Winners of the ARA Awards for Excellence

The ARA today announced the winners of its inaugural Awards forExcellence.

Inaugural ARA Awards for Excellence

  • South West Heritage Centre Wins Record-keeping Service of the Year Award;
  • Sarah Wickham of the University of Huddersfield Wins Individual Record-keeper of the Year Award


ARA AwardsLogo RGB(29 July 2016)

The ARA today announced the winners of its inaugural Awards for Excellence, the Record-keeping Service of the Year and Record-keeper of the Year, respectively: the South West Heritage Trust and Sarah Wickham of the University of Huddersfield.

The Winners

The South West Heritage Trust is an independent charity committed to protecting and celebrating Somerset and Devon's rich heritage. As well as the widely-praised Museum of Somerset and the current redevelopment of the Rural Life Museum, in Glastonbury, the Trust manages state-of-the-art facilities in Taunton and Exeter to care for the extraordinary archive collections of the two counties. The Trust also provides essential advice about the historic environment and manages historic sites.

Sarah Wickham is University Archivist and Records Manager at the University of Huddersfield. She is currently seconded as Project Director of the (£2m) Heritage Quay project, which runs from 2012 to 2017. She has worked in records management and archives roles in local government, higher education and the charitable sectors since 1996. Sarah is a Registered Archivist and Records Manager, is on the editorial board of the Records Management Journal and contributes to the work of UK and international professional bodies, including as former Registrar of the ARA.

These awards were determined by open public voting, including by members of the archives and records community in the UK and Ireland. Voting closed on 17 July.

'Deserving Winners, Outstanding Field'

Chair of the ARA Board, Geoff Pick, said:

"Many congratulations to the South West Heritage Trust and Sarah Wickham, both deserving winners of these inaugural Excellence Awards. The awards themselves are a tribute to my predecessor, David Mander, OBE (who initiated them) and represent the voice of users and practitioners in the sector. Both winners have set impressive benchmarks for others to emulate, from innovative collaboration and public engagement to attracting new audiences. And they were part of an outstanding field, up against very impressive fellow nominees that deserve great credit for their showing; and who will hopefully be nominated again in future years."

The Tally

The votes for the finalists for both awards were distributed as follows:

Record-keeping Service of the Year

South West Heritage Trust 32%
Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland 22%
Wigan Archives and Local Studies 17%
Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield 15%
Essex Record Office 14%








Record-keeper of the Year

Sarah Wickham, University of Huddersfield 65%
Janice Tullock, Janice Tullock Associates 35%

Notes for Editors:

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

The Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) acts as the secretariat of the Group, which is a cross-party, non-partisan body. The ARA is the leading professional and membership body for archivists, records managers and conservators in the British Isles. It currently has around 2,400 members and is growing year-on-year. The ARA's annual conference takes place in Wembley from 31 August to 2 September 2016.

The winners of the Awards for Excellence will receive their trophies at a later date.

The ARA also inaugurated its Distinguished Service Awards (DSA) in 2016 for record-keepers that have demonstrated excellence in the course of their careers. Candidates for the DSA are nominated by a senior member of the profession to the ARA's Awards committee, which then considers each application. The inaugural winners were announced by the outgoing Chair of the ARA, David Mander, OBE, at the association's Annual General Meeting in London on 16 May. They were Dr Raymond Refaussé (Representative Church Body Library, Church of Ireland), Kim Collis (West Glamorgan Archive Service) and Stephen Connelly (Perth & Kinross Council Archive).