I am Head of Special Collections at UCL, one of the foremost university collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books in the UK. It includes collections of medieval manuscripts and early printed books, as well as significant holdings of 18th century works, and highly important 19th and 20th century collections of personal papers, archival material, and literature, covering a vast range of subject areas, notably Latin American archives, Jewish collections and the George Orwell Archive. I was Head of the Institute of Education Archives from 2003-2016 and previously worked for the AIM25 project, Kings College London and John Rylands Library in Manchester.
Panel: Shaping digital recordkeeping and competence
(Presenting with Jenny Bunn, James Lowry, Mark Hedges, and Isabelle Reynolds)
Mark Allen RCARA
In 1984 I began my bookbinding apprenticeship at St Deiniol’s Library working on Gladstone’s books and his incunabula. I attended college day release at Liverpool to do a city and guilds in bookbinding and did two years night classes with Paul Delrue, the well-known fine binder, in Chester. During my time at the library I completed many re-backs and bound many annotated volumes that had belonged to Gladstone.
In 1992 I moved to the Flintshire Record Office to the post of trainee conservator. I gained the Society of Archivists certificate in Conservation in 1995. Since taking over the studio in 2000 I have undertaken many conservation projects. I enjoy being an Instructor in parchment and bookbinding on the
Parchment in the archives
The repair of parchment documents is just one of many areas in archive conservation where techniques have progressed in recent times. This session will cover the repair methods and material choices in current use and will be a reflective examination of recent innovations. Sharing and exchanging ideas at conference enables a positive forward motion. What is considered to be sound practice today will certainly be examined and questioned by future generations of archive conservators. Our ability to scrutinise past work is fundamental to ensure an ongoing understanding of effective conservation methods.
The talk will include and summarise all the stages involved from decision making and documentation to cleaning, humidification, packaging requirements, what is considered best practice.
There will be a demonstration of the in- filling of a missing area with new parchment and the paring required for support.
Audience members will have a go at shaping a new parchment infill, and this will highlight paring methods and application. It should encourage lots of discussion and knowledge exchange.
I am an Information Governance and Records Management professional with 30+ years’ experience working in the legal sector.
I lead the Information Governance and Risk program for the International offices at American law firm Kirkland & Ellis. I am responsible for the development, implementation, oversight and endorsement of the RIM/IG program throughout offices in both Europe and Asia. I am also part of Risk Management Leadership team on the strategic direction of Information Governance program.
Prior to working at Kirkland & Ellis I worked for UK law firm Macfarlanes where he supervised staff on general Records Management day-to-day duties.
As a volunteer since 2014 I have been the President of the UK Chapter of ARMA International, a global non-for-profit Records Management and Information Governance organisation focusing on professional development and the development of standards and guidelines related to Records Management and Information Governance.
Professional progress in the modern world of records management
(Presenting with Tim Callister Nick Cooper, Vanessa Hodge and Tom O’Neill)
Mail room clerks, records officers, librarians, programmers and archaeologists. The records management professionals in this panel started their careers in vastly different areas and now work in vastly different organisations but all have one thing in common – what they do every day (more or less).
This panel discussion will open with a brief introduction by each records manager as they share where they started from and how they how they got to where they are today.
We will share what we have done to keep up and keep pace with the ever changing, fast moving, job title diverse profession of Records Management today and discuss what we think we should continue to learn to advance our own professional development in the modern era of Records Management and Information Governance.
We will talk about the challenge of balancing learning and growing in your current role whilst trying to still do your day job. We will also talk about where we have seen the value in gaining knowledge and expertise in areas that don’t always seem to relate to our day-to-day jobs. We will share what we have found to be the fundamentals to make ourselves more marketable in our current roles and the roles we want to move up into.
We will welcome questions from the audience about our roles as records managers, the industries we have worked in, the formal and continuing education we have completed to stay relevant and anything else of interest.
Overall, the panel discussion is an opportunity to learn from five very diverse professionals what they have done to adapt to and succeed in an ever-changing workplace.
I am a Senior Lecturer in Digital History and Archives at the University of Sussex and at the Sussex Humanities Lab. Prior to joining Sussex, I held positions as a Digital Curator at the British Library and a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. I am a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College, a convenor of the Institute of Historical Research Digital History seminar, a member of The Programming Historian Editorial Board, and a committee member of the Archives and Records Association (UK) Section for Archives and Technology.
Will the real recordkeeper 3.0 please stand up? (Presenting with Jenny Bunn)
Lizzy Baker (biography coming soon)
Panel: Who Do We Think They Are? Archivists and archival audiences of the future
(Presenting with Garry Brannan, Joseph Pugh and Carolyn Ball)
This panel will examine the sector's future needs and challenges, in a local, university and national context, with a particular focus on digital topics.
Searchroom 2030 (Lizzy Baker and Carolyn Ball):
What will local archive access look like in the future? The current archive searchroom model has shifted little in its long existence. Audience expectations, however, have changed significantly in recent years with increasing demand for online, immediate and unfacilitated access to information. We believe this is the time to think differently and use the challenges and opportunities available through digital technologies, their creative and innovative user by online retailers, changing user expectations and a demand for authentic and accurate records to rethink the archives delivery model. We want to consider what that search room of 2020 should look like, and what the local authority archive service of 2030 will need to remain permanent, authentic and relevant.
I am Discovery Museum and Archives Manager at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. A history graduate and qualified archivist (both UCL) I began my professional career in the then Greater London Record Office before returning to my native north east where I’ve worked in archives in both Durham and Newcastle. Since 2014, I have managed both Discovery Museum and Tyne & Wear Archives, where I’ve had the opportunity to showcase Tyneside’s changing story through objects and archives, particularly in science and industry, maritime and social history.
Panel: Who Do We Think They Are? Archivists and archival audiences of the future
(Presenting with Garry Brannan, Lizzy Baker and Joseph Pugh)
I am currently the Digital Assets Manager at LSE Library and work with the Digital Library team. The LSE Digital Library digitises, give access and manage digital assets for the Library. I manage our datasets and its associated metadata and administer our Digital Assets Management System. I work closely with the Archives and Special Collections team and LSE Archivist advising on technical aspects of collecting and managing born-digital material. My team is currently developing workflows which maximises automation of datasets and metadata collation. Some of the additional areas I am currently working on include mapping out elements from different standards; developing metadata QA, creating digitisation specifications and implementing database management protocols.
Previously I worked in a number of more traditional archives sets ups including at LSE Library, Bexley Local History and Archives, The Royal Ballet School and the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance.
Digital Curation: a Jigsaw Puzzle
I propose a walkthrough of one workflow from LSE’s Digital Library to make a set of analogue material available online and preserved in our Digital Asset Management System (DAMS). The workshop is in the format of a large size jigsaw game. I propose an interactive and fun way to elicit participation, learn about new concepts and share experiences.
The LSE Digital Library digitises, give access and manage digital assets for the LSE Library. Our team comprises of Website Editor, a Developer, a Digital Assets Manager, a Digital Library Assistant and a Manager. Internally, we work in collaboration with colleagues from the IT department, Archives and Special Collections team, Metadata team, and LSE Archivist. Our workflows involve using material managed by them. Externally, we liaise with digitisation providers and digital preservation platform providers.
In order to deliver a successful project, there are a number of tasks performed by a number of professionals across several of those internal and external divisions. The pool of soft skills and technical knowledge is large and the collaborations are intricate. I want to chart those in this workshop.
I believe that in recent years, there has been a good coverage on the technical aspects of managing digital assets and born-digital records. I believe that the professional recordkeeping body is trying to identify gaps in knowledge or establish dependencies with other professional colleagues. This workshop will feed into this area of enquiry.
The workshop will have two main parts. The first will provide a brief overview of LSE Digital Library and some definitions of tasks, roles and skills. In the second part delegates will be invited to complete a jigsaw puzzle. The completed piece will illustrate the end-to-end workflow. Completing the puzzle will require discussion and interaction. Hopefully attendees will have fun too.
This workshop is aimed at record-keepers engaged in managing digital assets at all levels. For those delegates who already have their own workflows I hope to engage them with peer discussion and exchange of experience. For those delegates starting out their digital journey I hope the workshop will provide them with a demonstration of an end-to-end workflow.
My illustrious career in the records management profession dates back to seventeen (17) years ago when I joined the Office of the President as an Assistant Records Officer on secondment from the Botswana National Archives & Records Services (BNARS). From Government, I worked for the Botswana Savings Bank (BSB), Public Procurement & Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) and Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) as a corporate records management practitioner. I currently serve the Botswana Investment & Trade Centre (BITC) as a Records Management Officer. I am also a Managing Consultant at SB Records Management Gurus (Pty) Ltd in Botswana - and had a brief stint in South Africa, at one stage. I hold an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Archival Science from the University of South Africa and a Postgraduate Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management from the Botswana Accountancy College. I am affiliated to several professional bodies and have over the years participated in records management seminars, conferences, training and research projects all over the world, notably in Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Australia, Canada and USA. I am in the InterPARES Trust Project (a multidisciplinary and multinational research project), as part of the Africa Team. I was the first records management professional from my country to receive a research grant from the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP).
Records Management Entrepreneurship in Botswana: a case study
Like other countries in the African region, Botswana is facing strong economic challenges especially to do with increasing high levels of unemployment. As a result, the country is working around the clock to develop and promote private sector participation in the Botswana market. Public and private partnerships in areas such as finance, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and IT have been established. Notably, a good records-keeping environment has been identified in several platforms by the government and business advisors as one of the key imperatives for business growth and sustainability – following an avalanche of local media reports on poor records management in the country. Over the years, this has led to establishment of several private records management companies and consultancies in Botswana. Using one of the local records management companies as a study case, this paper assesses the business environment in which records management companies operate in Botswana. The objective is to identify challenges, opportunities and impact of the records management business in Botswana. Is it viable and sustainable? What are we offering to the market in terms of our services and products? Can a records management professional make a living out of it? What lessons can be derived from other countries – especially developed ones – in so far as records management entrepreneurship is concerned?
Key Words - Botswana; Records Management business / entrepreneurship
I qualified from the Aber course in 2001 and have since worked at West Glamorgan Archive Service, University of Exeter, National Archives of Scotland, Alfred Gillett Trust (C & J Clark Ltd), Hereford Cathedral and now Magdalen College Oxford. I have particular interests in museum collections and I edited the special issue of Archives and Records on that topic in spring 2018. I have more recently worked with richly diverse medieval collections at Hereford and Magdalen and have developed keen interests in palaeography and Latin as a result – how many institutions out there were still using Latin in their accounts and recordkeeping in the late 19th century?! I am now branching out into Records Management and oral history in current work projects. I took responsibility for Professional Development on the ARA Board from 2016-2019 and was a co-editor of Archives and Records from 2015-2019.
Panel: Use it or lose it – the value of archival literacy and traditional skills in a digital age (Presenting with Michael Riordan, Philippa Hoskin, Jenny Mitcham, Caroline Brown and Annaliese Griffiss)
This 90 minute conference session responds to a discussion at the 2018 ARA conference where Latin and medieval skills were described as ‘niche’. The panel takes the form of six lightning talks (7 mins each) plus two slots for discussions and Q&As/input from the audience. The six speakers represent a range of perspectives across the sector and their contributions will set the context for a good general understanding of the topic as a whole. The panel chair will then lead a discussion about the value of archival literacy for the 21st century archive professional.
Are medieval/early modern Latin, palaeography and diplomatic skills an important part of our professional toolkit? As digital content in the academic archive courses increases, and traditional skills decline within the timetable as a result, how do we avoid losing this skillset? Are there other ways of training professionals outside of the classroom? What are the consequences in the future if archivists are no longer able to work with older historic materials? Do we risk losing part of our USP as a profession and does this matter?
I work at Manchester Central Library as Service Delivery Specialist – Archives and Heritage. My role involves managing the Manchester Archives and Local Studies service, as well as the Greater Manchester County Record Office, and working with colleagues from across the ten districts as part of the Greater Manchester Archives and Local Studies Partnership (GMALSP). I also work with colleagues in the Archives+ partnership which includes the North West Film Archive, the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society. I love working in partnership like this as we can achieve and learn so much from each other. I’m passionate about the stories that archives reveal and the people they reflect, and about making sure we do this as widely as possible so we tell as much of the story of Greater Manchester and Mancunians as possible.
Panel: Archiving spontaneous memorials: approaches to rapid response collecting
(Presenting with Jenny Marsden, Wendy Walker, Marie van Eeckenrode)
Drawing on three cases of spontaneous memorials after terrorist attacks and disasters (Shoreham 2015, Brussels 2016, Manchester 2017), this panel will explore the methodologies, skill sets and interventions which may be used in this very particular type of rapid response collecting. Many of the issues encountered when collecting in the here and now challenge traditional professional responses, and varying circumstances and scenarios resist prescriptive approaches. The panel will consider participation and co-production on the formation, management and use of archives of such memorials, and issues, practices and impact of community engagement. We will also draw on experiences from Paris 2015, Nice 2016, Barcelona 2017 and Stockholm 2017.
Towards this, the panel will address questions, such as:
My name is Marcela Bonthron and I’m the Archive Coordinator for Sainsbury’s. I am an experienced archive professional working in the sector for over fourteen years with specific focus on genealogy research, digitisation and preservation. I currently work with a variety of stakeholders and suppliers that includes internal teams, external agencies, digitisation specialists and archive partners on delivery of our 150th celebration programme.
I’m hugely passionate about the Sainsbury Archive and this year we have been fortunate to be at the centre of the 150th anniversary celebrations. This has been a great opportunity to actively promote the company's heritage and build new engagement opportunities through rich content and rich heritage. I have great enthusiasm for the opportunities that the digital world brings to the way that the archive can be used and the content discovered and shared.
Sainsbury’s – Better together, collaborative working in a business archive
(Presenting with George Cooban)
I am Acting Keeper of Archives at the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York, and have been here as Access Archivist since 2014. Prior to that, I worked at West Yorkshire Archive Service as an Archivist and as an EServices Coordinator. I was Chair of ARA Northern Region 2011-2013, and since then have been working on the ARA Emotional Support Working Group. Finally, I am a fully paid-up Professional Yorkshireman, so welcome to Leeds!
Panel: Who Do We Think They Are? Archivists and archival audiences of the future
(Presenting with Lizzy Baker, Joseph Pugh and Carolyn Ball)
This panel will examine the sector's future needs and challenges, in a local, university and national context, with a particular focus on digital topics.
Distant visions, HE futures (Garry Brannan):
The Higher Education Sector is changing. Universities are expanding, bringing archives and special collections to new audiences. How do HE archives engage with their offsite users - those who will not, cannot or should not visit us? How do we show our value to TEF, REF and impact agendas? Does digitisation skew users’ perception of what we can do? And - can’t we just take a photo of it?
I am the University Archivist at the University of Dundee with responsibilities for the Archive and Museum collections. I am also Programme Leader on the archive distance learning courses run by the Centre for Archive and Information Studies at the University. I sit on a number of professional bodies and am currently at Trustee of the Scottish Council on Archives and the Chair of the International Council on Archives Section on University and Research Institution Archives.
Panel: Use it or lose it – the value of archival literacy and traditional skills in a digital age (Presenting with Charlotte Berry, Michael Riordan, Philippa Hoskin, Jenny Mitcham and Annaliese Griffiss)
I am a Lecturer on the MA in Archives and Records Management at University College London (UCL). Having worked as an archivist in a variety of institutions including the Royal Bank of Scotland and The National Archives, I undertook a PhD in Archive Studies in 2007-2011. My research and teaching is concerned with shaping the profession’s response to and engagement with technology. I am a past Editor of Archives and Records and the current Chair of the Archives and Records Association’s Section for Archives and Technology.
Panel: Shaping digital recordkeeping and competence
(Presenting with James Lowry, Mark Hedges, Sarah Aitchison and Isabelle Reynolds)
This panel session will seek to contextualise the conference theme around the impact of technology on the recordkeeping profession, by reporting and reflecting on the work that has and is going on to develop approaches to increase digital competence, both in the UK and internationally. For example;
These presentations will lead into a more open discussion about what we think it means for us to be more digitally competent as a profession, and how we can become so.
Designing recordkeeping education@ what’s in and what’s not?
(Presenting with Sarah Higgins and Elizabeth Lomas)
The call for papers for this conference lists a number of new (mostly technological) skills that Recordkeeper 3.0 might need, but if a recordkeeping education is to include these new skills, what is it to leave out? Those involved in designing recordkeeping education (members of FARMER – the Forum for Archives and Records Management Education and Research) are faced with answering this question on a constant basis, and they must do so against a context of both stringent internal and external quality assurance (e.g. ARA accreditation, compliance with the QAA Subject Benchmark Standard, etc), and increasing concerns about student wellbeing (and the concomitant concern about overloading the curriculum and those undertaking it). This practical workshop will involve a card sorting exercise to allow those attending to think about some of these issues. Sets of cards will be produced detailing all the various skills and knowledge that could potentially be covered within a recordkeeping education. Those at the workshop will be asked to rank and prioritise these, and to face the hard choices that have to be made when trying to fit more and more into a course of a fixed length. What’s in and what’s not? You decide.
Will the real recordkeeper 3.0 please stand up? (Presenting with James Baker)
This workshop will be interactive and organised/run by the Archives and Records Association Section for Archives and Technology. A range of mystery guests will be introduced and will give their name. The audience will then be asked to vote by show of hands – who they think is and who is not a recordkeeper. This vote having been registered, there will then be time for the audience to quiz the mystery guests ‘twenty questions’ style to find out more about what their job entails, their career to date etc. At the end of these talks the audience will be asked to re-vote and we will see if the result has changed. The purpose of this session is to demonstrate the wide diversity of skills and job roles already present within the recordkeeping profession and to test the limits of that flexibility. What is it that makes someone, one of ‘us’ and what puts them on the outside? Can we surface some of the hidden assumptions and unconscious barriers we put around our profession?
I’m a seasoned expert in information governance with over 10 years’ experience across industries. I have a real passion for helping organisations fix their information challenges and build sustainable improvement. I can help you analyse the problems, define a solution and help you implement the change.
Whether it’s defining a global strategy, developing consistent rules or just teaching your people how to take care of your information; I’m happy to help find the solution. My career has involved setting standards and education through The National Archives; eDiscovery and Forensic investigations at PwC; building operating models for Information Governance at Iron Mountain.
Professional progress in the modern world of records management
(Presenting with Tony Allen, Nick Cooper, Vanessa Hodge and Tom O’Neill)
After gaining my professional archive qualification, I worked in the local government sector in the North East and in Greater Manchester for 14 years, including managing the City of Manchester and the Greater Manchester County archive services. I’ve managed the M&S Company Archive since 2011, preparing the archive to launch a new public-facing service offer from the springboard of a new purpose-built repository in 2012 and leading the development of extensive learning and outreach programmes alongside core services to departments across the business.
From puddings and pants to the bottom line: M&S's experience as a working retail archive with a commitment to engage with customers.
The M&S Company Archive opened the doors of its purpose-built Leeds repository to the public in March 2012. This signified a new commitment by M&S to share its archival heritage to support learning, make a positive contribution to its communities and to engage customers, alongside the archive's ongoing function as an internal business resource. This presentation will explore the opportunities and challenges presented by the archive's governance and dual status as both a working business archive and a Community Interest Company, and the importance of trying to strike the right balance between internal and external drivers. Fundamentally, the archive's first seven years have been about making a demonstrable contribution to the bottom line of a FTSE100 company at a difficult time within the retail sector. The presentation will consider the leverage arising from some of the archive's achievements, lessons learned from initiatives that have been less successful, and explore key challenges for the archive beyond 2019.
Chris Cassells is the Business Archives Surveying Officer for Scotland. A graduate of the University of Glasgow, Chris qualified as an archivist in 2011 before working on a number of cataloguing projects, including the Janey Buchan Political Song Collection at the University of Glasgow and the Spirit of Revolt project at Glasgow City Archives. From 2012 Chris was the Archivist for West Dunbartonshire Council and left to take up the post of Surveying Officer in June 2018. As Surveying Officer, Chris provides specialist advice and guidance on the management of business archives to Scottish industry, archive professionals and public bodies, helping organisations both safeguard and realise the value of their documentary heritage.
Crisis Management in the Digital Age
In 1977 the first Business Archives Surveying Officer was appointed to survey, record and preserve the business, and industrial archives of Scotland. 42 years and 18 Surveying Officers later, the industrial landscape has changed beyond recognition. Traditional industries like shipbuilding, textile manufacturing and engineering have given way to the creative industries, food and drink, and financial services. Changes in record keeping have been no less significant, with a records survey now just as likely to involve boxes of floppy disks and hard drives as rolls of plans or stacks of bound volumes.
A crucial aspect of the Surveying Officer's role is crisis management and the preservation of business records in cases of liquidation, administration, takeover and other circumstances where records are at risk. Oftentimes the intervention of the Surveying Officer results in the transfer of significant collections to local authority, university or national repositories. However, with few repositories currently equipped to accept deposits of born digital material - whether on floppy disk, zip disk, CD or USB drive - the Surveying Officer must ensure not just that the records are saved, but they are saved in such a manner that guarantees the renderability of digital objects until such a time as repositories are able to accept them.
This paper will describe the first steps taken by the Surveying Officer during the first half of 2019 to develop a methodology and toolkit for capturing digital records and confronting the challenges of crisis management in the digital age.
I am the Conservation Officer at Leeds University Library where I lead the Conservation and Collections Care Team in the delivery of care for our diverse collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives and art. In my current role I am responsible for the operational and strategic development of the Library’s collections care service, ensuring our collections remain accessible for research, teaching and public enjoyment. I have a History of Art MA from the University of Edinburgh and a Conservation of Fine Art (Works of Art on Paper) MA from Northumbria University, Newcastle.
The evolution of integrated pest management at Leeds University Library
(Presenting with Frances Cooper)
Integrated pest management (IPM) can be a useful advocacy tool not only for good collections management practices but also collections care as a service. IPM is resource-intensive so it is important to be able to demonstrate its value. Therefore the key to its success is effective communication in order advocate for resources as well as to foster collaboration across the Library and beyond.
A number of catalysts caused us to reflect on our developing IPM framework at Leeds University Library Special Collections and Galleries. One was the introduction of the EMu collections management software. With EMu we were able to gather, store and present data graphically. We were also invited to contribute data on Ctenolepisma longicaudata (grey silverfish) occurrence for an international conference paper [4th international conference on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Stockholm, Sweden]. This important collaboration contributed to raising the profile of Collections Care within our own organisation, thus helping to validate the resource involved in delivering an IPM programme.
The presentation will describe how our approach is evolving in terms of collecting and communicating data to help us meet the challenges of IPM and also advocate for the collections care service.
Since 2017 I have been the Archive Cataloguer at the Sainsbury Archive, based at the Museum of London Docklands. To support the archive’s efforts to upload 90,000 digitised items from the collection to a new website, launched to celebrate Sainsbury’s 150th anniversary in 2019, I have catalogued a range of photographs, packaging, advertising and audio-visual material. I am also involved in outreach and responding to enquiries. My previous experience includes working for the archives of HSBC, the Swire Group and Medway Council. I graduated with an MA in Archives and Records Management from University College London in 2016, and was awarded the Archives and Records Association FARMER prize for my dissertation, titled ‘Should archivists edit Wikipedia, and if so how?’ and published in the journal Archives and Records.
Sainsbury’s – Better together, collaborative working in a business archive
(Presenting with Marcela Bonthron)
The Sainsbury Archive documents the history of Sainsbury’s from its foundation in Drury Lane in 1869 to the current day. The archive is an independent charity which is based at and managed by a team from the Museum of London Docklands, however the company still actively uses the material the archive holds. Sharing material with current staff who are physically and operationally removed from the archive is an ever increasing problem for the members of the archive team. In order to combat some of these issues the archive and the company embarked on a project to create a new digital platform which would enable the archive to share material with Sainsburys’ colleagues who cannot visit the archive in person. In 2019 the company and archive launched a new website and plans to digitise and display online over 90,000 of the most requested items in the archive collection. This presentation jointly given by a member of the archive team based at the Museum of London Docklands and the Archive Coordinator based at Sainsburys’ Head Office will cover the aims and reasoning which led up to the new online presence, the technical process carried out in order to create the website and the outcomes that have been born out of the project.
The early part of my career was in IS, initially as a programmer analyst, systems design, as a consultant, and working for services companies running project teams and managing consultants across multiple clients. I entered Records Management when leading the Government Consultancy team of a software company, joining the EDRM design group, and becoming the European EDRM SME.
I started a consultancy providing document management, records management, data protection and data privacy services – primarily to government, legal & financial services. I became an interim Consultant Project Management, undertaking assignments in records management, data protection, data privacy, information risk, information governance, legal holds management, information security, and remediation of risk.
Professional progress in the modern world of records management
(Presenting with Tony Allen, Tim Callister, Vanessa Hodge and Tom O’Neill)
I am a Conservation Technician at Leeds University Library, based in Special Collections. My role involves caring for the collections, carrying out conservation treatments on collections, assisting with loans and exhibitions and preventative conservation, including integrated pest management and environmental monitoring. I have a History of Art BA and a Conservation Studies MA both from the University of York.
The evolution of integrated pest management at Leeds University Library
(Presenting with Sharon Connell)
After my early mathematical training I embarked on a career in what is now called information science. For my PhD I investigated user information searching behaviour. I have worked as a practitioner, manager and consultant within the commercial, academic, local government and charity sectors. My experience includes both practical and theoretical work on many information related topics including data centre management, data mining, data retention, disaster recovery and business continuity, information retrieval, technology procurement and implementation, strategic planning, telecommunications, regulatory issues, user behaviour, and workflow analysis. In recent years I have undertaken research and development in “digital preservation” within a local government context. This has included developing prototype “digital preservation” tools and providing practical training.
Never mind the technology, what about the exit plans?
The success of digital working means that much of the record now exits only as data that is held within a “line of business” operational database system. To preserve the record we must extract it from the line of business system and then retain it in an accessible form in some record preservation system. Preserving the digital record requires us to successfully hand down authentic records to multiple generations of record preservation systems as each system in its turn is retired.
The task of managing the transfer of records to successor record preservation systems is best achieved when the record is preservation system agnostic, that is independent of the technology employed, and when there are effective exit plans that support inter-generational transfer.
Record keepers therefore have a vital role in both the procurement of line of business systems and the management of record preservation systems. They should ensure that records can be successfully extracted as required from the line of business systems. And they should create and test effective exit plans from record preservation systems otherwise authentic records will be lost with the end of life (or contract term) of the preservation system.
Having graduating from Camberwell with a Masters in Book and Archival materials in 2017, I worked for 10 months at Berkshire Records Office as conservator for the Coleshill collection; after this, I returned to the Leather Conservation Centre where I had previously completed an internship to work as a book conservator on short term contract before beginning my most recent role as Book Conservator for the Miscellaneous Reports collection at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
In this role, I have worked closely with the range of materials across the collection, performing condition surveys, recommending strategies for preservation, and conducting remedial repairs. I have raised awareness of these treatments by providing content for the Library, Art and Archives blog, and I am looking forward to discussing the project in more detail during my talk.
Conserving herbarium specimens in the Miscellaneous Reports collection at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
As an internationally renowned repository of plant and fungal knowledge, the botanical specimens collected at Kew are not only important references for ongoing fields of research, but also represent key records of historic botanical collection practice in countries around the globe.
The archives at the Kew Herbarium site contains a number of exsiccatae: volumes which contain a range of pressed botanical specimens mounted and attached to the pages within a book. Recently acquired project funding has allowed exploration of the Miscellaneous Reports collection, a diverse assortment of over 771 volumes primarily dating from 1850 to 1920. This collection is now being conserved and catalogued for the first time, and the material within it provides a valuable cultural record of Kew’s interaction with countries worldwide, with an emphasis on those under control or influence of the British Empire during the 19th and 20th centuries.
During the primary stages of conservation, several such ‘exsiccatae’ were identified as high priority items as part of a wider programme of remedial action designed to make the collection more accessible for readers and researchers. Select techniques for stabilising, repairing and rehousing herbarium specimens will be explored in this talk, including discussion of the practicalities of their preparation and storage, in addition to some challenges working within a project funded role.
I am a British archives and records management consultant acting as the International Council on Archives’ Training Officer since 2017. Before that I was Deputy Secretary General with responsibilities for ICA’s Professional Programme.
My consultancy portfolio includes practical archives and records management projects involving inventory, analysis and report-writing as well as delivery of records management programmes. Together with my business partner I deliver training aimed at those working in the field without benefit of a formal qualification. Our signature course is the ‘Basic Archive Skills Training Day’ which has been on the market since 1992.
I recently revalidated my ARA registration status and have been a member of the fellowship CPD pilot project. I am a member of ARA’s Qualification Accreditation Panel and an assessor and mentor for the Professional Development Scheme. I am author of “The No-Nonsense Guide to Archives and Recordkeeping”, published in 2016.
Online Learning for the Global Recordkeeping Community: ICA’s new Learning Management System
The International Council on Archives’ mandate includes capacity building to ensure that archivists around the world are equipped to manage and preserve society’s documentary heritage. Whilst ICA has always offered training and continuing professional development opportunities to its membership and the wider community it is only in the last two years with the advent of the Training Programme that it has been able to develop its own online learning offering.
The overall goal of ICA’s online learning is to provide affordable, high quality training which is accessible for all of its members and also available to non-members. There is a subject matter framework which specifies the scope of the content and four levels of knowledge and expertise in order to help potential learners identify which courses best meet their needs. The system allows ICA to offer training courses consisting of a mixture of video and audio presentations, film clips, documentation and quizzes with a certificate that sets out course details and an ICA time-based credit award.
In response to ARA’s exciting theme around core training, professionalism and the workplace, this session will offer attendees the chance to see ICA’s Online Learning Platform and consider how online learning opportunities of this nature can support their professional development goals. It will also offer an insight into the potential of such a system to provide cost-effective training and development to more individuals than face-to-face courses allows, regardless of where they are in the world.
The session will provide a demonstration of the system covering how it was selected, its functionality and the catalogue of ICA courses. The audience will be invited to comment and reflect on the system in the context of their own educational and training experiences with reference to ARA’s Professional Development Programme.
I have worked for the Postal Museum for the past 15 years starting out in Users Services. Two years ago I oversaw the move of the collections to the new museum and since then have been adapting to a significantly changed work environment. Previously the reading room was the primary point of contact for the public, the opening of a museum and visitor attraction has required a re-examination of how the archive fits within the museum. My current work areas involve digital preservation, collection care, and promoting the archive.
Panel: Archives in Museums, Museums in Archives: the challenges and opportunities
(Presenting with Louise Pichel and Dorothy Kidd)
This panel will examine the interactions between museums and archives and the implications this has for the professional skills of archivists and curators. The session will explore the extent of archives in museums, and the extent to which the existence of these collections is acknowledged by curators. We will discuss how collecting boundaries between museum and archive collections are determined, and the historical context for some of these decisions. The extent to which operating in a museum setting influences the types of audience the archive attracts, positively or negatively will be examined. Finally, we will highlight areas that require further consideration and exploration by archivists and curators and will challenge the audience to consider how the professions can support each other’s work and foster greater understanding of professional practices and priorities.
Panel members are:
Cat graduated from Jewellery and Metal Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in 2013. After graduating, she became interested in the relationship between archives and creative practice and undertook volunteering in the sector.
In 2015, Cat began a Skills for the Future traineeship as part of Scottish Council on Archives’ Opening Up Scotland’s Archives project. Her work focused on outreach and community engagement and looking at ways of attracting alternative audiences. As part of this, she developed a workshop for art students inviting them to use the archive collections as inspiration for a creative project.
Since completing her traineeship, Cat has been working as an Archives and Collections Assistant at GSA A&C. Her role is diverse, involving answering a broad range of enquiries about the A&C holdings and hosting teaching sessions. She is currently undertaking a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching at GSA as part of this.
Panel: Back to the Skills for the Future – Where Are the Trainees Now?
(Presenting with Audrey Wilson and Jennifer Lightbody)
It’s evident that the modern record keeper wears many hats and that employing archivists from diverse backgrounds builds a stronger, more adaptable workforce. Three “Skills for the Future” trainees from the “Opening Up Scotland’s Archives” project wish to share their experiences of bringing their varied skills to the profession.
This three-year HLF funded project run by Scottish Council on Archives aimed to bring individuals with alternative backgrounds into the archive sector. The project offered twenty-one twelve-month full-time paid traineeships between 2014 and 2017 across a variety of host archive repositories in Scotland.
Two years later, there has been much discussion about the effect that the project has had on the career progression of the trainees themselves as well as on the sector as a whole. There is evidence of many of them undertaking further training and becoming employed in archive roles but how instrumental has the programme been in this?
This panel will consist of three individuals who took part in the programme, one from each year’s intake. They will be joined by Project Manager Audrey Wilson who will provide contextual information and evaluative comments on the scheme. The panel members will act as case studies, introducing themselves and their diverse backgrounds before examining where they are now and how the skills, they learned in their traineeships enabled them to progress to their current positions. The voices of these new professionals will testify to the impact that those from outside the sector can have on the profession.
Dr Rebecca J. Emmett
I am a Lecturer at the University of Plymouth, leading the MA Archival Practice programme alongside a team of academics and professional archivists from Plymouth’s new heritage centre, The Box. Previously I held posts at Queen Mary, University of London, the University of York and St John’s College, Oxford. As a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (now AdvanceHE), in all of my roles I have played an active role in curriculum design and I am committed to developing innovative and effective methods of teaching.
Immersive Education for Recordkeeper 3.0
The 21st century world of records and archives has changed significantly from earlier iterations. The challenges of born digital records, restricted funding and the increasing need for imaginative and effective advocacy have changed the roles and expectations of a generation of archivists. The ARA have responded robustly, with new guidance for skills and issues to be explored within archival education, helping to shape archivists equipped to deal with these, and many other, new challenges.
This paper will explore how this guidance, coupled with the experiences of local practitioners, has contributed to shaping the curriculum of the new MA Archival Practice at the University of Plymouth. The role of the integrated placement modules will be examined, and its contribution to full time archival study considered. It will also reflect on the impact of medium-term placements on the local archive sector, and explore how this has benefited the local archive network. This paper will also demonstrate how embedded work placements can allow the prevalent financial cuts and resource constraints within the sector to be better explored in the classroom through our core Business of Archives module, preparing students more effectively in their role as advocates for the profession.
The archive sector is facing challenges on all sides, and this gives us an exciting opportunity to trial new ideas and approaches, in order to maintain and protect the sector for the future.
Patricia C. Franks
I’m a professor and coordinator of the Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) degree at SJSU’s iSchool. My recordkeeping philosophy is based in large part on my work experiences in the business world and my formal education and training, which includes a Doctorate of Philosophy in Organization and Management. I’m a Certified Archivist (CA), Certified Records Manager (CRM), and an Information Governance Professional (IGP), as well as a member of ARMA International’s Company of Fellows. I’ve presented and written on topics related to emerging technologies, including electronic content management systems, social media, and cloud computing. I’m the author of the book Records and Information Management (2013, 2018) and co-editor of three works: the Encyclopedia of Archival Science, the International Directory of National Archives, and the Encyclopedia of Archival Writers, 1515-2015. I’m currently leading a team to explore Blockchain Distributed Ledger Technology as a member of the 3DPDF Consortium.
Blockchain Revolution: What do Records Managers & Information Governance Professionals Need to Know?
The initial hype around blockchain technology has evolved, as more enterprises explore ways to employ the technology to create more efficiency and eliminate the need for central administration. Because blockchain technology provides immutable records of transactions stored in public or private distributed ledgers, the technology will have a significant impact on the way records are created and managed. Blockchain distributed ledger technology (DLT) does not present an alternative to electronic records and information management practices. However, there is no doubt that implementation of blockchain distributed ledger technology within an organization or by industry partners will impact those practices. Records and Information Management and Information Governance Professionals must understand the potential impact of blockchain distributed ledger technology on their programs and practices. By attending this presentation, Records Management and Information Governance Professionals will understand the basics of blockchain technology in its various forms, become familiar with use cases that employ blockchain technology for recordkeeping, and understand the application of the technology in recordkeeping contexts within various industry settings. The impact of the implementation of this technology on recordkeeping programs and practices will be explored.
Megan Gent is the Senior Archives Conservator in The Royal Bindery, Windsor Castle.
Since 2011, Megan has managed conservation of the following digitisation projects:-
200, 000 archives, due for completion in 2020
A conservation overview of current digitisation projects in The Royal Archives – new projects, new challenges
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 Gage, the Stuart and Cumberland Papers were digitised as part of State Papers Online. Currently, the Georgian Papers Project is underway to digitise over 600 volumes and 200,000 Georgian Papers in the Royal Archives. Initiated in 2018 and due for completion in 2019, The Prince Albert Project is funded by the Stevenson Family Charitable Foundation and the Royal Commission of the Exhibition of 1851. Digitisation includes 11,000 objects from The Royal Archives and the Royal Commission as well as material from the Royal Library, Print Room and Photograph Collection.
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 differences, similarities and new challenges experienced in recent years.
I am a professional archivist who has previously worked as digital archivist and data policy manager at the National Library of Ireland, and digital archivist at 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, as well as the development of data management training courses for researchers.
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, with a focus on Irish organisations.
Recordkeeper 3.0: The role of recordkeepers in research data management
Research data is generally described as the data which is generated by the research lifecycle; it is most often associated with scientific research and can also be thought of as the scientific record. As the funders and publishers of academic research continue to encourage the archiving and dissemination of research data, researchers increasingly require support in order to manage and share their data appropriately.
This paper will describe a survey of Irish organisations undertaken in 2017, which aimed to assess how research data is being managed and which professionals are engaging in this work. An analysis of the workflows and approaches to data management will be presented, with a particular focus on the role of recordkeepers and the specific aspects of research data management which they are involved in. Conclusions will also be drawn regarding the quality of data management processes across surveyed organisations, and the potential impact of recordkeepers on this work.
Arthur Green is an independent Book Conservator with particular interest in the history of bookbinding. After five years working as a trade bookbinder he graduated with distinction from a Post Graduate Diploma in Conservation at Camberwell College of Arts in 2008. Following internships at The Leather Conservation Centre and The British Library Arthur worked for the Oxford Conservation Consortium, he then spent over five years working at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Arthur has published on bookbinding and conservation and started teaching in 2012. In 2016 he set up as an independent conservator and teacher, and currently has a studio near Malvern in Worcestershire.
No hum-drum memorandum: Conservation of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s first Visitor’s Book
A case-study into the conservation of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s first visitor’s book. The quarto memorandum book was in use from 1812 to 1819 and contains entries from prominent 19th century figures including: The Duke of Wellington, Lord Byron and John Keats. Much is known about the eventful life of the visitor’s book: we have archival evidence of its purchase by an American businessman visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, its time at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and then it’s return to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1964. There are; however, gaps in our knowledge of the book’s history. This paper will focus on the detailed physical study undertaken during the book’s recent conservation; it will look at how the archaeological evidence of the binding materials and techniques add to the timeline of what is known; and will describe how the evidence uncovered influenced the decision making process and the final conservation treatment.
Currently studying part-time (distance learning) for the Aber MA Archive Administration, my first interaction with archives was whilst studying for my master’s in medieval literature at Oxford University in 2015. Studying medieval material first hand led me to take part in a project at Balliol College Historical Collections Centre digitizing some of their medieval collection, and subsequently to volunteering there part-time. My work at Balliol included assisting with an exhibition on damage and conservation in their medieval manuscripts and documenting manuscript fragments in early printed books, amongst other (more modern!) projects. Since March 2018, I have been working as an archives assistant for the Conservative Party Archive at the Bodleian, which is developing my archive experience immensely. Once qualified, I aim to return to my academic roots and work in an archive with a medieval collection.
Panel: Use it or lose it – the value of archival literacy and traditional skills in a digital age (Presenting with Charlotte Berry, Michael Riordan, Philippa Hoskin, Jenny Mitcham and Caroline Brown)
I am Digital Archivist in Special Collections at Leeds University Libraries, prior roles include working in the Digitisation team and on various digital and digitisation projects in the library. I have a background in multimedia art, film and photography, studying at the Slade School of Fine Art. In my free time I enjoy baking, reading, running and swimming.
Curating, mapping and presenting modern hybrid collections
MY TNA/RLUK professional fellowship involves an investigation into the role of traditional archival practices in the curation, cataloguing and presentation of born digital and hybrid archives. Since September 2018 I have been working on developing methods and techniques for dealing with these types of collections and materials, selecting three hybrid paper and digital archives from Leeds University Library’s Special Collections which present problems: regarding deposit and curation (British Society for the History of Science); cataloguing a digital accrual to a paper collection (an accrual to the Simon Armitage collection) and issues around the presentation and use of a complex digital collection (Zygmunt Bauman collection).
The paper will explore the depositing criteria, guidance, workflows and documentation for digital material and ways in which these might be adapted or changed to accommodate such material. It will address difficulties presented when cataloguing a hybrid archive, the adaptation of typical cataloguing procedures, and the representation of interrelated digital and paper material.
The paper will investigate how researchers navigate complex digital archives, the ways new presentation methods might meet their requirements, and the extent to which digital forensics can help deliver such outcomes. This is in addition to understanding the access and preservation risk inherent in digital archives.
I aim to produce workflows and guidance documents for use on varying scales of hybrid archives at Leeds, and provide guidance and support for the wider community. Attendees will be able to learn about outcomes and how these might assist at their home institution.
After gaining an MA in history at Ghent University, Belgium, I spent a year at the art on paper conservation course at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. I then joined the paper conservation course at Camberwell College in London, specialising in books and archives, and graduating in 1996.
I began my career as a paper conservator in private practice, before joining The National Archives in 1999 and taking up my current post as Senior Conservator at Derbyshire Record Office in 2002. As such I am responsible for the way we store and look after our records, the way we repair them, disaster planning, digitisation, and finding ways to supplement the conservation and general record office budgets through applying for grants and experimenting with fundraising initiatives.
Fundraising for conservation: does anyone have a cunning plan?
Over the past few years cuts to public services have had a major impact on local councils and, by extension, local authority archives. Although conservators have always written grant applications and have sometimes carried out private work to bring in extra money, income generation is now entering a whole new level, requiring innovative ideas and a willingness to embrace new opportunities. My presentation will examine various efforts we have made in raising money for conservation at Derbyshire Record Office and sharing the lessons we have learnt.
So far we have rather unsuccessfully introduced a Donations Box and have set up an ‘Adopt a Piece of History’ scheme, which has equally failed to take off. Both are regularly - and still surprisingly optimistically – tweaked. We have just started building a relationship with a small local charity and are investigating how we might be able to help each other. But most excitingly, our very first crowdfunding campaign is due to run in May / June 2019, raising money for the packaging and photography of a small collection of objects we recently re-discovered in the archive. I am in charge of delivering this project, so will be able to provide feedback on the planning process, the running of the project, what went well, what we should have done differently, and whether we succeeded in reaching our target.
In this new era of income generation it is important we don’t all constantly try to re-invent the wheel – I therefore hope that this contribution will encourage others to share both their failures and successes, so we can learn from and support each other.
Dr Melinda Haunton
I joined The National Archives in 2002 after completing a PhD in history, and qualified as an archivist by distance learning. I have since worked in archives sector-facing roles including monitoring the sale of manuscripts, developing information resources and professional training, and undertaking service inspections. Since 2012, I have been the Programme Manager for Archive Service Accreditation. I am a member of ARA’s Volunteering Sub-Committee and have been a contributor to the Registration Scheme/Professional Development programme since 2010. I am an Honorary Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Archive and Information Studies at the University of Dundee.
I hold a Research Libraries UK-The National Archives Professional Fellowship (2018–19), exploring what archives can learn from the academic discipline of public history to inform audience development and demonstration of impact. This Fellowship has enabled the research brought to conference in 2019.
Who’s afraid of being a historian? Archivists, public history and a state of denial
Archivists are not historians. So much has been clear in articulating the development of the archives profession. In recent years, shifts of emphasis have led to us recasting archivists’ role still more strongly against a focus on history, towards contemporary concerns like data management, transparency, community wellbeing and social justice. Given the lack of diversity in the backgrounds of those studying history in the UK, we have recognised that the fact many of us working in archives came through academic study of the past has narrowed our skills base and our potential diversity. We want to be different in future. We must change. Talking about history does not help us to do that.
And yet, this paper argues archivists have never been more historians than we are today. Not only is our everyday work fundamentally based in the records of the past, we have become active creators of the understanding of history in the public space. The emergence of a recognised specialism of ‘public history’ gives us space to articulate more clearly the kinds of history delivered through archive services, with a clear differentiation from the practice of academic history. The range of public history undertaken routinely across the archives sector is extraordinary, and is a fundamental part of successful service delivery for many. This public role brings responsibilities with it, which we have avoided talking about for too long. This paper will explore the tensions between negative professional perceptions of the label of ‘historian’, and the benefits which may come from identification and valuing of this as one of several recognised roles which archivists now perform. Should we rethink how we talk about the role of the archivist? Is it time to say: we are public historians, and we are proud of it?
This research is enabled by a 2018-19 Professional Fellowship offered by Research Libraries UK and The National Archives, entitled ‘Collections, audiences and impact: lessons from public history’.
I received my MA in Archives and Records Management from UCL in 2011. Having previously worked at the British Library, Zaha Hadid Architects, The Photographers’ Gallery and a private art collector, I joined Tate in June 2018. As part of the Reshaping the Collectible: when artworks live in the museum project team I am researching how Tate’s institutional records and archive effectively capture the life of an artwork in the contemporary art museum; and how, beyond a culture of compliance, record keeping practices can be more intuitive to research and collecting practice. My research interests are rooted in the relationship between archival, curatorial and artistic practices and I am very interested in sites of archival creation and intention, and how these are represented in artistic practice.
Reshaping the Collectible: including records management within research at Tate
Reshaping the collectible: when artworks live in the museum is a 3-year multidisciplinary research project at Tate looking at contemporary artworks that challenge museum practice. These works are considered unruly in that they question the boundaries between artwork, record and archive; they are works that rely on networks outside of the museum to exist within it.
Tate is listed as a Public Records Body and place of deposit under the Public Records Act (1958), therefore records management plays a vital and visible role. This is the first research project to have a dedicated records management researcher. The research team will use Tate’s records to map the institutionalisation of artworks as they continue to evolve and unfold. This material will be key in tracing how Tate has adapted to actively collect unruly artworks.
By August 2019 the project will have completed two of six case studies, with the third underway. I will present Tate’s established records management practices and how they have been utilised in the project thus far; it will highlight changes in practice and look at how, outside of legislative obligations, records management can be more intuitive to the museum and artworks. It will test if institutional records effectively capture the life of an artwork at Tate, and how this information can be presented to audiences to promote a better understanding of the life of an artwork. It will conclude by outlining the future intentions of research, and records managements role within the lives of these artworks at Tate.
I am a senior lecturer in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London, teaching various modules in the MA programme in Digital Asset and Media Management, and am also research lead for the department. My own research is concerned primarily with digital archives, research infrastructures, and digital research methods, in particular the application of participatory ‘crowdsourcing’ methods and computational ‘big data’ methods in humanities and cultural domains. Recently, I have been involved in various initiatives relating to the impact and transformative effects of digital archives and digital technologies in social and economic development in Rwanda. I am PI on several funded research projects, including an EU project ISOOKO addressing the use of digital platforms in peace-building (in Rwanda and elsewhere), and an AHRC UK-US international network IRCN-CAS on computational archival science.
Panel: Shaping digital recordkeeping and competence
(Presenting with Jenny Bunn, James Lowry, Sarah Aitchison and Isabelle Reynolds)
I have a passion for unlocking the stories that archives can tell.
As Archives Manager for the Science and Industry Museum, I lead a team in documenting, preserving and making accessible archive collections that reveal the story of Manchester’s global significance. I manage the museum’s research engagement strategy and contribute to the Science Museum Group’s strategies for collections management.
I started my career at Plymouth & West Devon Record Office, cutting my teeth on cross-sector working supporting the city museum’s education programme. I moved to Sheffield Archives, where I continued my involvement in education engagement, working with library colleagues. At Lancashire Record Office, I added media engagement, teaching palaeography and running a user forum to my quiver of archive engagement arrows. At all three record offices I was part of a team that cared for the rich county and city collections that gave meaning to the places I lived.
The Hybrid Record Keeper
The Hybrid Record Keeper takes the audience on a trip through the last 25 years of record keeping as experienced by the speaker. This exploration looks at how the role of record keeper has already changed and continues to change. The paper then poses questions about what the next 20 years of record keeping might look like. Answers aren’t guaranteed, but as the front cover of The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy recommends, the speaker will attempt not to panic. The overarching theme of the paper is adaptation and the potential that lies in evolving the role of record keeper to something that is hybrid in order to remain relevant.
Dr Sarah Higgins
I am a lecturer in Information Management, Libraries and Archives at Aberystwyth University, where I teach across all programmes; and am the Director of the MSc in Digital Curation. My research, which won a Personal Distinction Award at the Digital Preservation Awards 2018, focuses on the lifecycle management of digital materials by archives services, libraries and other information professionals. I was formerly an advisor with the Digital Curation Centre where I led the DCC Curation Lifecycle Model Project and the standards advisory function. Previous roles include Technical Archivist at Edinburgh University Library and Geographic Information Research Officer at the British Antarctic Survey. I have co-edited Archives and Records: The Journal of the Archives and Records Association since 2013.
Designing recordkeeping education@ what’s in and what’s not?
(Presenting with Jenny Bunn and Elizabeth Lomas)
Practice into theory: academic writing for professional development
(Presenting with Sarah-Joy Maddeaux and Victoria Hoyle)
I currently work as Archives Manager in the Central Bank of Ireland, where I previously served as Records Manager from 2015-2018. Prior to joining the Bank I was employed as archivist for the Irish Labour Party from 2012-15. I am a former Chairperson of the Ireland region of the ARA (2015-18) and currently represent Ireland on the Legislation & Standards Working Group (LSWG). I studied the MA in archives and records management at University College Dublin (UCD) from 2011-12 and now occasionally lecture on the same MA programme.
Scope creep - workforce diversity, remuneration, and advocacy?
The issues of diversity in the workforce, advocacy and the perennial question of remuneration are always live ones for any professional body. This paper builds on questions raised at ARA conference 2018 concerning equity barriers within profession. This paper, contrasting the experience of UK nations/regions with the Republic of Ireland, argues that the ARA is suffering 'scope creep' in its objectives - with the result the ARA is focusing on extraneous external issues rather than targeting its efforts on topics within its circle of influence, namely: entry to the workforce; standards setting; and quality assurance.
Nicky is an experienced senior archivist working in London. She studied Archives and Records Management at the University of Liverpool graduating in 2012 with distinction. Since then she has worked for a variety of employers including local government, civil service, universities and arts organisations. She has been employed in both traditional and digital focused archive roles, as well as successfully delivering high value projects. This varied experience has given her an insight into the challenges and opportunities facing recordkeeping professionals with regards to pay and career development. As an active member of ARA since 2013, Nicky served on the London Regional Committee prior to being a founding member of, and working with Andrea Waterhouse to establish the Pay Review Group in 2017. She has proactively applied her experiences in the sector to the work of the Pay Review Group, collaborating with her fellow Officers to publish ARA’s revised Salary Recommendations in 2018.
Working for Fair Pay – the ARA’s Pay Review Group (Presenting with Andrea Waterhouse)
I am the Head of Records at Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity responsible for caring for some of the UK’s most significant heritage sites such as Hampton Court Palace. I am responsible for the development and implementation of a new records and information management programme across the organisation.
Prior to this, I worked for the London 2012 and Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games responsible for the information and records management functions as well as transfer of knowledge, archiving and dissolution programmes with external partners and stakeholders including The National Archives and the Vancouver City Archives.
I have a Master of Library Science from the University of Western Ontario and began my career as a research librarian at a pharmaceutical company in California. It was there I left the library to support the implementation of a company-wide RM programme and began my career in records management.
Professional progress in the modern world of records management
(Presenting with Tony Allen, Tim Callister Nick Cooper and Tom O’Neill)
Where the past meets the future: holistic Information Management at Historic Royal Palaces (Presenting with Elissa Truby and Jo Wilson)
I qualified as an archivist through the Society of Archivist’s course and I worked as an archivist at the Borthwick Institute for Archives for fifteen years, then went to work as senior lecturer at the University of Lincoln where I became Professor of Medieval Studies in 2015. I have particular interest in the editing of medieval documents, and I am the general editor of the British Academy’s English Episcopal Acta series and Lincoln Record Society’s Kathleen Major Series of medieval records. Working with MA and PhD students on editing these documents has involved me in teaching Palaeography and Latin.
Panel: Use it or lose it – the value of archival literacy and traditional skills in a digital age (Presenting with Charlotte Berry, Michael Riordan, Jenny Mitcham, Caroline Brown and Annaliese Griffiss)
Sue Hourigan followed a BA Hons in Fine Art with a further qualification in Library and Archives Conservation at Camberwell School of Art. She has accrued thirty years’ experience as a professional paper and book conservator and has been senior conservator with Berkshire Record Office since 1995. Her most recent responsibilities include managing the conservation projects (Reading Gaol and Coleshill Estate) funded by the Welcome Trust and NMCT respectively.
In addition to practical work Sue also delivers talks to lay audiences about preserving family memorabilia and preservation skills workshops for museum volunteers and family history groups.
Sue also works concurrently as a free-lance conservator. She recently completed mounting and framing the Ladybird book art for the exhibition Ladybird Books: How it Works and also presented a paper discussing a private commission to stabilise the large watercolour and collage stained glass window design Christ in Majesty by John Piper at the Book and Paper Icon Conference in 2018.
Sue has also served as an assessor and mentor for the Archives and Records Association Conservation Certificate. She is also a member of ICON and ARA.
Nanocellulose: It’s so good you will want to make your own (maybe)?
Nanocellulose is a highly viscous gel with neutral pH made from pure cellulose pulp to produce long microfibrils with high mechanical strength. In the last few years it has become a plausible adhesive-free paper repair method.
Until recently the production of Nanocellulose was too energy intensive to be commercially viable; however recent developments in the processing have reduced the energy consumption by 98% making the product very attractive to commercial companies.
The recent publications on Nanocellulose and its applications have inspired me to explore this technology as a possible method to repair transparent paper. The results of the trials are promising. In fact the trials are so good the next step will be to experiment with Nanocellulose production in the studio.
This presentation will explain commercial production methods, sourcing the material and the various characteristics. Case studies will show a unique application method to achieve an almost invisible repair and discuss the success or failure of making Nanocellulose in the conservation studio.
I have worked as an archives and records practitioner in both local government and university settings for over 10 years. In 2017 I joined the Department of Information Studies at UCL as a Research Associate on the AHRC-funded MIRRA: Memory – Identity – Rights in Records – Access project, exploring information rights and responsibilities in social care records. I completed my PhD in archives, community and heritage value at the University of York in 2018.
Practice into Theory: Academic Writing for Professional Development
(Presenting with Sarah Higgins and Sarah-Joy Maddeaux)
The Archives and Records journal (formerly the Journal of the Society of Archivists) has been published continuously since 1955, presenting the latest research to ARA members as well as to an international audience of professionals and scholars. A subscription to the journal remains a principal benefit of Association membership: new issues are delivered in hardcopy and the journal’s entire backlist is available online. However, the distance between academic discourse and day-to-day work can seem vast. When was the last time you thought about your to-do list in terms of the latest theory, considered writing up your work for publication or picked up an archival studies book? As the journal approaches its 65th anniversary, the editorial team would like to argue for the continuing relevance and value of academic publication to the profession.
Our workshop will challenge the perennial charge that theory and research are impractical for archivists and records managers working in the ‘real world’. The session will offer an applied ‘how-to’ tutorial on engaging with and contributing to the journal. We will share tips and tricks for writing up work into articles, going through peer review and reviewing the latest publications and resources. At the end of the session, the audience will be invited to share their thoughts on how Archives and Records can support their professional development, both as practitioners and researchers. The editorial team will also make themselves available during a break session on the same day for 1-2-1 discussions about ideas for articles and book reviews.
I have been a Conservator for Cumbria Archive Service since 2018, and care for the collections held at the four Archive Centres across the county. This involves preventative measures and interventive treatments where appropriate on a wide range of material that dates from the 12th Century to the modern day.
I completed the MA Conservation at Camberwell College of Arts in 2014, specialising in Books and Archival Materials. Following this I was the Conservator for the Cambridge University Press Archive held at Cambridge University Library for four years.
Tacketed stationery bindings (Presenting with Tony King)
I am Head of Conservation at WYAS. After studying History of Art, I qualified as a paper conservator at the University of Northumbria, before specialising in archives conservation. Professionally accredited (ACR) since 2008, I am also a tutor for the ARA’s Conservation Training Scheme at our conservation studio in Wakefield.
Roll Up! Conservation of the Conisborough Court Rolls
The Conisbrough Court Rolls, belonging to Doncaster Archives date from 1265 to 1935 and have been described as ‘nationally significant’ by The National Archives. They are an incredibly important survival from Doncaster’s medieval past, recording the decisions and actions of the manorial court for Conisbrough and the Soke of Conisbrough. The Conservation team at West Yorkshire Archive Service have treated this collection as part of a digitisation and preservation project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 60 rolls comprising over 200 parchment membranes were allocated to the project. This talk will describe how magnets were used to help carry out repairs and flattening as well as describe how the work was managed to create efficiencies in the project.
Jenny Ka-yan Yu
Jenny Ka-yan Yu is the Corporate Archivist at HSBC Archives for the Asia-Pacific region. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she graduated from the University of Hong Kong then she obtained her Master of Archive Administration from Aberystwyth University with the support of the Chevening Scholarship. Before joining HSBC, she worked in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Archives and for the Pilot Programme of Building the First Community Archive in Hong Kong. Her research interests focus on Hong Kong history, business archives and colonial archives.
The role of archivists in an international organization: Dialogue across continents at HSBC Archives (Presenting with Jemma Lee)
As one of largest banking and financial services organisations in the world, HSBC has created an international network of archives to capture, manage and promote its historical records and art collections. The archives reflect the colourful and eventful history of HSBC, from the opening of its first office in Hong Kong in 1865, to its most recent activities arising from operations in 66 countries and territories worldwide. The archives contain the historical records not only of HSBC, but also of many of the banks which it has acquired since 1959 and their predecessor companies, including the British Bank of the Middle East, Midland Bank and Crédit Commercial de France (CCF). In order to manage this eclectic collection effectively, HSBC Archives is comprised of four archive centres located in London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong.
In this session, by means of a dialogue between two HSBC archivists from London and Hong Kong, we propose to discuss the knowledge-sharing, collaboration and support required in a global archive. We will consider the sharing of standards, systems and collections and how we work to respect and champion the diverse backgrounds, cultures and locations of our colleagues. The practice of supporting and learning from each other whilst building on regional strengths is a critical component of global collaboration, so we will progress to explore the methods that we successfully apply within our own archive team. We will further discuss the dual challenge of striving for both local and global objectives in addition to the opportunities that it offers, providing supporting examples ranging from the management of researchers to the development of an international display standard. Finally, we will consider the wider theme of globalisation and the impact on the role of archives and archivists in the 21st century, arguing that HSBC Archives offers a successful template for other organisations to consider.
Collections Development Officer, Archives and Collections, The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Following various positions at The National Trust for Scotland, The University of Glasgow and The Glasgow School of Art, my current role as Collections Development Officer for GSA’s Archives and Collections recovery project is to oversee the cataloguing, documentation, digitisation, conservation and repackaging of GSA’s holdings following a major fire in the School’s Mackintosh Building in 2014, which resulted in the loss of parts of the School’s built heritage, art and furniture holdings, and damage to some of its archives, objects and textiles. This role also involves migrating to new collections and image management software. I also manage a team of volunteers, student work placements and internships who support associated activities.
I am on the committee for the Scottish Society for Art History and Archives Advisor to the Scottish Jewish Archives. I have given a number of papers on topics ranging from copyright, digitisation, Scottish carpet design and manufacture, and the role of art in the WWI.
Look Who’s Archiving Too: Diversifying the Archives and Collections workforce in the aftermath of the 2014 Mackintosh Building fire at The Glasgow School of Art
Does the archives sector have the skillset it needs to perform to the best of its ability? What can archivists learn from other sectors and from non-professionals? In times of upheaval or disaster especially, can archive staff cope without help from outside the sector?
The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) suffered a devastating fire in its celebrated Mackintosh Building in 2014 which affected both the building and GSA's Archives and Collections. A recovery project which seeks to stabilise and rebuild GSA’s holdings through conservation, documentation, digitisation and collections management has been underway since March 2015. Though professional archive skills rightly underpin every aspect of the recovery project, the Archives and Collections team are discovering that a workforce with a diverse range of skills is essential not only to ensure the success of the recovery project, but also to aid the general running of the service, and as such are drawing on non-traditional archive skills - and non-professional staff - to undertake many of the tasks related to this work.
This paper will examine how recent HLF-funded Skills for the Future traineeships and a work placement programme including collaborations between GSA and The University of Glasgow, The University of Edinburgh and the University of the West of Scotland have benefited GSA’s Archives and Collections service, as well as how non-professional archive staff and volunteers with unique and diverse skills have significantly aided the fire recovery project in areas such as IT, photography and image editing, conservation, repackaging, archaeology and project management.
I have been a practicing conservator since 2007 working across the North of England. For the last 7 years I have worked for Lancashire County Council and becoming accredited in 2017.
Nothing is routine, even the basics
As conservators we work with things and situations that are out of the ordinary every day. Sometimes plans work, sometimes we have to pivot and change direction but to us it is normal. As conservators we thrive on problem solving. This talk aims to celebrate what we as conservators do day in, day out and a chance to discuss problem solving as a key element to our work and how we communicate that with those around us. Through the presentation there will be examples from Lancashire Archives and hopefully some audience participation too.
Engagement 3.0 (Presenting with David Smith)
Dorothy Kidd (Biography coming soon)
Panel: Archives in Museums, Museums in Archives: the challenges and opportunities
(Presenting with Helen Dafter and Louise Pichel)
I am Senior Conservator for Cumbria Archive Service based at Carlisle Archive Centre with responsibility for the collections held at our 4 Archive Centres across the county. Our archives include a wide range of material types dating from Twelfth Century right up to the modern day and the Conservation Unit is charged with ensuring their long-term preservation through preventative measures and interventive treatments where appropriate. Although the bulk of the collection is traditional archive material, Cumbria is confronting the challenges posed by digital records and I am engaged in finding solutions to ensure the preservation and future accessibility of these archives.
In 2018 I was fortunate to be awarded the Nicholas Hadgraft Scholarship and attend the Montefiascone Conservation Summer School to pursue my interest in historic bookbindings and their conservation. I am currently the Trainee Representative for the ARA Archive Conservation Training Scheme.
Tacketed stationery bindings (Presenting with Fay Humphreys)
Tacketed bindings are part of the story of stationery binding and can be found in many forms in archive collections. Their apparent simplicity of construction and lack of adornment has contributed to them being somewhat over looked in the history of bookbinding. This paper will consider variations within tacketed stationery bindings before exploring the development, spread and evolution of this binding style.
Across Europe, many bindings with common features and a consistent outward appearance can be found, but on closer inspection significant variation in construction approaches and materials are evident. One of the treasures of Cumbria Archive Service is a 16th Century tacketed stationery binding, we created a facsimile to help us better understand the construction and how to best to preserve it. Using this volume as a case study, we will explore how specific features of this binding have evolved and gone on to influence modern stationery binding techniques.
I am the Records Manager for The Crown Estate and a professionally qualified Records and Information Management Specialist, having worked in the records management field since 2006.
I am also an Executive Committee member of both the Association of Departmental Records Officers and the Archive and Records Association (ARA)’s Section for Records Management and Information Governance plus an accredited member of the Information and Records Management Society.
I have spoken at several events and conferences. I also act as a Reviewer for records management articles submitted to the ARA journal.
Panel: How we work as records managers (Presenting with Edward Ratcliffe, Frances Lund and Vanessa Platt)
After having held several administrative positions at the European Central Bank (ECB), I moved to the Information Governance Division in 2014 where I have since worked as an Information Management Specialist. The position was linked to a development track culminating in a Master’s degree in Records Management and Digital Preservation from the University of Dundee, which I completed in June 2018. My previous Bachelors degree in International Business Communication opened my eyes to the communication issues I was encountering in my day-to-day work with my stakeholders and motivated me to write my research paper about records management communication at the ECB.
Shaping records management communication at the European Central Bank
The design of the records management set-up at the ECB requires the Information Governance function to collaborate closely with its stakeholders (mainly system users, key users and managers). The ECB’s staff is spread over three different locations in Frankfurt and maintains close working relations with the National Central Banks and other institutions located across Europe, which are connected to our electronic document and records management system. The complex organisational context has potential to raise communication issues. These issues and their resolution were at the heart of my Master’s thesis. In my presentation I will briefly highlight some of the findings emerging from the literature review, describe the outcome of my research survey and give an overview of proposed measures to improve records management communication at the ECB.