Section for Specialist Repositories

Welcome to the Section for Specialist Repositories.

The Section for Specialist Repositories was established in 1979 in order to provide a forum for non-local government archivists. Membership now exceeds 800 people.

Originally founded as the Specialist Repositories Group (SRG), SSR now provides a forum for those employed outside local record offices and maintains a core interest in higher education.

Its membership is now diverse, both geographically and in terms of the institutions for which members work. We particularly seek to articulate and represent the interests of those in small archive services, and our members include archivists working in business, museums, schools etc

To view papers of the Section please click here.  From an extract of a letter describing the first meeting of the Society of Archivists in 1946, the first meeting of the Section on 13 December 1979 and the latest agenda papers it shows our development and commitment to our members. 

What we do and what is our relationship with the rest of the ARA?

The section has an important role in the ARA, in bringing together the interests of many lone archivists or archivists working in specialised environments.

We act as a link between those working in archives and not members of the ARA who require support in our field. We do this by assisting our affiliate groups in providing training end educational resources for archivists and those working in the records keeping fields.

Many of our initiatives have benefited members of the ARA as a whole.

These initiatives include:

  • development of archival description standards and methods of listing for a wide range of records
  • the output of the Professional Methodology Panel on standards and performance indicators
  • the original idea for British Archives edited by Julia Sheppard and Janet Foster (now in its 4th edition
  • a major report on the role and resources of university repositories
  • encourages non-ARA members responsible for the preservation and conservation of records to join the Association.

Affiliate groups

We have a number of affiliate groups, allowing the ARA to build a strong relationship with other groups working in our sector. These include: Religious Archives Group; Historic Houses Archivists Group; Health Archives and Records Group; Charity Archivists and Records Managers; Association of Performing Arts Collections Group; School Archivists Group..

Charity Archivists and Records Managers

pdf CHARM_inforrmation.pdf

Historic Houses Archivists Group

For the HHAG leaflet click the following link pdf HHAG_Leaflet.pdf.

Association of Performing Arts Collections Group

APAC leaflet

Additionally we have a strong working relationship with GLAM (Group for Literary Archives and Manuscripts), an independent group established in 2005 to bring together archivists, librarians, curators, writers, researchers, and anyone else with an interest in the collecting, preservation, use and promotion of literary archives and manuscripts in Britain and Ireland.

In the following pages you will find details of:

  • the section representatives and who to contact for help.
  • the section news, activities, training and events
  • minutes of section meetings
  • details of our newsletters
  • supporting resources

Would you like to find out more or join this Section?

If you have a general enquiry or would like to join this Section then please contact us or please open the SSR Leaflet file by clicking here.

News & Events

See our members resource page by clicking here.

Please get involved!

If you wish to engage with us or find others working in Archives or Record Managers working in your Section or Region take a look at our ARA Community area, build your profile and start discussing!

Supporting Resources

doc Lone_Archivists_Advice__Guidance_Series_copy_copy.doc

Managing Research Data Records  

Record keeping and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)

Revision of the NHS Code of Practice, 2015-2016

First letter from the ARA to IGA

Third letter from the ARA to IGA

Scanning & Disposal Guidance

Members Picture Library

The History of Advertising Trust


Aspinall's Enamel, London c.1891


Atkinson's Essence of White Rose Perfume c.1890-1900


Ceylindo International Tea Company c.1900


Dr Pierre's Dentifrice  c.1880-1900


Durrad's Book Bindings  1889

The Women's Library


 A Women's Institute meeting - 1953


 Suffragette Apron - c.1913


 Release of Suffragettes from Holloway prison -1908


 Procession of released Suffragette prisoners - 1909


 Wimbledon Suffrage Banner - c.1908


 Newspaper poster - Suffragette Raid on the Palace - 1914


 Women's Liberation Movement badge - c.1980

The Royal Society






Lothian Health Services Archive, Edinburgh University Library


'Postcards from NHS Lothian's ground-breaking, and at times controversial, 'Take Care' campaign, part of the Edinburgh and Lothian HIV/AIDS collection recently added to the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register 2011, courtesy of Lothian Health Services Archive, Edinburgh University Library'.