The ARA Conference

  This annual event brings together the influential players of therecordkeeping sector. High profile speakers discuss latest developmentsand delegates can network with fellow members of the community

Welcome to the ARA conference pages.


ARA 2015 advert limited details bleed 3Archives and Records Association, UK and Ireland

Annual Conference
Dublin, Ireland, 26th – 28th August 2015

'Challenges, Obligations, or Imperatives? The moral and legal role of the Record Keeper today'

In an era with significant changes in access to information, unacknowledged archive retention, the right to be forgotten, phone hacking, public enquiries into the care of vulnerable adults and children, wikileaks and whistle-blowing, the role of the record keeper has never been more important. Archivists, records managers and conservators all contribute to the modern construct of the Record Keeper. With different challenges, obligations and imperatives facing each facet of our profession, we seek contributions from all three sectors for this conference.

Constant change in our society and the ability to respond to these shifts presents the record keeping community with a challenge. An educated and skilled profession which deals with a myriad of legal and moral obligations, underlines the fact that record keepers are a highly competent, adaptive and decisive profession. Combining legislation, regulatory structures and frameworks with societal feelings and understandings, record keepers offer a unique professional role which responds to legal and moral imperatives in our communities. But how effectively does the record keeper meet those challenges? Where does responsibility for success or failures in these areas lie? Are there instances where the record keeper fails in legal and moral situations? Where have the record keepers and the profession positively succeeded in shaping moral and legal situations? Do we view these situations as challenges, imperatives or obligations?

The Archives and Records Association, UK and Ireland invites proposals for papers, presentations, roundtables, debate and workshops on these themes for its annual conference to be held in Dublin, Ireland in August 2015.

The conference will have three streams (archives and records management, conservation and digital preservation). We welcome suggestions for contributions in the above formats, and will also accept proposals for opportunities for poster presentations and these should be submitted as below.

Possible topics of the conference include, but are NOT limited to:

  • How do we react as professionals to legislation, regulatory structures and frameworks?
  • What moral implications do we deal with in our sector?
  • How pragmatic are we in implementing these? What failures and successes have we had?
  • As professionals, what level of institutional support is there for implementation of legal and moral standards?
  • Are legal and moral obligations implemented without reference to record keepers in your organization?
  • Have there been instances where organizations have refused to implement moral and legal standards and what were the implications?
  • What contribution does the record keeping profession make to the legal and moral code of society?
  • Legislation relating to record keeping – has the professional had reasonable input to it?

Conservators may also wish to consider the following:

  • How difficult is it to provide a service with restricted funds?
  • Choices and decision making in project led conservation
  • The challenges of enabling access and preservation
  • Documentation, evidence and authentication
  • Priorities and options for conservation, practical issues of treatment and exciting new techniques
  • Collaborative and cross sector working, conservation for digitisation and outreach
  • Repository issues, new builds and moving archives
  • Exhibition preparation and display
  • What failures and successes have we had?

The programme is flexible and session lengths will be decided once papers have been chosen but please note that individual speakers will generally have no longer than 30 minutes for their presentations.

Submission: the deadline for submission of proposals is 15 January 2015.
Notification: invitations to speak will be confirmed by the committee by end February 2015.

Please submit your proposal, in the format suggested below, to:

  • Andrew R Nicoll (Archives and Records stream) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. AND
  • Mark Allen (Conservation stream) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UK and Ireland based speakers will be reimbursed travel expenses up to a maximum £75/€95. International speakers will be reimbursed travel expenses within Ireland only up to €95. Speakers usually receive free conference registration for the day on which they are speaking.

Try to connect your proposal to the theme of the conference as best you can. The theme is designed for speakers to bring topics to light that touch on contemporary issues

  • Try to be creative with your paper! How will your paper stimulate debate?
  • Please provide as full information as possible as you can about your proposal – this helps the Committee in making choices about papers and scheduling of sessions
  • Try to be relevant and representative: consider looking at a topic from opposing viewpoints, or focus on the broader picture rather than institutionally specific ones
  • If you are considering making group submission for a session, try to mix speakers from different backgrounds and institutions, or try to include a user or customer perspective. A group of no more than three individuals

Your proposal should include the following:

  • Name of proposer (or lead contact for group proposals)
  • Institution
  • Contact details
  • Submission title (or working title)
  • Speakers (if a panel session)
  • Session description (brief description, max 250 words)
  • Brief biography/ies of speakers
  • Special equipment needed (AV equipment etc)
  • Any other information


For further information, or if you have further questions, please contact:

Andrew R Nicoll, Chair, ARA Conference Committee. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.