News and Events

News and Events

Training event and AGM

Presentations on Digital Preservation and ARA’s updated Professional Development Programme

To be followed by the ARA,I Annual General Meeting at 5pm

Lecture/conference room, Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, Dublin 2

Thursday, 21 March 2019, 1.45pm

The Archives and Records Association, Ireland (ARA,I) is pleased to announce a half-day training event featuring two presentations on digital preservation from Kieran O’Leary, Data and Digital Systems Manager at the IFI Irish Film Archive and Anja Mahler, Digital Archivist, Atlantic Philanthropy Archive Project at the DRI (Digital Repository of Ireland), plus a presentation from Chris Sheridan, Head of Professional Standards and Development at ARA, on the updated Professional Development Programme.

Presentations are expected to last 30 minutes each, with 10-15 minutes for questions after each speaker. ARA, Ireland’s AGM will follow at 5pm.

Registration is now open at:

ARA,I members may attend at no charge. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions you might have.

Programme for the day:

1.45 - 2.15pm             Registration & refreshments (tea and coffee)

2.15 - 3.00pm             Using and developing open source tools in the Irish Film Institute, Kieran O’Leary, IFI Irish Film Archive

3.00 - 3.45pm             The Atlantic Philanthropies Archive Project: A Journey From Corporate To Collective Memory, Anja Mahler, Digital Repository of Ireland

3.45 – 4.30pm             ARA Professional Development, Chris Sheridan, ARA

In this session delegates will learn how to use the ARA’s competency framework, how to qualify as a Foundation, Registered or Fellow member, and how CPD can help drive improvement and career development.

4.30 – 5.00pm             Refreshments (tea and coffee)

5.00pm                        ARA, Ireland Annual General Meeting

Speaker biographies

Anja Mahler is the digital archivist at the Digital Repository of Ireland for The Atlantic Philanthropy Archive project.  Her focus is on developing guidelines, collection structures, ingest schedules and metadata policies for the project, as well as for the hands-on creation of metadata and ingestion of digital objects into the DRI.

Anja has a background in cultural heritage with an in-depth understanding of the history, conservation, preservation, restoration and access of audio visual formats. She is an advocate for best practice in collections management, specifically collection development, care and documentation.  She is professionally educated in Metadata Standards and Information Taxonomies and has practical experience with the standards Dublin Core, PB Core, EN15907 and PREMIS.  Alongside her work in cultural heritage she is an active member of the visual arts in Ireland where she has developed a successful practice, independently and collaboratively, in the field of time-based media art.

Kieran O’Leary is the Data and Digital Systems manager in the IFI Irish Film Institute. His work focuses on developing ingest, quality control, metadata and digitisation workflows for digital audiovisual objects. As part of this responsibility, he is the primary creator and maintainer of the Python project, ‘IFIscripts’ (recent winner of The National Archives Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy at the DPC Digital Preservation Awards), which are custom-written open source tools that facilitate much of the archival package creation and general digital preservation activities within the Irish Film Institute.

He also teaches the Digital Curation Tools MA module in University College Dublin, and has been involved in various freelance consultancy projects, the most recent being a metadata transformation and ingest tool for the California Revealed Project via UC Berkeley.

Chris Sheridan is Head of Professional Knowledge and Development with the ARA. He joined ARA as the new CPD programme manager in June 2017.

He has 20 years’ experience within the membership and professional institutions sector. He joined the British Urban Regeneration Association in 1997 as its Membership Manager, before moving to the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2001. Following a number of different roles that focussed on developing member and educational services, he moved to the Landscape Institute in 2013 as its Head of Education and Membership. 

Excel for Archivists

Using Excel for creating and improving archive catalogues: Why and how

To be followed by the ARA,I Annual General Meeting at 5pm

Catherine McAuley Centre, 23 Herbert Street Lower (just off Baggot Street), Dublin 2

Tuesday, 27 March 2018, 2pm

The Archives and Records Association, Ireland (ARA,I) is pleased to announce a half day training event on Excel for Archivists with Gillian Sheldrick to take place on Tuesday, 27th March 2018. Gillian is a UK archivist with over 30 years experience in the profession, specialising in cataloguing. She developed and delivers Excel for Archivists workshops based on her own work as a freelance cataloguer.

For the ARA,I, Gillian will present two one-hour Excel demonstration sessions. These will be of particular interest to anyone using - or considering using - Excel with text and especially with archive lists and catalogues. Practical techniques will be demonstrated, but please note that this is not a hands-on training event.

The first session will be a talk on how Excel can be used to make cataloguing easier, illustrated with case studies, and including demonstrations of some useful Excel techniques and how to avoid common pitfalls when using Excel. Topics likely to be included:

  • Basic listing and techniques for speeding up data entry
  • Preparing to migrate to other systems
  • Improving and transforming data (including how to use simple formulas)
  • Re-using data
  • Benefits and pitfalls of using Excel

The second session will be a Question and Answer session: you are invited to bring any Excel-related question for Gillian to solve. Better still, submit your question in advance, by 20 March if possible, to enable her to prepare a demonstration to accompany the answer – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Programme for the day:

2.00 - 2.30pm            Registration & refreshments (tea and coffee)

2.30 - 4.30pm           ‘Excel for Archivists’ with Gillian Sheldrick

5.00pm                      ARA, Ireland Annual General Meeting

powerpoint iconExcel for Archivists presentation


ARA, I Training Day - GETTING STARTED IN ARCHIVES: a new professionals training day

The Archives and Records Association, Ireland (ARA,I) is pleased to announce a full day training event for current archival students and new professionals at the John Paul II Library, Maynooth University on Thursday, 22nd June 2017.

In addition to sessions on interview skills, how to prepare a CV, applying for tenders and setting up as self-employed, the day will include presentations from three

established professionals currently working in records management, digital archives and academic archives, outlining their experiences and advising on how best to begin a career in their chosen areas. The Chair of the ARA's Section for New Professionals will also discuss their work and initiatives for recently qualified archivists and records managers.

We also invite four attendees to participate in informal lightning talks - short talks of less than 10 minutes discussing their experiences (good and bad!) as newcomers to the archival profession. Maybe you would like to discuss how you ended up in archives, what you have discovered about the archival job hunt or what skills have been the most useful in your first jobs. Please indicate on registration if you are interested and we will be in touch!


9.30-10.00 Registration

10.00-11.00 Tenders and setting up as self-employed - Mark Farrell (Arcline)

11.00-11.20 Tea & Coffee

11.20- 11.50 Bridging the gap –one year from re-launch - Karyn Williamson (Chair, Section for New Professionals)

11.50- 12.20 My career in records management – Brendan Murphy (Crossmore Consulting)

12.20- 1.30 Lunch (provided)

1.30-3.00 CV and interview skills - Sinéad English (Hilt-Back Yourself)

3.00- 3.15 Tea & Coffee

3.15- 3.45 My career in academic archives - Kate Manning (UCD)

3.45- 4.15 My career in digital archives – Rebecca Grant (NLI)

4.15- 5.00 Informal lightning talks from attendees

Booking information:

Current students will be given priority booking until Sunday 28th May via access code, to be distributed by the relevant university departments. Any remaining places will be opened to all interested ARA,I members on Monday 29th May. A light lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions you might have.

Ticket release dates:

Current students at UCD & Maynooth: Thursday 18th May – Sunday 28th May

All interested ARA,I members: Monday 29th May – Thursday 22nd June

Travel information:

Maynooth University is easily accessible by train, car and bus. Use and consult the Maynooth University website

for further information:

  • Train - Intercity service from Connolly Station - Maynooth. The John Paul II Library is located approximately a 10 minute walk from Maynooth train station.
  • Bus - Route 66 (Merrion Square - Maynooth) and 66X (UCD - Maynooth). The John Paul II Library is located approximately a 10 minute walk from the terminating stop in Maynooth.
  • Car - Permit parking in operation on campus with a Pay & Display car park available to visitors in the North Campus, further information here: Visitor Parking.

About the speakers:

Mark Farrell is a founder of Arcline which provides archives management, records management and library cataloguing services in the public and private sectors.

Karyn Williamson is Company Archivist with Standard Life and acts as Chair of the ARA Section for New Professionals.

Brendan Murphy is the founder and Principal Consultant with Crossmore Consulting, which provides information and records management services. He is also a founder member of the Information and Records Management Society.

Sinéad English is the founder of Hilt-Back Yourself and lectures on Career Management at the University of Limerick.

Kate Manning is Principal Archivist at University College Dublin Archives.

Rebecca Grant Digital Archivist and Data Policy Manager at the National Library of Ireland.

She was previously Digital Archivist at the Digital Repository of Ireland.