Annual Volunteering Award

 This award is designed to celebrate the contribution of volunteerswithin the archive sector and to promote good practice involunteering 

ARA Archive Volunteering Award

This award is designed to celebrate the contribution of volunteers within the archive sector and to promote good practice in volunteering. 

The award supports the recommendations of the National Council on Archives' Volunteering in Archives report (2009). The award is supported by CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales (a division of the Welsh Government), the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, and the Scottish Council on Archives.


  • The award recognises work involving volunteers within an institutional archive service in the UK or Ireland
  • Work must have taken place in previous twelve months (but can be part of an ongoing programme of activity)
  • Evaluation must include some feedback from the volunteers involved in the project (i.e. not just view of the organisation)


Assessment will be against the following criteria:

  • Impact on volunteers

For example, the organisation can demonstrate good employer support of the volunteer; that it has supported volunteers in gaining entry into workplace or further training

  • Impact on service

For example, the project/programme has encouraged diversification of volunteers within organisation, or that the organisation can demonstrate that it has robust plans for sustaining and developing its work with volunteers

  • Wider impact

For example, that the input of volunteers has had an impact on local or other communities, or the organisation can demonstrate how it has been able to share the learning from its volunteering activity with others (enabling it to act as a role model).

All nominations to reach This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 7th June 2019.

The 2018 Volunteering Award

‘Ancestors at Sea’, Lancashire Archives’ project to engage new volunteers to create a free, online name-rich index of maritime records, has won the prestigious national Archive Volunteering Award for 2018.

Read the full story on our news pages.

 The 2017 Volunteering Award

'Speak Out London - Diversity City', London Metropolitan Archives' project to establish a permanent community sourced LGBTQ Oral History and memorabilia archive that can be accessed by the public via a website as well as via the LMA onsite facilities, won the Archive Volunteering Award for 2017.

Read their application here

Other applicants were

Archive Resource for Knowsley (ARK) - Knowsley Archives

Glamorgan Archives Volunteer Programme - Glamorgan Archives

Heritage Quay Volunteer Project - University of Huddersfield

'Irish in the Archives' Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

RA 250 - Royal Academy of Arts

The 2016 Volunteering Award

‘Helping us to Achieve’, the National Library of Wales’s (NLW) scheme to expand access to Wales’ national archives by developing a cadre of skilled volunteers, has won the prestigious national Archive Volunteering Award for 2016

Read the full story on our news pages.  

Read their submission here

The 2015 Volunteering Award

The winner of the 2015 Archive Volunteering Award is GM1914, which has been running since 2013 and involves a collaborative effort across ten local authority archives, led by Greater Manchester Archives and Local Studies Partnership.

Read the full story on our news pages. 

Read their submission here

The 2014 Volunteering Award 

The winner of the 2014 Archive Volunteering Award is the University of St Mark and St John Plymouth for 'The Connected Catalogue' 

Read the full story on our news pages.

DSC 3065 edited-1 


Read their submission here. 

Read other submissions to the 2014 Archive Volunteering Award: 

Kingston Museum 

Somerset Heritage Service 

Shropshire Archives 

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre 

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance 

Wigan Archives Service 

The 2013 Volunteering Award

The winner of the 2013 Archive Volunteering Award is Hull History Centre for 'Hull's Second World War Records'         










Read the full story on our news pages.

Read the Hull History Centre submission here

Read other submissions for the 2013 Archive Volunteering Award:

National Library of Wales - English

National Library of Wales - Welsh

The Children's Society 

Battersea Arts Centre Archive

East Sussex Record Office

Gloucestershire Archives

Lancashire Archives

University of Edinburgh

Vivacity Peterborough Culture and Leisure

Bristol Record Office


The 2012 Volunteering Award

The winner of the 2012 Archive Volunteering Award is Wolverhampton City Archives for the project TAKING ACCOUNT OF OUR PAST     

The full story is on our news pages.

ara volunteering award 16 august 2012The winning submission from Wolverhampton City Archives is available to read here:

Taking Account of our Past submission

The 2012 Archive Volunteering Award is presented to volunteers and archivists at Wolverhampton City Archives. In the foreground are, l to r, Cataloguing Archivist Kimberley Benoy, City Archivist Heidi McIntosh, Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Christine Mills, President, Caroline Williams, and Chair, Martin Taylor, of the  Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland).

The judges also 'highly commended' a project by WRVS volunteers to sort, catalogue and digitise a vulnerable collection.

Read the WRVS submission here.

There were seven submissions for the 2012 Award, all of which the judges considered to be of a high quality and which together celebrated the depth and breadth of what was happening in archives today

Time Travel Northumberland submission

Paths to Crime (Bedfordshire & Luton Archives and Records Service) submission

Bishopsgate Institute

Harbord of Gunton Archive Project (Norfolk Record Office) submission

Plymouth Local Studies Library Images Digitisation Project


 The 2011 Volunteering Award

Chinese New Year in Chinatown 110The winner of the 2011 Volunteering Award is Manchester Chinese Archive.

Read the press release here.

Read Manchester Chinese Archive's nomination document

Read all 2011 nomination documents here:

Tithe Records Project at Surrey Heritage Centre

Dudley Archives and Local History Service Volunteer Programme

Wolverton Works Cataloguing Project at National Railway Museum

Making Memories at Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

Gloucester Rugby Football Club Community Heritage Project 


The 2010 Volunteering Award

The Volunteering Award was given for the first time in 2010, when it was won by Suffolk Record Office. Suffolk County Council’s Making a Difference Volunteer Cataloguing Backlog Project involved 69 volunteers helping to catalogue 33 collections including a photographic archive of most parishes in Suffolk created by Captain Dunlop RN who was the last Standing Officer of HMS Ganges.

Three other nominations received a Highly Commended Award: Warwickshire County Record Office’s Waller Volunteer Transcription Project; The Black Cultural Archives, The Heart of the Race: Oral Histories of the Black Women’s Movement project; and The National Archives’ Living the Poor Life project.