Statement from the Chair of the Board of the ARA

As Chair of the Board I wish to comment on the recent discussions on socialmedia sparked by a member of the staff of the Archives and RecordsAssociation.

ARA Logo 3As Chair of the Board I wish to comment on the recent discussions on social media sparked by a member of the staff of the Archives and Records Association.

In August 2018 we committed to addressing issues in the sector relating to diversity and inclusion in the Glasgow Manifesto ( At the Leeds conference I reported on some of the small steps we are making as an organisation to tackle these issues. We had already committed to providing unconscious bias training for the ARA staff and Board and we will progress this particular action as a matter of urgency.

Recent events on social media have highlighted the fact that the Archives and Records Association as an organisation has a long way to go. I can assure our members that we are taking this particular incident seriously. We have received communications from a number of members on the matter and are currently dealing with them.

As an organisation we may work a little slower on social media than some of our members so I would like to thank both the North West and London regions for their contributions to the discussion.

We want all of our members to feel valued and respected. We also want to open up our membership, and profession, to all.

I will further update you on steps we are taking to make the association a welcoming and inclusive place for all of our members in the coming days.

The organisation will learn from this.

Karl Magee, Chair of the Archives and Records Association



Following from ARA Chair Karl Magee’s message ARA CEO John Chambers has a short update.

Jon Elliott will be leaving the Association as Head of Public Affairs.

I would like to apologise to members and others for any offence caused by social media activity last Saturday 31st August 2019. The tweets concerned do not represent the views of the ARA or its governing Board. We will be reflecting, reviewing and learning from what happened as we go forward and the ARA Board is meeting this coming Friday for a special meeting to start that process.  

Many of you commented that we were slow to respond yesterday. This was primarily due to my unavailability after conference last week and the need to seek certain advice. This will be another point we can learn from.

We will keep members informed of what actions and progress we make and remain committed to the Glasgow Manifesto.