ARA 2020 Conference - Call for papers

  • This year's theme is We  Records

The Archives and Records Association UK & Ireland invites proposals for its 2020 Conference to be held in Chester between 2 and 4 September 2020.

Our 2018 #ARAGlasgowManifesto was a rallying cry for change within the sector

while our 2019 #Recordkeeper3.0 conference indicated a real appetite to critically examine our profession and our beliefs. Who are ‘we’ and why should we ‘love records’?

Our 2020 conference will give us the opportunity to explore these questions and look at how record-keepers and records can make a difference in turbulent times through our key themes of Diversity, Advocacy and Sustainability.


Sessions will encompass the main areas of archives and records, conservation, digital preservation and information governance using our key themes: Diversity, Advocacy and Sustainability. Therefore, we want to see proposals which have a strong focus in these areas which have emerged from Conference feedback and communication with ARA members and stakeholders.


Diversity is a big issue and one which many of you feel very strongly about it. Rightly, you want to see progress that is fast, real and lasting. In 2019 #Recordkeeper3.0 examined the profession and we want to take the debate forward in Chester by looking at records. How do we increase diversity and representation in the records and what role do recordkeepers play in this process? How can we represent if we are not representative?

Recordkeepers can turn steps in the right direction to leading the charge!


We may know the value of records, but how do we go about spreading the message to others? How do we convince depositors and potential depositors that we are trustworthy custodians of community memory and how do we ensure that we are? How to we make the case for the necessary investment in staff, IT and projects? Why are archives critical to society and why is proper records management important to businesses and organisations?

Reaching out to those who don’t know, don’t care or don’t want us is our challenge – let’s meet it!


If we can advocate about our diverse records, then what do we do to sustain them in the future? Whether it’s the energy consumption of data centres, the impact of appraisal in deciding what we keep, the need to develop passive archive storage, or the materials used for conservation, environmental impact is increasingly something that recordkeepers should consider.

We are a small sector but, as we know, no one is too small to make a difference!

These questions are only suggestive of potential areas that could be included. Now it’s over to you! Why not submit a proposal on something that you would like to have debated at #ARA2020.

For full details on proposals and how to submit a papers click here.

Mike Anson
Chair, ARA Conference Committee

2019 Premier Sponsor

  • img

2019 Gold Sponsor

  • img

2019 Silver Sponsor

  • img
  • img

2019 Ice cream Sponsor

  • img