Conference 2019, Leeds: have you registered?

For ARA members, the day rate for attending comes in at just £180 andthe full three days at £540 (remember: this includes on-siteaccommodation and food). These are the lowest Conference fees since 2013.The ARA Conference remains the best-value event in our sector.

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Conference 2019, Leeds (28-30 August): have you registered?

Four streams: archives & records, information governance, conservation, media & digital

Theme: Recordkeeping 3.0: ‘our careers’; ‘our workplace’; ‘our profession’

£180 daily rate for ARA members: lowest since 2013

Free one-to-one professional development sessions for ARA members

Eleven bursary winners (from over 50 applicants)


12 July 2019

With one month or so to go until the 2019 ARA Conference in Leeds, now’s the time to make your booking, if you haven’t already, for all three days or one day. Transport couldn’t be easier, as the venue, the Queens Hotel, is right at Leeds railway station and easily accessible from Leeds-Bradford airport.

For ARA members, the day rate for attending comes in at just £180 and the full three days at £540 (remember: this includes on-site accommodation and food). These are the lowest Conference fees since 2013 and among the lowest in the past decade and more. The ARA Conference remains the best-value offering of any comparable event in our sector.  We will continue to take bookings right up until the eve of Conference, of course. 

The Queens Hotel now

 The Queens Hotel 1940s

The Queens Hotel, Leeds now (from Wikipedia)….                                 …and then (1940s) © The Queens Hotel

For details of the programme, venue and to register:


For our themes in 2019, we are very much focused on the future. Our overall theme – Recordkeeping 3.0 – includes three designated individual day themes that work coherently across the three main streams: information governance; archives and records; media and digital; and conservation. The three daily themes are: 

  • ‘Our careers’
  • ‘Our workplace’
  • ‘Our profession’

So if you’re keen to catch up on everything from traditional skills in a digital age, shaping digital recordkeeping competence, the future of records management and entrepreneurship, Blockchain, virtual-reality conservation, research data management, immersive education, museums and archives, fundraising, volunteering, parchment repair and more, Conference is your one-stop shop for the year.

Keynote speakers

Leading off the first day (28 August) is keynote speaker Dr Alexandra Eveleigh, of the Wellcome Collection and Wellcome Trust, who will speak about the future of professional recordkeeping. On 29 August the ‘our workplace’ keynote is Dr Ros Lynch of the UK Intellectual Property Office, who will update us on digitisation and copyright (and the digital single market), artificial intelligence, rethinking your records and archives as assets and cross-border IP transfers after the UK leaves the European Union.

 Dr Alexandra Eveleigh

           Dr Ros Lynch

Dr Alexandra Eveleigh                                                      Dr Ros Lynch

On 30 August, the ‘our ‘profession’ day, the keynote speaker is J. Willgoose, Esq., the inspiration behind the innovative art-rock band Public Service Broadcasting, or PSB. He will inspire us to think differently about archives and records and see a wider potential for creative and educational impact. He will draw on PSB’s impressive back-list of material using NASA and Soviet space records, the archives of the coal mines of south Wales and the latest EP, White Star Liner, based on the eponymous shipping line, among others.


   Conf pic 2    Conf pic 5 

 J.Willgoose, Esq. and the cover of PSB’s latest EP, White Star Liner

Announcing our Bursary Winners

Congratulations to all of this year’s Conference bursary winners and thanks to everyone who donated - large or small – as part of the crowd-sourcing or who sponsored the record number on offer. In the end, the Conference committee selected eleven full bursary winners, ie for all three days. Bursaries include attendance, accommodation and food, and up to £100/€110 towards transport. Here’s the roll of honour:

Local Authority bursary, sponsored by Ancestry (increased from one to four in 2019)

Dina Strati

Richard Aitken

Julie Melrose

Katie McDonald


New Professionals bursary (crowd-funded by ARA members)

Lucy-Kay Brownson

ARA Bursaries (supported by the ARA membership)

Fiona Johnston

Freddie Alexander

Vikki Ellis

Sophie Leverington


Diversity bursary sponsored by kevinjbolton limited (increased from one to two in 2019)

Riza Hussaini

Michael Welsh

Our apologies for the delay in making the formal announcement. This was due to the unprecedented number of applications (over 50) and the time it took to read them all, while giving everyone a fair chance. All successful and unsuccessful applicants have already been notified.

Don’t Forget…

All the above is but a taster of what is on offer. As ever, we include a Gala dinner, where we will celebrate winners of this year’s ARA’s Awards for Excellence, one-to-one professional development sessions for ARA members, a (limited places) visit to the outstanding Marks and Spencer archives building in Leeds and a reception at the amazing Royal Armouries museum. There will also be a social programme organised by our colleagues from the ARA North of England section and a reflection on progress with our #GlasgowManifesto campaign to improve diversity in the recordkeeping sector.

       Michael Marks ArchivesElephant armour

Elephant armour.                                                The Michael Marks (Archive) Building, Leeds. ©the Marks & Spencer Archive
© The Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds  

The ARA Conference enables you ‘pick and mix’ your preferred sessions across all the major ‘streams’ and also catch up with many of those you have to miss (we video a number of sessions each day for you).

So, come and join several hundred colleagues and peers for tailored presentations and workshops that address the main issues facing our sector today. It’s a whole year’s worth of training in three days!

(Note: the ARA organises Conference and prices it to break even. It is not profit-making!)

See you in August!


Mike Anson
Chair, ARA Conference Committee