glucksman Library, University of Limerick where she holds responsibility for promotion and outreach within Special Collections and Archives. Evelyn received her M.A. in Archives and Records Management from University College Dublin in 2011. Her research interests include visual literacy and the use of visual archives within student learning and research.



Supporting Digital Scholarship

The unique and distinctive holdings of special collections and archives libraries are proving critical to new modes of inquiry in digital scholarship. The archives profession is making broad contributions to DS services and support through activities such as reformatting analogue resources, creating metadata, compiling digital collections and exhibits, building preservation infrastructure, and offering data curation and management support. This paper will consider emerging opportunities for archivists in light of the increasing point of intersection between archives, digital technologies and evolving scholarship. It will suggest strategies and methods that adapt our unique and valuable approaches to the appraisal, description and dissemination of information resources to meet demands for service and support, and build capacity to facilitate the production and preservation of new digital scholarship.



Heidi McIntosh has been the City Archivist at Wolverhampton Archives since 2010, and has overseen the development of the service into an Accredited service. As well as managing the service, she has been involved in a number of high-profile projects, working in partnership with external bodies such as the University of Wolverhampton and the regional newspaper, the Express & Star. In 2013, she wrote a book entitled Wolverhampton in Old Photographs, published by the History Press. She has previously worked for Worcestershire Record Office and Surrey History Centre. In addition to her 16 years of experience in the archives sector, she holds a Chartered Management Institute Diploma in Management. She also serves as a peer reviewer on the Archives Accreditation Scheme.

Title: Anniversaries of hate: The challenge of remembering the “Rivers of Blood” speech 50 years on

Archives have always commemorated anniversaries. In November 2016, for instance, Wolverhampton City Archives marked the 150th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s visit to Wolverhampton to unveil a statue of her husband, Prince Albert. We are also commemorating the centenary of the First World War with the “Wolverhampton’s War” blog, which tells the stories of local men and women involved in the conflict.

However, sometimes we encounter more contentious anniversaries. For example, Enoch Powell, formerly MP for Wolverhampton South West, delivered his infamous “Rivers of Blood” speech in April 1968; meaning next year is the 50th anniversary.

Unlike Queen Victoria’s visit and the First World War, this is not an anniversary to be celebrated or commemorated, yet needs to be marked in some way. Although undeniably controversial, Powell’s speech is an important historical event which has thrown a shadow over every subsequent discussion about immigration. Indeed, although its message is firmly rooted in the past, its significance and relevance has not faded over time.

My paper will address vital questions concerning the responsibility archives have in terms of marking anniversaries. For instance, what is the role of public sector archives? Do we shy away from difficult topics and censor historical events? Do we simply focus on positive and life-affirming anniversaries and significant international events? Or, do we have a duty to offer to the public the unvarnished, uncomfortable and unpalatable truths of our society? As archivists, is it imperative that we challenge the past just as it, in turn, challenges the present?



I have worked in the National Archives of Ireland since 2003. I am currently Head of the Archive Storage and Preservation Division, which includes the Digital Imaging Unit. As part of my work I manage all imaging work and drafted the ‘Digital Imaging Policy’ and ‘Copyright Policy’ for the NAI. I previously held the role of Chair of the Irish Region of the Archives and Records Association and am currently on the Board with portfolio for Specialist Groups and Sections.


Digitisation: Is it time for a radical rethink

Archivists are under increasing pressure to digitise as much of their holdings as possible. Digitisation is an expensive and time consuming process. The role of archivists is to open up archives for access, to guide and assist researchers to locate valuable and important collections. Does digitising whole collections or series of archives fit with this ethos?

This session will look at the increasing role of digitisation in archives, and question whether archivists should seek to return to their core role as cataloguers of archives, rather than creators of surrogates. In looking at this topic the issues to be covered will include the rationale behind digital imaging and the perceived benefits; the costs and input required to image original documents; copyright and licensing concerns; changing profile of archivists from information specialists to scanning operators; whether developments in technology will result in imaging work having to redone; what lessons can be learned from microfilm legacies; the long term impact on visitor numbers to archives, and whether high quality online catalogues would increase footfall and profile of archive services.


Alex MillerALEX MILLER (presenting with Margaret Myerscough)

Alex Miller is the Archives Manager for Wigan Archives & Local Studies, and worked on the formation and development of the Greater Manchester Archives & Local Studies Partnership.




‘The Greater Manchester Method’

Greater Manchester Archives and Local Studies Partnership (GMALSP) partnership provides an overarching strategy and development plan for the area, bringing benefits in terms of collective collaboration on service improvement and future sustainability.

Our services have embraced the changing landscape of local authority funding and policy-making to ensure our archives remain relevant to our parent organisations and vibrant places for all our users.

We believe that smaller can be better for users; that customers demand a changing relationship with their archives; and that larger strategic issues are more efficiently tackled in partnership – The Greater Manchester Method!

To demonstrate the value in our profession we have tried to challenge what an ‘archivist’ does and how they fit into a traditional organisational model. This means re-evaluating the role of volunteers, focusing our skills and time upon strategic organisational objectives and not assuming key decision makers hold archives to be innately important services.

We have achieved a great deal in a challenging environment:

  • Joint digitisation contracts with family history providers;
  • GM1914 WWI blog and developing digital skills;
  • Increased volunteer engagement and new learning opportunities;
  • Made in Greater Manchester HLF funded cataloguing project;
  • Supporting the health and wellbeing agenda, tourism and the regional economy.


With the Conference visiting Manchester we would like to showcase our successes and share our learning with colleagues across the sector.



Dr Giovanni Michetti is Assistant Professor of Archival Science at Sapienza University of Rome. His research area is focused on digital archives: records management, description models and digital preservation are his main research interests. He has been involved in national and international initiatives on digital preservation, including ERPANET (Electronic Resource Preservation and Access Network) and CASPAR (Cultural, Artistic and Scientific knowledge for Preservation, Access and Retrieval), both funded by the European Commission. He is currently leading researches within the InterPARES Trust Project. He is the Chair of the committee “Archives and Records Management” in UNI, the Italian Standards Organization, and the Italian representative in a few ISO Working Groups on records management


Globalization and the archival profession – a professional standards perspective

The globalized world is a complex network of interacting people, organizations and governments bringing different cultures together and asking for their cooperation. Standards play a major role in this integration process, since they establish uniform and agreed criteria, methods, processes and practices. However, beside their value as technical tools, the fundamental value of standards lies in their capacity to raise awareness and issues, and bring community to discussion—standards are a way by which a community identifies itself. Therefore, it is fundamental to investigate the main standards adopted worldwide in the archival domain in order to get an overall picture of the values imbued in these documents, and possibly refine such picture in view of the changes imposed by the global framework. To this aim, a research project developed within InterPARES Trust is identifying the functions, objects and agents addressed by the main international standards on records management, preservation and archival description. The goal of the project is to create an ontology representing the functions and activities that are carried out on records from creation to long term preservation, as they are described in the standards. This paper will discuss the findings of the project, highlighting gaps and overlaps emerging from the ontological representation—the codification of archival knowledge through standards is a crucial step for establishing the identity of archivists and records managers as a community, and thus for placing them in the big arena of globalization.


James MortlockJAMES MORTLOCK  (presenting with Jennifer Febles)

I am the Digital Archives Manager at HSBC. Qualifying as an archivist in 2010, I previously worked for Lloyds Banking Group prior to joining HSBC. At HSBC I initially worked administering the bank’s UK collection before moving on to lead the implementation and subsequent development of the bank’s digital archives system, which won a DPC Digital Preservation Award in 2016. Outside of my role at HSBC I organised the BAC’s Business Archives Training Day for several years and was the ARA Section for Business Record’s training officer between 2011 and 2015.



In this session we will discuss the holistic approach to digital preservation practiced by HSBC. In the development of our award-winning Global Digital Archive system we have approached the needs of digital preservation as sharing many commonalities with other aspects of the archival management of physical collections. When re-evaluating our existing archival processes when developing our digital archiving capabilities we came to the conclusion that large parts of the established digital preservation processes, such as integrity checking and efficient metadata harvesting, has much to teach established archival processes. Likewise there are core components of traditional archival practice that should be integrated within digital archiving process management.

This presentation will demonstrate how HSBC’s global archive team is able to integrate our archival catalogues and digital preservation system to curate physical, born digital and digitised assets collectively. We will progress to highlight the common workflows that exist between digital and physical archival management and the ways in which our thinking towards the management of physical archives can evolve to utilise techniques that have been previously considered as only applicable to digital preservation.



Dr Gareth Mulvenna is a researcher, author and historian. He obtained his PhD in 2009 from Queen’s University Belfast School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy and in 2016 his book ‘Tartan Gangs and Paramilitaries: The Loyalist Backlash’ was published by Liverpool University Press. From October 2012 to June 2017 he worked as a researcher with the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry and has also worked temporarily as a curatorial in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.


Since early 2012, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland have been involved in assisting the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry to fulfil its statutory role in determining whether there were systemic failings by institutions or the State in their duties towards children in their care, in Northern Ireland, between the years of 1922-1995. The Inquiry was an independent body chaired by Sir Anthony Hart, taking approximately four years to complete its work, following the enactment of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Act (Northern Ireland) 2013, with effect from 19th January 2013. One of the ways in which the Inquiry carried out its work was by gathering and examining historical records and information about the matters falling within its remit, and it was in this work that PRONI’s Records Management, Cataloguing and Access section provided assistance in facilitating the Inquiry research team. This paper examines the challenges faced and surmounted by both the Inquiry researchers and the archivists at PRONI. Primarily, this work centred on accounting not only for all records in PRONI custody covered by the terms of the Inquiry (with a view to making them available to the Inquiry’s legal counsel), but also in accounting for those records lost through the passage of time. The key issue of information and records management will also be examined, not only with regard to the historical record, but ‘moving forward’ in terms of retention and disposal polices across the wider public sector in Northern Ireland.


Margaret MyerscoughMARGARET MYERSCOUGH (presenting with Alex Miller)

I started my life in archives at Birmingham in what was then locally called the “New Library” but which has now been replaced by the Library of Birmingham.  I moved to take up the position of Borough Archivist in Stockport and have remained there. My role has altered over the years and I now oversee the heritage offer for Stockport Libraries and Information Service with the job title of Senior Librarian; Heritage and Archives.



HANNAH NIBLETT (presenting with Jennie Vickers)

Hannah Niblett is the Collections Access Officer for the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre, with responsibility for archive collection management, academic engagement and promoting our collections to the wider research community.

Hannah started her career in learning design and educational publishing, before moving into the arts and heritage sector with roles at The Whitworth, Outta Place youth arts organisation and the University of Manchester. She has undertaken various freelance writing and curatorial projects and is currently working towards a Masters in Museum Studies.       

Presentation title: Telling the whole story: Community partnerships and collection development in the Legacy of Ahmed project


The development of strong partnerships based on trust and respect is crucial to the delivery of successful BAME community heritage projects. But how do these projects impact on our collections and procedures? And how, in turn, can our archives help to shape engagement work?

In this paper we will reflect on our recent HLF supported project Legacy of Ahmed, and the strategic lessons we are taking from this into our next phase of work. Shaped and driven by our partnership with Ananna, the Manchester Women’s Bangladeshi Association, the project led us down exciting but unexpected avenues. Accessioning and documenting all of the resulting material, along with the related memories, stories and complex layers of meaning, has been a real test of our holistic approach to BAME heritage and collecting.      

The outcome of the project is a unique and rich archive collection, but also a number of lessons for us as an organisation, including how to build collection management into project planning, about quality control, navigating the ethics of project-based collecting and developing meaningful collections access.


Elizabeth Semper O'KeefeELIZABETH SEMPER O’KEEFE (presenting with Mark Barry)

After graduating in Theology at Durham University in 1996, Elizabeth Semper O'Keefe worked in a number of libraries and archives, often in a voluntary capacity, until studying for a Masters in Archives and Records Management at LUCAS, which was completed in 2000.  She then began her career at Herefordshire Archive Service, where she has had a number of roles, beginning as Archivist in 2000 and currently is Archives and Modern Records Manager.




Meic is an information professional with over 30 years' experience in delivering business solutions through the use of records management and business change techniques in sectors as diverse as the UK Nuclear Industry, Off-shore Government and Scottish Local Authorities. Also a qualified archivist, Meic has a particular interest in developing public sector digital strategies that deliver sustainable and affordable solutions that work for the Records Manager and Archivist alike.

Meic is Records Manager for Fife Council- where his role focusses on Public Records (Scotland) Act (PRSA) compliance and utilising information as a business asset.

Meic is a past Chair of the IRMS, of which he is an honorary life member, a fellow and an accredited member.  Meic is also a Fellow of the Institute for Information Management (Africa), a Trustee of the Scottish Council on Archives and a member of the National Records of Scotland Digital Preservation Programme Board. 


The Walrus and the Carpenter: the Archivist and the Records Manager in Digital Wonderland

 ‘Every year, digital technologies offer more and more opportunities for us to do amazing things for our customers!’  This statement is equally true for archivists and for records managers alike.  This paper looks at how we best take advantage of this wonderland landscape and examines both the areas for collaboration between the Records Manager and Archivist and also, as we stroll along the beach, the ‘lines in the sand’ where this is harder to do.

Are we, like the Walrus and the Carpenter in the World of Jabberwocky a strong and, if viewed from the outside, perhaps on occasion a strange partnership or are we in fact, as the walrus and carpenter are in this Realm, two very different species with very different needs and very different perspectives on the World



Cassandra Pickavance has worked as an archivist at Dorset History Centre since 2012, leading on collecting, preserving and making accessible the county’s digital and multimedia collections. Cassandra recently completed a collaborative project funded by The National Archives looking at the role of archives in the digital records lifecycle across 11 local authorities. She holds an MA in Archives and Records Management from the University of Liverpool and is currently Communications Officer for ARA’s Section for Archives and Technology


As the government’s digital agenda accelerates, local authority record offices are taking steps to guarantee the future accessibility of records traditionally transferred in paper. As more processes are conducted digitally the roles of IT, records manager and archivist have become blurred.

In a collaborative project involving 11 local authority record offices across southern England (Archives First), we sought to understand the digital records lifecycle for several important classes of records in the hope of identifying areas in which archivists can add value to the management of digital records, and the challenges associated with this. We prioritised records generated by the councils and official bodies (magistrates and coroners) who deposit with us as these are common across local government and were identified by participating services as potentially having the most impact. The participating archive services had varying capabilities to manage digital accessions.

Analysis revealed the archival dimension was missing from the lifecycle of digital records in every case. This was true whether or not a digital preservation system was in place. Drawing on first-hand experience in Dorset and findings from the Archives First project, this paper will explore why digital records are not currently crossing the archival threshold, and how we can challenge the status quo to ensure archivists remain digitally relevant, able to preserve the documentary memory of our society for future generations.


Maria PraetzellisMARIA PRAETZELLIS – presenting with Lori Donovan

Maria Praetzellis, Program Manager, Internet Archive: Maria joined the Internet Archive in 2013 and partners with the library community in building and managing programs that support web archiving and digital preservation. Maria works in the Web Archiving group of IA, which includes both Archive-It (https://archive-it.org/), a subscription service used by 500+ libraries, archives, and museums to build special collections of web content, as well as web archiving and preservation services for national libraries, collaborative and grant-funded initiatives, research and access services and technology development. 


Web archives are an important component of the archival field. While most are familiar with the Wayback Machine available at archive.org, less are aware that there are a number of tools and services developed for organizations to create their own web archives, including the capability to search and analyze large data sets built around the WARC file format, an ISO standard for web archiving. In addition, web archives provide permanent URLs for citation and can show how a website has changed over time at a single URL, even if no longer available on the live web.

This workshop will introduce participants (15-25) to basic web archiving concepts and challenges. Using the Archive-It (www.archive-it.org) web application, participants will have a hands-on opportunity to build a collection of content archived from the web, which can include their own organization’s web presence, social media, digital exhibitions, or topical content publicly available on the web. Following the workshop participants will have a searchable archive available to them, including the option of downloading WARC files for long-term preservation or research.

Learning outcomes:
1. Define web archiving terms and technologies
2. Demonstrate to institutional stakeholders the value of web archiving
3. Appraise, harvest, and curate a collection of archived web content
4. Solve basic web archiving challenges, including scoping of content to be captured and identifying crawler issues
5. Explain current landscape of web archiving including known limitations in the field and areas of development for capture and playback of challenging content types
6. Develop a preliminary plan for web archiving work and how it might be implemented at your institution

Special equipment needed (AV etc): Participants will need to bring their own Wi-Fi enabled laptop computers. If the course is taught in a computer lab setting, this would eliminate the need for attendees to bring their own laptops.  No prerequisite knowledge of or experience with web archives is necessary, and the session does not require any programming or advanced technical knowledge of the web.



I have worked for the West Yorkshire Archive Service since 2007 where I started as a trainee conservator enrolled on the ARA Certificate in Archive Conservation.  I continued as a qualified conservator working in our Wakefield studio.  We have recently been involved in a move to our new facility at West Yorkshire History Centre in Wakefield, a Heritage Lottery funded project supported by the West Yorkshire district councils and are also in the process of moving our Halifax facility to a new build.

I have also recently taken on the role as Registrar for the ARA Certificate in Archive Conservation and am enjoying working with the committee, instructors and trainees to continue this much valued training scheme. 


In this talk I will be providing an overview of the ARA’s Certificate in Archive Conservation.  The course is run by the ARA with the goodwill of local government record offices and other archive institutions.  Trainees on the course are provided with one to one tuition with instructors located at various conservation studios around the UK.  Trainees undertake 26 weeks of instruction and lectures covering topics such as the conservation of paper, parchment, bookbinding’s, maps and plans and seals as well as lecture weeks covering the science and theory of conservation. 

The course is designed to train full time or contract staff as archive conservators for UK Record Offices in the main, however it is possible for subjects to be taken on a modular basis if required.  The Lecture weeks and Chemistry weeks are also opened up to others who feel the subjects covered would be a benefit to their professional development.  The scheme has been running since 1971 and has successfully trained over 50 conservators.



I did my initial conservation training at the Colchester Institute between 1982 and 1984. I came to Manchester to work at the Portico Library in January 1985. When this contract came to an end at the end of 1985, I went to work as a conservator at Greater Manchester County Record Office (GMCRO).  I have been working for GMCRO and now Archives+ in conservation ever since.  My main priorities are to provide conservation services and advice to Archives+ and all its partners (Lancashire and Lancahire Family History Society, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and North West Film Archives), and all the Greater Manchester district archive services through the Greater Manchester Archives and Local Studies Partnership.  This work includes repairs and cleaning, binding, preservation reviews and assessments, packaging and digital preservation.


Analysing conditions data with Microsoft Excel

1) Looking at different sources of data, the different data provided by different equipment and how to standardise it to extract the data required.

2) Deciding what data is required and analysing the raw data to extract that required data. This will depend on what the results are needed for.

3) Presenting the results in an easy to read and simple fashion



Jonathan Rhys-Lewis is a preservation and collections management consultant with over 30 years’ experience.

Jonathan is also the Lead Conservation Advisor: Archives & Libraries for the National Conservation Service. This is a part-time role and requires Jonathan to work closely with NCS members and to assist those who wish to join the NCS Collaborative Storage Scheme, operated in partnership with Restore at the Upper Heyford aerodrome site.

He is the chair of the International Council on Archives Expert Group on Archive Buildings & Environments. Jonathan is also co-author of the second edition of the successful book Preserving Archives, published by Facet.

Jonathan is an Honorary Lecturer delivering the Curation & Stewardship and Collections Care modules as part of the Diploma/MA in Archive Studies and Records Management at University College London.

His international work has included successful consultancy missions in France, the Netherlands, The Gambia, Uganda, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Macau, Grenada and Vietnam.


Curatorial Responsibility – is this a reality?

In this paper, the author will review the developments in collections care within the archival profession over the last 20 years; in addition the author will consider the influence of both professional and national standards on attitudes and practice.

In particular, the paper wishes to ask the question “What is curatorial responsibility?” and how does this impact on the decisions that are made for the long-term preservation of archival collections? If the answer is primarily to ensure the survival of the collections, then is it acceptable to outsource our collection care? Is the responsibility being met?

The paper will look at the current economic climate and its direct impacts on institutions with responsibility for collections care – how does this evolving (and potentially worsening) situation change or determine different approaches? Accessibility is changing – what effects is this having on the maintenance and sustainability of collections?

In addition, the intention is also to look at the use of commercial providers of collection care services, their use and the implications for the sector – how important is it that collections remain within the locale that generated them? What is the influence of politicians, stakeholders and depositors on the decisions that are made?

The paper will also consider the new standards for buildings and collection care to be published in 2017, and explore the effects of the previous standard iterations on the sector – why and how did these standards influence decision- making?

The author will draw on over 30 years’ experience of working in the archive sector on collection care issues and present examples and case studies to illustrate the key points in the presentation.



Heritage Photographer within the Heritage Imaging Team at the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester Library.

Tony has a further interest in historic photographic processes and is a practitioner of wet plate collodion and various printing techniques.


The Strines Journals: Practice-led research into Historic Photographic Processes.

The digitisation of a recently acquired 1850’s manuscript, The Strines Journals, has led to experimentation in historic photographic processes at the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester Library.

The Strines Journal; A Monthly Magazine of Literature, Science and Art was one of the most extraordinary and significant provincial ‘publishing’ endeavours of the 19th century. The Journal was published in 5 volumes (47 issues) by two employees of the Strines Print Works, John M Gregory and Joel Wainwright, between September 1852 and December 1860.

“Our object in issuing this journal, is to place within the reach of all who may wish to favour us with contributions on any useful subject, the means of so doing. We are led to think, that if some such medium was in existence, much talent that now lies dormant, would have an opportunity of being developed. We are open to original essays, narratives of travels and excursions, articles on practical science and the fine arts, poetry, and anything that may tend to enlighten and improve the minds of our readers; but of course we shall expect all articles sent to us to be original”.

The Strines Journals also contains several chapters on the lens, camera and newly developed photographic techniques. Following the journals written instructions, and focusing on Henry Fox Talbot’s original recipes for the Calotype and Salt Printing, has led to interesting challenges and results.

This research has encouraged further development of Special Collections staff interest and understanding of the Visual Collections of the University of Manchester Library.


Louise RobertsonLOU ROBERTSON (presenting with Louisa Coles)

Lou has 20 years as a qualified conservator specialising in the interventive treatment of books and archive material. Accredited by the Institute of Conservation (ICON) and currently working as sole conservator across the Archives and Special Collections of the University of Glasgow Library. Part of my work is to be involved with interventive treatments, and dealing with exhibitions and digitisation requests.




Maria Ryan is an archivist in the Digital Collections department of the National Library of Ireland (NLI). Before joining the NLI in 2016, Maria previously worked on the Abbey Theatre Digitisation Project at the James Hardiman Library in the National University of Ireland Galway.



Web Archiving in the National Library of Ireland- The Petri Dish of Convergence

Since 2011 the National Library of Ireland (NLI) has been thematically archiving websites of Irish interest. This experience will be examined in the light of the questions “Why are social media and websites being 'archived' by 'library bodies' and “Is this a failure of our profession and sector to lead?”.

Web archiving in the NLI is considered in the context of international digital preservation practices and the organisation’s development as a memory institution holding national collections traditionally recognisable as either library or archival. Convergence of library and archival practices in the NLI are examined in the context of the development of the digital collections department and a team where the role of librarian and archivist is interchangeable.

Although initiated by archivists, many other professionals have contributed significantly to the development of the NLI’s web archive. While the archivist’s ability to appraise is essential in terms of selecting material for inclusion, the skills of both librarians and ICT professionals are also necessary. Librarians have extensive experience with published material and similarly, ICT professionals offer considerable technical expertise.

The unique nature of web archiving involves a collaboration of these professions and also affords the opportunity to learn new skills from other professionals. Will developments in web archiving lead to the continued blurring of the lines between librarian and archivist or will the role of the archivist as we know it be rendered redundant in the future?



Dr Jagjit Singh is a Director of Environmental Building Solutions Ltd and specialises in building health problems, heritage conservation and environmental issues. He has more than 30 years' experience as a building pathologist and expertise in heritage conservation, collections care & preservation, indoor air quality & health in the UK and abroad.
He has published in excess of 200 technical papers and communications, contributed to books and lectured widely on care and conservation of collections, building pathology and building health problems. He has edited several books including Building Mycology, Management of Decay and Health in Buildings, Environmental Preservation of Timber in Buildings, Allergy Problems in Buildings and Environmental Monitoring of our Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Conservation Solutions.
He is a BBC Expert and has appeared twice in the Raising the Roof series. He was an ex- president of the INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT (ISBE).


The main theme of the presentation is to cover;
Moulds, health and indoor air quality
Allergies and medical consequences of moulds
Insurance and liability for moulds
Legal repercussions of moulds
Moisture, condensation and the causation of moulds
Climate change, flood damage and moulds
Moulds & health of our cultural heritage
Monitoring and Risk assessment & sustainable solutions
Proper understanding of the causes
Correct identification of the infestation is the vital key
Independent scientific approach
Non-destructive inspection
Environmental approach avoids the need for Remedial chemical treatments
Presentation is about interrelationships of the internal archive environment created by the interactions of repository architecture, materials, structures, services, collections with their external environments and the resulting infestation and mould.
Mould growth in archives, environmental conditions can have detrimental effects on collections, decorative surfaces, materials and contents and can pose a threat to the health of the occupants.
Fungal problems in both modern and historic archives buildings are mainly the result of defects in buildings, lack of maintenance and gross neglect. Rectifying these defects and by ensuring proper maintenance can provide long term sustainable, holistic solutions to these problems.
Correct identification of the infestation by an independent scientist is the vital key to all such problems, as all infestation is not equally destructive. By employing a range of non- destructive inspection techniques, much of the original fabric can be retained. The environmental approach is beneficial to the building fabric, occupants and to the wider environment.
Much damage has been inflicted in last Century by dealing with the symptoms of the problems and not with the causes. By proper understanding of the courses, its repetition should be avoided in this Century.



Qualified as an archivist with the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1992. From 1992-1993 was a research officer for the Location Register of English Literary Manuscripts at the University of Reading. From 1993 – 2002 employed as an archivist at Hampshire Record Office, Winchester. From 2002-2005 employed as Senior Records Manager at HRO.

Since 2006 I have been Principal Archivist of Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. This involves line management of 17 frontline staff, as well as helping to manage various projects including the National Cataloguing Grants programme ‘From Salisbury to Tobago’ project; the Wiltshire Manorial Documents Register project and the ‘Lacock Unlocked’ HLF-funded project on which this paper is focused.

I am also employed on a casual basis by the University of Dundee, where I tutor on their post-graduate Archives and Records Management programme. I am also Chair of the South West Region of ARA.


Lacock Unlocked: how our HLF-funded project acted as a catalyst to widen skills and diversify audiences at Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre”

In 2009 Wiltshire and Swindon Archives were asked to buy the archives of the Lacock Abbey estates, an important collection shedding light on life in north-west Wiltshire from 12-20th centuries. (The village of Lacock, donated to the National Trust in 1944, is famous as the home of W H Fox Talbot, pioneer photographer.) Applying to HLF for funding (granted in 2012) encouraged us to look afresh at our audiences and identify areas for development. These included younger people aged 16-24 so in order to address this we worked with Wiltshire College’s Creative Wiltshire interactive media unit students to create a location-aware mobile phone ‘app’ for both iPhone and Android devices. The process of designing and developing the ‘app’ was a valuable experience in project development work in creative media and heritage that may lead to career opportunities and employment for young people.

It was very important to us that the ‘app’ should have a strong link to real-life stories and people discovered in the Lacock archives, and it was designed and built using research by existing volunteers. Volunteers of all ages also made a huge contribution by voicing a script telling various stories, woven in with music and images, triggered by GPS as visitors go round the village and also available in an ‘armchair’ form.

This project also included an array of outreach and participation activities; a community archive project involving the collation of oral history interviews and creation of an online community archive for local people’s memories and documents; and a pioneering remote volunteering project which has helped diversify our users.

This paper will discuss the Lacock Unlocked project and its impact on the audiences we serve. It will discuss the many lessons learned, in a practical way, and will hopefully inspire other heritage professionals to explore new ways of working to propagate skills and diversify audiences for archives


Emma StaggEMMA STAGG (presenting with Kirsty Fife)

I have managed two Skills for the Future traineeship projects, 'Transforming Archives' led by The National Archives and 'Conserving Local Communities' Heritage' led by Glamorgan Archives. Both projects were designed to address identified skills shortages in the heritage sector and increase the diversity of the heritage workforce through bringing trainees into the workforce through new routes. I am a qualified archivist (and a Registered Member of the ARA) and I have specialised in workforce development, including working for a Sector Skills Council to develop National Occupational Standards (NOS), apprenticeship frameworks and vocational qualifications. I am also a qualified assessor and verifier and have assessed candidates at Level 2 and 3 working in libraries, archives and museums.


Dr Adrian SteeleDR ADRIAN STEEL (presenting with Iain Watson)

Dr Adrian Steel has been Director / a Trustee of The Postal Museum (formerly known as the British Postal Museum & Archive) since 2009, and has worked for the organisation since 2003. He has led its transformation into London’s newest Visitor Attraction (opening Summer 2017) comprising a first class museum experience and Mail Rail ride, as well as strengthening its core heritage services, learning, outreach, archival and curatorial work through new state-of-the-art accommodation, facilities and services.

Prior to joining The Postal Museum, Adrian worked at the London Metropolitan Archives, Reuters Archive and the Wellcome Trust.

Adrian has a PhD in history from Queen Mary, University of London, where he studied party politics in the Greater London area in the 1920s. He has an MA in Archives and Records Management from University College London and has been a Registered Member of the Archives and Records Association since 2001.


In the media, and in the minds of the public, the roles of ‘curator’ and ‘archivist’ are often regarded as interchangeable. Both professions are seen as caring for the past – for information and knowledge from the past, or for objects and documents telling the story of times gone by. Professionals qualified and working in each respective discipline will smile through gritted teeth as they are incorrectly titled by radio or television presenters, or by their own bosses.

Partially spurred on by the search for economies, especially but not exclusively in the local government sector, senior managers are cutting across the divide between the two professions and structuring their organisations so that archive or museum professionals take on responsibility for the types of collection, service or expertise previously managed by the other profession.

In 2015 the Campaign for good Curatorship described a good curator as:

A specialist who is knowledgeable about the collections and their context to the communities they serve.

Able to recognise the value of their collection and ensure it continues to develop to remain relevant

Able to make their knowledge freely available to support the work of their colleagues and the wider functions of the museum, particularly with regards to ensuring sustainable use of collections and that this knowledge is continued in perpetuity.  Accountable, open and honest and committed to diversity and inclusivity.

Could the same be said about a good archivist? Is there in fact more in common between the professions than those of us smiling through gritted teeth when incorrectly titled would admit?

The Chair has been Director of a combined museum/archive service for 8 years, and in this session will ask the speakers representing the points of view of both professions a series of provocative questions, such as:

What skills do the panel think are unique to their profession?

The public see curators and archivists as much the same thing, therefore should we combine the roles rather than fight this judgement?

Do the ‘traditional’ job titles empower or stifle us?

With ever decreasing budgets can we still afford to have two professional roles – better one than none?

Is it now time for the ‘super’ heritage professional who performs the two roles combined?

Are we managers of resources or producers/editors of content?

Through discussing these questions, others, and points made from the floor of the conference, the panel will aim to come to a view on the question: should two become one?

In addition, the session will discuss future possibilities of ARA training on museum practice for archivists (and vice versa) as well as the option of setting up a new ARA Section for Museums and Archives.



I am the Manager of the Jisc Archives Hub service, an aggregator of descriptions held at over 320 archives across the UK (http://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk). I oversee the maintenance and development of the service, which centres around data processing, implementing metadata standards for archives, particularly EAD, and issues relating to interoperability and online dissemination. I am the UK representative for the Archives Portal Europe and I have written many articles and blog posts and given papers relating to online discovery, linked data, indexing standards and other topics related to archival description. Previously I spent some years as the archivist at the Royal Institute of British Architects and I started my career as an Archives Assistant at Warwickshire County Record Office.


Go Local, Think Global: The Importance of Compromise in Reaching for the Stars

If we want to put archives at the heart of a global data-driven, online world it means understanding what this means and how to achieve it. What underpins the Web and the data-driven economy? Things like APIs, IIIF, XML, SEO, Linked Data, URIs, DOIs, big data – technologies, standards and applications that facilitate consistency and connectivity and that continually change and develop. If we stick to our own familiar domain space then we may be drawing a line around archives and keeping them within a world of our own making.

Effective archival discovery is one area that relies heavily upon technology. But can individual repositories set up a standards-based APIs, implement schema.org, transform their data to current Web requirements and build in potential for the future?  Is it realistic to expect that archivists will have the skill, expertise, time and infrastructure to do these types of things?

The Archives Hub has worked for over 15 years now to help ensure that archives are effectively discoverable. For this to work we need to be integral to discovery and actively working with the community.  I want to share with you what I have learnt from the long and sometimes challenging journey we have taken as a team working with catalogue data.  I want to focus on the practical lessons learnt from the hard slog of putting theories into practice, the day-to-day nitty-gritty issues that arise with processing data in order to effectively promote interoperability and discoverability, and the conclusions we may draw from this. It is about how to bring diverse data together and the tricky decisions that need to be made across a diverse set of data.

I will argue that we cannot achieve what we need to as a community without maintaining and extending a model of specialist expert hubs that can take a broad perspective. Individual repositories may have a strong sense of their own practices, and what they need for the repository to function, and whilst this is entirely appropriate for many aspects of archival work, it may not be appropriate for cataloguing and creating an online presence for archives. We need a new mindset for 21st century data that goes beyond our traditional sense of archival catalogues.



Bill Stockting is currently managing the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. Previously, Bill was at the British Library for nine years where he led the development of the archives and manuscripts cataloguing system and latterly was responsible for the cataloguing and processing of the Library's special collections.  Before that Bill worked at the National Archives for 13 years.

Bill's main area of expertise is archival cataloguing, its automation and presentation online and he is a member of the International Council on Archives' (ICA) Experts Group on Archival Description (EGAD), which is developing a conceptual model for archival description, Records in Contexts (RiC).


RiC - Records in Contexts, the replacement for the ICA descriptive standards

This session will provide an update on the development of the new standard for archival description,  Records in Contexts (RiC), being developed for the International Council on Archives (ICA) by the Expert Group on Archival Description (EGAD). It will look at why we need to develop a conceptual model for archival description (RiC-CM) and a formal ontology (RiC-O) as a replacement for the General International Standard for Archival Description (ISAD(G)) and its related description standards. The scope and structure of the model will be outlined as set out in the draft for feedback followed by a brief look at the work remaining to do and next steps.



An experienced records professional specialising in governance, risk and compliance.

Since 2010, Policy Manager at Royal Bank of Scotland responsible for the bank’s Managing Records policy.  Before joining RBS, Senior Records Manager in global markets business of Dutch bank ABN AMRO for just over 10 years.

I’ve also worked in the pharmaceutical and energy sectors, NHS and Transport for London.

Joint editor of Managing records in global financial markets: ensuring compliance and mitigating risk published in 2011.  Wrote the chapter “Establishing a global policy framework for the management of records”.

For the last 7 years, member of the BSI Records Management Committee - since December 2012 as representative of ARA.

UK delegate to the ISO Records Management Committee since 2010.  Helped draft the new standard in the Management System for Records series, ISO30302-Guidelines for implementation.  One of the UK representatives on working group that revised ISO15489. Chairman of BSI panel which collated UK responses to drafts of the revision.


The revised ISO 15489

The original ISO 15489 published in 2001 was ground breaking – the first international best practice standard for records management – and it was successful, the standard sold well.  It was translated into at least 20 languages and adopted by over 25 national standards bodies.

The first revision of ISO 15489 Part 1 was published last year and this presentation will cover what’s changed.  The revised standard has some significant changes but much of the text is substantially the same.

The presentation will look at the planned replacements for the old Part 2 of ISO 15489 and look further forward to future possible revision of ISO 15489.

All ISO standards have to be reviewed every five years and either reissued without amendment, revised or withdrawn.  Now is the time to reflect on how far 15489 and related records management standards meet the needs of records professionals.



I joined the Royal College of Nursing as their Corporate Digital Archives Specialist in January 2017, and am leading their Digital Repository Project.

Whilst completing an MA in Contemporary History at the University of Sussex, I began my archives career as a cataloguing volunteer. I completed a graduate traineeship at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew before becoming the Trainee Archivist at the Guardian newspaper. I graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Archives and Records Management from University College London in 2015.

Following qualification, I returned to Kew Gardens as a Project Officer, cataloguing the Annals of Botany collection. I then joined the University of the Arts London as an Assistant Archivist, before working as the first professional archivist at St George’s, University of London.

I am the Communications Officer for the ARA Section for New Professionals.


Starting small, thinking bigger: Piloting digital preservation

This paper will reflect on how we are piloting digital preservation at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in a way which bridges the needs of different teams within the business, whilst expanding the role of the archivist, and demonstrating our growing value as recordkeeping professionals in the digital age. We hope this will encourage others to follow our lead within their own organisations.

The Royal College of Nursing celebrated its centenary in 2016. Nursing as a profession has a strong recordkeeping tradition, however in its centenary year the RCN had no solution in place to secure its digital records for the future. To demonstrate how the archives could support those who are responsible for our digital records, and help to shape the strategy for digital preservation, funding was secured for a one year digital archivist post to initiate the RCN’s digital repository starting in January 2017.

A decision was made to pilot digital preservation with a small number of at risk business areas, selecting some of their records series. This way of working allows us to deliver achievable milestones to demonstrate the key benefits for the organisation in supporting this work in the future. Developing and working with digital preservation in its early stages encourages the RCN Library and Archive Service staff to increase their skills and demonstrate our relevance as professionals in a new area. Our pilot methodology requires collaborative working with the different business areas, but importantly we are taking the lead in influencing internal discussions on digital preservation.



A graduate of Glasgow University and of the archives programme at Liverpool University, my archival career was in English local government. I worked in West Yorkshire Archive Service and in Sheffield City Archives where I was responsible for the archives, local studies and conservation units. I left full time archival work to pursue a PhD which examined the question of authenticity v. reliability in 16th century Spanish chronicles.

I have been involved with ARA throughout my professional life: as Regional Secretary (Northern region); Hon. Assistant Secretary and the Secretary of the then Society of Archivists. I was also Secretary of the National Council on Archives. I have been a member of the Qualifications Accreditation Team of ARA for over 20 years and Chairman of the Panel for the last three rounds of visits.

Since moving to France in 2008, I have also been involved with the International Council on s, where I am a member of the Secretariat team responsible for Translations and Publications.


The Qualifications Accreditation Team needs You!

My presentation will discuss the work of the Qualifications Accreditation Panel and its teams which are responsible for recommending the accreditation of the postgraduate archival and records management programmes in the UK and Ireland to the Board of ARA. I will outline the origins and development of the system of accreditation, discuss its relevance and importance for ARA and its members, and suggest possible future developments.

My paper will also describe the process of accreditation and the work of the team before, during and after each visit. I will demonstrate how the process has had to change and develop over the years, in order to deal with the enormous changes that have taken place within the profession, the increase in the number of institutions offering different types of postgraduate programmes and the changes that have taken place within the Higher Education sector over time.

I will refer to the team members, describe how they are selected and will try to give a flavour of the level of commitment required of each member. I will also cover not only what team members contribute to the process but what each one gets out of their involvement, both professionally and personally.

ARA is one of very few associations worldwide which operate such an accreditation system, and was a pioneer in establishing the process through working with the archival educators to create a system which was seen as being one of mutual benefit. I, and the team, see it as a vital part of ARA’s role and would hope to see it continue into the future. Working on the assumption that it will indeed continue, there are issues that will need to be addressed. I will briefly outline some of these and reflect on what the qualifications process and teams may look like in the future. Most of all—as the title of my presentation might suggest—I will be appealing to you to support the work of the team and to come forward and join us. We can promise you an interesting and challenging experience!


JENNIE VICKERS (presenting with Hannah Niblett)

Jennie Vickers is a Project Manager at the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust, currently managing the research phase of Coming in from the Cold – a long-term project to increase the profile of BAME communities in our archive. She has managed a further two heritage projects for the organisation, collecting and representing oral histories through audio, publications and exhibitions. 

Jennie has previously worked in community engagement roles at Museums Sheffield, Imperial War Museum North, Gallery Oldham and The Lowry, developing inclusive programmes and delivering a range of learning and access initiatives. She is also a practicing artist with work in collections at the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Whitworth Art Gallery and Weston Park Museum.



I studied Paper Conservation at Camberwell College of Arts: University of the Arts London, specialising in works of art on paper. Whilst studying I interned at the V&A Word and Image department and National Art library.

I previously worked at Flintshire Record Office and joined the CMAS team at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in 2012. I provide advice concerning the storage and remedial treatment of archival materials including paper and parchment, maps, books, works of art and photographs and undertake conservation work for a variety of organisations, historic houses and private individuals and run training courses to promote best practice and long term preservation within archives.

I am an editor for ARC Magazine: Preservation and Conservation special issues.


“My Generation:” Income generation in archives, and the changing role of a conservator.

My session will be about the changes to my role as an archive conservator to reflect wider economic factors and to allow us to continue as a successful and valuable service. My team have successfully adapted to make savings during budget cuts over the past few years by increasing our capacity for income generation. 

I work for the Wiltshire Council Conservation and Museums Advisory Service (CMAS) in the Conservation Service part of the team, also known as the “contracts” team. My role as a local government archive conservator is quite unusual in that I now work only on income generation projects, and the income generation side of our service operates like a business. This is to meet high demand from outside organisations and higher income generation targets. Other members of my team include objects conservators and we work closely together and share the same income generation procedures.

During my session, I will explain how we achieve a balance between work for our own archives and for outside organisations and address the positive outcomes and pitfalls of how this affects our service, for example: we now only have one conservator who works solely on the Wiltshire and Swindon archives, however, the income generation work has flourished and we have a good reputation in museums and private collectors in Wiltshire and across the South.

I will describe how my team operates like a business; how we find work, and explain the changes to our procedures we have made to make them more streamlined. I will also highlight some of the varied projects I’ve worked on including works of art on paper by prominent modern artists Barbara Hepworth and Sonia Delaunay, and a large project to conserve fire damaged estate papers from a local historic house. My income generation work often allows me to work on items not normally seen in traditional mixed archive collections, such as works of art, and my clients range from local museums to railway ephemera enthusiasts and stamp collectors!

I will address coping with changes within the heritage sector, how we have adapted over time to meet these changes to ensure the survival of our service, cross-disciplinary partnership and the diverse and changing role of an archive conservator.



Since 2011 I have been Head of Archive at the RSA (Royal Society of Arts) a multi – faceted role that involves being both archivist and record manager.  Based within External Affairs my remit is to actively promote the archive externally, ensure its integration within RSA current activities, and make it a publicly accessible resource. Holding both traditional and increasingly born digital records the archive is working to develop an appropriate digital strategy leading to the establishment of a digital repository.



Future Proofing the RSA archive

During the last five years the necessity to future proof the RSA archive became increasingly apparent as areas of concern and possible risks were identified. This paper hopefully will show that as these concerns have surfaced digital solutions have enabled us to take a positive view, adapt to change and approach each problem as an unexpected opportunity.

Raising the external awareness of the Society’s rich history was the motivation for a previous successful initiative with JSTOR resulting in on-line publication of digital versions of the Society’s volumes of Transactions and Journals. Introducing the Society’s history, activity and story to a much larger and broader audience and we are keen to build on this.

Re-introducing 260 years of history into the RSA House without physical space or display cases to safely display artefacts, letters, artworks etc., while still maintaining the archive's relevance to the Society and its Fellowship is a high profile project and if successful should remove the risk of being ‘out of sight out of mind'.                                                                   

The rapid ongoing development of mobile technology is the key to opening up exciting possibilities to show and interpret the archive. We adopted a mobile app system allowing apps to be easily created and managed, it is intuitive to use and in this paper we will explain our choices for the RSA Heritage App, how we adapted it to in-house events and external campaigns including Explore Your Archive.

As our horizons and ambitions expand we are moving forward adding beacon technology so visitors to the RSA House can use the app as a visitor guide automatically accessing historic content relevant to their location within the building. This will put aspects of the RSA’s history into the House again as text and audio. Using GPS we will shortly be able to map the history of the Society from its first meeting in a Covent Garden coffee house in 1754 through to our permanent residence in John Adam Street in 1774 and the locations of meetings between those dates. Looking outside of the app we will be beta testing a contemporary timeline.

The long term viability of maintaining the archive within the historic RSA House where it has been in continual residence since 1774 was one concern that we hoped would be hypothetical…!  This paper will also cover how we turned this scenario into a golden opportunity to future proof the RSA Archive.


Iain WatsonIAIN WATSON (presenting with Dr Adrian Steel)

Iain’s initial career was in research in archaeological science. He moved into the cultural sector after training as a teacher and has been Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums since March 2010. He is a Board member of the Museums Association (and currently leading the England sub-group of the MA’s Museums Taskforce), Vice Chair of the National Museum Directors’ Council, a member of the Advisory Board of ArtUK and an external PhD examiner at Leicester University. He is a member of the Steering Group for Creative Fuse, a major research project exploring the Creative, Digital and IT sector in the NE. In 2016 he was a member of the bid team which brought the Great Exhibition of the North to NewcatleGateshead and is now part of the Operations Board for the Exhibition which will take place in 2018. He teaches on postgraduate courses at Newcastle and Durham universities and has written and lectured extensively in the UK and internationally on museums and their future, including recent lectures in Australia, China, Finland, Brazil and Turkey. He was responsible for the initiation of Destination Tyneside at Discovery Museum, possibly the first permanent gallery in a UK museum dedicated to immigration.



Jason has worked in the Web Archiving team at The British Library since 2014, leading the communication of the UK Web Archive to the public and academics. This includes building partnerships and liaising with stakeholders.  Prior to joining the Library, Jason worked on various digital projects and websites at the Museum of London and the Natural History Museum.   



This presentation will demonstrate both the challenges and many opportunities of archiving the UK web space. Web archiving in the UK is done in an official capacity by the UK Web Archive (representing all six Legal Deposit Libraries), the National Archives and the Parliamentary Archives. In addition to outlining how web archiving works there will be a practical demonstration of how to use it as a resource for research.



I have been University Archivist & Records Manager at the University of Huddersfield since 2007, and have previously worked in local government, elsewhere in Higher Education, and in the third sector.  Since 2012 I have been directing the 5 year/£2million Heritage Lottery Fund/University funded project to transform the Archives service which includes the capital development of Heritage Quay.   My team was awarded the Times Higher Leadership & Management Award 2016 for “outstanding Library team”, among other awards and achievements that year including Archive Service Accreditation.  Active in professional and Service development in a range of organisations, including acting as the ARA’s Registrar for five years, I was voted the Archives & Records Association Recordkeeper of the Year 2016.


How can recordkeepers contribute to the development of equality, creativity and compassion in the wider world? why should we? (and why haven’t/don’t we?)

How can pro-active, compassionate and creative records-based engagement help us as a profession and as individuals to

- transmit (inspire, inform, change, educate, build capacity and involvement or influence)

- collaborate (consider, create or decide something together), and

- receive (use others’ views, skills, experience, knowledge)

Whilst I will draw on a few examples from the multi-award winning work at Heritage Quay on "animating our place", this won’t simply be a case study: I will look at the broader opportunities and constraints for and on recordkeepers, including the impact of wider societal trends and influences.  And I’ll consider the value to society and to the recordkeeping profession of pro-active and confident leadership that goes beyond advocacy.

As a longstanding contributor to professional training, education and development I will round up with a personal take on the professional competencies needed by the current and future generation of recordkeepers for this work, and the values needed for the critical work of building inclusion in our workspaces and broader communities.



Karyn graduated with a master’s degree in Archives and Records Management from the University of Dundee in 2013. She has worked in various Archives across Scotland including the University of Glasgow, National Records of Scotland, Blair Castle and the University of Edinburgh. She is currently the Company Archivist for Standard Life. Karyn is also the Chair of the Section for New Professionals, the Chair of ARA Scotland, Events coordinator for the Business Archive Council of Scotland and Scottish Business History Network and enrolled on the Registration Scheme. Her research interests are outreach and education in the Archive profession.

The Section for New Professionals began in 2010 and has grown to be one of the most active sections of the ARA. In 2016, based on feedback from a member survey undertaken in 2015, the executive committee made the decision to re-launch the section with a more strategic, member focused approach which has helped increase membership and raise our profile across the sector.


This interactive tutorial uses the re-launch of the Section for New Professionals as a case study to examine what makes a committee effective and what tools and processes can be put in place to ensure committees continue to work effectively and serve the needs of their members. Formation, process and on-going review of committee working will be discussed and practical guidance given on making the most of the resources and support provided by your organisation.


AUDREY WILSON (presenting with Emma Stagg)

As a trained conservator, Audrey has worked for organisations ranging from the Royal Opera House, London, to the State Library of New South Wales. She was the Senior Conservator at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and went on to establish her own business, Conservation Consortium Scotland in Edinburgh.
Audrey brings her skills and experience in business management, recruitment, and co-ordinating staff and volunteers to her role with the Scottish Council on Archives’ Skills for the Future project, Opening Up Scotland’s Archives. Audrey administrates the project and works closely with the host archive services across Scotland, supporting them to deliver high quality, paid training placements.


Challenge the Future: How do you want the Profession to Grow

In April 2014, funding of £513,400 was secured by the Scottish Council on Archives to provide Heritage Lottery Funded Skills for the Future traineeships over the next three years, working in partnership with archive services across Scotland. 

‘Opening up Scotland’s Archives’ will provide 18 traineeships for people new to the sector over a 3-year period in Scotland. The year-long traineeships provide an introduction to archives, training and on the job development in specific skills gap areas. Recruitment is aimed at people with backgrounds that are unusual in the sector (have an interest in changing career paths, may have job or voluntary experience in any of the skills gaps areas addressed by the traineeships and non-graduates).

Identified skills gaps that the project aims to address are: 

  • Traditional Skills (e.g. palaeography, cataloguing and collections research) 
  • Digital Preservation & Digitisation 
  • Outreach and Education 
  • Collections Development (e.g. surveying existing collections to assess where gaps exist in relation to representing the community and society more broadly, meeting with community groups to discuss and identify collections that may be added to existing collections to make them more representative.) 


We are now approaching the end of the three-year ‘Opening Up Scotland’s Archives’ project and in a better position to know if we have succeeded. To share with the sector the legacy of the Project, and show it has been: 


Simon WilsonSIMON WILSON (presenting with Dr Melinda Haunton and Susan Corrigall)

Simon Wilson is University Archivist at the University of Hull, based at the Hull History Centre. In 2010 Simon was seconded to the role of Digital Archivist on the AIMS Project (a collaboration between the Universities of Hull, Stanford, Virginia and Yale) which sought to identify commonality in processing born-digital archives. The experiences of the four project partners led to the AIMS White Paper published in 2012 advocating good practice with regard to born-digital material.  Since then Simon has spoken widely on practical digital preservation and in particular seeking to encourage individuals and organisations to take their first steps in digital preservation. Simon is joint-lead on a project to archive Hull UK City of Culture. 

Simon is currently Chair of the Archives and Records Association Section for Archives & Technology.


The NDSA Levels of Digital Preservation: self-assessment & Archive Service Accreditation 

The preservation of born-digital archives is the single most important issue we face today.  How we embrace this opportunity is critical for individuals, institutions and the sector. Although we are embarking on the same digital preservation “journey” each institution has specific parameters and factors that made direct comparisons difficult or inappropriate. However in recent years one scheme has emerged that actively allows and encourages such comparisons.

This panel session will bring together colleagues and perspectives to discuss the levels of digital preservation, developed by the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA). The levels act as a framework that allows an institution to conduct a self-assessment of its capability and capacity on a simple progressive scale in key functional areas. The session will briefly introduce the levels but swiftly move on from the theoretical to the practical. 

Dr Melinda Haunton, The National Archives, will talk about the pilot programme to extend the coverage of digital preservation in the revised archives accreditation form, including the NDSA Levels of Digital Preservation, which will be introduced in 2018. 

Susan Corrigall, Head of the Digital Records Unit at the National Records of Scotland will share their experience of programme planning and the active role that UK Archives Accreditation and the NDSA Levels can play.

Simon Wilson, Hull University Archives, will share their experience of participating in the pilot programme and how the institution plans to utilise and engage with the NDSA Levels of Digital Preservation in the future.

Delegates will have an opportunity to think about their own service’s progress and planning in digital preservation, and how working with NDSA Levels can support this.



Sherry L. Xie, MLIS (McGill University, Canada), MAS & PhD (University of British Columbia). Worked as librarian, archivist, and records manager in universities and governments in Canada and currently as: Professor, School of Information Resource Management, Renmin University of China; Associate Director, Center for Electronic Records Management Research; Research Fellow, Key Laboratory of Data Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, Ministry of Education of China; and adjunct professor at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada. Passionately interested in digital information management and has been participating in both local and international research projects on digital information since 2003; presented research findings, including keynote speeches, at more than 20 international conferences and has published 1 book, 3 book chapters, and more than 30 journal articles and conference papers.


Competing with Robots - can Records Management Profession withstand the challenges

The topic of robots/automation replacing human jobs, while was entirely avoided by Donald Trump during his campaign and his first 9 days in office, occupies increasingly people’s eyes and thoughts. In 2015, the Guardian reported “40% of Australian jobs were under threat from automation” and CNN Money reported that the Bank of England believes that “machines might take over 80 million American and 15 million British jobs over the next 10 to 20 years”.  Continuing in 2016 and 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that “Half of Japan’s working population could be replaced by robots or artificial-intelligence programs within the next 10 to 20 years” and Recode reported that “Robots want half of your jobs”. So, what will happen to the Records Management (RM) job in the upcoming era of robot? The widely cited 2013 Oxford study, The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are jobs to computerization? seemed to have given out the answer. Using the United States Department of Labor’s O*NET data, the study calculated probabilities of computerisation - defined as “job automation by means of computer-controlled equipment” – for 702 occupations, including those relating to Records Management. According to the study, Records and Information Managers, as well as Records Management Directors, both labelled as Administrative Services Manager in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), has a 73% of chance of being replaced by a robot in the next 20 years, and Records Clerks, labelled as Information Clerks in OOH, has a 96% of chance of being replaced in the next 20 years. Gone, therefore, the majority of RM jobs in the next 20 years. Are there any ways for the RM profession to survive the robot movement? The study that this presentation reports aimed to find answers to this question. 



Geoffrey Yeo is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Information Studies at University College London (UCL). Before joining UCL he worked as an archivist for the Corporation of the City of London, for St Bartholomew's Hospital, and for the Royal College of Physicians. He has also worked as a freelance archivist and records manager, and as a consultant to the International Records Management Trust, participating in records management and educational projects in The Gambia, Ghana, Botswana and Uganda. In 2010 he was Visiting Professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He has published widely on archival description and on conceptual understandings of records, and is a frequent speaker on these and related topics at international academic and professional conferences. His published work won the Society of American Archivists Fellows’ Ernst Posner Award in 2009 and the Hugh A. Taylor Prize in 2013.


Challenging ideas about appraisal and selection: shaping our professional agenda for the digital world

This paper sets out to explore the future scope of appraisal and selection in an era of rapid technological change and ever-falling digital storage costs. How will these developments in contemporary society affect our approach to selecting and preserving records? Will our existing appraisal paradigms still hold good, or should we now try to keep everything, as some pundits have suggested? Might we have archives where nothing is ever destroyed? Why should we retain selection practices in a world of born-digital records, where storing everything may seem easier than incurring the costs and complexities of appraisal, and where forensic techniques mean that digital traces may be impossible to remove completely? Proponents of Big Data often argue that selective approaches are obsolescent and that new analytic tools work best when everything is preserved. In moving forward our professional role for the coming decades, could we refocus appraisal on identifying what records should be created, rather than what should be retained or destroyed? There are possibilities here for a major transformation of our professional agenda. Yet, to many of us, archive services that keep records on a much larger scale may seem a challenging, perhaps even frightening, prospect. How might we manage description, preservation, and access if we keep records in potentially huge quantities? What of the need to respect privacy, confidentiality, the right to be forgotten? Is large-scale retention a threat to the long established principles of archives and records management? Is it merely a pipedream? Or will it prove to be a disruptive force that requires us to let go of preconceived ideas about the need for selective custody and invent new models and more robust practices, to prepare ourselves and our profession for a future world of digital abundance?


Laura YeomanLAURA YEOMAN (presenting with Victoria Hoyle)

Laura Yeoman is Archivist (Access and Engagement) with Explore York Libraries and Archives.  She was responsible for the re-design and delivery of the archives’ public service as part of the Gateway to History project.  After a two year closure the archive reopened to the public in January 2015 and has since received over 100,000 visitors. Prior to working for Explore Laura was Archivist at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.


Out of the strongroom, into the street: New directions in community engagement

Community engagement is now an integral part of archival practice and a significant factor in the on-going justification of funding from both parent organisations and external funders.  Drawing on practical experience as archivists as well as current PhD research, our presentation will explore radical strategies to engage diverse publics and communities with archival heritage in ways that are meaningful to them. In 2012 a survey found that only 6% of York’s residents knew where to find their city archives. Three years later, after the completion of the HLF funded York: A Gateway to History project, this figure had risen to 40%. In the first half of our paper Laura will explore some of the engagement strategies developed during the Gateway project, share lessons learnt, successes and failures, and consider the changing relationship between archivists and community groups in the city. In the second half of our paper Victoria will share the most recent findings of her AHRC-funded PhD research States of Engagement: Archives, Communities and Value in the Heritage City.  Using findings from interviews with archives practitioners and a research project with a York community group she will consider how professional values and archival paradigms may generate tensions, confusion, conflict and resistance to engagement between archives and communities.  Finally, we will consider both simple and radical methodologies for challenging and negotiating those tensions, through participation, co-production and action research approaches