News and Events


First (online) meeting of the Midlands Digital Preservation Forum Wednesday 15th July from 10am to 12 noon.

At our last meeting, Laura Peaurt (Digital Preservation Officer, University of Nottingham) and Rachel MacGregor, Digital Preservation Officer at Warwick University's Modern Records Centre, discussed a proposal for a Midlands Preservation Network. The format will be two or three presentations and discussion. It is not limited to ARA Members but we would like to keep the focus regional so that (at some future date) we could try and meet in real life! If you are interested in attending and/or being added to a mailing list please contact us and we will send details of how to register for and join the event.



We are delighted that one of our Regional offices was nominated for the 2016 ARA Awards in the category of Record-Keeping Service of the Year - well done to the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland!


Photos and resources from meetings

ARA East and West Midlands Joint Training Day: ‘Making Digital Work for You’ at the QUAD in Derby, 2nd March 2020

Laura Peaurt - University of Nottingham and Rachel MacGregor - Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick
Laura took us through the experience of procuring, implementing and embedding a digital preservation programme and Rachel talked about the process at Warwick. Laura and Rachel introduced the idea of a joint East and West Midlands initiative to create a peer network for digital preservation, enabling regular catch-ups with fellow archivists to share ideas and best practice.

Richard Lewis – Archives West Midlands
Richard gave an overview of the activities of Archives West Midlands, an independent partnership of archive services in the West Midlands Region. They received money from the TNA Sustainability Fund to run a digital preservation project for the region, with the aim of helping all member services achieve NDSA level one by offering training, developing template policies and engaging with IT professionals.

Matilda Knowler - HSBC
Matilda discussed how the global team of archivists manages their Global Digital Archive (GDA) and share what the team has learnt from the implementation and development of the system.

Mike Rogers – Sector Deveopment Manager, The National Archives
Mike gave an update on the three year project Digital Capacity Building Strategy ‘Plugged in: Powered up”

Sarah Chubb – Derbyshire County Record Office
Sarah discussed Derbyshire Record Office’s partnership with Google Arts and Culture: why they decided to partner with Google Arts and Culture, how they went about creating content for the site, how the system works and how they intend to use it in the future.


Launch of Archives Connected, the successor body to the former East Midlands Regional Archive Council (EMRAC), by broadcaster and historian Michael Wood, Tuesday 12 November National Justice Museum, Nottingham.

Archives Connected Launch


John Smedley's, in Lea, Derbyshire Wednesday 6th March 2019

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Ear plugs required for the factory tour

Smedley's archive

Smedley's industrial knitting machines

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John Smedley Archivist, Jane Middleton-Smith, hosted our meeting, giving a presentation about the company archive and arranging a tour of the site, which has operated as a factory since 1784. Coming from a museum background, Jane has worked on a number of research projects and archive collections in Derbyshire, including surviving material of Sir Richard Arkwright (father of the industrial revolution) and his descendants, the archives and artefacts of WW Winter of Derby, the world’s oldest photography studio. Since 2009 Jane has led a team of archive volunteers at John Smedley’s. 

AGM at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham October 2018

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Jo Robinson, Associate Professor in Drama and Performance
Director, Centre for Regional Literature and Culture on the Theatre Royal and University of Nottingham HLF Project

Karen Millhouse, Archivist, Derbyshire Record Office on their Pop-Up Archives Project

Shane Downer, Heritage Officer, Milton Keynes Borough Council: MK50 Update on Archives at the Heart of International New Town Networks

Peter Lester, PhD Student, University of Leicester gave a presentation on his PhD research: Exploring Archive Exhibitions


Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland June 2018

The meeting began with 'Over the Top with ROLLR: first-hand experience of ROLLR's approach to researching the great War'. See below for photos of the attendees entering into the spirit of things, at the only record office equipped with a WW1 trench. The afternoon featured a discussion on GDPR by Jon Elliott, ARA Head of Public Affairs. See the meeting minutes for more information.

Replica rifles and biscuitsFranz Ferdinand's motor

ROLLR's WW1 trenchA Company receive their orders


Nottinghamshire Archives October 2018

Notes from the talk by Dr Nick Barratt from the meeting at Nottinghamshire Archives at 1:15pm on Friday 27th October 2017 can be found in the minutes.


Bletchley Park Summer 2017

Summer 2017

Our summer meeting was held at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes (thanks to Shane Downar and Milton Keynes Council for their assistance in organising and paying for the meeting).

It included the following presentations: 


MACE Tour Spring 2017

MACE tour

MACE Viewing room














The Spring 2017 meeting was at the Media Archive for Central England which is based at Lincoln University. MACE is the regional film and video archive for the East and West Midlands. MACE documents and preserves these films and videos, allowing access to them and contributing to the UK-wide network of publicly available moving image archives. MACE often holds public screenings across the region, airing some material that has often not been viewed in decades - giving an understanding of the regions heritage and its past.

The main aim of MACE is to preserve,"the rich cultural and social history of the Midlands, as reflected in film, for individuals and communities to learn from and enjoy - now and in the future." This is not only a great source of information, knowledge and research but a good source of entertainment and history; to be enjoyed as well as studied.

In addition to providing proper care and storage for materials, MACE also provides help and access for people that are looking for film, and for those needing advice on how to care for moving images outside of MACE.

MACE editing suite

For more information see


Summer 2015 Records Management meeting

Our meeting in July 2015 at De Montfort University in Leicester included a records management training session with the following presentations:

Some of the attendees from our April 2016 meeting at Derbyshire Record Office, Matlock, Derbyshire:

ARA East Midlands Meeting 2016 Matlock, Derbyshire














Return to the East Midlands Region homepage


National Civil War Centre in Newark on the morning of Monday 29 Jul from 9.45am (refreshments from 9.15am).  The main focus of the event will be to learn more about the collections held across the region relating to the civil war and commonwealth period, so whilst this is a bit of fun and we don’t want anybody to spend time having to research and prepare, please do have a think about what you have in your collections in anticipation of a round-table discussion.