Three New ARA Awards Champion Individual and Service Excellence


Complement existing sector awards and open to non-ARA members

The Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) has announced the creation of three new awards to celebrate distinguished individual service in the record-keeping and archives profession and service delivery. The ARA is the lead body for archivists, records-managers and archive conservators in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The new awards will complement existing schemes, such as annual awards for outstanding community archives and volunteers, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History’s annual lifetime achievement awards, the Ellis Prize for archive theory and practice, and the ARA FARMER award for the best student dissertation.”

The ARA Chair, David Mander, OBE said:

“These new awards are special: candidates are nominated by their peers and voted on by members of their professional community or users of their services. If you know anyone – or a special team – whose achievements have so far gone unacknowledged, now is your chance to get them the special recognition they deserve and help raise the profile of archivists, conservators and records managers with the wider public.”

What are the three Awards?

  • Distinguished Service Award (DSA)

To recognise outstanding individual conservators, archivists or records managers for career-long record of achievement and/or a discrete, ground-breaking piece of work. Some examples could include successful management/implementation of a challenging project, external fundraising that has transformed access to a resource or significant, sustained improvements to service delivery.

  • Record Keeper of the Year

To recognise achievement within the last eighteen months by an individual archivist, conservator or records manager who is at any stage of his/her career.

  • Record Keeping Service of the Year

To recognise achievements by a specific archive or records-management service within the last eighteen months. A Record Keeping Service is defined as any individual or concern, public or private, responsible for the care, management or conservation of records in any format. The nominated service must employ a professional archivist; and/or a records manager; and/or a paper conservator. For example, a museum conservation unit could be nominated but the conservation of archives must form a key part of its remit.

How will the nomination and judging work?

The Awards Group of the ARA Board, chaired by Sam Johnston, Portfolio holder for Publicity and Promotion, with Alex Buchanan (ARA President), David Mander (ARA Chair), Natalie Milne (Secretary) and Susan Snell (Honorary Awards Officer), have developed these awards. This group will manage the process, including monitoring the voting.

For each award:

  • Distinguished Service Award - a simple nomination form, with further suggestions by the Awards Group – up to two nominations each year proposed for approval by the ARA Board.
  • Record Keeper of the Year/Record Keeping Service of the Year – a online form with prompts, seeking reasons for nomination. Anyone or any group can complete these forms, not just ARA members.

The Awards Group will sift initial nominations. It will adjudicate itself the candidates for the DSA and choose and announce the winner. The Group will post a short-list of candidates for the other two awards to the ARA website, encouraging everyone to vote on the finalists.

Why encourage external voting?

The awards are aimed at celebrating success within the sector and to encourage participation by external audiences with a stake and interest in the records, archives and conservation community. Our goal is – over time – to develop a national branding and awareness of the extraordinary achievements of our community.

When and what is happening?

  • December 2015 - Nomination forms posted to the ARA website (watch this space).
  • January 2015 – People can begin submitting nominations in all three categories.
  • End February 2016 – Nominations close.
  • Early March 2016 - Awards Group judges DSA nominations and short-lists candidates for Record Keeper & Record Keeping Service awards.
  • March – end April 2016 - Vote for Record Keeper and Record Keeping Service candidates on the ARA website by Survey Monkey.
  • May 2016 – all winners announced at the ARA AGM, with all nominated Record Keepers and two representatives from all nominated Record Keeping Services invited to attend.
  • 2016 (date to be arranged later) - Repeat ceremony at winning Record Keeping Service, with celebratory participation by all staff

What will be the prize?

There is no initial monetary prize. The awards deliver recognition and acknowledgement of achievement by peers, customers, allies and friends in an area where success and innovation has – to date - seldom been recognised. The award trophy will honour Sir Hilary Jenkinson, the archives and records theorist, and be elephantine in shape. The award certificate will bear a specially-designed new awards logo. Both represent the value of record keeping and memory for our sector and enable the winners to display their achievement.

7 December 2015

For more information, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07587 635402