On these pages you can find details of both upcoming and past events, aswell as ARAS announcements and opportunities.  Click on the eventtitle of a past event to view a recording, if available. 


Upcoming training events:

Hidden Disabilities

Date: 17 November 2021, 13:00-15:15

Location: Online – Microsoft Teams

How can archives and records managers better support colleagues and users with disabilities?

ARA Scotland is pleased to present this training event on hidden disabilities. With their own lived experience of hidden disabilities, the trainers (Philip Milnes-Smith and Iida Saarinen) will explore the taboos, tropes and stereotypes that continue to shape thinking about disability and offer a different framework. In small groups, participants will also have the opportunity to reflect with colleagues across the sector on overcoming barriers, real and perceived.

Philip Milnes-Smith (he/him) is a former Special Education teacher now working as an archivist at Shakespeare’s Globe, and on a Disability History project at the RNOH. He is one of ARA’s Diversity and Inclusion Allies and was on the steering group for the Archives for Learning and Education Section’s forthcoming Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Toolkit.

Iida Saarinen (she/her) has a background in historical research and higher education teaching. She is currently working for National Records of Scotland in a records management and archives liaison role. Iida is one of ARA’s Diversity and Inclusion Allies, as well as one of the Diversity Officers for ARA Scotland.

Book here.

Past events

Click on the event title to access a recording of the event, if available

Managing Orphan Works in a post-Brexit landscape

Date: 15 September 2021, 13:00-14:00

Location: Online – Microsoft Teams

Leaving the EU has impacted how Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAMs) in the UK manage their collections and online activities. Additionally, it has affected their collections in copyright where the rights holders are either unknown or cannot be traced, also known as ‘orphan works.’

ARA Scotland is delighted to offer this lunchtime webinar with Naomi Korn. Naomi Korn is one of the UK’s leading experts in copyright, data protection and licensing. She has been supporting the public, corporate, education and charity sectors on rights management and rights exploitation for the last 20 years.

Naomi Korn is also currently researching a part-time PhD at the University of Edinburgh which is examining the impact of Brexit on the management of orphan works amongst GLAMs. During this webinar Naomi will discuss this topic and some possible next steps for GLAMs following Brexit.

This webinar took the form of a presentation by Naomi Korn, followed by a Q&A chaired by an ARA Scotland training officer.

Project Planning and Execution

Date:  07 July 2021, 13:00-14:00

Location: Online – Microsoft Teams 

As archivists, conservators, and records managers, we find ourselves constantly involved in project work, from small-scale projects that span a few weeks or months to larger projects spanning years. Have you ever wondered how others within our sector are approaching planning their projects and seeing them through to completion? 

ARA Scotland hosted this lunchtime webinar on project planning and execution strategies in the context of two projects within Scottish heritage institutions, encompassing archive cataloguing, outreach, and digital records. The speakers were:

Rachel Hart (Keeper of Manuscripts and Muniments, University of St Andrews), who discussed the project planning process for the University of St Andrews’ Archives Revealed cataloguing and community engagement project entitled ‘Hidden Burgh: restoring Cupar’s place at the heart of Fife’.

Katherine Chorley (Digital Archivist, Royal College of Nursing) shared the Royal College of Nursing’s approach to creating and implementing procedures relating to management and preservation of digital records, and communicating these procedures to staff across the organisation. 

This event took the form of two short presentations, followed by a Q&A hosted by the ARA Scotland training officer. 

Web Archiving at the National Records of Scotland

Date: 19 May 2021, 13:00-13:40
Location: Online - Microsoft Teams

Preserving online content is an essential tool for archivists. While web archiving can feel like a daunting procedure, new tools are opening up this activity for digital preservation specialists of all levels. In this webinar, ARA Scotland explores the practice, and common challenges, facing web archiving.

This webinar featured a presentation from Lynn Bruce (Web Archivist, National Records of Scotland). The presentation explored web archiving at the National Records of Scotland, as well as tools that can support preserving online content.

Explore Your Archive: Ian Rankin Archive at the National Library of Scotland

Date: 14 January 2021, 13:00-14:00
Location: Online - Microsoft Teams
This year, perhaps even more than most, finding and building our communities has been and remains incredibly important. Within the heritage sector this is no different, and we are excited to celebrate the threads that bind Archives, Museums, Libraries, and Galleries together, as well as sharing the projects and activities that make each group unique. Alongside our colleagues in the ARA Section for Archives and Museums, and others in the community, we will be exploring these commonalities and issues that cut across the adjacent disciplines throughout the 2020/2021 Explore Your Archive year, under our campaign: 'Arch'Ive Connect: Museums, Galleries, Libraries, Archives'.
In 2019, bestselling Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin donated his literary archive to the National Library of Scotland. For the past year, Rosemary Hall, appointed Ian Rankin Project Curator, has arranged and catalogued this unique and important collection of materials. In this talk, Rosemary will discuss her experiences working with the archive of a prominent living individual. She will explore how working with an archival collection within a national library setting impacted the goals and outputs of the project. Finally, she will highlight some of the gems found within the archive, which is now fully catalogued and available for public consultation.
This event will take the form of a presentation, followed by a Q&A hosted by the ARA Scotland Training Officer. This event is open to ARA members and non-members.
Twitter handles:
National Library of Scotland - @NatLibScot
National Library Manuscripts Department - @NLSArchives
Rosemary Hall - @RosemaryKHall

Explore Your Archive launch week event!

Arch'Ive Connected: Using Archives in Exhibitions, with Dr Peter Lester, University of Leicester

Date: 23 November 2020, 13:00-14:00
Location: Online - Microsoft Teams

There are over 1.6 million archival items in Scottish museums, which offer a great opportunity for rich and exciting forms of audience engagement through exhibition. For archives and special collections, exhibitions can offer a colourful and informative way of reaching and engaging with new users. Physical exhibitions can provide rich encounters with original archives, whilst online exhibitions can reach broad audiences – and have become increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this webinar, Peter Lester will explore some key themes around exhibiting archives and the narratives and stories they can tell. The webinar will also consider the importance of archives in interpreting museum objects. Using a selection of different examples and case studies, the webinar will consider displays in both physical and online media. It will also provide opportunities for attendees to share their own examples of exciting and innovative exhibitions.

Twitter Handles:
Peter Lester - @Pablester
Explore Your Archive - @ExploreArchives

ARA Scotland Webinars: Meet the Chairs

Date: 11 November 2020, 12:00-12:40
Location: Online - Microsoft Teams

Join us for our rescheduled Meet the Chairs event!

In this webinar we will be speaking with Lisa Snook (Chair, ARA), Gillian Mapstone (Chair, ARA Scotland) and Julie Devenney (Vice-Chair, ARA Scotland). They will be speaking about their work with ARA, how to build a career in the archives, conservation, and records management profession, and how you can get involved with the wider sector. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about their work with ARA, as well as how you can get involved. 

Target Audience: New Professionals - People interested in getting involved with ARA
Practical Applications: Getting involved with ARA. Networking. Career development.
Twitter Handles:
Lisa Snook - @LisSnook
Gillian Mapstone - @gillmap
Julie Devenney - @JulieDevenney

ARA Scotland Webinars: Copyright for Archivists

Date: 18 August 2020, 11:00-11:40
Location: Online - Microsoft Teams

In this webinar we are pleased to present Fred Saunderson from the National Library of Scotland. The National Library of Scotland is Scotland’s largest library, the legal deposit library for Scotland and the world centre for the study of Scotland and the Scots. Fred Saunderson will be presenting on copyright for archivists. His presentation will include focus in particular to the '2039' duration of copyright that affects archival works in the UK and some exceptions to copyright that relate to unpublished works. The presentation will be followed by a short Q&A. 

Target Audience: Archivists - Information Professionals
Practical Applications: How to apply copyright legislation in an archive and heritage institution. Application of the 2039 rule and orphan works. 

Twitter Handles:
National Library of Scotland - @NatLibScot
Fred Saunderson - @FredSaunderson

Date: 1 September 2020, 11:00-11:40 
Location: Online - Microsoft Teams

In this webinar we are pleased to present Rhoda Boateng from Black Cultural Archives. Black Cultural Archives is the home of Black British History, and its mission is to collect, preserve and celebrate the histories of people of African and Caribbean descent in the UK, and to inspire and give strength to individuals, communities, and society. Rhoda Boateng will be presenting Black Cultural Archives’ development of its new Black Lives Matter Collection. This presentation will be followed by a short Q&A. 

Target Audience: Archivists - Heritage Sector - Diversity in Archives
Practical Applications: Developing modern collections. Handling collections development for ‘active’ collections. 
Twitter Handles
Black Cultural Archives - @BCAHeritage

Date: 15 September 2020, 11:00-11:40
Location: Online – Microsoft Teams

Join ARA Scotland for our summer series of online webinars. For this training webinar, we are pleased to present Richard Aitken, Senior Conservator at the Highland Archive Centre. The Highland Archive Centre houses a fully equipped Conservation Studio with specialist Conservators qualified and skilled a wide variety of practices. The studio provides conservation services to Inverness-shire, Caithness, Lochaber and Skye & Lochalsh. Richard Aitken will be presenting an introduction to conservation and environmental monitoring. The presentation will be followed by a short Q&A.

Target Audience: Archivists - Information Professionals
Practical Applications: How to apply basic conservation techniques in an archive and heritage institution, including understanding of pest management and environmental monitoring.  
Twitter Handles
Highland Archive Centre - @HLHArchives

​ARA Scotland Webinars: Records Management at Historic Environment Scotland

Date: 29 September 2020, 11:00-11:40 
Location: Online - Microsoft Teams 

In this webinar we will be speaking with Ryan Kerr from Historic Environment Scotland. Historic Environment Scotland ensures that Scotland’s historic environment is cared for, valued and enhanced, both now and for future generations. Ryan Kerr will be speaking about records management at Historic Environment Scotland. This event will be followed by a short Q&A. 

Target Audience: Records Managers - Heritage Professionals - Public Sector
Practical Applications: Applications of records management principles in large institutions. Handling change at a corporate level. 
Twitter Handles
Historic Environment Scotland - @HistEnvScot

ArchI’ve Optimised: SEO and Web Engagement

Date: 7 February 2020, 10:30 – 16:00 
Location: University of Glasgow Library, University of Glasgow, Hillhead Street, Glasgow, G12 8QE

How can archives optimise their use of web platforms to reach new audiences? This training event will provide practical tips for website development, including SEO and launching new platforms. The event will feature presentations from Yellowbird Digital, Rosie al-Mulla (University of Stirling), and Sarah Ames (National Library of Scotland).


  • 10:30 - Registration and Coffee
  • 11:00 - Introduction
  • 11:15 – Yellow Bird Digital, “Google Analytics”
  • 12:15 - Tea & Coffee
  • 12:30 – Yellow Bird Digital, “Google Analytics”
  • 13:30 - Lunch
  • 14:30 – Rosie al-Mulla, University of Stirling
  • 15:30 - Tea/Coffee
  • 15:45 – Sarah Ames, National Library of Scotland
  • 15:45 – Final Questions
  • 16:00 – Close.  

You can find information on previous training events from 2019 below. 

Scotland Explore Your Archive Launch 2019

When: 25 November 2019, 18:00-21:00

Venue: The Dome, New Register House, 3 W Register St, Edinburgh EH1 3YT

This event is a celebration of the Scottish launch of the Explore Your Archive campaign. We will be joined by James Crawford (presenter of BBC1's Scotland from the Sky) and Dawn Sinclair (archivist at Harper Collins), as well as representatives from Scottish heritage organisations. To book, please visit the Eventbrite page.

ARA Scotland AGM and ArchI’ve Optimised Training Event

When: 3rd October 2019, 11.00-16:30

Venue: Henry Heaney Room, Level 12, Archives & Special Collections at the University of Glasgow Library

This event is free and for ARA members only.


10.30 Registration, Tea/Coffee

11.00 ARA Scotland AGM ARA Scotland Committee

11.30 Crowdsourced Wikipedia Rosie Al-Mulla, University of Stirling

12.00 Explore Your Archive Karyn Williamson, EYA Team

12.30 Lunch available locally

1.30 – 16.30 YellowBird Digital Search Engine Optimisation Workshop


Emotional Support in Archives

When: 17th September, 10:30am – 16:00

Venue: Sandeman Room, AK Bell Library, 2-8 York Place, Perth, PH28EP

**Event costs: ARA members: £25 Non-members: £30 - to secure a place Book Online here**

Archivists, Conservators and Records Managers regularly catalogue and process documents containing sensitive material as well as assisting readers to access documents which they may find upsetting or distressing. This event will include presentations from archivists and conservators with experience in this field. They will discuss their work with traumatic documents, share some of the coping mechanisms they have found helpful in their own work and give advice on some of the ways records professionals can support both members of staff and readers. There will be a time for discussion at the end of the presentations.


10:30 - Registration and coffee

11:00 - Introduction

11:10 – “Emotional support for records professionals - How Conservation at NRS manages this work” (Linda Ramsay, Head of Conservation, National Records of Scotland)

Working with the collections of the National Records of Scotland has required conservation and preservation staff in NRS to work with, and manage the impact of working with, distressing, sensitive and sometimes disturbing records. Linda will reflect on the experience of NRS conservation staff and share the methods they have developed for managing the emotional impact of such work.

11:50 – “Distressing and traumatic records: PRONI’s approach” (Wesley Geddis, Deputy Head of Records Management, Cataloguing and Access, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland)

PRONI holds and gives access to a range of records containing distressing information. For the past 4-5 years Wesley has been heavily involved in dealing with requests from victims and survivors of the troubles, and other traumatic experiences, who are seeking access to their own information or about incidents in which they were involved. He will discuss the steps PRONI has taken to support both staff and readers accessing this information.

12:30 - Lunch (included – please advise of any dietary requirements when booking)

1:30 – “A personal reflection on Mental Health First Aiding in the workplace” (Dina Strati, Records, Archives, and Document Management Team Lead, Midlothian Council) 

As part of her role at Midlothian Council, Dina Strati is a mental health first aider and mental health champion, trained by MHFA England. She will share some of her experiences, reveal what she has learnt through this work and give some practical tips on how to provide emotional support to others in the workplace.

2:10 – “Preserving our records and protecting our staff: the development of risk assessment and self-assessment tools in the National Records of Scotland” (Gillian Mapstone, Head of Records and Archives Engagement National Records of Scotland)

In fulfilling their mission to collect, preserve and produce information about Scotland’s people and history, NRS staff are exposed to emotionally demanding situations when working with records and the provision of access to them. NRS is developing a number of wellbeing risk assessment and self-assessment tools to identify, manage and mitigate these risks to protect and support the wellbeing of our workforce. Gillian will talk about the catalysts for, and the development of, these tools within NRS.

2:50 - Tea/coffee

3:10 – Open discussion

4:00 - Close

ArchI've learnt: Engaging with archives

When: 8 August 2019
Where: Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, Old Hawkhill, Dundee, DD1 5EN 

Are you looking for new ways to engage children or students with your collections? This event will provide those working in archives with ideas and inspiration by showing some of the resources already available in Scotland and examples of what has worked in other archives. Whether you have years of experience of using your collections as educational material or are wondering where to start, we would love to welcome you to discuss the possibilities! With presentations from learning and engagement professionals from Historic Environment Scotland, the Scottish Council on Archives, the University of Dundee, the National Records of Scotland and the Highland Archive Service, there will be something of interest to everyone at this event.


10:30 - Registration and coffee

11:00 - Introduction

11:15 - “SCRAN - Archival Ingredients for Learning”

Jackie Sangster, Learning Manager, Historic Environment Scotland

11:45 - “The Dramatic Archive”

Douglas Roberts, Education Development Officer, Scottish Council on Archives

12:15 - Lunch (not included)

1:15 - “Inform, inspire, illuminate: using archives in university teaching”

Dr Jan Merchant, Senior Archivist, University of Dundee

1:45 – “Go Forth! Digital learning resources: from glass plates to 3D scans” 

Tessa Spencer, Head of Learning, National Records of Scotland

2:30 - Tea/coffee

2:45 - “Mining the Archives: inspiring creative writing in Highland schools”

Lorna Steele, Community Engagement Officer, Highland Archive Service

3:15 - Q&A session with all speakers

3:45 - Close

Digital Preservation 101

When: 21 June 2019
Where: Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, 1445 Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AW

This event is for ARA members who would benefit from an introduction, or refresher, on digital preservation. It will also be beneficial to any ARA members who understands some elements of digital preservation, but have struggled to apply them at their respective institutions.

The goal of this event is to provide an introduction to digital preservation, as well as how theory can be applied in real world situations. The event will take place in two halves, with the morning focussing on an introduction to digital preservation, and the afternoon providing examples of projects and situations wherein these skills can be used.


1. William Kilbride, Digital Preservation Coalition

2. Tim Gollins and Garth Stewart, National Records of Scotland

3. National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive

4. Fiona Bourne, Royal College of Nurses

Innovative Social Media for Archives

When: Thursday 23 May 2019, 10:30 – 4:00

Where: University of Stirling Library, Stirling FK9 4LA

How can archives use social media in truly innovative ways to engage old and new audiences? This event 
will provide an insight into the strategies of Scotland’s most effective social media users. This event will be 
accessible to everyone, no matter your experience with social media, and will give you the skills and exposure to unlock your archives using social media. With presentations from Stewart Hardy (Marketing Officer, National Library of Scotland), Dr Johanna Green (Lecturer, University of Glasgow), and David McLeod (Scottish Heritage Social Media Group), this event will give expert insight into best practice, widening accessibility, and effective social media campaigning. There will be additional presentations by ARA Scotland on how you can get involved with our current social media campaigns.

Hosted in the wonderful Stirling University library, this event will be followed by an optional tour of the library and archives. 


10:30 - Registration and Coffee

11:00 - Introduction

11:30 - Stewart Hardy, National Library of Scotland, followed by Q & A

12:15 - Tea & Coffee

12:30 - Johanna Green, University of Glasgow, followed by Q & A

1:15 - Lunch

2:00 - Julie Devenney & Ravana Eagleheart, ARA Scotland

2:45 - Tea/Coffee

3:00 - David McLeod, Scottish Social Media Heritage Group, followed by Q & A

3:45 - Final Questions to Presenters

4:00 - Close

4:30 - Optional tour or Stirling University Library

Places are limited, so book now via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to avoid disappointment.

Volunteer Management and People Management

When: Monday 25 March 2019

Where: Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel, 9 Haddington Place, Edinburgh EH7 4AL


10.30 Registration and coffee

11.00 Introductions

11.30 Volunteer management: roles, responsibilities and skills

12.15 Tea/Coffee

12.30 Applying people management skills

1.15 Lunch (available locally)

2.00 Meeting the challenge: dealing with difficult situations

2.45 Tea/Coffee

3.00 Negotiation and resolving conflict in practice

4.00 Feedback on the day

4.15 Close



16 February 2020 - We currently have a vacancy on our committee for a Training Officer. You would be working with our current Training Officer to arrange and put on engaging training events. To find out more, including how to apply, click here.

3 October 2020 - We currently have a vacancy on our committee for a Social Media Officer. For information on the role and how to apply, please click here!

1 September 2019 - We are thrilled to announce that the Scottish Explore Your Archive Ambassador is Jamie Crawford! For more information please see the following announcement. You can also download the event poster, to share with friends and colleagues.

3 July 2019 -  We have a vacancy on our executive committee for our Social Media Officer. Full details of the role, and how to apply can be found here: ARA Scotland Role Profile - Social Media Officer

29 May 2019 - We have a vacancy on our executive committee for our Nation Chair. Full details of the role, and how to apply can be found here: ARA Scotland Role Profile - Nation Chair

27 April 2019 - Find out what we've been up to in the first part of 2019, with our Chair's update: ARA Scotland Chair's Update - April 2019

28 January 2019 - Welcome to 2019! Below is an update from ARA Scotland's Chair, Karyn Williamson: ARA Scotland Chair's Update - January 2019

19 January 2019 - The Scottish Council on Archives and ARA Professional and Career Development and Pay Review Group invite you to join them for a workshop at General Register House, Edinburgh on 7 February. For further details, please see the information sheet here: SCA and ARA Workshop - Information Sheet

17 September 2018 - ARA Scotland launches 2018 Scottish Explore Your Archive campaign with an event at Hutcheson's Grammar School, Glasgow on 21 November. For further details, please see the press release below: EYA Press Release

13 September 2018 - Find out what we've been up to this summer in our Chair's Update: ARA Scotland Chair's Update - September 2018

9 August 2018 - We have a vacancy on our executive committee for a Training Officer. Full details of the role, and how to apply can be found here: ARA Scotland Training Officer Advert

1 June 2018 - The first Chair's Update is now available to view here. Find out what we've been up to in the first six months of 2018: ARA Chair's Update - June 2018

17 May 2018 - ARA Scotland is now on Wakelet! Wakelet is a platform for making stories from particular topics on the web and social media. We're using it to make a chronological record of the discussions that take place during #archivehour on Twitter. This means that anyone who can't join in live can still catch up afterwards. Why not take a look at some of the #archivehours discussions we've had already by clicking on the following link: ARA Scotland on Wakelet

14 March 2018 - Case studies, and the guide used to try and decide the level of risk, from the ‘Don’t Risk It!’ training event in January are now available - see the following: Don't Risk It! Case StudiesDon't Risk It! Risk Guide

2 March 2018 - In October 2017 we asked our members to complete a short survey to tell us what they thought of ARAS, and what they felt we should be doing. Many thanks to all of those who took the time to do so. Below is a summary of the responses we received, and how we are tackling the issues raised: ARAS Member Survey - Response 

As ever, if you have any comments, suggestions or queries, please do get in touch with us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.