‘Conference 2014 Summary’ ‘Views from Keynotes and Delegates’

Our Keynote Speaker's and first time delegates give their thoughts on conference2014.  

Keynote Speakers - Conference 2014


An interview with Rick Prelinger

0K4A0337I thought it was a great conference. I was fascinated by the eclecticism of the people here and the many different specific areas of expertise. More than anything I'm struck when I come to conferences in England, by the differences in the situation and the outlook of archival professionals, in the UK and in Europe people do grand projects often with cultural ministry money, much more ambitious the we're able to do in the United States. Stakeholders are consulted, issues are explored beforehand. In the US it's much more ready, fire, aim. We don't go deep, we don't go society wide but we're much more entrepreneurial in a way, I'd love to see those approaches fused a little more, or cross pollenate, I think about that a lot when I'm here. I was also, you know it's funny in the states when we talk about archives and preservation because we're a much younger country, In England s there's archives that are over a thousand years old so notions of preservation resonate in a different register than they would in America. These were all things that impressed me, also I think it was quite striking to hear what people were saying about austerity and contraction of resources in this climate, we talk about that too but we don't quite talk about it in the same way because we haven't relied so much on the government sector for funding.

I enjoyed quite a lot of the sessions, it's going to be hard for me to remember names but a lot of people expressed themselves felicitously and found novel ways to make their point.

I was pleasantly surprised by the extremely high level of cultural literacy, and by the number of practitioners who were willing to make theoretical issues part of what they are thinking about from day to day, we see a lot less of that in the States where people are very much focused on work flow.


An interview with Martin Berendse       





Martin really enjoyed the conference. He thought it was well organised with a good range of speakers. He was particularly impressed by the number of recently qualified professionals who gave papers, and liked how they focused on issues such as managing projects, thinking creatively and working with partners, not just the technical details of archives and records management.

Martin was impressed by the desire to survive that records professionals in the UK clearly have, and how they are achieving this by communicating and building bridges with their own colleagues and other professionals.




Interviews with two first time conference delegates






Annie Starkey, Trainee Conservator at Lancashire Archives   


Speaking to first time delegate at the conference Annie Starkey, Trainee Conservator at Lancashire Archives: " I really enjoyed meeting new people and getting to know others better. The conference is a great place to share ideas and techniques. All of the talks were brilliant. I learnt so much from Yuki's talk on the 'myths of japanese papers' about the qualities to look for and avoid in Japanese papers."



Justine BrownJustine Winstanley-Brown from Explore York Libraries and Archives

Q. As a first time delegate and speaker how are you finding the conference? Is it what you expected?

A. I found the conference more provocative than expected, with some really passionate speakers tugging me in different directions with their different viewpoints.

Q. How was your first experience of presenting a paper? Have you found that people have been responsive to      the ideas you presented?

A. I was made to feel very welcome to speak as a new professional. I also felt that there was a mutual respect between new and more experienced speakers. I have also enjoyed talking with people during the breaks and hearing the opinions  of others.

Q. What paper/session have you found the most interesting/engaging?

A. I really enjoyed Rick Prelinger's keynote speech on the opening day; he had an optimistic and creative tone and I found that his subject matter challenged some of my own more conservative ideas about access.

I also found Rebecca Bradley's "Poetics of the Archive" session really interesting as her discussion of generous archival interfaces is something that I have been hoping to develop in my own work.

Q. Are there any ideas or themes you will be taking away to develop in your workplace?

A. Yes. Jane Stevenson's specific point about the independence of record titles is something that struck me and links in with Geoffrey Yeo's perspective that in the digital world each individual element has to have the ability to fend for itself. On my return to work I will be checking my own cataloguing work and I will discuss this with my colleagues as we are producing new guides at the moment.


Reflections of a Bursary winner            




Zoe Darani, Reflections on ARA Conference

I was delighted to be able to attend this year's thought provoking conference. I was particularly pleased that the ARA had dedicated some time to debate and reflect upon professional career development, the skills required by professionals today, and in the future, and the ways in which these could be obtained. My thanks and appreciation to Dr. Andrew Flinn, UCL; Giovanni Michetti Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia and Craig Moore, Consultant, Moore Information Security for their encouraging papers.