News and Events

 Read all about what the section is doing

Section for Archives and Technology (SAT)

News and Events

Details of current future events will be posted to the section’s community pages, so please see here for details. You can also follow us on Twitter (@ARAArchiTech).

For a report on the Data Wrangling with OpenRefine training event on 14 November 2019, please click here.

For the minutes of the section AGM on 29 March 2019, please click here. For a report on the System Addict event held on the same day, please click here.

Upcoming special issue of ARC Magazine: 'Innovative Interfaces'

The ARA Section for Archives & Technology invites abstracts for articles exploring the theme of ‘Innovative Interfaces’ for our next special issue of ARC Magazine.

Innovative interfaces go beyond search and discovery. They change the terms of engagement. Archives are not just stuff to be found and retrieved, but sites of communication and connection, where people can come together to negotiate their own individual and shared meanings and understandings.

This is an opportunity to share news on recent projects or activities which start to envision and manifest such sites, leveraging evolving technological possibilities. We welcome examples of new ways of presenting, visualising and surfacing archival data, as well as examples of archives working with users and researchers to create new resources, celebrating the partnerships and collaborations taking place.

Please submit a short abstract (a few sentences will suffice) on the content of the proposed article to sat[at] by Friday 24th May.

Successful applicants will be informed by Wednesday 29th May.

Articles themselves should be between 400-800 words and include a range of images. The deadline for final articles will be Wednesday 24th July 2019.

Any questions or requests for further information should also be directed to sat[at]

We look forward to hearing from many of you and sharing your work in this ARC special issue!

Past activities

Here is a brief summary of the section's main areas of activity over the recent past.


The committee has a long history of engagement with professional standards, particularly descriptive standards. For example, between 2008 and 2011 it ran a regular column in ARC magazine introducing relevant standards. These introductions can still be consulted here although they have not been updated so should be treated with caution.

At roughly the same time, the section was also involved with training in XML, Encoded Archival Description (EAD) and Encoded Archival Context (EAC). Details of this training can be found here along with a copy of the response the section co-ordinated in 2011 to a call for comments on the revision of EAD.

Between 2013 and 2014 work in this area was carried out under the umbrella of the ‘Descriptive Standards Roundtable’ and more detail of this work can be found here. This work culminated in an event on Cataloguing Born Digital Material in November 2014 and the eventual drafting, in 2016 of a set of Best Guess Guidelines for Cataloguing Born Digital Material.

The most recent work in this area was the co-ordination of a response to the call for consultation on the draft Records in Contexts standard. A copy of the response can be found here

Digital Preservation

Another of the section’s main areas of activity has been around digital preservation. For example, eight digital preservation 'roadshows' were held during 2009-2010, to raise awareness of the issues associated with digital preservation and further details of these events can be found here. In 2012 SAT undertook a survey ‘We’re all digital archivists now?’ and a full report of the results is available to download (PDF). The section manages the relationship between ARA and the Digital Preservation Coalition, and has sponsored the annual student conference held by that organisation for a number of years. In attempting not to replicate the training provided by the DPC, the section has shifted its offer slightly from events focussed more narrowly on digital preservation (see for example this event held in 2014 to ones that encompass Digital Ambition and advanced skills training (e.g. a Library Carpentry for Archivists day held at The National Archives in 2017). It is also starting to look at subjects such as working with APIs and Machine Learning. Nevertheless we still maintain a page with some basic digital preservation links and information.


SAT helps to support projects funded by the ARA Research Fund. Recent projects with which SAT (or formerly DSG) have been involved have included: