ARA implements new membership category: Supporters of Archives Groups

 ARA implements new membership category: Supporters of Archives Groups

  • Contribution of key sector partners, such as Friends Groups and Local History Groups recognised in special package.
  • Introductory offer: 20 months' membership for cost of 12.

11 January 2016 - The Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) is the lead professional body for archivists, records managers and conservators, and a community forum for all those who work in and care about record keeping and for those who own and use archives. As of today, the ARA is implementing a new Group membership category – Supporters of Archives Groups.

The new category of membership is open to groups of people (not individuals) who support archives or places of records deposit. Examples of groups eligible in this category would be friends groups and local history groups or small voluntary organisations active – or interested - in archives and records. As there is a wide diversity of entities in this space, the ARA will take a flexible view of applications under the new category.

David Mander, the ARA's Chair, said:

"The ARA is committed to broadening its membership offer so that all who contribute to the sector – whether in formal or informal roles, at international, national and local levels – have an influential voice. This new category recognises the valued work done by a wide range of supporters in our sector."

Introductory offer

The new membership starts on 11 January 2016, with an annual fee of £70.The first period of membership will run until 30 September 2017, meaning that any group applying now will secure at least eight months' additional free membership. Application forms can be found here on the ARA website. Further details can be obtained from Lorraine Logan in the ARA's (UK) Taunton office, on 01823 327077.

Objective: inclusion and recognition

The ARA has developed the new Supporters of Archives Groups category to encourage wider involvement, input of expertise, insights and ideas as our community as its work continue to evolve. Another aim is to offer a formal mechanism for key supporter groups wishing to expand their networks in the sector.

The pricing structure for the new membership category reflects the demographics: people in this space tend to be of modest means, such as volunteers, retired professionals, and those interested in local records or family history or who simply want to become more active. There are also a few specific criteria that groups interested in applying must meet. For example, they must be not-for-profit entities with an annual turnover no higher than £20,000. All ARA information and subscription information sent to members in this category will only go to one address (the group contact point is then responsible for sharing such information more widely within the group).

Distinct from existing categories, such as community archives

The Supporters of Archives Groups category will not replace or duplicate the excellent work and support already being given to community archives by the Community Archive and Heritage Group (CAHG, which is also supported by ARA).

John Chambers, the ARA's CEO, commented:

"CAHG members are typically small community groups actively seeking to collect, manage or exploit community archives, artefacts and information. They receive specific technical advice and support. The new Supporters of Archives Groups category, by contrast, serves those wishing to support a specific archive or records office, or the sector in general, but without (for example) responsibility for hands-on management of a small records centre."

Why become a Supporter of Archives Group member?

Supporters of Archive Groups membership offers the full benefits of ARA membership. This includes the ability to network with – and draw on the expertise of – 2,400 professionally-qualified archivists, records managers and conservators in the UK, Ireland, and our international membership. In addition:

  • The ARA has national, regional and specialist groups covering all aspects or records management and archival work, from mainstream collections and places of deposit to specialist repositories, science, film and sound. However specialised your needs, there will likely be a specialist in our community;
  • The ARA produces publications, guidance and timely information about all aspects of record keeping and archives, including new funding and projects;
  • Many people volunteer for (or are key users of) the sector's services. Joining the professional body is a way of ensuring that your important voice is heard;
  • If you care about the future of archives and record keeping, you strengthen the sector by joining its leading professional body. The ARA lobbies widely and successfully, eg when services are threatened or opportunities for improvement arise. Add your voice and make the ARA even more influential.

The ARA Supporters of Archives Group membership package includes:

  • Online access, on publication day, to the ARA's monthly magazine, ARC. ARC (Archives, Records, Conservation) is full of articles about the work of the sector, most of which are written by ARA members. You might even want to contribute yourself or take on an editorial or production role;
  • The ARA's fortnightly email newsletter ARA Today. This is a round-up of news on the sector, and includes first announcements of training courses, etc.
  • Discounted rates for ARA training courses and conferences across the UK and Ireland, plus discounted rates for any group presence at ARA events.

Further information is available on our membership page here.